At this point there are a crazy amount of Google Assistant speakers on the market, but the majority of them really only serve a single purpose. Personally, I love it when companies do something creative to turn two products into one, and that’s exactly what Belkin has done with its Soundform Elite Hi-Fi.
The Belkin Soundform Elite is a $299 Assistant speaker that goes on sale later this year, but its main point of attraction is that it’s a high-quality smart speaker that also integrates wireless charging to give your phone a top-up. So, let’s talk about that first.
The design of the Soundform Elite is a lot like most other Assistant speakers, but a recessed area at the top of the device leaves space for a 10W wireless charger that should work with almost any Qi device given the side of the opening. I only tested it briefly, but using Inware, I saw 8.4W on my Pixel 4 XL. I think Belkin has a great design here, but I do have just one concern. Super-tall phones might run into an issue with lining up with the pad’s charging coils, but I think there’s a chance it could have balance issues, too. I guess we’ll have to see when the product releases, though, to know that for sure.
Looking past the wireless charger, let’s focus on sound quality. Being a “Hi-Fi speaker,” you’d expect something good, and you’d be right. Belkin took us into a backroom to get a demo of the Soundform Elite’s audio quality, and it’s simply excellent. Bass isn’t overwhelming, but the overall audio quality is stellar for a smart speaker.
To craft the audio experience here, Belkin partnered with Devialet to get the best they could, and I think it’s safe to say things worked out.
Belkin also talks about how the acoustic design on the Soundform Elite is designed to “cancel out” the vibration of the speaker. This wouldn’t be important on any other product, but since you’ll end up putting your phone on this for extended periods of time, it’s a very crucial design element.
As mentioned, Belkin Soundform Elite is coming to market soon for $299. It’s available in both black and white — both look great in person — and, at least based on these first impressions, I think it’s a worthwhile purchase.
More on CES 2020:
- Google’s CES 2020 booth gives a hands-on Assistant ‘journey’ with some snark
- 9to5Google Best of CES 2020 Awards
- Hands on: OnePlus Concept One lays the groundwork for a useful feature
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