Can you match Apple or Samsung Technology with Belkin’s New Speaker/Charger?

Belkin Speaker Charger

Belkin provides a range of iPhone accessories that include wireless chargers

A latest product pairs wireless charging functionality with a home speaker.

The SoundForm Elite Smart Speaker and Wireless Charger, which is priced at $300, was released in May.  It is a niche product because of its price point, it may fill a void for those who are looking for devices that have a range of functions.

It has a rounded body shape with an angled top area that’s designed to fit a smartphone for wireless charging purposes. Any size ‌iPhone‌ will fit and work here.

There was concern that the speaker would look unfinished without a smartphone charging on it, but the angled smartphone charging platform looks like a deliberate design decision. The speaker is covered in a mesh fabric, but it’s clothlike and has give, so it almost feels more like a sleeve than a part of the speaker.

The speaker is available in either black or white.  There are touch controls on the top for activating Bluetooth, changing the volume, playing/pausing music, or turning off the microphone (and thus preventing Google Assistant from listening). The icons are also a little bit light in colour.

A small light on the wireless charging pad lets you know when your smartphone is charging, and there are a series of LEDs on the front that shine through the fabric cover to give you a visual on when Google Assistant is interacting with you.

This is a smart speaker, and setting it up requires the Google Home app on an ‌iPhone‌ or Android smartphone. If you are not a Google user (i.e. your kit is Apple and Apps are from the Apple Store) then this will be a problem.  You need to ne aware of this issue as it is likely to prove problematic unless you are persistent and have technical “know how”.

With Google Assistant, the speaker can play on request  when asked from these linked services: YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer, with a default able to be set in the Google Home app. You will note Apple Music is not on this list.  If you are an Apple Music user then check out the possibilities and challenges of connecting to this.

Google Assistant  in addition to playing music, provides services such as answering queries, translating, providing weather information, adjusting volume, controlling linked smart home products, providing daily news, setting timers, setting up music routines, broadcasting voice messages, and more.

The quality of the output from the SoundForm Elite is of high quality and unless you are very “sound sensitive” most listeners will be pleased with the sound quality.  The sound is loud enough that it’s able to fill a normal sized room with high quality sound even at high volume.

Bottom Line

If you’re in Apple’s ecosystem and use ‌Apple Music‌ and Siri, the Belkin SoundForm Elite Hi-Fi Smart Speaker and Wireless Charger isn’t going to be worth the purchase because it’s just not set up for Apple’s devices and services. It doesn’t work with ‌Apple Music‌ except over Bluetooth, there is no ‌AirPlay‌ 2 support, and it isn’t HomeKit compatible.

If you have a mix of Apple and Android devices and also have a Google Home setup, it’s a different story. In that situation, it’s a solid speaker that offers high-quality Devialet sound at a reasonable price, and provides all the bells and whistles you get with Google Assistant integration. And to top it all off, there’s a handy wireless charger, making the speaker a versatile and useful desktop companion.

Note: Information above is an extract of an Article on MacRumors.com

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