Many Alexians are looking for the perfect Echo device, i. e. with the characteristics of today’s Echo but without the constraint of power supply. And it is not the Amazon range that makes it possible to meet these requirements, as all Echoes are connected to the mains to operate. There are therefore as alternatives external batteries or third party wireless devices with Alexa on board.
And it is on this last option that we have committed ourselves with the following test. We have found you a GGMM wireless smart speaker, known for having a very good sound considering the size of their devices.
GGMM ® E2 Wireless Smart Speaker: good sound quality
The wireless smart speaker is presented in a fairly good quality box, compact, white and colourful. It includes a product visual and the Amazon Alexa Enabled logo, CE, FCC and CCC (Chinese CE) features and certifications. Very good first impression.
Well seated in a molded protection, we find the speaker and a micro USB cable. There is also a guarantee document, the thank you flyer, a guide to the basic questions to ask Alexa and a multilingual notice.
This speaker is really very well done: compact, flat and pretty to look at. It is true that the design is very pleasant and harmonious. The two smart speakers are hidden by a metal protection that fits perfectly into the plastic shell. Under this protection, two LEDs are visible and provide information on the charging and connection of the speaker. The underside is covered with non-slip rubber. On top, 5 buttons and only one on the back.
Finishing level, nothing to say: very good plastic, no deburring residue or unjointed part. It is 13 cm wide, 8 high and barely 3 thick and weighs 246 grams. So really compact. It is given for 10W despite its small size and an autonomy of 14 hours in Bluetooth mode, but 5 hours in Wi-Fi. The latter is a little expensive even if it is enough for an evening. The complete charge is done in 3 hours, but it is possible to use it by leaving it permanently connected.
You can already see the first advantage of this speaker: 2 different connection modes depending on your uses: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The second advantage is its 10W sound power, stereo and boosted by various functions such as the DSP-Restore to further improve sound quality.
GGMM ® E2 Wireless Smart Speaker: Installation without Skill
The installation of the E2 will be done in a similar way to that of a smart bulb, or even an Echo Dot. First of all, it is necessary to download the GGMM-E Series application to your awning. Then, it can be very simple or more complicated if it doesn’t go well… In our case, it was necessary to restart the application 2 or 3 times because the SSID of the WI-Fi did not go up. There is always the possibility of connecting to the device via direct Wi-Fi but again not really simple. This is the standard Wi-Fi installation.
At the very beginning, the application will check if you already have a speaker of the registered trademark. Then follow the instructions. If your SSID is not visible (as in our example), restart the application. Of course, you must be connected to your Wi-Fi to do so, in 2, 4 or 5 GHz. For point 2, you have to press the small button behind the speaker, this starts the search and the Wi-Fi connection.
When everything is going well, you have to wait a good minute before the E2 is connected to your Wi-Fi. The speaker will announce the connection path as you go along, in English. Once you are logged in, you will be invited to log into your Alexa account (i.e. Amazon). If you are unable to connect via Wi-Fi, you can make a direct connection by searching for E2 on Wi-Fi networks (GGMM_EX_XXXX) and entering the network key ggmm123456 which is a universal key.
Once you have identified your account, you can choose a small name for your E2 (the name will not be included in the Alexa application, you will have to change it if you wish). A choice of language is then proposed and that’s it! An update will probably be launched. Let it go, it takes 3 to 5 minutes.
If you want to use Alexa, you must press the microphone button each time. The manufacturer points out that this is to prevent Alexa from “monitoring everything”. This prevents you from having a permanently active speaker and pulling on the battery. This system is well designed for consumption but the use of the button is sometimes not very reactive and it becomes tedious with Skills requiring you to make choices (RTL, sensitive business, marmiton…).
Once connected to the same Wi-Fi as the speaker, and only in this case, you will have access to the settings: name, password, update… Why a password? Because the speaker, connected to Wi-Fi, allows you to relay Wi-Fi. Practical if you throw it out at a party and want to give a guest network.
GGMM ® E2 Wireless Smart Speaker: let the music play!
Okay, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t tell us if the sound is good! Here we come, calm down, but before that, know that you can, via Wi-Fi, use your favorite streaming services (TuneIn, Spotify, Qobuz…) by entering your associated accounts. On the other hand, even if there is a nice playback mode, no specific modification of the sound is possible.
So, are we talking about sound? Well, he’s good, very good. Excellent even considering the size of the speaker. There’s really nothing to complain about: clear sound, top stereo and powerful. At full volume, very little saturation despite the size of the device, no crackling, nothing… Pushed to the limit, 1 m from the device, we measured 96 dB!
The small LR icon on the presentation of your speaker, in the application, will allow you to choose between stereo, mono left or mono right mode in order to make speaker sets in the same place. This is what they call the multiroom, not to be confused with the Amazon Echo multiroom. Indeed, even if the E2 is well recognized as a device connected by the Alexa application, it is not an Echo device and cannot be integrated into an Echo speaker group… Too bad and it leads to confusion.
We have not presented you with the use in Bluetooth mode (4.2) because in principle, nothing new compared to a standard Bluetooth device. For AirPlay users, the E2 is compatible. But that’s not all, it also allows you to play music in DLNA (file sharing for Android system). This is only available if you connect to Wi-Fi of course.
If your E2 is not in use for 30 minutes without being connected to the mains, it switches off. It was also found during our test that even when powered up and not used for several hours, it puts itself in a kind of standby mode so that it is not possible to use Alexa without restarting the speaker. And it takes a minimum of one minute before it is operational. That’s a pity.
And with Alexa, it gives what? you ask yourself… As we saw, it is necessary to press the button to use it but apart from that, the requests, commands and execution of the routines are exactly the same as via an Echo or application. But where there is, in our opinion, a big weakness is the fact that the wireless mode is not total in the sense that you can’t connect the E2 via Wi-Fi data sharing via your phone. It is indeed necessary to connect to a Wi-Fi network using your smartphone, which will make the link between your box network and your E2. If your phone itself transmits the network you want to use, it is not possible to have it detected in the MMGG application… It would have been a big plus to be able to use Alexa everywhere.
And as it is not an Echo, it is not possible to modify via the Alexa application, the Wi-Fi network on which to connect it… Similarly, only one network can be registered. If you want to use it on a second network, you must repeat the installation and the same goes for returning it to the original network. It should also be noted that there is a significant latency between the request and its consideration. A white man who often raises the question of a good understanding of the demand….
In conclusion, should we get it? It depends on what you plan to do with it. If you expected to have the equivalent of an Echo to take everywhere, nomadic in connection by data exchange, it’s not for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a smart speaker for streaming that also includes Alexa, which can be moved anywhere in the house or where there is Wi-Fi, go for it!
The sound is very good, even excellent considering the small size, the autonomy is honest and it is really well done. It can also be a good compromise for a Dot 2 whose sound is far from being loud.