Huawei has recently shown that it knows how to do more than just mobile phones. Now that its business is moving more to the ecosystem area, the company seems to be investing a lot of effort to be present in several market segments, and recently it has also entered the area of portable speakers. The first speaker of this kind from Huawei is called Sound Joy, it promises extremely strong sound for its price segment and is developed in partnership with Devialet.
Huawei’s Sound Joy offers over a day of non-stop listening on a single charge
Huawei Sound Joy does not jump far short of other products in this market segment, offering a shape, construction and functions that we expect from portable speakers in this price range. We are dealing with a cylindrical speaker, covered all around with textile material, very pleasant to the touch, with a series of physical buttons and a USB-C port for charging. All buttons are made of soft, rubberized plastic, which are very pleasant to the touch and are also water resistant.
In fact, the whole box is water and dust resistant to the IP67 standard, so you shouldn’t worry if you spill drinks on it, or it happens to start raining, if you drop it in the pool or in a pond. Sound Joy is a speaker designed to be taken anywhere, whether you use it at home to listen to music, or outside, on the beach, at a barbecue or on a picnic.
However, it is not a small and light speaker, but it is quite large and relatively heavy. That’s because it has two large speakers hidden under the fabric, two passive radiators, which amplify the intensity of low frequencies, but also a huge battery of 8,800 mAh.
The internal battery of the Sound Joy speaker promises up to 26 hours of listening and even delivers them, and charging is fast, at 40W with one hour of listening for every 10 minutes of charging. It may seem small compared to recent phones, but you will rarely charge Sound Joy. At an average listening time of three to four hours a day, the speaker should be charged only once a week.
Personally, I spent two weeks on a single charge, using the box only a few times a week and for a weekend mini-vacation out of town. Fortunately, if the battery runs out, chances are you’ll have a handy USB-C charger for charging. The speaker does not come with its own charger, but comes with a USB cable, similar to the one we find in the box of Huawei phones.
The loud sound is the result of the partnership with Devialet
But long-lasting autonomy is not very important, if the sound is not quality, and with a name like Devialet attached to Huawei Sound Joy, expectations are quite high. However, we must put in perspective the fact that this front speaker is one of the medium range, not extremely cheap, but none of the most expensive range. Thus, at 600 lei, you get more than you would expect from such a speaker, especially if you are interested in high volume with strong bass.
Sound Joy is a mono speaker, so the sound of both playback channels is combined into one. This way, you won’t be able to zoom in on the audition, and some of the frequencies will start to mix once the volume is at a very high level. However, so far I have never encountered a portable speaker with such a strong bass. If you want stereo sound, you can use two Sound Joy speakers. Connecting them in this way is quick, either by pressing the dedicated button or by physically shaking them.
And connecting to various devices is extremely easy. On Android you have NFC, which also works to “pass” the music that is already played on the phone directly on the speaker. Those with Huawei mobile devices can detect it automatically without accessing the Bluetooth menu, and on Windows, the speaker is immediately detected as soon as it enters the Bluetooth range of the computer. Only on iPhone is the “standard” pairing required through the settings menu.
The iOS platform is also at a disadvantage when it comes to speaker configurations. It’s not clear why, but Huawei offers support for Sound Joy through the AI Life app only on the app version of the App Gallery, not on the version available in the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Fortunately, on Android phones, you can do this.
The AI Life application allows you to configure Huawei Sound Joy
Here you have quick access to software updates, as well as the switch between the three audio profiles: HiFi, the default option, Vocal, for listening to podcasts and Devialet mode, which focuses on playing the sound with as much bass as possible. In fact, the only configurable frequency option is the bass, which can be reduced in intensity or increased by up to 6 decibels.
One interesting thing I noticed about Sound Joy is that you can control the speaker volume from the AI Life application, regardless of the playback volume of the phone. Thus, to reach the maximum volume, it is necessary to have both the phone and the speaker at 100%. However, I never recommend listening at full volume. First of all, the quality of the sound played down considerably to the maximum, but the sound is still very loud and clear even at 80%. Then, for listening inside, the sound is too loud in the immediate vicinity of the speaker, and can be annoying even for neighbors.
In terms of interesting things, good to have on a portable speaker is also the cord, which comes attached from the factory, good for securing the wrist speaker or hanging in a tree, the microphone button, which activates the virtual assistant on the devices at which is the connected speaker, and the fact that it can be positioned both horizontally and vertically. It even has two rubber feet for horizontal stabilization and ventilation slots through which air can pass through the radiator at the bottom.
At the top we have a circle with LEDs, which can indicate the volume or condition of the drums, depending on how full the circle is and what color it is, and during playback, the colors change according to the rhythm of the song. If you are not interested in these effects, the lights can be turned off in the app, or by long pressing the play button.
Huawei managed to do a lot of good things from the first attempt with the new Sound Joy speaker
Of course, there are a few minor things that bothered me during the testing, but I don’t think there are such disadvantages as not to consider this speaker. First of all, it doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack or a microSD slot, so you can listen to music on the speaker exclusively via Bluetooth. Fortunately, all phones, tablets, and most laptops and TVs today have such connections. Then, with such a large battery, I would have appreciated that the USB port could also be used for charging in the opposite direction. Since the speaker offers over 24 hours of listening on a single charge, chances are you’ll run out of battery on a grill, or out on the pool or on the beach. If it served as an external battery, it was an even more impressive combo.
Lastly, something I’ve personally come across, but which probably won’t bother many people: I think it has a slightly oversized body. I understand that the shape and design are specially made to provide the best possible audio quality and the loudest sound, but the speaker is a bit thicker than you can put in a standard cup holder in a car or on a glass holder for bicycles. It would have been an additional advantage if it could have been placed on such supports. Compared to a 0.5L dose, the box is significantly larger.
In conclusion, the Huawei Sound Joy is not a perfect portable speaker, but it has enough advantages to balance in its favor compared to other models on the market. For a first generation product, however, this is a real success, offering powerful sound, resistance and useful smart functions at a fair price for what it offers. Personally, I was very satisfied with the boxing and I just regret that I didn’t have it tested during the hot season, when I could have tested it at several outdoor outings.