Huawei debuts smart speaker co-engineered with Devialet

Huawei has unveiled an all-in-one smart speaker, co-engineered with highly regarded French hi-fi maker Devialet.

The Sound X is a bookshelf-sized omnidirectional music system with a high-gloss black finish and fabric base, clearly targeting the more premium end of the smart speaker market.

Huawei’s collaboration with Devialet is interesting. The French brand previously partnered with Sky to produce the Sky Soundbox, while Huawei has a long standing partnership with Leica, for its smartphone cameras.

The feature specification includes built-in NFC to simplify pairing, so users merely need to tap their NFC-enabled smartphone to make a Bluetooth connection.

The Sound X features six evenly distributed 8W tweeters, coupled with Devialet’s signature ‘push-push’ woofer design. These dual woofers are visible from the cut-outs on either side of the enclosure, which allow you to see Devialet’s signature pumping action.

The Sound X also utilises Devialet’s Speaker Active matching technology (aka SAM), which can also be found in the brand’s upmarket Phantom line of all-in-one speakers.

SAM rather cleverly attempts to optimise playback fidelity to the mechanics of the speaker itself, in order to achieve the best possible sound pressure levels.

For a slick user experience, the Sound X offers touch-sensitive user controls up top, which only activate when a proximity sensor registers your hovering hand.

HCC was invited to have an early listen to the Sound X, when it was presented alongside Huawei’s new flagship Mate Xs folding smartphone (which, incidentally, could be one of the most intriguing new portable devices for entertainment we’ve seen – pictured below).


What’s immediately impressive about the Sound X is the depth and fluidity of its bass performance. It’s prodigious for such a compact system, rated at 60W, and manages to be all-encompassing as well (the Devialet DNA is all too evident here). The multi-tweeter array keeps vocal detail crisp. The speaker is designated as High-Res compatible.

The Sound X forms part of Huawei’s wider connected vision of IoT products; just don’t expect it to work with any of the current digital assistants. We were told that Google Assistant is particularly persona non grata. We’ll learn just how amenable it is when it makes its official debut later this Spring.

While Huawei says it remains committed to the Android OS, and confirms that the Mate XS smartphone and doubtless others will offer it, this is only the core Android open-source build. The company does not have access to the Google Play Store.

Instead, it’s now fully committed to developing its own HMS (Huawei Media Services)-based AppGallery, and intends to invest millions ensuring it has a comprehensive range of apps comparable to those in the Google store, by offering fast app dev kits to developers, including ready-to-use core kits with on-device capabilities, including camera, video, location and machine learning.

No price has yet been confirmed for the Sound X speaker, but we’ll have a stab in the dark at around £300.