Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker review: quality sound and an affordable hub for your smart devices
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker is a strong addition to the Xiaomi family. Delivering a powerful sound thanks to its 4 voice units and capable of controlling smart home devices, the Xiaomi Mi Speaker can be both a music player as well as a smart home hub.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker: design
The Original Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker features a modern unobtrusive design and is made in classic white. The speaker is meant to fit into any interior without drawing too much attention to itself. Measuring 28.20 x 9.50 x 9.00 cm, the Xiaomi Mi Smart is larger than the average Bluetooth speaker. And, though, perfectly portable, is primarily meant for indoor home use.
On the top of the speaker, you will see a metal chrome plate with the main controls: turn on/off, play, fast forward, rewind, stop and channel switch.
On the back, you have the main ports: a power socket, a USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker: features and operation
The first thing you will notice when unboxing the speaker are the symbols on the packaging that indicate the main features and connectivity options. The speaker supports Bluetooth, dual band Wi-Fi, DLNA, Qplay (a popular Chinese online music player), and more. In addition to wireless connectivity, you can hook up external hardware: for instance, connect a flash drive to the speaker's USB port and play your music directly without your phone. More than that, the Bluetooth speaker comes with 8GB of storage – quite enough for storing all your favorite tracks without any additional sources needed.
Now, let's get into the sound. Equipped with 4 voice units, the Xiaomi Mi Speaker is capable of pure almost hi-fi grade sound quality. Thus, you can use the speaker in a variety of situations: create a relaxing musical atmosphere at home or blast your favorite tracks at a party.
However, Xiaomi Mi is not just a Bluetooth speaker. When used together with other Xiaomi smart home accessories, like the Xiaomi Smart LED Light Bulb, Xiaomi Door Window Sensor, Xiaomi Yeelight Bedside Lamp, or the complete Xiaomi 5-in-1 Smart Home Kit and others, the speaker is able to take voice commands and play music, turn on lights and control other Xiaomi gadgets.
To start using the speaker, first, turn it on and then connect it to your phone. You can do that via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and also use the dedicated Mi Music app for more functionality. The app is available by scanning the QR code on the speaker's packaging. The app's interface is very straightforward and, depending on your location, the language of the app will appear as English or Chinese.
Original Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker or Amazon Echo?
The idea of a speaker that doubles as your personal assistant is not new. Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker, which is also capable of controlling a variety of smart devices (lights, kitchen appliances, etc.) and even handling your daily searches and answering simple questions: weather forecasts, recent news, etc.
The two devices do not have significant differences in functionality. Both are capable of controlling smart devices (you will need to choose Xiaomi smart devices for the Xiaomi Mi Speaker), take voice commands and controlled remotely. With that, there is a significant difference in price: you will need to spend at least $99.99 on Amazon Echo, while the Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker is currently available for the promotional price of $62.99.
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