Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Homepod, are moving millions of units, but can Xiaomi do the same with the China centric Xiaomi AI Speaker?
The main reason why anyone should purchase this speaker (outside of China) is you are already immersed in the Xiaomi ecosystem. If you own Xiaomi water purifiers, vacuum cleaners, rice cookers, TV boxes, then yes, this is the AI assistant for you.
Xiaomi is currently a cutting-edge technology company that holds the lion's share of the wireless speaker market in China. It is thanks to the high popularity of its speakers that the Chinese manufacturer continues to improve new devices, add new functions and technologies.
Power Output: 10W
Speaker: 1.5 inch full range speaker
Connectivity: WiFi, A2DP Bluetooth
Physical Dimensions: 468g, 9.50 x 9.50 x 14.00 cm
The Speaker is made out of hard, frosted plastic and resembles a rounded cylinder in shape. The bottom half of the device is pierced with holes for sound output and the holes make a pattern that resembles smoke or mist rising.
The top of the speaker contains the controls needed to operate the speaker. There is a touch sensitive area with controls for pausing music, increasing volume, and the like.
The bottom of the speaker is made of rubber that prevents it from sliding. The back side contains a connector allow the connect the speaker.
Dual band WiFi reception is strong with the speaker, it never cut out. You can also connect to the speaker with bluetooth. Bluetooth range is great.
Xiaomi went in hard marketing how great the microphone was going to be. The speaker has a 360 ° far-field microphone that is able to pick up your voice commands from any corner of the room.
Audio here is also not bad. The audio volume is quite loud, clearly heard in loud environments, and you can use it to play music.
In order to setup the speaker, you need a cell phone with the Mi AI app installed. Connecting to the speaker is easy, and once you’re in the app consists of four tabs, the first one being the music player. The music player in here is basically Spotify for China, except you get to choose what songs you want to play without having to pay money. There are a little popular English songs available. The next tab shows the Xiaomi devices that can connect to the AI Speaker.
The next tab shows you the commands in Chinese, almost the exact same as other smart home devices. What sets this AI speaker apart is the ability to train the speaker to respond to certain phrases, both useful and insignificant. Where this training ability comes in useful is the ability to activate your Xiaomi household appliances with a phrase. You could train the speaker to listen for “I’m home!” in chineese and upon receipt of that phrase, turn on the rice cooker, turn off the air purifier, and turn all the lights in your house. Or you could say “Good night” and all your lights would turn off.
The last big feature set is the speaker’s ability to interface with children. This was a big focus of Xiaomi’s advertising, the speaker can read bedtime stories to your children so you don’t have to, recite popular poems off by heart, and imitate animal sounds upon request. Speed of response and activation is very good and the feature set of the software is arguably wider than that of Google or Amazon, however its main focus is in China, which prevents it from interfacing well with non Xiaomi/Chinese smart devices.
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