Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) Review

Xiaomi India has launched its latest smart speaker in India powered by Google Assistant, this is Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) with an IR blaster built-in that lets you control the infrared-enabled or remote-controlled devices even if they don’t support Google Assistant. This is certainly its main highlight, hence the name IR Control in it. Here’s what the new smart speaker is all about, take a look at our Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) review.

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Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) Specifications

  • Model: L05G
  • Microphones: 2 mics, with far-field voice wake-up support
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz, 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast built-in
  • Features: Google Assistant Voice Support, IR Blaster (for compatible devices)
  • Buttons: Play/Pause, Volume up, Volume down, Mute
  • Power: DC input (12V, 1A)
  • Dimensions: 9.5 cm x 9.5 cm x 14 cm
  • Weight: 628 grams
  • Price: ₹4,999 (offer), ₹5,999 (regular price)

Design & Build

The Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) stands out among the crowd due to its standalone feature that controls infrared devices without the need for a remote. In addition to the Google Assistant features on the smart speaker, it has a sleek feature that allows you to control devices that do not have support for the Assistant, this is something you don’t see on most smart speakers available in the market, not even the expensive ones.

Starting off with its design, the Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) has a small and compact design with a built-in LED clock display on the front. The speaker is sized at 1.5-inch with a full-range 360-degree surround sound and two far-field microphones with voice wake-up support.

About its build quality, it’s made up of an aluminum body with speaker grills on all sides. Compared to its older generation speaker Mi Smart Speaker, the newer one has a far better build, is smaller in size, and is less bulky. The overall design looks great, it weights about 628 grams and comes in a compact design 

You get buttons on top with a voice-activation one-dot LED that lights up when the speaker is active and listening for a command. You can also manually control the music volume by the provided buttons, play/pause the music and mute the microphones using the Mute button.

Features & Performance

The Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) is powered by Google Assistant which means it has most features of the Assistant including voice commands, music control, reminders, getting answers, weather reports, get directions, on top of all the Smart Home features like controlling the thermostat, lighting, door locks, security monitoring, TVs, and more.

What’s interesting is that it has a built-in IR blaster which means it comes with infrared sensors that help you use the speaker as a remote for the devices that an IR remote can control. Just ask the speaker to turn off the device such as a TV, and it triggers the IR function for the TV to turn it off, cool isn’t it?

Just like the rest of the Google Assistant-powered smart speakers, the Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) also comes with Chromecast which allows you to cast media to supported devices, if you have a mobile phone or a TV connected to the same Wi-Fi, the smart speaker can play audio via the Chromecast feature.

Aside from these features, you also get to combine two Xiaomi Smart Speakers for an immersive Stereo experience. You need two same speaker models and pair them to form a stereo.

Pairing is easy, you need the Google Home app on your mobile phone, add a device to the app and follow the instruction, you need to turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for pairing. Once set up, the clock is set up automatically and you are now ready to use the speaker. Just say ‘Ok Google’ followed by your command or questions, let’s say ‘Ok Google, what’s the Weather?’ and you will be provided with the information. Try to say ‘Ok Google, play music?’ and it plays the music from the preferred music apps.

To use the IR Control, you need to download the Mi Home app on your mobile phone and set up the IR remotes for your IR-controlled devices. Once done, you will be able to control the devices like TV or AC from your smartphone and you don’t need to point towards them, the four IR sensors on the speaker have enough coverage on all the sides for your IR devices. The speaker uses the IR sensor to send the commands to the IR-controlled device. If you have a TV or AC and it doesn’t support assistant commands, you can use the speaker’s built-in IR blaster.

To voice control an IR device, you need to bind Google and Mi accounts to complete the voice control authorization, you can do it under Google Home -> Settings -> Works with Google and add the Mi Home app from the list. Once done, allow Google Assistant to perform voice smart control. This way you can control the IR devices conveniently by your voice and without searching for the remotes.

The performance of the speaker is decent, it has a good amount of loudness and has good clarity given this price. If we compare it to the Echo Dot and Nest Mini, it’s slightly better in terms of performance, however, compared to larger Amazon Echo and Google Nest speakers, the audio performance will be quite better in these two.

Verdict

The Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) has all the features of the Google Assistant features on a smart speaker, plus you get the IR blaster to control the infrared devices that do not support the Assistant directly. The design also features an LED display, the speaker is compact, lightweight, and blends in well with the room. The Xiaomi Smart Speaker (IR Control) comes in Black color and is priced at ₹5,999 which you can get at a discounted price of ₹4,999 during the initial sale. For this price, the Xiaomi Smart Speaker IR Control is recommended for those who are looking for a smart speaker with extraordinary features. The availability of the smart speaker is on Xiaomi’s official mi.com website, Mi Home stores, and other retail channels.