Huawei launches Sound X smart speaker in Europe to rival Amazon Echo


Huawei’s first smart speaker, the Sound X, was made in partnership with premium audio company Devialet.

Huawei

Huawei is launching its first ever smart speaker outside China.

The Shenzhen-based firm created the new speaker, called the Huawei Sound X, in partnership with French audio specialists Devialet.

It’s already available in Huawei’s home market, but the company is now releasing it across some European countries — namely Germany, France, Italy and Spain — as well. A price and release date for the new device are yet to be announced.

While it doesn’t yet include a digital assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, Huawei said it’s likely it will introduce one later down the line. In China, the speaker comes with Huawei’s own voice assistant, called Xiaoyi.

Devialet is known for its premium Gold Phantom speaker, which packs a serious punch when it comes to bass. At a massive $3,000, though, the top of the range gadget doesn’t come cheap.

The company is among France’s fastest-growing tech firms and has won backing from the likes of U.S. rapper Jay-Z and LVMH’s billionaire CEO Bernard Arnault. The firm recently partnered with France’s Paris Opera to fill out the Palais Garnier with its Phantom speakers.

With Huawei, Devialet has built two subwoofers — loudspeakers which enable low-pitched audio frequencies — into the speaker which push against each other to cancel out any vibrations from the body of the device. The companies claim it is capable of creating 360-degree sound and will be able to reach a much louder maximum volume than competitors.

The Chinese tech giant, which faces intense political pressure from the United States, unveiled the speaker along with a new foldable phone and PCs during a pre-recorded broadcast.

Its initial aim was to launch the new products at Mobile World Congress, but Huawei was forced to make alternative arrangements as the event was canceled for the first time in its 33-year history due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In 2019, the global smart speaker market was dominated by obvious players like Amazon and Google, which held 26% and 20% of the market respectively, though their market share declined from the previous year.

But according to Strategy Analytics, which published those figures, Chinese vendors like Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi have been snatching market share from the U.S. giants, while Apple’s HomePod still struggles at sixth place.



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