Monday, 22 February 2021 11:28

Redesigned 2021 Huawei Sound speaker with Devialet: 'distinctly smaller' with 'superior sound'


Huawei first worked with acoustics giant Devialet in 2019, when both companies collaborated to deliver the Huawei Sound X, with the partnership delivering a new “crown jewel”: the next-gen Huawei Sound speaker with “superior, full audio immersion”.

Huawei tells us its latest-generation, A$329 Huawei Sound speaker “adopts an innovative four-speaker acoustic design, resulting from Devialet's unrivalled prowess, a 4-inch 40W woofer and three full-range 5W loudspeakers working in conjunction.”

Highlighting the speaker’s “remarkably understated appearance,” we’re told that it generates “an astounding amount of power, thanks to Devialet's Push-Push configuration, in which two passive radiators reinforce each other to counteract backwave vibrations.

“This substantially reduces the presence of distortion resulting from the diaphragms' reverberations and ensures unrivalled stability under high volume settings at up to 90 dB, producing strikingly pristine and distortion-free audio at all times.”

Clearly, it’s a very smart sounding speaker, and is an advanced Bluetooth speaker that focuses on sound quality with the Devialet engineering as explained below. Huawei's Celia assistant is not yet available in Australia and isn't yet enabled for the Huawei Sound speaker, although there is such functionality in China for both the original Huawei Sound X model in 2019 and this new 2021 model, so it is clearly possible. 

The top of the speaker's control panel shows a microphone mute button, so smart speaker functionality will presumably will be enabled some time in the future, but for now, the Huawei Sound is not advertised in the West as offering any of the smart speaker capabilities of a Google Nest, Amazon Alexa or Apple HomePod. 

Sydneysiders will be able to see and hear the speaker for themselves at Huawei’s Experience Stores in Chatswood, the Sydney CBD and Hurstville, with MobileCiti also showcasing the speaker.

Huawei says “strong bass has been a consistent highlight on the Huawei Sound series, and this all-new product only raises the bar, by incorporating advanced Devialet's SAM technology, and the first-ever "1 woofer + 2 passive units" structure.

“The speakers highly intricate acoustics exercises meticulous modelling and displacement controls over the woofer and passive radiators, to ensure simultaneous vibrations on top of distortion-free low frequencies and a wide dynamic range. As a result, bass tones are deeper and richer on Huawei Sound.”

How does Huawei describe this technology?

We’re told “advanced SAM technology facilitates heightened immersion, absorbing the listener in what feels like a live concert experience, from the comfort of their own home. Bolstered by Devialet SAM and Push-Push design, Huawei Sound generates audio that projects boundless power and authority, while representing an extraordinary new standard for a wireless speaker.”

Then there’s Devialet’s “Space” technology which promises “genuine 360° surround sound.”

Here, Huawei says its new Sound speaker “packs three evenly spaced full-range tweeters, complemented by Devialet Space Technology, capable of filling a room with 360° surround sound for a listening experience reminiscent of that at a grand concert hall.

“Space confounds the traditional notion that surround sound requires multiple strategically placed speakers throughout the room, by separating the input signal into direct sound, reflected sound and ambient noise, using a dedicated algorithm. The three different directionally oriented speakers then receive signal based on the listener’s location, and together create astounding surround sound effects from a single device, transcending the spatial limitations of any room.”

Additionally, Huawei explains Sound offers four enriching sound effects: Devialet Space Soundstage, Vocals, Hi-Fi, and Bass, which add “fresh-new flavours to any piece of music, from symphonies and arias to rock songs”, with the settings “easy to configure in the Huawei AI Life app."

More ways to connect, with improved tap-to-transfer audio transmission

Huawei Sound also offers “unmatched convenience”, as it is equipped with a diverse range of connectivity capabilities, including Bluetooth (LDAC), WiFi, and 3.5 mm AUX-in connections.

The speaker also incorporates a “tap-to-transfer feature” which “allows the user to direct phone audio playback to the speaker simply by tapping the phone against the speaker body. LDAC is also supported, which allows for high-definition Bluetooth transmission at up to 990 kbps (theoretical value), triple that under standard Bluetooth”, for the OneHop Audio Sharing feature on Android phones running Android 5.1.1 or later with NFC enabled and the screen turned on. (iOS is “not currently” supported for this tap-to-transfer feature).

Classic, Devialet-characteristic design

Inheriting the “premium style of the previous Sound X”, the new Huawei Sound boasts “a sleek, shiny surface reminiscent of that on a grand piano. The lower portion of the body is coated with a glossy fibre grid cloth, for smooth sound transmission, and protection against dust.”

A combination of Huawei’s communications technology prowess Devialet's leading acoustics capabilities, Huawei naturally describes its speaker as being able :to deliver a listening experience that is as evocative as it is unique”, and goes so far as to claim its release “ushers in a new era for wireless Hi-Fi, in which a compact, home-bound Hi-Fi speaker can faithfully reproduce the emotional resonance of our favourite songs and sounds.”

Of course, its competitors will presumably claim otherwise, but it’s good to see competition is strong, because as always, the consumer benefits!

Retailing for $329, you can find all the details of the new 2021 HUAWEI Sound speaker here.

An iTWire colleague has requested a review unit and will be posting a review in due course, so keep an ear out for it!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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