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A touch of French hi-fi speaker style from Huawei for less than €200


Glossy black casing makes the speakers look a little “Darth Vaderish”. Photo: Adrian Weckler

Glossy black casing makes the speakers look a little “Darth Vaderish”. Photo: Adrian Weckler

Glossy black casing makes the speakers look a little “Darth Vaderish”. Photo: Adrian Weckler

Anyone who knows their hifi knows the French company, Devialet. Its brand is its innovative speaker design and maybe also its haute pricing – you’ll struggle to see many of its speakers at under €1,000.

So it’s a pleasant surprise to see what appears to be the core guts of a Devialet branded under Huawei’s name for €200.

And there’s no question that the Huawei Sound feels and sounds like a Devialet speaker, right down to the exposed subwoofers which make almost anything around them rumble and hum.

Leaving other feature considerations aside, the audio quality out of it is about the best that you’ll get from something of this size and at this price range.

Devialet has engineered this to give you really nice, powerful bass without distortion. This speaker can easily hold a room, likely even when we’re allowed to have people to house parties again.

As for its looks, the glossy black casing makes it come across a little Darth Vaderish (although watch out for fingerprint marks). It’s 23cm high and 16cm in diameter, with a circular design.

To stand it alongside other Bluetooth speakers, it’s about twice the size of either a standard Amazon Echo (€99) or Google Nest (€99), but noticeably smaller than, say, Amazon’s Echo Studio (€239) or Harman Kardon’s Citation 200 (€300).

In its primary purpose as a Bluetooth speaker, its physical controls are quite simple.

There are four touch-sensitive buttons on top, two of which relate to volume and one of which is a microphone control (which can be turned on or off for calls).

The fourth is a multi-function button used mainly for Bluetooth and pairing your Android phone app.

The Huawei Sound has no access to either wifi or smart voice controls such as Alexa or Google Assistant. (Although you can get around this by attaching it to your own smart speaker via an aux-in port.)

For some, that won’t be an issue. For others getting used to smart home devices, it’s definitely a negative.

It’s also worth pointing out that, at this price, you can get decent speakers that are portable via their own rechargeable batteries.

In the case of Huawei’s Sound, it must be plugged in at all times.

So if it’s a smart, wireless speaker you’re after, you’re better off going for something like Harman Kardon’s Citation models.

But if you’re not bothered about either smart home functions or voice controls, and purely want this as a quick-play Bluetooth speaker with the best possible sound, this has to be one for your shortlist.

And you’ll also get to say that you own a Devialet.

The Huawei Sound is available for €189 through Vodafone's Fonua portal, Vodafonefaf.ie.

Huawei Sound

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Price: €189

Pros: big sound, innovative engineering and design

Cons: no portable battery option, no voice assistant

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