Huawei is one of the more enthusiastic companies to explore co-branding opportunities, with consumers benefiting as they now have the opportunity to own technology from premium brands at mass-market prices. After their multi-year collaboration with Leica for smartphone camera systems and Gentle Monster for smart eyewear, Huawei has now partnered with French audio tech company `, which is widely respected for their powerful Phantom speakers, which are literally crammed full of techno-audio wizardry.
The Sound X is the result of a joint design by the two technological heavyweights, featuring Devialet’s proprietary acoustics technology. And with it, all the goodness that you get to enjoy on a Devialet-brand speaker can be had on the Sound X.
The main body is crafted using an advanced non-conductive vacuum electroplating process, to create a smooth surface that is as bright and transparent as a mirror. The top panel is touch-sensitive and features multi-colour indicators. Besides the four touch icons, placing the palm over the panel also pauses the audio, while tapping the phone via NFC transfers results in instant pairing. Huawei supports the usual Bluetooth connectivity as well as via Wi-Fi. DLNA and UPnP. Streaming audio through Wi-Fi delivers Hi-Res Audio, allowing the speaker to process audio with a sampling frequency of at least 96kHz at 24-bit or higher. Unfortunately, Android casting and iOS Airplay are not supported (for now), so most music streaming apps like Spotify and Tidal can only play through Bluetooth. Equally disappointing is the lack of any direct cable connectivity, depriving consumers of listening to lossless audio from their audio players.
360-degree speakers are generally more challenging to assess, because the sweet spot varies from the room setting. But in general, the Sound X is tuned with a rather neutral signature. This means that despite having two subwoofers, the sub-bass levels do not exaggerate like a multi-channel sound system. Given the relatively compact size, the Sound X offers a pretty gratifying bass and warm treble that generally outshines the lows unless the track emphasizes on the bass.
We hope that with the American Presidential Elections now leading to a new Presidency, some of the restrictions on Huawei will be lifted in 2021 (such as the Goggle Mobile Services license, a purely commercial/consumer product that other Chinese vendors are able to purchase), and this will enable Huawei to add Google Assistant, Chromecast and Apple AirPlay to the Sound-X to make it truly x-cellent.
The Huawei Sound X is a very promising audio product with innovative acoustics technology from Devialet. It achieves a good audio balance with stable subwoofer performance.
First published in NXT Magazine August 2020, which is available in digital format at https://www.magzter.com/SG/Kingsman-Media-Pte-Ltd/NXT-/Lifestyle/