Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker Review
We’ve already had a chance to review Xiaomi’s portable Bluetooth speaker, but the company also makes a stationary home speaker and streaming music center: the Mi Smart Network Speaker. Xiaomi’s miniature boombox had surprisingly good sound in a small package, and the company’s stationary speaker does not disappoint. The Smart Network Speaker (also called the Mi Internet Speaker) offers great sound, online and offline music, and a wide range of connectivity options with a stylish design.
- Speaker: 4 x 2.5-in HiFi speakers
- Subwoofer: Yes
- App: Mi Speaker App
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1
- WiFi: Apple Airplay, DLNA, Qplay, WLAN
- USB: Yes
- Auxiliary Port: 3.5mm Auxiliary Jack
- Battery: No
- Power: 100-240V, comes with power cable
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 11.10 x 3.74 x 3.54 in (28.2 x 9.5 x 9.9 cm)
- Weight: 3.6 lbs (1.63 kg)
Unboxing and Design
Just like the Mi Bluetooth Speaker, we were very impressed when we received the Smart Network Speaker. The compact white device felt smooth and solid. The graceful design has wraparound slats, rounded corners, and a subtle control panel on the top that looks like brushed aluminum. On the bottom there are four rubber feet that provide excellent grip. The slats are flexible in the front and solid in the back; you can distinguish the front from the back due to the orientation of the control panel on top and a metal band with input/output ports on the back. It looks tasteful and unobtrusive on a shelf or table.
The metal control panel provides an easy way to play songs and adjust the volume using an elegant circle of buttons. The power, volume, and music controls are obvious. There is an additional “CH” button to change streaming channel, similar to tuning the radio.
The speaker center came with a power cable, but you may need to buy an adapter for your region. The instruction manual comes in Chinese but you can download an English-language version from Xiaomi. That said, the manual just covers the basics and provides a QR code to download the Mi Speaker App from the Xiaomi App Store.
The Internet Speaker is billed as a streaming music center and smart home device, but it’s not ideal for international users. Understandably, the streaming center is aimed at Chinese users with East Asian stations, podcasts, and music. The Mi Speaker App presents a similar language barrier and may not connect properly on your phone. While this is probably frustrating for a few users, it wasn’t a big problem for us. We prefer using our own music player or computer to play music and there are plenty of connectivity options.
Auxiliary Port and Bluetooth
First up, and easiest, was pairing the speaker with our phone. Just plug using a standard 3.5mm AUX jack and play your favorite music from your phone. You can also pair the device over Bluetooth. Bluetooth 4.1 provided a strong, clear connection from across a room. The Smart Network speaker works with the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Apple computers; other mobile phones; and PC computers and tablets using MP3, MP4, and MP5 file formats.
For a more permanent connection option, just associate the speaker with your Wifi network. The Smart Network Speaker can play music from your home computer or smart home device like the Amazon Echo. It supports DLNA and Qplay, but you will need a streaming adapter (we suggest the Google Chromecast Audio connected via the USB) for some devices due to regional barriers. Thankfully, it is compatible with Apple AirPlay right out of the box, mitigating any issues you might have with the Mi App.
While not as simple (or useful) for us, you can download music to a USB stick and plug it in to the speaker. The music center has 8GB of storage space. If you can use the Mi Speaker App, you can create your own local playlists that the speaker can remember and play even when your phone is no longer connected. Honestly, this feature is an added bonus if you end up bringing the speaker to the cottage, but didn’t affect our day-to-day usage.
Basically, you can’t use this device on its own for streaming music in the U.S. This is when it’s important to keep the price in mind: while it might not work as a streaming music center, it’s is an incredibly affordable home speaker system with big sound and plenty of effective connectivity options.
The Mi Smart Network Speaker has good sound quality and impressive volume. Playing at full blast this speaker was shaking up the office. (While we were only able to test one, you can connect multiple units in different rooms into a synchronized home speaker system.) Our speaker has two bass drivers, two treble speakers, and a bass reflex. There’s some pleasantly ‘thumping’ nearest the speaker that’s deep and rich for such a discreet device. At medium volumes, the sound is on the neutral side. If you have access to the app you can adjust the voice, bass, and treble.
Loud, powerful, and clear, this is the best sound for your dollar in home smart speakers. While the Mi Smart Network Speaker has limited smart capabilities outside of China, it still has a useful range of connectivity options for music and streaming. Best of all, it’s a steal for the price.
Original Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker, Xiaomi
- Brand: Xiaomi
- Design: Classical,Portable
- Compatible with: iPhone,iPod,Laptop,Mobile phone,MP3,MP4,MP5,PC,Tablet PC
- Supports: Bluetooth,FM,WiFi Connected
- Functions: AUX Function
- Connection: Wireless
- Color: White
- Usage: Room
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 4.1
- Driver unit: 2.5 inch
- Number of Speakers: 4
- Power Output: 30W
- ROM: 8GB
- WiFi Standard: 802.11b/g/n/ac
- Working Voltage: AC100V - 240V
- Product weight: 1.6300 kg
- Package weight: 2.3410 kg
- Product size (L x W x H): 28.20 x 9.50 x 9.00 cm / 11.1 x 3.74 x 3.54 inches
- Package size (L x W x H): 29.20 x 10.50 x 10.00 cm / 11.5 x 4.13 x 3.94 inches
- Package Contents: 1 x Original Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker, 1 x Power Cable, 1 x Chinese Manual
Original Xiaomi Mi Networking Speaker Dual Band WiFi Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Music PlayerDescription:Xiaomi Mi Smart Network Speaker allows users to create their own channels, as installed a number of CD in the speaker. You don't have to download these CD but use its APP can achieve it. Creating a...