There’s a good chance you have a portable Bluetooth speaker in your possession or know someone who does. They’re great to have around and use to listen to music while working or playing in the backyard, or in a room where you don’t want to keep a speaker or stereo plugged in full time. There’s also a good chance that if you do, it’s pretty standard fare with a rectangular or cylindrical design.
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Our GravaStar Supernova review looks at the company’s latest Bluetooth speaker which builds on its sci-fi-inspired design and adds a main core light which functions as a lantern. Read on for our full review and see why it earned a Highly Rated badge here at Techaeris.
Table of contents
The Quick Take
The GravaStar Supernova is a very cool-looking sci-fi-inspired wireless Bluetooth speaker that has a core light that is meant to double as a lantern. The light core is pretty cool, however, it’s not very bright and isn’t going to light up much more than a smaller area in a pretty dark room. While boasting more output power than other GravaStar offerings, it does get a bit muddied once you max it out but overall it offers up decent (and loud) sound with warm bass.
It is pricier than other Bluetooth speakers, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one as sci-fi and funky looking as this with its solid build quality. At worst, it makes for a great conversation or collector’s piece, but if you have some money to spare, it provides decent enough sound to suit most people.
The GravaStar Supernova Bluetooth speaker we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
|Number of speakers||2|
|Speaker type||Full frequency|
|Mid-low frequency speaker size||3″, 3Ω impedance|
|High-frequency speaker size||0.5″, 4Ω impedance|
|Frequency response range||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Bass adjustment||Automatic adjustment|
|Bluetooth protocol||A2DP, AVRCP|
|Bluetooth distance||20m (65′)|
|Playtime||Around 7 hours at 60% volume|
|Standby time||18 months|
|Charging time||3 hours|
|Charging port||USB Type-C|
|Charging cable||1m (3.3′)|
|Materials||Zinc alloy outer shell|
|Colour||Matt Black, Dawn White|
|Dimensions||10-12 x 7.5 inches (254-305 x 191 mm)|
What’s in the box
- GravaStar Supernova Bluetooth Speaker
- Handle with three screws and Allen key
- Type-C Charging Cable
- AUX Cable
- User Manual
Like the GravaStar Mars and Venus Bluetooth speakers before it, the Supernova has a very sci-fi robot look to it. It features the same three-legged base as the others but has a cylindrical shape overall as opposed to a spherical shape. Starting from the bottom, the three legs fold out and have a curved, robotic spider look to them. Each leg has a thin LED strip just under an inch in length embedded in the lower half. The legs are attached under the speaker and have tiny rubber nubs on the end to prevent sliding and scratching on your desk or table.
The main speaker portion is cylindrical in length, roughly 3 3/4″ in diameter at the bottom and about 3 1/2″
towards the top. Just over 2″ in height, the main base has some sci-fi pipes and other markings to complete the look. On the front of the base is a circular gunmetal silver piece which is where the small 0.5″ high-frequency speaker is located. On the back are two small circular areas, one with the USB-C port and the other with the 3.5mm AUX port.
Moving up from the speaker base are three spindles roughly 6″ in height that join at the top. The top circular piece houses the power/Bluetooth pairing button in the middle and three extra buttons, one for volume up, one for volume down, and one to change the light controls. On the back of one spindle is two small holes which you can use to attach the included handle. When attached, it arcs over the middle of the speaker and adds to the look. In the middle of the arms is a clear plastic cylindrical dome which covers the internal LED light. The light is oblong and encased in a black cap with thin black spindles. The LED light has three modes you can choose from: dynamic light, single colour (with eight colours available), and camping light which mimics a campfire flickering. The GravaStar logo is printed near the bottom of the front of the plastic dome.
The underside of the speaker is where the audio is pushed out. With an open grille shape, you can see the 3″ mid-low frequency speaker underneath it when held upside down. As mentioned above, the smaller 0.5″ high-frequency speaker is located on the front of the main speaker base.
The main components of the Supernova speaker are constructed from zinc alloy which not only adds to the look but gives it some strength. There are a few plastic components but they are nicely painted and fit with the look and feel of the speaker overall. In addition, GravaStar also mentioned that the speaker can absorb shocks and drops. It feels like it would, and while I kind of wish the light enclosure was glass instead of plastic, I can see why they made that design choice.
As far as the footprint is concerned, with the legs extended, the speaker takes up about 7 1/2″ of desk/table space. It sits about 10″ in height without the handle attached and 12″ with it attached.
As with its previous Bluetooth speakers, GravaStar has yet again created another sci-fi-inspired speaker that turns heads. While our review unit came in Matt Black with silver accents, you can also get the GravaStar Supernova in Dawn White with black accents.
Not usually a section in most Bluetooth speaker reviews I’ve done, I have included it here as there is an optional handle you can install if you want to hang the speaker. However, I think it looks better with the handle as it adds to the look, and also “covers” the two holes in the back spindle that would otherwise be exposed and look out of place.
At any rate, the handle is pretty easy to attach, just hold it in place then use two of the three included screws and the included Allen key and tighten. Once attached, it is solid, doesn’t wiggle, and easily supports the weight of the speaker.
Ease of Use
When turning the speaker on or off, you get a whooshing robotic sound that ramps up, so to speak, when turning it on and ramps down when turning it off. A voice prompt will let you know it’s on and ready to pair, and when it’s paired with your device. The first time you turn it on, you’ll have to go into the Bluetooth settings on your device and add the Supernova, but, like most speakers, it’s pretty easy to do.
Once paired, you can tap the middle power button to play or pause the current track. The +/- volume buttons allow you to control the volume, although it is tied directly to your device and not an independent volume control. Finally, the light button allows you to switch between the three different light effects or change between eight different colours when in single-colour mode. Double pressing it cycles the modes while single pressing it in single colour mode cycles the colour being displayed.
Rated for 25W output, the GravaStar Supernova has 30W of total power, and it does get pretty loud. As mentioned above, the underside of the speaker is where most of the audio is pushed out. With an open grille shape, you can see the 3″ mid-low frequency speaker underneath it when held upside down. This allows the audio to bounce off whatever surface you have it set on. When it is hung, however, you will lose that effect but it doesn’t affect the audio quality all that much. The smaller 0.5″ high-frequency speaker is located on the front of the main speaker base, pushing a bit of the audio out toward the listener.
As stated before, the Supernova Bluetooth speaker does get very loud. In an average size room, 40-50% is plenty loud, in fact, most of the time I had the volume set to around 30% while testing when it was sitting on my desk fairly close to me. With the mids and lows being pushed downward, they did bounce nicely off my desk for a fairly decent balance while leaning toward the warm bass. With the higher frequency sound being pushed out towards you, even though it’s from a smaller speaker, it blends in nicely with the lower and mid-frequency ranges. Overall, everything from rock to hip hop and even classical sounded pretty solid on this funky sci-fi-looking speaker.
Unfortunately, the speaker does get a bit muddied over 80% volume but you’d have to be in a large area and some distance away from the speaker to need to have it up that loud.
For the most part, the speaker works as intended. I had no issues powering it up or down, playing or pausing a track, or adjusting the volume from the speaker. However, changing the LED light sometimes didn’t register when double pressing. I’d say about 30% of the time, I had to double press two or three times for the speaker light to change the mode. When changing the solid colour with a single press, however, registered fine every time.
On that note, there is no way to adjust the brightness of the lamp or turn it off altogether. While it looks cool in a lit room, when the lights are turned out or when outside at night, it doesn’t throw enough light to really work as a lantern. I found the best lantern “mode” was using the single colour mode and then changing it to the white/light blue light. Even still, it was just enough to allow you to see where you were going but I wouldn’t want to use it for extended periods to read as you’d definitely be straining to do so.
The GravaStar Supernova features the latest Bluetooth 5.3 protocol. With a range of up to 65′, I had no issues anywhere in my house connecting to the speaker. With my phone in the basement, the speaker picked up my Spotify streaming with no problems on the main and second floors, as well as in the garage through a couple of closed doors.
GravaStar says you should get up to 7 hours of battery life while using the Supernova Bluetooth speaker at 60% volume. During testing, as mentioned, I tended to stick with the 30-40% volume level. At those levels, I did get around 8 hours of use out of the speaker before needing to recharge it. When plugged in and charging, the speaker pulses red and the light turns off when fully charged. It takes about 3 hours to fully recharge the speaker, but you can use it while plugged in as well. Like when it’s turned off, when it is charging while being used, it does pulse red and then returns to the light mode you have set once it’s charged.
Priced at $179.95, the GravaStar Supernova Bluetooth speaker is quite a bit pricier than other 24W speaker options. However, it does have a really cool design and a lantern feature, albeit not very bright, as well. While it’s not perfect, it’s good enough for smaller rooms and turns heads when people see it. In addition, if you pre-order it before April 9th, GravaStar will toss in the $60 Alpha65 GaN Charger for free, adding a bit of value to this purchase.
You can pre-order the GravaStar Supernova from the GravaStar website with shipping anticipated for April 10th.
Offering decent enough sound for most rooms, the main focus of the GravaStar Supernova is its head-turning design. The light effect is a fun feature but needs to be brighter for it to function as an actual lantern in all but the darkest conditions. It is expensive, but then again, GravaStar tends to cater to the niche sci-fi crowd with its products.
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Ease of Use9.5/10
- Fun sci-fi-inspired design
- Solid build materials
- Decent audio at low and medium volume levels
- Warm bass
- Funky light core with different colours and effects
- Easy to assemble and use
- Sound gets muddied at higher volumes (over 80%)
- Changing light doesn't register all the time
- Lantern not very bright, no way to adjust brightness
- Tends to favor bass