Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen, right? They’re small, usually don’t sound all that good, aren’t anything special to look at, and you can find them nearly anywhere, or so you might believe. Stellé Audio has turned most of that rhetoric on its head with their products. Stellé has created a line of speakers that not only sound great, but look great too. We had a chance to look over their Mini-Clutch speaker a few weeks ago, so keep reading to see how the Stellé Audio Pillar speaker breaks from tradition on most everything you think you know about Bluetooth speakers in our review.
First things first, the Stellé Audio Pillar speaker looks incredible. It’s an absolutely amazing device from a design perspective, and I honestly felt as though I needed nicer stuff to put around the Pillar. As the name would imply, the Pillar speaker is cylindrical in shape, roughly 4 1/2″ in diameter and a foot tall. The top grate includes the power button, volume up/down, Bluetooth pairing, and phone answer buttons. The bottom of the Pillar has the DC input, USB and AUX output, and just above that is a perforated section for the subwoofer. Otherwise the speaker is a solid cylinder. The model I tested was the pewter version which looks great, though there are also faux wood, brushed aluminum and other stunning finishes to fit your decor.
Remember in the beginning when I mentioned small, bad sounding speakers? The Pillar does not fit any of those descriptors. The Pillar contains two proprietary (1.5”) acoustic drivers (stereo pair) and a 3″ subwoofer and enough power to really fill a room. As with any Bluetooth device you may still have periodic dips in signal that will interrupt your tunes, but that is usually the fault of the phone or connection rather than the speaker itself.
This speaker can easily handle a party or large group of people. As a major test, I had the Pillar going while I was vacuuming. The speaker wasn’t even at full volume and I could still hear my music (Atreyu – “Lead Sails Paper Anchor” for what it’s worth) clearly over the noise of the vacuum. Even loud music at loud volume comes through clear and without any distortion. I’ve mentioned on other Bluetooth speaker reviews that heavy bass (think Dubstep, Rap, EDM) won’t quite fly, though with the Pillar they’ll at least hover. You still won’t get wall-shaking bass out of the Pillar, but for a Bluetooth speaker the results were quite impressive. I tend to lean more towards loud/obnoxious music that would really push a Bluetooth speaker but the Pillar held up to all of it.
The Pillar also includes an Auxiliary port if you’d prefer to plug in your tunes. It also includes a USB port allowing you to charge your device while you listen. You can also travel with your Pillar without worrying about power, it comes with a universal power adapter and five varieties of plugs to make sure you’re able to charge no matter where you are in the world.
As with most other Bluetooth speakers on the market, the Stellé Audio Pillar can also be used as a speakerphone. It works as intended, though callers do maybe seem a bit quiet even with the volume at a reasonable level. Speakerphones are used differently than speakers for sure, so don’t expect to use the Pillar as a speakerphone in a crowded noisy room, just as you wouldn’t expect your phone’s speaker to work in that environment. In a reasonably quiet area you won’t have any issues using your Pillar as a speakerphone.
Stellé promises 15 hours of continuous play while on normal volume on one charge. I wasn’t able to test that metric unfortunately, but the Pillar has held up admirably over the last few weeks of testing. I’ve probably listened to at least 10-12 hours total spread over a few weeks. An hour or two here and there, standing by for a few days, another hour, and I’ve not had to recharge the speaker yet. The Pillar should stand up to even your biggest parties or longest listening sessions.
The Stellé Audio Pillar speaker is a quality device, and that is reflected in the price. Starting at $299, this isn’t going to be an impulse buy Bluetooth speaker. With that said, what you’re getting with the Pillar at least justifies the price. The design is amazing, the sound is excellent, and the extras – such as USB charging and universal power adapter – really push the Pillar over the top.
The Stellé Audio Pillar speaker hits nearly every point on what you want a Bluetooth speaker to be. It’s easy to set up, sounds great, looks incredible, and provides a few extras that supplement its job as a speaker. It’s still not going to be an impulse purchase, but if you’re looking for a quality speaker that will look and sound great no matter where you put it, the Pillar deserves a look. If you entertain a lot of guests and want an unobtrusive portable speaker that can keep up and not get covered up you should really check out the Pillar. If you really just want a great Bluetooth speaker to listen to some tunes, the Pillar still deserves your attention.