Belkin is a company known for its wireless chargers. Devialet is known for its high-end, ultra loud speakers. And at CES 2020, the two companies announced that they’ll be partnering on a new product, the $299 Soundform Elite Hi-Fi Smart Speaker + Wireless Charger, which combines a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker with a wireless charging pad.
The Soundform Elite isn’t the first Devialet partnership on a smart speaker — Huawei announced its Xiaoyi voice assistant-powered Sound X speaker last year, which also relies on technology from the French speaker company. But Belkin’s speaker (unlike Huawei’s) will be available outside of China, marking the first widely available smart speaker based on Devialet’s hardware.
Like the Sound X, Belkin’s Soundform Elite will rely on Devialet’s Speaker Active Matching (SAM) technology that aims to reduce distortion, particularly at higher volumes. It will also feature the company’s “signature” woofer configuration that’s designed to cancel vibrations even when pumping the bass — an important feature, considering that the Soundform is designed to have a phone perched on top.
As for the charger, its a standard Qi wireless charger that charges at up to 10W, which is enough for at least some form of fast charging on most devices.
The product is a bit of a bizarre one, given that Belkin historically hasn’t dabbled too much in the speaker game (outside of the occasional experiment, like 2013’s Fusive Bluetooth Speaker). But given that smart speakers tend to be prominently placed in people’s homes and bedrooms, a single device that can charge a phone while also offering decent sound quality and Google Assistant integration could be a compelling combination.
We’ll find out for sure when the Soundform Elite ships this spring for $299.