Cavalier Maverick Alexa speaker review: Style comes at a cost

There is no shortage of speakers on the market these days that support Alexa. As the market grows we see more and more competition trying to find a way to stand out. Cavalier is throwing its hat in the ring with the Maverick speaker using premium materials and a fashionable design. Let’s see if Cavalier can deliver more than just a good looking speaker.

Design

The Cavalier Maverick is hands down one of the most beautiful and well-built speakers I’ve ever used. Using a mix of metal, fabric, and leather together with a classic style the Maverick stands out in the best of ways.

Cavalier put an astounding amount of thought into the design of the Maverick speaker paying attention to even the smallest details. From the chamfered edges, to the touch controls, to even including a C shaped charging contact on the bottom of the speaker.

The speaker itself is solid with a nice hefty weight, reinforcing even further that it is a premium product. The front, sides, and top of the speaker are all clean with beautiful lines allowing the design of the speaker to truly shine. The top features a knob that allows you to adjust the volume and doubles as touch controls for music or activating Alexa.

The back of the speaker is where all of the buttons are hiding including the power button, mute switch, and toggles for Bluetooth and WiFi. The USB-C charging port is also found on the back. Finally, a company who uses the modern USB-C standard instead of micro USB. This is just one of the many ways Cavalier demonstrates they are a company that is all about combining style and modern tech.

In case it wasn’t obvious the Maverick speaker is a portable speaker. Which is why there is an included base that is also used for charging the speaker and the charging contacts on the bottom. I’ve used portable smart speakers in the past but they all required to be manually plugged in to charge and used micro USB.

Once again Cavalier shows how much thought went into every detail when designing the Maverick. Using the charging stand was so far superior to plugging and unplugging the speaker repeatedly. There is even an included carrying case for when you want to take it on the go. Put simply, I was blown away by the design of the Cavalier Maverick, the attention to every detail, and how well it was built.

If I had one small nitpick about the design it would be that the leather on the front was not distressed as it is shown in some of their product photos. That’s not a big deal just a minor nitpick if you were hoping for that distressed look.

Features

The Cavalier Maverick speaker is powered by Amazon’s Alexa assistant making it a highly capable smart speaker. The microphones never had any trouble hearing me, even from across the room. While it had no trouble hearing me, it did seem to take a second or two longer to respond than my Echo Dot.

With the power of Alexa you can use one of its thousands of skills to control your smart home, play music, play games, ask questions, and much more. Unfortunately, it is not as fully featured as Amazon’s own Alexa powered speakers. There are key features that are left out of the experience such as making calls, sending messages, announcements, and drop in. This could be a deal breaker for some of you out there.

However, if you’re only looking to play music, control your smart home, or play games then it is perfectly suited for that.

App

In order to set up the speaker initially, it requires installing the Cavalier app. Not only is this used to set up your Maverick but it also allows customizing of your speaker. With the app, you’ll be able to reassign the tap controls, adjust the treble and bass, update the firmware, turn on Alexa tones, control music playback, and more. This also includes the ability to playback music on your local network.

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The app is designed well providing many extra features but I found myself rarely opening it after setting up Alexa and updating the firmware. Regardless, I still appreciate Cavalier going the extra mile and making their speaker more functional.

Sound Quality

The Maverick provides a clear and full sound with a nice balance between the highs, mids, and lows. Music had a consistent clarity throughout the volume range without highs becoming piercing or any distortion. My only complaint would be the bass response can be slightly weak.

Even tweaking the settings in the app couldn’t help the bass overcome the highs and mids. If you’re someone who is hoping for a bit more impact in the low end, you could end up disappointed.

Battery

Cavalier rates the Maverick for up to 10 hours of playback on battery power. This, of course, depends on what you use the speaker for, whether you have Wifi or Bluetooth enabled, and the volume you use the speaker at while on battery power. In my experience, over the past few weeks, it is easily able to last me a few hours while on the go before getting it back to the charging base.

Final Thoughts

The Cavalier Maverick is one of the most stylish and well built smart speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Despite the fashionable design, it can leave a little to be desired when it comes to bass and some of Alexa’s extra features.

This becomes a little too much to overlook when the Maverick carries a $300 price tag. For that price, you could pick up two fully featured Amazon Echo Plus speakers with built-in Zigbee smart hubs. Unfortunately, as much as I loved the design of the Cavalier Maverick, unless you truly need a fantastic looking well built portable Alexa speaker, you would be better off going with a cheaper alternative.

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