Huawei adopts French sound for its Sound X speaker - 20 Minutes
- In the turmoil with its latest smartphones like the P40 deprived of Google's services, Huawei is diversifying into audio.
- The manufacturer today sets the bar quite high by partnering with the French Devialet for its Sound X speaker launched at less than 300 euros.
- If the pleasure of listening is true, the Sound X hides many gaps that will need to be filled to fully convince.
This is the story of a collaboration. Where when the global telecommunications giant Huawei embarks the “small” French speaker manufacturer Devialet in the adventure of a living room speaker. Its name: the Sound X. And here it arrives without warning in our countries in the middle of July.
No, the Sound X is not a clone of Apple's HomePod speaker, but it is not forbidden to imagine that Huawei engineers were inspired by it. "We wanted to play elegance with a play of materials", claims one at Huawei France which launches its Sound X at 299 euros. Cylindrical (28.8 cm high by 16.5 cm in diameter and weighing 3.5 kg), the device with a black lacquer finish is a WiFi and Bluetooth living room speaker. It tickles Sonos and its Play: 1 and Move speakers or Bose and its Home Speaker 500 in the field of quality sound in the living room. To make it work, two options: WiFi and Huawei's AI Life application, or Bluetooth. Owners of NFC smartphones will pair the Sound X with a snap of their fingers.
The first sounds played on the Sound X instantly reveal that the speaker has a safe. Incorporating two bass speakers and six wideband speakers placed at the bottom of the device in a ring, the speaker has bite.
Placed back to back (a technique that neutralizes vibrations), the two main speakers offer very deep bass (up to 40 Hz) and panic as soon as you push the volume. A vent on the side of the Sound X allows you to observe the jerky movements of one of the two speakers whose travel can reach up to 20 mm. Impressive.
During our tests, the Sound X was able to demonstrate its potential to add sound to a living room of respectable size. We modulate the volume either from his smartphone, or from the touch-sensitive and backlit area located on the top of the speaker. The sound produced is particularly warm. There is probably a little finesse in the high frequencies, but the space is perfectly filled with a good adaptation to most sound registers. We regret the absence of an equalizer in the AI Life application. This would have made it possible to personalize the audio reproduction. But like Bose, Devialet who operates here does not want to see his distorted sound signature.
Many false notes
Other regrets: the Sound X does not have any auto-calibration system and it is not possible to pair two Sound X to obtain a pair of stereo speakers. And if we draw the thread of the ball of gaps soon arrives the absence of streaming platforms in the AI Life application. With the exception of music tracks that have been downloaded, it is therefore impossible to play your Deezer or Spotify playlists other than via Bluetooth. Too bad having to do without WiFi in this case, which nevertheless ensures transmission without compression.
Finally, the Sound X does not include a personal assistant. With its six microphones, it is however provided for that! Launched in China before Christmas, the Sound X ships Celia, the house assistant, there. However to date, Huawei is in trouble to advance any date for the integration of Celia or any other assistant in its enclosure for the French market ... We therefore have the feeling that the Sound X is not yet " quite ready ”and that its manufacturer offers us a version not yet finalized. As it stands, it nevertheless retains its primary vocation by being a very good salon enclosure for which Devialet's know-how is essential.
A product that does not exist
The French manufacturer, who notably built his reputation on his Phantom speaker (sold from 1,790 euros anyway) undoubtedly brings his trademark to the Sound X. “We want to create products that do not exist. The fact of working on license models avoids tarnishing the brand and the perception of the devices ”defends the manufacturer when 20 Minutes calls upon this collaboration around a speaker sold for less than 300 euros.
Devialet had already surprised at the end of 2018 by being a partner of the Freebox Delta. After Huawei, it is also on the new SoundForm Elite speaker from accessory designer Belkin (299 euros) that Devialet also affixes its label.
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