Huawei’s first entry into the portable smart speaker market wants to make a splash. But is that possible for this newbie? The company sent over Huawei Sound Joy for us to try out, and it’s certainly left a very positive first impression. What has the past month been like with the Huawei Sound Joy? I’m here to share my experience and discuss its best features so you can decide whether it’s something you can add to your gear.
Pack it up and bring it with you
Huawei doesn’t try to break the mold regarding the Sound Joy’s design. It has this tall and slim tumbler-like design. On occasion, I accidentally pick up instead of my actual water tumbler when it’s on my desk. I appreciate the portability of this design because its shape makes it easy to slip into my bag.
So, if you want to take it out with you, you don’t have to be particularly gentle with it. The Huawei Sound Joy is IP67 rated, making it the type of portable speaker you don’t have to worry about taking to the beach, pool party, or, say, having it near a friend who accidentally spills a drink while you’re out on a picnic. It even comes with a little strap to make it easier and more comfortable to carry around.
The speaker is protected by a special woven fabric that helps make it splash-proof, water-resistant, and dustproof. Of course, there are conditions you need to think about when I say water-resistant. Huawei has said that the requirements include that it only goes into the water for a depth of under 1 meter and no more than 30 minutes. The difference between water and product temperature is less than 5 degrees Celsius. For your daily use, that should be something you have to worry too much about.
Huawei lent us the Spruce Green color option. There is the more conventional Graphite Black model, but I highly recommend picking this particular color. It makes it look polished while also giving it a touch of personality.
It has a tech Huawei calls the “Push-Push” that shows the diaphragms of the two passive radiators. You can see it move to the song’s beat, which is a fun design feature. And then, on one end of the speakers, there’s a ring light that displays different colors while you use it. It also indicates when you turn the speaker on and off or the volume level. It can also turn green when a call comes in or orange when factory settings are restored.
I’m a big fan of the JBL Pulse speakers for their fun lighting effects. And the Sound Joy brings that element into it, but I’m missing the option to customize the lights to the color scheme or effect I want. It’s something I hope Huawei can integrate into this speaker or future iterations of this device.
Big sound in a compact body
If you’re looking for an audiophile’s perspective on the Huawei Sound Joy, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m more your garden variety music lover that wants a speaker that doesn’t crackle when you try to push its volume limits. And for the most part, the Huawei Sound Joy delivers on that.
I’m surprised at how loud this speaker actually gets. According to Huawei, it can go up as loud as 79 dBA@2m. I’ve typically kept it playing below 45% when I use it to play music while I work. I’ve tried to use it at its max volume and was surprised by its loudness. It’s something you can take with you outdoors to enjoy your tunes.
Huawei partnered with Devialet to develop the Sound Joy. It comes with the French company’s 2-way speaker system and SAM technology, promising excellent sound quality regardless of audio type. Devialet tunes the Sound Joy to offer great clarity. It has 10W silk-dome tweeters that offer frequencies up to 20kHz. There are three Sound Effect options you can enable within the Huawei AI Life app, which are available to Huawei and Android users. The AI Life app on iOS doesn’t support the speaker for now. The Sound Joy is designed for wireless listening. It doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired listening and supports AAC and SBC codecs.
There are three Sound Modes you can choose from within the AI Life app. There’s the default Hi-Fi, Vocal, and Devialet Mode. It isn’t too clear to my untrained ear how different the Hi-Fi and Devialet Modes are from each other. Vocal prioritizes the vocals in a track, so it’ll come in handy when watching content with this speaker. I find the Devialet Mode attempts to balance out the highs, mids, and lows, while Hi-Fi gives a bit more priority to the mids and the vocals. But the difference is so subtle. I’m missing that you can tweak these modes to differentiate them or at least let users create customized sound profiles. You can fine-tune bass through the app, which bass lovers should appreciate.
The Sound Joy is a bass-focused speaker. So, if that’s a priority for you, you might be happy with how this speaker treats the lows. Huawei claims you get as good an audio experience, whether the Sound Joy is placed vertically or horizontally. But I find the bass to be more pronounced when the speaker is laid horizontally. But either way gives you an excellent audio quality overall. Make sure the Huawei logo is facing your direction to get the best listening experience.
I love using it to supplement poor audio from my laptop and tablet devices. Watching content or listening to music through these devices makes it more enjoyable.
LiTT Tip #1: If you want to tweak the bass on this speaker, you just need to head into the Huawei AI Life app. Make sure your Sound Joy is connected, and then just scroll down until you see the Bass section.
But wait, there’s more
When you say it’s a smart speaker, you expect to get some extra features that will come in handy. And there are a few I appreciate on the Huawei Sound Joy.
As I mentioned earlier, iOS users will have a limited experience with this speaker. It will still work as a Bluetooth speaker, but you won’t be able to access the extra features. Most importantly, you won’t get firmware updates, which could help keep the Sound Joy functioning well.
You don’t have to control the Sound Joy through your phone alone, though. There are buttons on the speaker itself that gives you access to the basics. There are large physical volume keys on the side and five other buttons at the back, including the Power, Play/Pause, Microphone, Bluetooth, and Stereo Speaker link.
That Stereo Speaker option allows you to link another Sound Joy unit to your one for a stereo sound experience. That will be handy if you watch shows or movies and want a stereo experience. I didn’t have an extra Sound Joy on me, so it’s not something I could test.
Since the Sound Joy is part of Huawei’s ecosystem, you can easily connect it to other Huawei devices via an Automatic Discovery mode. The first time I powered it on, the Huawei MateBook D15 I worked on instantly recognized that it was near me. The same goes for the MatePad Pro I had.
But if you’re on Android, you also have a simple way to connect the Sound Joy to your phone. The caveat is your device needs to have NFC. The Huawei Sound Joy has a One-Touch Transfer option that makes connecting your device to the speaker as simple as positioning your phone above the NFC coil/mark on the speaker. It works when connecting a speaker for the first time or when you just want to pair a previously connected smartphone quickly. It beats having to go into settings to look for your Bluetooth settings.
Another handy feature on the Sound Joy is using the built-in mic to call up your phone’s voice assistant. I’ve used it with a OnePlus 9, and it works just fine. You just need to press the mic button on the speaker to make it call up Google Assistant. I typically don’t take calls in speaker mode, but you can do that here. The Sound Joy has three onboard mics for voice pickup. The call quality is decent enough.
This last one isn’t an extra feature but an essential one. The Huawei Sound Joy comes with a large 8,800mAh battery that promises up to 26 hours of use on a single charge. It took me three days to drain it thoroughly. So, if you’re thinking of taking the speaker on a day trip, you don’t have to worry about it dying out on you in the middle of the day.
If you need to recharge, the Sound Joy supports 41W USB-C charging. According to Huawei, a 10-minute charge can get you an hour’s use. The company says a full recharge needs three hours, but it typically took me around two and a half hours. Of course, I usually plugged it into the power socket using the MateBook D 15’s charging brick, which probably drew out the most power to charge this speaker.
LiTT Tip #2: If you want to extend the battery life of your Huawei Sound Joy, you can schedule it to shut down after a period of inactivity. Just open the Huawei AI Life app, then head to Schedule time off. You will get options for it to turn off after 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour of no use.
What’s lit and what’s not
What’s lit about it:
- Compact portable design
- IP67 rated
- Sleek Spruce Green color
- Impressively loud
- Doesn’t distort audio even at louder volumes
- Can tune the bass
- Makes listening to content on laptops and tablets a better experience
- Stereo Sound option with another Sound Joy speaker
- Automatic Discovery Mode for Huawei devices
- Convenience of One-Touch Transfer
- Built-in microphones are handy for taking calls and instantly access your phone’s voice assistant
- Large capacity, long-lasting battery with fast-charging support
What needs the extra spark
- Wished I could customize the light on the speaker
- Access to the speaker’s extra features and limited sound tuning is only available to Huawei and Android users (limited access to iOS users)
- Limited sound tuning/no equalizer
- No 3.5mm headphone jack for wired listening
- Could be pricey for some
If this is Huawei’s first attempt at a portable smart speaker, I’m intrigued about what the next generation Sound Joy will look like. I feel like it has the basics covered relatively well. It is on the expensive side. Huawei tries to add extra features that help make that price tag more acceptable. But it’s still a toss-up if people are willing to pay a bit more for this. If you’re in the Huawei ecosystem, it certainly makes it an attractive accessory to add to your arsenal.
But its biggest flaw might be the limited sound tuning options it has. That could draw in the more serious listeners who want their speakers to sound just right. Perhaps that’s something the next-gen Sound Joy can offer.
The Huawei Sound Joy retails for PHP 6,999 (approx. USD 127).
What’s your favorite feature on the Huawei Sound Joy? Let us know on social media!
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