Huawei has been doing a lot of work on computing, wearables and audio over the last two years. The Sound Joy speaker is just another step in that journey for the company and one that I’m pretty impressed with.

The portable Bluetooth speaker market is pretty crowded; plenty of choices and plenty of hazards, in this instance I’d say it’s one to look at provided you’re an average user who perhaps wants some home and mobile versatility.

A look at the hardware

There’s no mistaking from the instant you look at it, that this is a portable speaker. To stand out in the crowd there have to be some points of difference — other than price — to look at. As a starting point, the Sound Joy is actually designed for outdoor use as evidenced by the IP67 water and dust resistance.

It also comes with a lanyard which makes it easy to pick up, move or even hang from a nearby tree branch. On that, the review unit (Sorry Huawei) took a bit of a beating when it fell from a tree and bounced on pavers, but has not a single mark to show for its adventure.

While it’s clearly designed to be an outdoor speaker, the Sound Joy can also fit in within a living room setting. The sound, which I’ll detail further later in the review, is really smooth and clean with decent, punchy bass and clear mids.

On the base of the device, there are a couple of small, but very useful feet that prevent the speaker from rolling around if knocked.

On the rear is a simple set of push-button controls for power, playback, Bluetooth and party connection as well as a microphone trigger to prevent inadvertent assistant triggering in conversation. The volume controls on top of the speaker are both tactile and bold, offering a + and – button to manage your volume.

The other area of design that stands out on the Sound Joy speaker, is the light ring on top of the device. It reacts to your music beats as well as gives an indication of volume when you change it, and battery level on powering up the speaker.

The AI Life app

To take full advantage of the lighting and other features of the speaker, and to ensure it remains up to date you’ll need the AI life app. This, like other Huawei devices, will require you to install the app gallery from the Huawei site.

Unfortunately, if you’re on an iPhone – you’re out of luck here!

Once installed, you’ll be able to do simple tasks like changing the volume or important things like updating the firmware. The lighting controls are included, as is the ability to change the scheduled time to shutdown without use: I personally set this at 15 minutes because it’s a convenient time limit.

The sound quality is very good

As already mentioned, the sound delivery from the Sound Joy speaker is impressive. It offers really clear mids which is great for vocals, crisp highs and, bass that actually has quite a bit of punch. But you really should expect that given it has been co-engineered with Devialet.

Even at high volume while outdoors, I was consistently getting enough playback time to run the speaker for multiple 5 hour blocks of time without needing to recharge. So, while I haven’t timed it to the minute, I’m confident that the quoted 26 hours of playback is pretty accurate.

If you’re a regular outdoor partygoer, then investing in two may be a really good go for you because you can pair two speakers to deliver better sound coverage.

Even when turning up the volume on quite demanding and bass-driven tracks, the clarity remained in the audio and resulted in a good listening experience. Despite the Devialet partnership and the nice sound quality, it’s still a portable Bluetooth speaker and it’s not going to please everyone.

How much and should you buy one?

The Sound Joy is a bit of a surprise package for me, I was expecting an alright speaker but the sound and other little bonuses made it a great experience. The sound is really clean right through the playback range and even includes some punch to the bass. It’s worth noting that while the sound is very good, it’s not audiophile good, it’s

The presentation of the speaker is a little understated, but I feel like that’s a deliberate decision to make sure that it fits in a variety of settings, including a living space. But the rugged design also means it can handle outdoors life.

The fact that it has such strong battery life ultimately means you could take it camping or for a weekend away, without too much stress about charging.

The Sound Joy speaker is $218.00 for the black and $149.00 for the green currently, and well worth the price if you’re in the market for a Bluetooth speaker. You can grab one through a variety of retailers, all linked from the Huawei website.