Smart speakers always appear intriguing. They can play music, tell you the news, and even fulfil the need to talk to a virtual assistant. There are known names from Amazon, Google, Apple, and many more, but not all of them are affordable. This is when Xiaomi needed to get into the segment and launch a smart speaker for us on a budget. And, it did. The company recently launched its Mi Smart Speaker with a focus on both the smart and the speaker, coming under Rs. 5,000.
This deal sounds pretty exciting and I got to use the product to find whether or not it’s true. Hence, read on IndiaTV Tech’s review of the same.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker Review: Design
The Xiaomi smart speaker is a metallic cylinder, which is portable and is made up of a stainless steel outer casing. At first, it feels like a heavy speaker but as you start using it, it won’t feel so. The speaker gets a matte-finish and comes in a single black colour, which is always a winner.
Aesthetics-wise, the speaker gets the touch controls at the top portion to increase volume/decrease volume/play/pause/turn on mic/turn off mic. The touch controls are pretty easy to operate and won’t require you to tap them with a lot of force. The top portion is also surrounded by a light ring, which turns blue when switched or Google Assistant is summoned. It turns orange when it is disconnected. Moving downwards, there are 10,531 sounds holes all over the speaker for an enhanced music experience. At the bottom front part has the ‘Mi’ branding and the bottom back part has the port to connect the cable.
All these elements make up a minimal smart speaker that can be placed in any corner of your room to do a lot more than just music streaming. The Mi Smart Speaker looks good, and more often than not, it will match your decor and will act as a cool and smart addition to your house.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker Review: Features, Specs
The smart speaker comes with a Texas Instruments TAS5805M sound processor, 12W full frequency speaker, and a 63.5mm sound driver. There are 2 microphones with far-field voice wake up support. It supports Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. It gets features such as DTS Professional Tuned Sound, the ability to connect it to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, touch-sensitive controls, and far-field for voice recognition from a distance. It gets Google Assistant support for playing music, setting alarms, changing the volume level, getting weather information, and even for controlling the other smart devices. It also supports Bluetooth Stereo, Lights Audio, and is compatible with other smart devices.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker Review: Performance
The Xiaomi smart speaker works in two ways: it can be controlled via the Google Home app or can be connected to a device via Bluetooth. Both processes take place with ease. Although, initially connecting just via Bluetooth can take a while. Setting the speaker via the Google Home app is an easy process too; requires a couple of steps to follow and you are done. The good thing about using it over Wi-Fi via the app is that you can choose a number of options such to set up a room preference, set up your voice for Google Assistant to recognise, select the music streaming apps for ease of usage, and more.
Once I was done with this, my usage was quite entertaining. The smart speaker recognised my voice for almost every task and answered questions with precision. It was able to recognise song requests and more often than not, played the right song for me. However, the problem arose when it was supposed to play Hindi songs. Although it was able to recognise the Hindi or Punjabi words it couldn’t understand them well to play the right music. This is more a Google Assistant problem than the smart speaker's. Speaking of music, the smart speaker was smart enough to play decently. I used it for English songs, Punjabi songs, and mostly Hindi songs. The output was loud, crisp, and clear. Bass-centric songs had the bassy, pounding effect and it never felt overwhelming. For every room you are adding to the app, the output of the smart speaker seems apt for the room it is in.
Even in terms of convenience, the smart speaker proves to be an apt addition to house parties and small get-togethers for the ease of playing music or just having fun. However, you have to connect it to a plug point every time you use it, which dismisses the convenient of portability. But, due to this, the hassle of always charging the smart speaker goes away too. So, you won’t feel this little aspect.
Additionally, it even works when you have just plugged in to answer weather, news or any other questions. Overall, having it in my house was delightful, especially when you get good audio and correct answers to questions.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker Review: Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker is a smart device that should be added to your home. It helps you know the weather, plays decent music for you and is able to help you get through boredom with ease. For Rs. 2,999, the smart speaker proves to be a smarter choice right now, considering the various features it has, clubbed with pretty good audio. Hence, if you aim for a budget smart speaker, this one’s a good launch by Xiaomi and a definite buy.