The Huawei smart speaker is getting its first chance outside China; in Europe not in the US.
The Shenzhen-based firm created the Huawei Sound X, in partnership with French audio specialists Devialet. It’s already been sold in Huawei’s home market–now it heads to Germany, France, Italy and Spain — as well. Price/release date TBD
The US security blacklisting means it cannot carry Alexa or Google Assistant. Instead Huawei will reportedly deliver its own voice assistant down the line. So technically it’s not really “smart”. In China the speaker comes with Huawei’s own voice assistant, called Xiaoyi.
Devialet is known for its premium Gold Phantom speaker, known for it’s powerful bass and $3000 price tag. The company is among France’s fastest-growing tech firms and has won backing from Jay-Z and LVMH’s billionaire CEO Bernard Arnault. The firm recently partnered with France’s Paris Opera to fill out the Palais Garnier with its Phantom speakers. Nice.
With Huawei, Devialet has stayed true to its bass focus and built two vibration-cancelling subwoofers into the so-called smart speaker speaker. CNBC reports that both companies are claiming the speaker is capable of 360-degree sound and volume than other smart speakers. How the interface to control that works without the smart part of the speaker remains to be seen. If nothing else it seems to be an attempt to raise the bar on audio performances for smart speakers, even ones that are not smart.
As further reported by CNBC, the Chinese tech giant, which faces intense political pressure from the United States, unveiled the speaker along with a new foldable phone and PCs during a pre-recorded broadcast.
The plan had been to launch the new products at Mobile World Congress, which was canceled for the first time in its 33-year history due to the coronavirus outbreak.