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Entering the wireless speaker market without Alice is not easy today. There are many long-established lines of Bluetooth devices on the shelves for almost any wallet. To somehow stand out against their background, you need to offer something more than just good sound. Huawei, which released a very cool Sound Joy column, understands this for sure. We explain why the model deserves your attention.

Table of contents

Specifications

Frame Fabric coated, waterproof IP67
Emitters One 20W full-range speaker (50mm × 75mm);
one 10W (19mm) tweeter;
two passive radiators
Frequency 50 Hz to 20 kHz
Supported codecs SBC, AAC
Control Mechanical buttons on the body, application
Connection Bluetooth 5.2; wired connection via Type‑C audio interface; NFC
Battery 8,800 mAh (up to 26 hours of use), fast charging (up to 40 W)
Other Three microphones, position sensor, ambient lighting, multi-speaker synchronization
Dimensions Diameter — 73 mm; height — 202 mm
The weight 680 g

Appearance

Sound Joy has a cylindrical shape, like many other modern speakers. The outer surface is covered with a dense synthetic fabric that hides all the acoustics and three microphones for hands-free calls.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

The case is completely protected from moisture (IP67) — the column is not afraid of rain, shower and even immersion in water to a depth of up to a meter for 30 minutes.

I had a version in the original green version on the test. Also sold in Russia is black — it looks more boring.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

On the front, Sound Joy has a rubber inscription with the brand name and an NFC badge. On the left are separate volume buttons, also made of rubber. On the right, two small legs are provided to put the column horizontally — it works in any position.

On the reverse side there is a loop with a convenient strap, for which the device can be hung on a branch during a field trip or simply fixed on the hand. Just below the loop is a row of buttons:

  • to enable/disable;
  • to call the voice assistant — «Google Assistant» or Siri from a smartphone;
  • to play/pause;
  • for Bluetooth connection;
  • to synchronize two speakers.
Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

Even lower is a charging indicator and a USB‑C port, which can be used for both power and sound transmission through the audio interface. That is, a smartphone can be connected by wire and broadcast tracks even without a Bluetooth connection (tested with Pixel 6 — it works). This option is extremely rare today, but the need for it is also rather doubtful.

Above and below the cylinder are passive radiators. Each of them is equipped with a movable plastic “pancake” with concentric circles and a mention of the French audio brand Devialet, with which the column was developed.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

So that the lower radiator does not “hollow” into the table when placed vertically, Sound Joy has a small plastic add-on with holes for sound waves to exit. There is no such thing on top — there is a light RGB ring.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

The ring serves as a kind of decoration, shimmering in different colors when playing music, and a universal indicator. For example, it shows the battery charge or is highlighted in a certain shade depending on the mode of operation (voice, update, reset, and others). If necessary, the ring can be completely turned off.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

The column gives the impression of an expensive and solid thing. You can’t fault the assembly, but moisture protection allows you to safely take the device outside or into the bathroom if you need an accompaniment for singing. Even if water hits passive radiators from above or below, nothing bad will happen — the droplets will bounce to the beat of the music.

Connection and application

You can connect the speaker in the standard way by selecting it from the list of Bluetooth devices available for pairing, or using NFC. In the latter case, the smartphone will need to be brought to the top of the gadget. The connection will be signaled by a light ring, after which you will need to confirm the action on your smartphone. In the same way, the column can be connected with some Huawei laptops, for example, with the MateВook D16.

When paired with a smartphone, all Sound Joy features are only revealed using the Huawei AI Life app. For Android, you will have to download it from the company’s website or from the App Gallery store if you have a Huawei smartphone.

The application itself is simple and straightforward, but there are two unpleasant moments. First, you need an account in the Huawei ecosystem. If you once already had such an account, but you forgot the password, you will have to somehow restore it. There is no simple reset: the service asks questions for a long time and persistently about what you used to use and what login data you could enter. And all in order to understand whether the owner of the profile is trying to regain access. You can mess around with this for a long time, or you can spit and create another account with new mail.

The second unpleasant moment is that sometimes Huawei AI Life does not see the speaker at close range, even when it is connected to a smartphone and plays music from it. The application will have an eternal «Connecting …».

In a week of using the device, most attempts to connect through the application ended in failure. Hopefully this will be fixed with an update.

If you are lucky and the speaker has contacted the application, then you can update its firmware, adjust audio effects, set the shutdown time, and add or subtract bass. Equalizer, unfortunately, no.

Several Sound Joy speakers can be connected to form a stereo pair. The application has instructions for this, but you can manage without it — just shake two nearby devices or press the pairing buttons. After that, they will be able to play sound from the same source, acting as the right and left channels.

Sound

In addition to the already mentioned passive radiators, Sound Joy has two speakers: a 20W full-range speaker and a 10W tweeter. Both are directed forward, so for the best effect, the column should be positioned with the Huawei sign towards the listeners.

The Devialet speaker system with Devialet SAM (Speaker Active Matching) technology is responsible for the sound development, which adapts the audio signal in accordance with the requirements of the speaker. The output is a fairly balanced sound with distinct details, where the middle and high frequencies are perfectly felt and the bottoms are well felt.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

To emphasize the bass, it is better to put the speaker on the table vertically, and in the application (if it works), turn on the Hi‑Fi mode and turn the corresponding wheel up to +6 dB. All this will give a pleasant “thumping” effect, but nothing more — there will be no enveloping volume. Although from a device of this size it was hardly to be expected.

What else: the speaker is quite loud for its size — up to 79 dB at a distance of 2 m. For a room of 30 squares, this is quite enough. For open space — also good.

I also note that at maximum volume, the sound is slightly distorted, so at home it is better not to raise the bar above 70-80%. Again, in the conditions of an apartment, this is quite enough, and if you are quiet, move the speaker closer.

Autonomy and charging

The battery capacity of the column is 8,800 mAh, which is quite a lot. The manufacturer claims an impressive 26 hours of music playback. In practice, at an average volume in the room, the gadget worked for about 18 hours, and this is also very good.

Perhaps the declared 26 hours can be achieved by listening to tracks at minimum volume. If the speaker is literally standing next to you, this is a perfectly working scenario.

In addition to impressive autonomy, Sound Joy boasts fast charging. Adapters up to 40 W are supported, with which full 100% will take about 3 hours. And after 10 minutes of recharge, you can listen to music for an hour. There is no adapter included for this.

Results

In the Sound Joy promo, the emphasis was on the Huawei ecosystem: supposedly, you can conveniently control the sound from branded watches and quickly connect the speaker to MateBook laptops. Yes, these are advantages — for those who already have the brand’s gadgets. However, more importantly, even without all this, the column looks like a very competitive solution.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

It has a pleasant sound, there is a noticeable bass, it gives the impression of a reliable and versatile device. The volume reserve is enough for a large room or outdoor use. In addition, you do not have to worry that the gadget will flood with rain or fall into the water.

Someone might say that all this is offered by the long-established JBL speakers. But there is a difference nonetheless. Sound Joy is now sold at a price of 6,990 rubles, and the same Flip 5 with one 20-watt speaker and Bluetooth 4.2 will cost 7,990 rubles. The newer Flip 6 at 30 W is already much more expensive — 10,490 rubles. At the same time, both lose to the Huawei column in terms of autonomy and charging speed.

To sum it up: Huawei has a great speaker at a great price. It won’t disappoint even if you don’t have any other Huawei devices. All weak points rest only on the application, which, I hope, will be fixed.

Advantages

  • Waterproof IP67.
  • Nice sound.
  • Impressive autonomy.
  • Fast charging.
  • NFC connection.
  • USB‑C with audio interface.

Flaws

  • Instability of the Huawei AI Life app.
  • The lack of an equalizer in the application.

Buy

The author thanks Huawei for the device provided for testing. The company had no opportunity to influence its result.

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