Sound controls

Huawei Sound Joy is a waterproof portable speaker with a major kick

From its Leica-branded smartphone cameras to smart sunglasses made in collaboration with South Korean eyewear maker Gentle Monster, Huawei has a history of partnering with established brands for consumer products, especially if it is. is a relatively new product in the Chinese tech giant’s portfolio.

The latest collaborative product of its kind is the Huawei Sound Joy, a waterproof, lightweight, bass-rich portable speaker made in collaboration with French audio equipment maker Devialet.

Huawei’s consumer products typically aim for minimalism, but the Sound Joy goes the other way, in that it puts practicality and usability above all else. The speaker is mostly wrapped in a soft-touch woven fabric and has a circumference roughly the same as a water bottle. The latter is on purpose, because the Sound Joy can fit into the bottle cage of cars and bicycles. There are giant volume buttons on one side and five control buttons on the other side.

Large buttons are welcome, as playing with the audio controls while riding a bike is not ideal. At the top and bottom of the Sound Joy is Devialet’s two-way speaker system which uses Devialet’s “SAM” (speaker active matching) technology, which aligns the signal and the acoustic output pressure.

Fabric covers a 20W speaker inside a carbon fiber diaphragm and 10W tweeter, while the upper and lower two-way speaker system includes passive radiators that move and actually beat with the music. They look cool, but in reality they also provide real utility: they help improve low frequency sensitivity.

I’m not an audiophile, but I test a lot of tech gadgets including portable speakers, laptops, and headphones, and can say the sound coming out of the Sound Joy is some of the best. The audio is full, there is enough range to cover the highs, mids and also the thumping kicks of bass-heavy hip hop tracks.

You can pair the Sound Joy with Huawei’s AI Life app, available on Google and Huawei’s App Store. There is no version of this app in Apple’s Walled Garden, so iPhone users are out of luck. But they’re not lacking in much either, while Huawei’s AI Life app is useful for Huawei’s wireless headphones and smartwatches, it doesn’t offer a lot of features for the Sound Joy. There is no equalizer option, for example. You mainly use the app to control the LED ring on the top of the speaker, which is purely aesthetic.

Once you’ve paired your smartphone to the Sound Joy (which can be done without the app), you can also take phone calls through the speakers, and there’s a physical button on the speaker to access to the digital voice assistant. It also worked with Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.

The battery life of the Sound Joy is excellent as is usually the case with Huawei devices: you get 26 hours on a single charge, and the speaker is charged via USB-C. As mentioned, the Sound Joy is rated IP67 for water and dust resistance, so you can take this speaker to showers or the pool with no problem.

Priced between the equivalent of $ 170 in Europe and Asia, the Huawei Sound Joy can be considered expensive or affordable, depending on your perspective. There are surely cheaper portable speakers out there, but these generally lack water resistance and have inferior sound quality. And if you compare the Huawei Sound Joy to other Devialet portable speakers or other “big names” then $ 170 can be considered attractive. It depends on the perspective and your ears.