So much of life today revolves around audio; music for waking up or chilling out, news and podcasts to stay informed, even conference calls. If you’re shopping for a smart speaker, there’s so much choice it’s almost overwhelming. One of the newest speaker options is about more than just sound; the Belkin Soundform Elite is a 360 degree speaker that also has a built in smartphone Qi charger. I had a chance to have this speaker in my home for a few weeks and I’ll tell you what it’s like to use, what the audio quality is and what other special features it has— and spoiler alert—it also has Alexa smart home capabilities.
Belkin Soundform Elite smart speaker review
Belkin Soundform Elite has a few key features: for starters it uses acoustics by Devialet. Devialet is an ultra high-end audio company that makes like $4,000 speakers called Phantom. Here, Belkin has partnered with them to handle the audio guts, and we’ll get to how it sounds in just a sec, but this speaker is perhaps not surprisingly more costly than your average smart speaker.
Alexa & Google Smarts built in
The Belkin Soundform Elite has integrated Alexa and Google Assistant smarts and built right in. By connecting your Alexa account through the Belkin app, you can gain full smart home control and voice butler services just by asking. Google Home functionality is set up through the Google Home app.
For my testing, I opted for using Alexa. Getting Alexa enabled on this device is really easy; go to the Belkin Soundform app and tap on Amazon Alexa, then sign into your account. I had Alexa helping me out in minutes.
You can shut the microphone off too for privacy.
Integrated Qi wireless charger
Belkin Soundform Elite’s circular design features an angled top which has a silicone-lined Qi charging pad underneath it. That allows you to drop your phone onto the platform where it stays easily visible, and gets juice. In my testing the Qi pad worked very well and seemed to charge quickly enough for me, and I actually found it convenient.
If there was something I didn’t like about it, it’s that it is only large enough for a smartphone; so no Qi tablet charging if you have one.
Sound quality: Belkin Soundform Elite
This speaker sounds great, if perhaps a little touch raspy sometimes on the high end, but overall it’s pretty solid and listening to most music on it was a dream. You can check out the types of music I tested out on my Spotify playlistif you like.
The bass is killer on this speaker. For such a small footprint, it has excellent reach and resonance without sounding buzzy. Belkin says, “Devialet’s signature “Push-Push” dual woofer configuration cancels vibrations while ensuring a deep, impactful sound experience with truly powerful bass,” and I can agree with that.
The Belkin Soundform Elite gets plenty loud; At about 50% volume it was more than loud enough in the room. At about 75% it was unbearably loud without distortion.
Belkin Soundform App: not much to write home about
The Belkin Soundform app can be used to control the speaker at its most basic level, but that’s it; there’s no EQ options or adjustments to make if you want more bass, for example. There’s really not much you can do with the app that you can’t just do otherwise on your phone, or using your voice so the app feels redundant.
Design – Belkin Soundform Elite speaker
The design of the speaker is pretty cool; its rounded form is fabric wrapped all the way around and the sharp cut of the angled top will either be cool or look bashed in depending on your tastes.
There are on-device controls including play/pause, skip, a Bluetooth pairing button and a microphone mute.
Qi power only: no other ports
Some users might find a few oversights or limitations in the design; there are not other charging ports on the speaker; no USB or USB-C so you can draw corded power, so if your smartphone can’t draw Qi power you’re kind of out of luck with this set up. There’s also no aux jack for connected play meaning using this with any legacy devices is out.
Overall this is a pretty great speaker package; you’re getting really great sound quality, plus digital assistant smarts and smart home control from whichever assistant you prefer, and that versatility of choice is outstanding.
When it comes to the downsides, it is a bit pricier than some other smart speakers—here we are into the territory of devices that might come with a screen. The lack of other charging options outside Qi is also a bit limiting.
The added Qi wireless charging is convenient though and not something you normally find in a speaker; I know for me I’m always looking for a place to plug in so the fact this is integrated is pretty convenient. In short, I can definitely recommend the Belkin Soundform Elite smart speaker.
It sells for about $299USD/$399CAD and you can find these at Amazon.
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I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.