Huawei is a global brand that you may know for their state of the art smartphones and the political issues around their role in our 5G networks. However, they are more than just a mobile brand – they have started to push the brand into the audio speaker arena.
Introducing the Huawei Sound X.
The Sound X Speaker is Huawei’s first attempt in the speaker sector and it’s a very goodone. This is a joint venture between Huawei and Devialet, one of the best audio brands on earth! Devialet is known for the Phantom speaker that in John Lewis starts from £900+. So let’s see what this speaker is like.
When you set up this speaker and listen to it for the first time it’s just pure audio joy to your ears. I played the Guns ‘N’ Roses classic “November Rain”. The guitar solo is so beautiful when it comes out of this speaker. It’s a rock fan’s dream. Close your eyes and you could be in Wembley Stadium among 60,000 fans.
When you get this speaker out of the box the first thing you will notice is the weight. Inside the box, you get a special cover for the speaker for when not in use. You also get a power adapter with a few options of plug depending on if you’re using it in the UK or overseas. You also get the user manual and wiping cloth which comes very handy as this speaker loves a fingerprint.
The speaker has been engineered with Devialet’s push-push acoustic design and it does not disappoint one bit. The Sound X is a similar shape of that of the Apple Homepod but Huawei have turned up the sex appeal of this speaker. The sound X uses a glossy impact-resistant polycarbonate finish. That can be a bit of a fingerprint catcher but once you set it up in your room you won’t want to move it.
On the sides you can see the visible subwoofers and to finish this speaker you have a mesh encasing around the lower part of the speaker. At the top of the speaker you have a 12 RGB Tri colour light setup around the touch display with a rainbow ring light which finishes the overall look and acts as a notification. For example when you stop the music you get a solid red light and when trying to pair you get a slow flashing orange light.
Now, this speaker is not light at all. It weighs 3.5KG, so this is going to be a speaker that will stay in the living room when you have friends over. It’s only slightly over 20cm tall and with that glossy finish, it does not look out of place next to my TV.
MediaTek MT8518 CPU
512 MB RAM + 8 GB Storage
Dual Band Wi-fi + Bluetooth 5.0
One Tap Audio Sharing
2x 60W 3.5 inch subwoofer + 6x 1.5inch full -frequency speakers (tweeters)
NdFeB Rare-Earth Speaker
60W Transmission Power
Inside the Sound X is where the magic happens. You get dual 3.5-inch subwoofers and six powerful tweeters giving a great range with as low as 40Hz and a max of 40kHz. All the speakers together create a 360-degree surround sound experience.
The setup of this speaker did prove a little troublesome. The user guide tells you to download the Huawei Smart Home app. What they forget to tell you is this app is completely pointless on an iPhone – it won’t even connect. You can still play music via a Bluetooth connection but it’s the Huawei Smart Home App I wanted to try.
So I tried to download the app on my Samsung S10 instead and it worked. You have a few instructions to follow such as connecting it to the Wi-Fi in your house. You get a display in the app that allows you to adjust the bass and the vocal level.
It’s handy to adjust to the levels like the bass and vocals but until Huawei develop some more functions which could include smart home functions it’s just another app on my phone.
For those who use a Huawei smartphone, we have a quicker way to connect. You will see an NFC symbol on the speaker. Tap your Huawei smartphone to the speaker and bingo! You’re connected instantly and can share music via Huawei Share. It will ask you to download the app but that just so you can adjust the settings if you wish.
Moving on to the audio performance and what can I say the partnership of Huawei and Devialet is a match made in heaven. As mentioned at the start of this review playing anything with good bass and a guitar solo this speaker’s performance is the best I have tested period!
When I played “Sweet Child of Mine”, another Guns N Roses banger, I stood still as the quality was that good – you just have to enjoy every second. You get a low but balanced bass and when you pump up the volume it’s almost like the vibrations from the subwoofers hit you. When you reach the guitar solo every string is distinguished, it’s an absolute joy. Overall you get that low bass paired with clear vocals and a bright treble.
What makes this speaker even better as it comes with a push-push acoustic design. You get zero driver noise even at max volume. What’s more is as mentioned the Sound X comes with eight speakers inside allowing for a 360-degree surround sound which makes this speaker the life and soul of any party.
It’s not just rock music this speaker performs to the max. I tested it with some classical stuff – namely, Katherine Jenkins’ “Abide With Me”. The Sound X performs just how you expect it. Crystal clear vocals and the instrumentation section of the song was just so good you can hear the track much more clearly than I have ever heard. It was like being at Royal Festival Hall and seeing her live.
This was due to the highly magnetic NdFeb Rare-Earth Loudspeaker which provides a more tense sound profile via generating stronger vibrations in the diaphragm which enhances the speaker sensitivity and overall performance.
Value For Money?
The Sound X speaker that Huawei & Devialet have created pulls out the stops for an amazing sounding speaker that makes listening to music such an enjoyable experience.
If I had to pick some negatives, the fact that it’s AC powered is not ideal, but the speaker is heavy at 3.5kg so you are more likely to keep this inside but pump up the volume and the sound travels up to 20 metres compared to the average 10 metres other speakers offer.
There are other negatives. It does not come with smart speaker functionality, for example, nor any voice recognition, however this might come in the future. The only other downside is that app did not work on my iPhone but worked perfectly on my Samsung S10 which was a little annoying but not a deal-breaker. As with the smart app, fantastic smartphones and other wearables, Huawei wants the consumer to do what Apple does to their consumers and you buy multiple Huawei products for that overall ecosystem that Huawei are trying to create.
Moving back to what I love about this speaker, if one was not enough for you you can buy a second speaker and pair them both together for a sound experience that will just blow your socks off and maybe your wallet apart as well as they are not cheap. You can also use the NFC function as mentioned above so with a tap of your Huawei phone on the NFC symbol it will connect right away so you can play music in seconds.
Would I buy this Speaker?
The Answer has to be a big fat YES! It sounds amazing and looks great. However, it currently costs £299 down from £399 on the Huawei website and this is very expensive for what is currently just a speaker but I see it as a long-term investment. Also that Devialet collaboration can’t have come cheap.
I am surprised that they did not add a smart speaker as it might have justified the price a little more. I expect Huawei to introduce upgrades in the future which could well include a smart assistant. However, for the audio fans in the room you need to experience this. The 360-degree surround sound will make this the only speaker you need plus it looks great. As mentioned it’s not perfect and improvements can be made but its a very good first attempt. In my view this is the best sounding speaker I have heard all year!
Design – 5 Stars
Feature – 4 stars
Audio quality – 5 stars
Value for Money – 4.5 stars
Overall rating: 4.5 Stars