Cavalier Maverick smart speaker review: An elegant Amazon Echo alternative for the office or the road

Smart speakers are everywhere, but they are more utilitarian that stylish. The new Maverick speaker from Cavalier brings good looks, great sound, and portability to the table.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers populate homes and offices around the world with prices ranging from $40 to $100. These speakers offer useful functionality with basic looks and acceptable audio quality.

Some people want a more stylish option and a speaker that offers a higher level of quality playback and that is where the Maverick speaker from Cavalier comes into the picture. Metal, leather, and fabric are combined to provide a gorgeous speaker with high quality audio that can rock an office, backyard get together, or remote team.

The Maverick functions with Amazon Alexa and serves as an alternative to an Amazon Echo. The launch keyword cannot be changed and there is no support for text messaging, but other than that the Maverick supports all of the great Alexa skills you have come to use on a daily basis.

A 20W stereo speaker system with two active drivers and dual passive radiators are contained within the Maverick. I've been using it in my home office and took it on the road for a business trip and the sound is awesome. It lacks a bit of bass, but the sound is so loud and clear that I can look past this. You can also combine multiple Maverick speakers for right/left stereo sound or for multi-room audio.

I was sent an indigo color speaker to test out, which is composed of blue fabric, silver aluminum, and brown leather highlights. There is also a black model with black fabric, silver aluminum, and black leather. The speaker looks fantastic and is perfect for the office or home where you want a bit of style.

The base is also made with leather and aluminum. A custom-stitched charging cable connects to the USB-C port on the base. There is also a USB-C port in the back of the speaker so when you take it on the road you can still charge it while leaving the base at home. A rechargeable battery provides up to nine hours of playback away from the base. A canvas carrying case is included for protecting it on the road.

There are five LEDs on the front top of the speaker to show volume, Alexa, and battery life status. The top is a large rotating control knob for volume while you can press down on the knob as the smart button. A single press serves to play/pause, a double press goes to the next track, and triple press goes to the previous track, and a press and hold launches Alexa.

The Maverick has far-field microphones for recognizing your voice and taking calls while you enjoy loud music.

Around the back, directly in line above the USB-C port, are the buttons for WiFi, Bluetooth, mute, and power on/off. The speaker is 75mm in diameter and 223mm tall with a weight of 1.76 pounds.

The Maverick has Bluetooth and WiFi radios inside so it can be used as a portable speaker connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Speaking of setup, I had issues getting through the setup program with a Galaxy Note 9 so had to resort to using my Apple iPhone X to get the speaker connected to my Amazon Alexa account.

Cavalier Maverick smart speaker: in pictures

The Cavalier app is used for setup of the speaker and then after everything is running you can use the Cavalier app to select your preferred music service, control your music playback, manage multiple Cavalier speakers, choose what the smart button double and triple taps control, alter treble and bass, download new firmware and update the speaker, and manage your wireless network.

Spotify is my preferred music service and using the phone's Spotify app I can control the song selection and volume of the Maverick speaker without having to use Alexa voice controls.

The Cavalier Maverick speaker is three times the price of the larger Amazon Echo speaker so if you are just looking for a basic smart speaker the Maverick may not be for you. It looks fantastic and is extremely well built so is designed for those who want something that looks better with the rest of their decor while also offering a better audio experience. It is also a portable speaker that can be used for several hours away from its charging base so it does serve in a couple of different roles.

When I was testing the Maverick out in my office, family, friends, and neighbors came in to comment on the high quality and clarity of the music coming from the speaker. After pointing to the Maverick, they all immediately commented on its elegant good looks too.

Apple's HomePod speaker focuses on the audio experience and looks, more than the functionality of the intelligence of Siri. The Maverick is a great looking Amazon Echo alternative and is sure to satisfy those looking for something more than an Echo.

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