Xiaomi has a stationary loudspeaker in addition to its portable Bluetooth speakers. The Xiaomi Mi Network Speaker is designed as a music and streaming center at home. The smart loudspeaker connects via WiFi, Bluetooth, AUX or USB and also provides 8GB internal memory. Two bass drivers, two tweeters and a bass reflex can be heard from the sound.
For the operation of the Xiaomi Network Speaker the Mi Speaker App was developed, here you should choose between playlists, radio and podcast stations and control the loudspeaker completely. Provided you speak Chinese and lives in a Far Eastern country, is the loudspeaker around which you (supposedly) do not get around. If this does not happen, as with us, you look a little into the tube with the Xiaomi Network Speaker.
A bit sad, because the stylish cuboid is a small sound wonder and has quite a thing on the box. How the Network Speaker can be used well here and whether the purchase is worthwhile in spite of the restrictions, you can read in the review!
Processing and design
The Xiaomi Network Speaker has become a modern and unobtrusive device, the design is a good thing for us. The 1.6 kg box measures 28.2 x 9.5 x 9 cm and also fits on the bedside table next to the bed. On the top is the control element, which is already known from the Xiaomi Soundbar. The elongated side is covered with a slat structure: on the front they are flexible and protect the speakers, on the back they are fixed and reshape the design. At the rear there are also the three connectors, on the bottom are four rubber feet, similar to those of the Xiaomi Soundbox 2.
The network speaker makes a high-quality impression, the design is typical of Xiaomi and also the haptics and processing fits. Only the transition from the underside to the white housing is too sharp for me – but this is not a place you often touch.
Scope of delivery of the Xiaomi network speaker
If you look at the packaging, the fronts are quickly clarified: the packaging is completely littered with Chinese. In the packaging you will find beside the Internet loudspeakers a small cable – but with Chinese connection – as well as a short manual in Chinese. At Amazon you should order an EU power supply!
The Mi Speaker app should be installed to operate the Xiaomi Network Speaker. This is not available through the Playstore and needs to be downloaded from the Xiaomi site. A QR code in the operating instructions can be downloaded directly. Only the basic functions can be controlled via the control unit on the loudspeaker. The seven buttons are self-explanatory, the “CH” button is used to change the radio station or the playlist. In addition, there is a small status LED above the power button.
No technical novelty, but still cool is the alarm function through the smart loudspeaker. In the app, you can set this, time and music are selected. In combination with the sunrise of the Yeelights from the Mi Home System, you can not start the day!
High in the course are currently multiroom speakers. The smart speakers master the streaming over several ways and can be played as a group. This is how every room sounds with the same music. What is nowadays (almost) obligatory: the connection to as many streaming services as possible. The fewest store their music nowadays. Why? The selection, convenience and price of Spotify, Amazon Music & Co. know how to convince.
Since our Xiaomi Network loudspeaker is intended for the Asian region, the selection of the streaming services depends on this. The Mi Speaker App contains countless radio stations, podcast services, ready-made playlists and streaming providers; However, Western charts are sparse. So we have to switch to other ways to use our smart speakers here. Xiaomi gives us several possibilities:
- Connect via AUX cable
- Simpel, but it works! A simple AUX cable is the easiest way to route an audio signal to the Xiaomi Network Speaker.
- USB stick
- Via the USB socket at the back of the Xiaomi network loudspeaker you have the possibility to connect a USB stick and play music. The navigation functions either directly on the loudspeaker or via the Mi Speaker App.
- Bluetooth 4.0
- As a wireless interface, the Internet speaker has Bluetooth on board. Just connect it with a normal Bluetooth speaker and you have the possibility to send music to the Xiaomi speaker. The reception is very strong: almost 13 meters of air line or even across a room. The Xiaomi speaker is used in combination with the Amazon Echo Dot and surpasses the sound quality of the echo around worlds. Spotify gets so synonymous to the speaker.
- WiFi & DLNA
- Via the Mi Speaker app, you can connect the Xiaomi Network Speaker to the local WLAN. Now you have access to devices on the same network. You can play shared files on Windows. If your music library is located on the domestic NAS, you can also play easily and can simply navigate through the app.
Unfortunately, no streaming service, which is common with us, is compatible with the Xiaomi Network Speaker. There are two ways we can deal with this problem.
- Streaming Adapter
- Google has for this purpose a product ready, with which one can help quite easily: the Google Chromecast Audio. The small round adapter can be easily connected to any loudspeaker and makes this smart. The USB port of the Xiaomi Network speaker also provides enough power to operate the Chromecast audio. Music is strewn over the WLAN. Clearly this option is associated with extra costs and a cheap pair of PC speakers would do the job as well.
- Yes, dear reader, the simplest way actually comes from the home of Apple – it just works best. The Xiaomi Internet Speaker is fully compatible with Apple’s AirPlay. With my old iPad, I was able to connect without any problems with the Network Speaker and thus use the full streaming offer. The iPad as a remote control, the Xiaomi Network Speaker as a speaker. An alternative for Android is based on the same connection. The app AirAudio for Android gives you the possibility to transfer all audio signals via AirPlay – root rights are unfortunately a prerequisite.
In practice, it has been shown that the simplest is also most frequently used. The Xiaomi Network Speaker hangs over a long AUX cable on my laptop and is so easily with music bespeist. It is a pity that Xiaomi does not think of us and offers the speaker exclusively for the Asian region, more or less. But over the possibilities shown the loudspeaker is also usable here and now offers a very good price-performance ratio.
The compact stereo loudspeaker offers definitely great sound! The setup of four drivers with a total output of 30 watts makes it easy to light even larger rooms of 40m². The bass reflex channel produces pressure at the bottom, but only in the vicinity of the Xiaomi Network Speaker.
Compared to other Bluetooth speakers, the Xiaomi Network Speaker wins, of course, with the left. The loudspeaker is also designed for stationary use and has no battery problems due to mains operation. If you look around here in the market, hardly any other radio offers the output power of the Xiaomi Network Speaker.
The sound of the speaker is very neutral, but you can use the Mi Speaker app. I just increased the depths a bit, so I like the sound best. Spatial sound does not occur, despite the stereo setup. But nothing works, the Xiaomi Network Speaker produces great sound, with which one becomes happy. A home theater system delivers significantly more performance, space and bass. For the sound background, I still grab the Xiaomi speakers.
One of the few products from Xiaomi that does not really convince us. The loudspeaker itself is a hit! Great design, lots of interfaces and great, space-filling sound. As mobile speakers I prefer rather small light models, a high output is also not necessary. As a stationary loudspeaker, which you can just put into the corridor, our Xiaomi Network Speaker makes a great figure. Likewise the Mi Speaker App offers setting options, the alarm function and, for Asians, an infinite arsenal of music.
On the shadow side, the lack of Westernization makes the speaker a dash. Streaming must be simple, otherwise you do not use it. There is no easy way to make this easy; Only Apple users have easy game. A purchase recommendation, we can unfortunately not completely pronounce.
Alternatives are still rare in the Asian market. Clearly one can access the overpriced systems of Sonos and Bose, but this is also cheaper!