Forget the HomePod — Huawei just launched a more affordable wireless speaker

Huawei Sound
(Image credit: Huawei)

Now that the Apple HomePod is discontinued, there’s plenty of room for new products aiming to join the best Bluetooth speakers. As if on cue, Huawei just unveiled the Huawei Sound: a more compact, and affordable, version of last year’s Sound X speaker.

Available now in the U.K., the £199 Huawei Sound lops a third off the original Sound X’s £299 price. But it still comes certified for Hi-Res Audio, along with a handy NFC tag for pairing Android phones at a touch.

For the sound, Huawei once again collaborated with audio specialist Devialet. This new speaker, therefore, features a 4-inch 40W woofer and three 5W drivers, all designed by the French company, along with two passive radiators in a push-push configuration to cancel out unwanted chassis vibrations. The Sound may be smaller than the Sound X, but a single-driver, Amazon Echo Dot-style smart speaker this is not.

At 7.4 inches tall and 5.8 inches wide, the Huawei Sound is actually a teeny bit bigger than the HomePod, but it shaves both height and width off the Sound X. The drawback is it only having half the woofer and speaker count of the Sound X, though the cheaper speaker still promises 360-degree audio playback.

A more notable omission is the lack of a voice assistant — despite similar styling to the HomePod and certain Amazon Echo devices, this is not a smart speaker in the usual sense. You can't control playback with your voice and you certainly can’t use the Huawei Sound to control any smart home devices you might own.

Still, it does have some neat tricks, like NFC pairing and universal plug 'n' play (UPnP) support. The latter lets you transfer Hi-Res music from your preferred UPnP streaming apps to the Sound’s 8GB of onboard storage. Bluetooth is the primary means of connection, though you can use the 3.5mm aux input as well.

As Huawei is effectively banned from doing business in the U.S. it seems unlikely that the Sound will ever make its way stateside, though interested U.K. parties can order it direct from Huawei. It's also available in Australia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Spain and Turkey.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.