Earlier this month, we reported on the GravaStar Mars Indiegogo campaign. We’ve had one of these cool sci-fi looking speakers in our grubby little hands for a couple of weeks now. Our GravaStar Mars review takes a look at this sci-fi inspired speaker, complete with lights and decent sound, and sees how it stacks up in the crowded Bluetooth speaker market.
On that note, you can check our brief video review below or scroll past to read our full review!
The GravaStar Mars Bluetooth speaker has the following features and specifications:
- Built-in powerful Kalimba DSP to enhance and ensure high fidelity wide sonic range superb dynamic reproductions
- Extremely high compatibility
- 80MHz RSC CPU and 80MHz Qualcomm
- Fully qualified single-chip dual-mode Bluetooth v5.0 system
- Multi-audio format decoding: SBC, AAC
- Support True-Wireless Stereo mode: renders real stereo sound stages
- Support full broadcasting mode: enables up to hundreds of units play music simultaneously
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.0
- Speaker Impedance: 4 Ohms
- Battery Capacity: 2600 mAh x4
- Battery Life: up to 30h @ 65% output
- Power Supply: 5V 1.5 ~ 2A
- Output Power: 20W
- Transmission Range: ~20m
- Dimensions (w x h): 20 x 19cm (7.87 x 7.48″)
- Weight: 1.6kg (3.53lb)
What’s in the box
- GravaStar Mars Bluetooth speaker
- 1m USB Type-C to USB-A charging cable
- 1m 3.5mm AUX cable
- Instruction manual
When we were asked to take a look at the GravaStar Mars Bluetooth speaker, I expected something relatively smaller and somewhat cheap. Of course, given the number of pitches we receive, sometimes those details get glossed over when reading them. When it arrived, my first impressions included how big the box was and how heavy the box was.
Taking the GravaStar Mars out of the box, I was really impressed by the heft and the fact that it is constructed out of Zinc-alloy metal and plastic and not plastic alone. Not only that, but this speaker is also a decent size. The main ball is about 5 1/2-inches in diameter and with the legs extended it sits just under 7 1/2-inches in height and about 8-inches wide (foot to foot).
The GravaStar Mars definitely looks like something taken out of a sci-fi movie and you shouldn’t be surprised if someone asks you what movie your latest “collectible figure” is from. The main sphere-shaped component is grey in colour with black accents and military-style markings. The right number of bolts, divots, indents, angles, and more help complete the look.
On the front side of the sphere is a black plastic grille, reminiscent of a Death Star, with a honeycomb metal grille underneath it which houses the 70mm (2.76in), 20W full-range speaker. On the back side is where you’ll find the 80mm (3.15in) radiator complete with the
Looking at the top of the speaker, you’ll notice a black strip with vertical lines on it and the GravaStar logo and wordmark printed in white just below it. Along the right side, you’ll notice MIN and MAX markings with vertical ticks in between. The black strip is a touch control surface which allows you to easily control your volume. Located near the back of the speaker just behind this strip are three buttons. These buttons control power, playback controls, Bluetooth pairing, and LED light toggling.
The speaker sits on three legs which can be folded in for storage. When folded out, the speaker legs support the main sphere and have tiny rubber feet on them to prevent scratching your desk. When extended, the legs not only add to the look but provide for a real solid base to the speaker.
When turned on, the speaker lights up in green in various places. These include the main speaker grille, areas to the left and right bottom of the speaker, LED strips on the front of each of the three legs, two small power indicator lights near the back, and the volume lights. When toggled off, the two rear power indicator LEDs and the volume lights remain lit while the rest turn off. Honestly, though, the speaker is too cool with the LEDs on to use it with them off.
Flipping the speaker upside down is where you’ll find your USB-C and 3.5mm AUX ports. To be honest, this is about my only complaint with the design of the speaker. You have to lift up the speaker to access either ports and second, but it does look nicer with the cables coming out of the bottom of the sphere than elsewhere.
The included USB-C to USB-A and 3.5mm AUX cables are nicely braided. In addition, at 1m (3.3 feet) in length, they are long enough to provide ample slack when connected to a charger or AUX device.
There’s really no other way to say it: this is one mean looking sci-fi robot-styled speaker. No doubt about it, it’s definitely one of the most unique looking Bluetooth speaker we’ve seen here at Techaeris in a while.
Ease of Use
Pressing the middle power button for a couple of seconds powers it on and makes a pretty cool robotic powering up
Pressing the middle button will also play or pause your music, depending on the current status of your currently playing track. Pressing the far right button will toggle the lights on and off.
To adjust the volume, simply touch the top volume touchpad to the desired volume level and your volume will be instantly adjusted. You can slide your finger up and down to adjust the volume if
Pressing and holding the power button for about three seconds will turn off the device. Like the speaker
Unfortunately, there is no way to skip to the next track or the previous track with this speaker. Likewise, there is no way to take calls with it, which we could honestly care less about, but it is something to mention for those that are in the habit of using Bluetooth speakers to take calls.
Of course, as cool as a Bluetooth speaker may look, it’s pretty much a paperweight unless it has decent sound.
The sphere shape design provides the GravaStar Mars a much clearer sound compared to other shapes we tried. Without any parallel walls or edges, the spherical shape greatly reduces any internal cabinet sound wave reflections and interference. Meanwhile, a spherical speaker allows soundwaves to transform all directions in the air so that listeners will be immersed in the sounds produced.Zoeao
On that note, the speaker does sound pretty great. It does get really loud, which is nice, and remains clear and crisp at maximum volume. In a bedroom, which is where most of our testing took place, we found that about 25-30% volume was more than needed for pleasurable listening.
The bass is pretty punchy from a distance but closer up it does get a bit warmer. When set with the radiator facing a wall, in our opinion, is when you get the best bass out of the speaker. Still, as we prefer warmer bass it is still a bit punchier than we like but it’s definitely there. Mids and highs are fairly balanced as well, making any type of music we listened to pleasurable with this speaker.
With a claimed battery life of up to 30 hours at 65% volume, our task was cut out for us with regards to battery life testing. As mentioned above, 25-30% is more than loud enough for a bedroom. On that note, with the LEDs on the entire time we streamed music to it, we ended up with 28 hours during our two tests before needing to recharge the speaker. While it’s just under the 30 hours, we did
On that note, given its 10,000 mAh battery, it does take a while to recharge fully. While charging, the power indicator LEDs will pulse. Once fully charged, the power indicator LEDs will turn solid. On that note, expect it to take at least 4 hours to fully recharge your robot speaker. Also of note, if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to pick up a 5V/1A USB-A power adapter to charge your GravaStar.
With an MSRP of US$249.99 after the campaign ends, the GravaStar Bluetooth speaker isn’t exactly cheap. That being said, it is well built, looks cool, has great battery life, and decent sound. On that note, there are a few super early bird perks left at the time of this review which allow you to snag this speaker for a cool $129 — well worth the price. After that, you can snag it for $149 or $199, depending on how long you wait.
After a successful campaign, the Gravatar Mars speaker is available to purchase from the Gravastar website with an MSRP of US$199.99. There are now various colour options and styles available as well.
If you love sci-fi, are a collector of movie memorabilia, or just plain bored of the standard Bluetooth speaker design and style, the GravaStar Mars Bluetooth speaker deserves a spot on your shelf. With its sci-fi inspired design, solid build quality, decent sound, and great battery life, the GravaStar Mars Bluetooth speaker is well worth the price, especially if you jump in on the crowdfunding early bird deals. There’s no question it deserves a Top Pick of 2019 Award here at Techaeris.
*We were sent a sample of the GravaStar Mars Bluetooth speaker for the purposes of this review.
- Fun sci-fi inspired robot design
- Great build quality
- Decent sound, crisp and loud
- Great battery life
- Fun LED lights to complete the look
- Including cables are braided and great length
- USB-C charging
- Reasonable price at Indiegogo early bird pricing
- No previous/next track options on the speaker
- A bit pricey at the suggested MSRP (but worth it)
- 5V/1A adapter not included