As I played Kendrick Lamar’s new album and the Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness score with this punchy speaker, I thought about what I had been missing in my life. Was it the heart-pounding bass? Or the superb clarity from the dual tweeters? No, it must have been that I was looking for a speaker that looked cool and charged quickly and lasted a long time. The HUAWEI Sound Joy speaker is the epitome of first-class, premium audio quality in the wireless speaker realm.
The speaker has two colour options: Obsidian Black and Spruce Green—I got to test out the latter colour, which was a lovely shade of green. The whole device weighed in at about 1.5 lbs (680g) and its physical dimensions were still quite slim at 8 inches tall and under 3 inches wide. It was the perfect size for a backpack and bicycle water bottle cages.
The special woven fabric that encased the body of the speaker had a similar look to many wireless speakers on the same level but was very smooth and comfortable to touch. Its IP67 water resistance rating essentially meant it was built rugged for the outdoors yet refined to look and feel good enough.
The HUAWEI Sound Joy used Bluetooth as its primary way to wirelessly connect to the speaker, so there was no AUX port to have a wired connection—all wireless, baby! HUAWEI explained that with the Bluetooth 5.2 technology, it would allow the speaker to maintain high quality sound with lower power consumption and very little latency. This would mean the battery would last longer, the transmission distance would be further, and the signal would be more stable within its parameters.
“The HUAWEI Sound Joy speaker is the epitome of first-class, premium audio quality in the wireless speaker realm.”
On the topic of power and battery consumption, this speaker was able to charge superfast for quick, impromptu times if I needed it. It was stated that its 40 W superfast charging technology could offer a whole hour of playback with as little as a 10-minute charge. The 8800 mAh battery boasted 26 hours of playtime on a single charge, at medium to low volumes.
Speaking from first-hand experience, I needed it to play music for a game of pick-up basketball with my friends but only had about an hour or so to get ready. I plugged it in immediately, since I remembered it had around 10-20% of power left. I quickly changed and got all my exercise gear in place. By the time the hour was up, and I booted it up at the gym, it had about 60-70% of its full charge.
While I have not owned any other HUAWEI products (such as the HUAWEI watches) other than my P20 Pro smartphone, the Sound Joy speaker had some nice additional features to make controls simpler. One of the features I took advantage of was using the quick NFC one-touch feature, which allowed me to tap my phone on the designated spot on the speaker, and it would quickly connect.
However, I was not able to use the HUAWEI AI Life app to access more sound and lighting options for the speaker. It was a tricky critique on this because the company could not necessarily control which regions have full access of apps, but it had limited me from seeing all the speaker could offer.
I loved the touch of the small strap that came attached to the speaker. It offered an option to tie the speaker to bags or made a very good handle to carry it around—or it could be an added safety mechanism like the wrist straps on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. Another lovely touch was the multi-colour ring along the top of the speaker that was able to track the volume level and battery life. HUAWEI stated the lighting effects could be changed, similar to Razer’s RGB-lit products, but unfortunately exclusive to the app.
Saving the best for last, the sound quality. HUAWEI was able to bring this masterpiece speaker to life with the help of their co-engineers, Devialet. For those who were not aware of the brand before, they had been known as audio engineers who specialized in sound quality and luxury. Their interestingly shaped $5,000 speakers said it all with their price tags, sort of like Dyson with their higher-priced vacuums.
What Devialet and HUAWEI created together was a wireless speaker that could provide big bass and high treble with pristine clarity at high and low volumes. The collaborative efforts of the speaker comprised of one 20 W carbon-fibre 50 mm x 75 mm racetrack-shaped full range speaker, one 10 W, 19 mm silk dome tweeter and two symmetrically loaded passive radiators.
The diaphragm allowed the bass frequencies to be as low as 50 Hz (-dB); the passive radiators provided better sound stability and could bob up and down up to 16 mm to ensure clear music when played at high volumes; and the silk dome tweeter was tuned with Devialet that could allow frequencies up to 20 kHz (-10 dB), additionally adding more sound stability at high volumes.
I can attest that this was one of the best wireless speakers I have heard that handled bass and treble at high volumes. I typically bring my speakers in the bathroom at home to amplify the sound when I am watching shows on Netflix or anime series on Crunchyroll, and the acoustics of a bathroom would typically bounce and muffle the sounds that echo—especially with a closed door.
To my surprise, the HUAWEI Sound Joy held strong! Even with the sounds of my bathtub being filled for a hot bath and the bathroom fan whirring away, I could still hear the characters in the second season of Russian Doll talking almost as clearly as if there were no loud noises around. This was a huge plus for me because it showed the speaker could adapt to various scenarios and rooms.
“I would highly recommend HUAWEI to broaden their app region availability so more users (like me) can see the HUAWEI Sound Joy’s true potential.”
Despite the criticism of the app, I really thought this was one of the highest, if not, the highest tiers for a wireless speaker. I loved the quick connectivity, and the sound quality was very robust and clear at all levels—even when it had to fight against noisy environments. But, if the app that could enhance the speaker even more was not available for every user, then I felt like the $198.99 price point was not worth it anymore.
Nevertheless, I think other audiophiles could appreciate the sound quality of this speaker and I would highly recommend HUAWEI to broaden their app region availability so more users (like me) can see the HUAWEI Sound Joy’s true potential.