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Huawei Sound X review

Great sound... for certain genres

huawei sound x
(Image: © Huawei)

Our Verdict

Glossy and classy, Huawei’s Sound X Bluetooth speaker is a budget Devialet by any other name, but the lack of smart functionality and voice control could limit its appeal.

For

  • Deep, tight bass performance
  • 360-degree soundstage
  • Beautiful build quality

Against

  • No voice assistant support
  • Can be fussy with content
  • Expensive

30-second review

The Huawei Sound X, co-engineered with French Hi-Fi brand Devialet, is an upmarket wireless speaker with genuine audiophile DNA. 

It borrows heavily on Devialet audio technologies, like the brand’s low distortion Push-Push woofer design, and SAM (Speaker Active Matching) optimization, both normally found on products costing a magnitude more. It also offers a more prodigious bass performance than similarly specified all-in-one speakers.

Unfortunately, there’s no support for digital voice assistants, and it lacks smart functionality,  so you can’t rope it into a wider ecosystem, in the way you might with any number of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant models.

huawei sound x

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Huawei Sound X price and release date

  • Released July 4, 2020
  • £299 / about AU$540
  • Not available in the US

The Huawei Sound X was released on July 4, 2020 and sells for £299. This is a little on the rich side, given that the Apple Homepod and Sonos One both sell for just £199 / (AU$499 and AU$299 in Australia, respectively). 

Products from the Chinese company are still subject to trade restrictions in the US, which means the speaker is unlikely to be released there, and it doesn’t appear to be available in Australia just yet – though that price works out at around AU$540.

However, the nearest living relative to the Sound X is arguably the Devialet Phantom Reactor 600, which is priced at £999 / AU$1990 – and while they’re not directly comparable, there’s enough similarity to suggest Huawei’s asking price isn’t as outlandish as it might first appear.

wireless speaker

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • High-gloss polycarbonate cabinet
  • 360-degree driver array
  • Exposed Push Push dual subwoofer design

The Sound X is a Bluetooth speaker of considerable finesse. An impact-resistant polycarbonate cabinet with a mirror-like finish lends it a sophisticated air. 

Unfortunately, it’s also a fingerprint magnet, but you do get a free cloth included. The cabinet houses six speakers: specifically two subwoofers and six full-range drivers/tweeters.

huawei sound x

(Image credit: TechRadar)

There are characteristic Devialet cutaways on each side, which reveal those push-push dual woofers. True to Devialet form, when the speaker is in full flight, these bass cones pump in unison. You’ll also notice a little red stripe on each, a Huawei design accent.

Up top is a circular touch sensitive control that offers on-body volume and pairing buttons. A proximity sensor encourages them to light up when you hover near.

There’s no physical inputs offered as this is an exclusively wireless proposition.

Power output is rated at 65W, albeit with a claimed 144W of overall transient power – although as we’re to discover, this can sound plenty aggressive.

bluetooth speaker

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance

  • Lush low frequencies
  • Excellent high-end performance
  • Doesn’t budge when you crank the volume

The Sound X appears to have been tuned with dance and Europop in mind – Ibiza is its happy place. This speaker relishes deep throbbing bass lines and toppy repetitive rhythms. 

The dual-subwoofer design ensures the Sound X isn’t short of slam. It can drop down to 40 Hz, unusual for a relatively compact Bluetooth speaker, even one with Hi-Fi aspirations, while those drivers which circle the base create a convincing 360-degree soundstage. The output sounds the same regardless where you listen in the room.  

Succinctly put, the Sound X goes loud and is deliciously dynamic. There’s nothing budget about its bass performance. 

Identical, by Phoenix on Tidal, is the kind of clean, synth pop that the Sound X relishes. 

There’s something mesmeric about its symmetrical bass arrangement. With 20mm of excursion, it’s almost like you can see the speaker’s heart beating. But the Sound X isn’t just about gut punch bass. It’s delicate too.

huawei sound x

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Baby It’s You, by London Grammar, is gifted with an ethereal upfront vocal. It turns out that  the circular driver array, and not the thumping bass, is the real star of the show. They are crystalline, and far outperform the Sound X’s price point.

The title track from Imploding the Mirage, by The Killers is as clear as chicken consommé when we listen to the MQA master on Tidal. 

Mozart: Adagio for Violin and Orchestra in E major again lets those high frequency drivers earn a crust; it’s something of a revelation to hear the Sound X sans subwoofers. The speaker’s sonic performance is surprisingly refined, classy even. 

But there are limitations. While the Sound X drops deep, and reaches high, there’s something in the mid-range that occasionally goes awry. This is particularly noticeable when playing rock and metal.

sound x

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The speaker struggles to do justice to Napalm Death’s Amoral (Tidal). What should be a wall of sound turns into a bit of a rickety fence. Similarly, Gerard Way’s Baby You're A Haunted House, which is a fine fuzzbox mid-range rocker, sounds rather horrible.

Devialet’s SAM (Speaker Active Matching) technology works by optimizing the relationship between the incoming signal and the driver mechanics, ostensibly to minimise distortion. SAM also monitors the volume and ensures the speaker doesn’t go into overdrive. If the voice coil begins to overheat, it restricts the current.

Perhaps our Download 2020 Playlist pushed the Sound X to its limit?

speaker

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Huawei Sound X?

huawei sound x

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if...

You want an all-in-one Bluetooth speaker.
The Huawei Sound X is a high performance wireless Bluetooth all-in-one that can convince as a main room sound system, without claiming too much floor space.

You enjoy dance and pop with a pronounced bass beat.
This speaker relishes deep throbbing bass lines and toppy repetitive rhythms.

You Devialet technology without the high price tag.
The Huawei Sound X isn't cheap, but it's far cheaper than Devialet's own wireless speakers, and comes with the tech the audio brand is famed for.

Don't buy it if...

You want a smart speaker.
If you want a smart wireless speaker that can integrate with a whole home music system, you'll need to look elsewhere.

You want voice assistant control.
There's no voice assistant here, and that means you can't use the Huawei Sound X to control your smart home devices.

You like to break out your Rammstein air guitar.
Pop and classical music sounds great, but the Huawei Sound X isn't a great companion for rock music.