Review: Cavalier Maverick—a stylish Alexa speaker that goes everywhere with you Evaluation: Cavalier Maverick—a trendy Alexa speaker that goes all over the place with you

Voice-activated audio system with smarts have been mainstreamed due to Amazon, changing into extra enticing with the arrival of HomePod. However HomePod leaves loads to be desired. It’s too dear for the common client and solely works with Apple Music. HomePod additionally doesn’t act as an everyday Bluetooth speaker neither is it transportable. However I do know one thing that’s!

Maverick from Cavalier is a $100 cheaper than the Apple speaker, could be carried round anyplace you go, has a nine-hour battery, helps a bunch of in style music providers and tops all that off with a trendy design, sturdy construct high quality and nice use of supplies.

Alexa in a much more premium package deal

I don’t know why we haven’t featured any Cavalier merchandise earlier as a result of this USA-based premium audio model builds some high quality merchandise with character and magnificence that undoubtedly set you aside from the peculiar. They’ve a bunch of voice audio system, just like the design-driven Maverick.

Along with the Maverick speaker itself, contained in the fantastically designed field you’ll additionally discover the USB-C energy cable, the USB wall charger, the cost base, the protecting case and a few manuals and printed supplies. The shiny end of the field, the way in which it opens to show a three-page banner and the visible motives printed on the field all ooze refinement and luxurious.

That is reassuring, however now let’s check out the speaker itself.

The craftsmanship you’ll respect

The design is impressed by distinctive supplies and Cavalier’s ardour for craftsmanship, genuine supplies and immersive sound. We’ll get to the sound later, however first let me develop slightly bit on industrial design. Whenever you first decide up this speaker, you’ll instantly discover its reassuring construct high quality and a basic premium really feel to it.

Examine this out…

The system is housed in a cylindrically-shaped chassis made out of the premium aluminum alloy with a flat aspect permitting the speaker for use in horizontal mode. I particularly just like the machined edge that provides the enclosure a good looking design accent.

The steel enclosure is wrapped in prime quality hand-knitted acoustic cloth with a pleasant texture that provides heat to the tactile sensation to it which brings human contact to the expertise. This factor undoubtedly seems higher in individual that the considerably boring HomePod design or the standard low-cost look of the Echo units.

Setup: two apps, one speaker

Establishing the Maverick isn’t as simple as you would possibly count on, but it surely’s not overly complicated both. The system is configured via the free Cavalier Audio app, however as a result of it doubles an an Echo-enabled speaker you additionally have to download the Alexa app from App Retailer. Whenever you first join the speaker, it should begin up within the pairing mode.

I first went to regulate settings, however couldn’t hook up with the speaker from my iPhone. It took a couple of minutes earlier than I noticed that my telephone was on the 5GHz community whereas the Maverick solely works with the slower 2.4GHz normal. Fortunately, I’ve a dual-band router (the underrated Time Capsule from Apple) so all I wanted to do was hook up with the Maverick’s Wi-Fi.

Now I might fireplace up the app and end establishing the speaker. The app itself received’t win any usability contests—it makes use of small sort, isn’t even optimized for larger-screened units and lacks a local iPad interface.

That mentioned, it will get the job achieved.

A number of the issues I adjusted embrace connecting the speaker to my residence Wi-Fi (bear in mind, it solely works on the two.4GHz band), customizing its identify and extra. Subsequent, I tapped an choice to signal into Amazon with my credentials to allow Alexa on the speaker, which went with out a hiccup. Whereas you are able to do with out the Alexa app, you’ll want it to alter your location (for climate and different native data), modify languages and hyperlink appropriate music providers.

Additionally, you will want the Alexa app to regulate some options

Most significantly, you’ll want the Alexa app to put in abilities, that are principally voice apps that reach the good assistant’s performance. There are millions of Alexa abilities obtainable, however you’ll more than likely want only a handful of abilities to deal with the issues that matter to you probably the most. I’ve some good residence merchandise so I’ve put in abilities to handle these and a few abilities for quizzes, trivia, hyperlocal climate and issues of that nature.

The {hardware}

The Maverick combines two stereo drivers with a pair of twin passive radiators, with each pairs firing in reverse instructions to realize a “room-filling expertise” at 20 wats (are you able to consider one other model describing its good speaker as having a “room-filling” sound?).

Like with HomePod, the speaker’s high is touch-sensitive: faucet as soon as to play/pause, twice for the following observe, thrice to get to the earlier observe or press and maintain for Alexa.

In contrast to HomePod, the Maverick means that you can assign customized capabilities to the 2x and 3x actions, like playlist shortcuts for Spotify and iHeartRadio. As if that weren’t sufficient, the button additionally acts like an analog rotary quantity management knob for these occasions while you choose to not use your voice to extend or lower the quantity (I want HomePod had that).

Close to the highest of the speaker are 5 LED lights indicating quantity, Alexa’s listening mode and the remaining battery cost. On the rear aspect, aligned vertically, are plastic buttons for turning the speaker on and off, enabling personal mode (shuts down the mics), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons specifically supply seamless switching forwards and backwards between these two modes. On the backside is your USB-C port for charging cell units on the go, one other extraordinarily helpful function.

Subsequent to USB-C are LED lights indicating the standing of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and energy.

“Alexa, play Queen on Apple Music”

Alexa helps a bunch of music providers: Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Tunein, SiriusXM, Audible, Amazon Music and Amazon Music Limitless. Due to Spotify Join integration, you’ll be able to straight management music playback on the Maverick through the Spotify app.

For Alexa supported providers, you should utilize your voice to pause a track, flip up the quantity and different primary playback controls. I’ve Amazon Music, Spotify and Apple Music so the very fact I couldn’t get pleasure from Apple’s service on the Maverick was undoubtedly a disappointment for me.

Some folks might even deem it a deal-breaker, however I wouldn’t.

Amazon has confirmed that third-party Alexa audio system just like the Maverick will decide up help for Apple Music quickly through software program updates. To dispel any notion that this speaker could be secretly listening on a regular basis, there’s a devoted microphone mute button together with the illuminated standing LED lights to make sure you are conscious when in privateness mode.

Additionally, a Bluetooth speaker

In contrast to HomePod, the Maverick is a real Bluetooth speaker. And since it’s really easy to hold round, you’ll respect the truth that you’ll be able to enterprise off into the wilds away from Wi-Fi. I’ve all the time hated that I couldn’t join my HomePod to a Bluetooth system. Utilizing Bluetooth pairing, you’ll be able to hook up with the Maverick and stream audio from one other system.

The Maverick ships with the included carrying pouch

If sound high quality is your high precedence, you’ll all the time default to Wi-Fi streaming as a result of Bluetooth’s audio compression, as I’m positive you already know, leaves one thing to be desired. Due to Bluetooth, the Maverick additionally acts as a hands-free speakerphone with echo-noise cancellation that makes it attainable to reply and finish telephone calls on the speaker. This works nice on Android and iPhone so long as you’re related to the speaker through Bluetooth.

Multi-room sound? Examine!

I used to be shocked studying the Maverick helps multi-room audio out of the field as a result of in my world it took Apple a number of months to ship multi-room audio help to HomePod. Whereas I haven’t had an opportunity to check this function, Cavalier ensures me that it’s fairly seamless because the system mechanically connects to different Cavalier audio system in further rooms.

This allows you to develop your music system while you’re prepared, enhance the sound by including one other speaker and even create stereo proper/left configuration in a single room.

My favourite use circumstances

At 223 mm tall, 75 mm broad and weighing in at 800 grams (1.76 lbs), this speaker is mild and sensible sufficient to be carried round everytime you want some transportable sound. The battery is rated with as much as 9 hours playtime and usually I might squeeze about eight hours of steady Amazon Music playback out of it.

Once I’m at residence, I maintain the system on the charging base which is 3.7 inches round and 1 inch tall. This good-looking dock connects to energy through a customized stitched USB-C charging cable and also you even hear distinct sounds while you put and take away the speaker from the bottom.

The cost base makes use of two pins to align the speaker

I nonetheless use my HomePod extra typically than the Cavalier as a result of Apple’s far-field microphone array is superior to the Maverick’s. As an illustration, Alexa couldn’t hear my voice correctly when streaming music via the Cavalier at 100 p.c quantity till I used to be shouting at her.

No such points with Siri on HomePod.

The cost base makes use of normal USB for energy

One other sound challenge: at high volumes a few of the louder songs are likely to distort a bit, which isn’t that shocking giving the speaker’s small measurement. The identical goes for sound high quality. Though the Maverick sounds surprisingly loud for a speaker of this measurement with crisp highs and good mid tones, it couldn’t maintain a candle to HomePod when it got here to its wealthy, deep bass and overly highly effective sound.

This isn’t the speaker for you if you happen to’re on the lookout for subwoofer-like sound. In observe, the Maverick is finest fitted to the pop, classical, jazz and singer-songwriter genres attributable to its sculpted sound stemming from crisp highs and vocals that shine within the high-mids and highs.

Regardless of these shortcomings, the Maverick prices $100 lower than the Apple speaker. At that worth, it truly sounds nice and higher in my private view than Google’s audio system. Once I’m on the go, I throw the Maverick into its protecting stitched journey case. Though I hate to confess it, my mates and I’ve had plenty of enjoyable with this speaker throughout sunny days on the seashores.

I took it incessantly with me to the countryside and it’s undoubtedly turned me into probably the most needed visitor at events—I merely join the speaker to my telephone’s Private Hotspot and the hundreds of thousands of songs can be found to pump via the speaker identical to that.

Attempt doing that with HomePod.

Is the Maverick for you?

Finally, that will depend on what you’re on the lookout for. If you happen to’re available in the market for a speaker that provides deep integration with the Apple ecosystem, get your self a HomePod or wait till Apple delivers a rumored cheaper, smaller mannequin.

Are you somebody who’s extra involved with total audio efficiency than design? If that’s the case, Sonos is all the time a viable choice however there are different audio system on the market that will meet your wants, like Marshall’s Stanmore II Voice or JBL’s Hyperlink 10.

Seeking to spend much less? You may’t go improper with the Amazon Echo vary.

However if you happen to want slightly little bit of every little thing with out breaking the financial institution—perks like Alexa voice management, third-party music providers, portability, Bluetooth ubiquity, good design, nice construct high quality and many performance—you’ll be able to’t go improper with this high quality speaker.

Execs and cons

Right here’s what we preferred and disliked in regards to the Maverick.


  • Works like an everyday Bluetooth speaker
  • Premium supplies, nice construct high quality
  • Extremely portability attributable to lightness and optimum measurement


  • No twin band (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi help
  • You will discover stronger sound high quality for the worth
  • The mic provides common intelligibility

Pricing and availability

The Maverick is accessible in Black or Blue variants, with metallic and distressed leather-based panels. You may decide yours over at Amazon or from Cavalier Audio for $250 a pop.


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