A lot of smooth sound comes from the 'Sound' - Huawei's newest speaker. However, the first think you'll notice is the weight. The device is a black cylinder approx. 150mm (6") in diameter and 187mm (a little over 7") tall. But, this thing is 2.2kg!
When iTWire first unboxed it, we were quite sure it contained a hefty battery and would run for a long time without mains power, but we were wrong. The Huawei Sound is entirely mains powered, the weight is due to the metalwork required to support the dual bass speaker speaker assembly.
In developing the Sound, Huawei sought assistance from one of the world's leading audio engineering companies - France's Devialet. Huawei also took great pride in the appearance of this 'premium' speaker and included a small polishing cloth to geep the fingerprints off it.
Using Devialet's "4-speaker Acoustic Design," the speaker includes two woofers and three tweeters, and incorporates the company's SPACE™ Soundstage which "Let's you enjoy cinematic surround sound with a single standalone speaker." The speaker supports 3 ways to connect to your devices - Bluetooth (LDAC), UPnP and 3.5mm AUX-in. Of those, iTWire tested both Bluetooth and 3.5mm -the 3.5mm obviously offering the highest quality.
Let's start with some bad news (don't worry, things get better!). That's the app - Huawei Share. Please, don't bother with it. Our initial download of 116.1MB, admittedly to an older Samsung phone, was never able to connect to the speaker, despite confirming with Huawei that our device was on the approved list and a replacement unit being sent to us. The software could see the speaker but utterly refused to complete the connection process. Another phone in the family was (after much trickery) able to connect.
We later upgraded our phone and re-downloaded the software (now a very svelte 71.5MB) and connection was quickly and easily established. Clearly this bloated software is intended to manage the entire gamut of Huawei's devices and only a tiny portion of it was intended for the Sound.
Further, aside from app-provided access to the volume, sharing and mute options on the speaker, the software did nothing useful. It claimed to offer a handful of alterations to the overall tone - Hi-Fi, Vocal, Devialet SPACE Soundstage and bass, but (in our opinion) ALL of them degraded the overall delivery; we definitely preferred the 'raw' sound coming from the phone. We deleted the app.
Our verdict: ignore the app. It does NOTHING useful.
However, app aside, there is much to love about the Sound, although the neighbours may not appreciate our choice of music pushed out at 40W. Yes, it has a TONNE of volume if you absolutely crank it up! And as loud as we dared, we didn't detect any distortion - strong base and wonderfully crisp treble. Better still, the Devialet SPACE Soundstage, there was no directional loss of intensity. It was identical no matter where you stood.
In addition to your device being able directly control volume, the Sound also had its own volume controls on the top panel. Along with a mute and a button to manage initial connections. All quite normal. However, muting was easier than that, instead of locating the specific zone on top to capture the finger-press, you could simply drop your palm onto the entire top surface to mute. Great for playing a little music before sleeping - rather than waking up enough to find the mute, one could simply slap the top of the unit - the Bluetooth connection would drop soon after.
Overall, we really liked the speaker once we were able to develop a smooth way to work it.
The speaker retails for $195 via the Huawei online store, but many other outlets have it a little cheaper.