After being mightily impressed with the small and portable Gravstar Venus Bluetooth speaker, it’s time to review the bigger Gravastar Mars; this is the flagship for the company, and don’t let the styling fool you; this is a premium offering with a fantastic build quality. I wasn’t sure how to place it first, but if you want to know why I have been impressed, you want to read the rest of this article.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY – GRAVASTAR Mars
Due to variations in prices with many products we list and the fact that as these reviews grow old, the price often fluctuates, we have decided to list only the RRP at the time of review. The Gravastar Mars is listed at $199, but we noted discounts seem to be available at different locations. Please check the Amazon and company pages linked below to check the current prices.
Gravastar Mars Bluetooth Speaker on Gravastar official web page.
Packaging and accessories
The packaging for the Gravastar Mars is cool; it’s fun, funky, and provides that exciting unboxing experience that will make it a fantastic gift around the holidays. It’s bright red and has a silhouette of the product that lays inside. High-quality materials are used all around, and the speaker is well protected with dense impact foam.
Pop the top, and you get a user manual which you will want to give a quick read to familiarise yourself with the speaker’s features and operations. Lift off that section, and you will get your first look at the speaker.
Im going to go into more depth in the next section, but boy, does this make a good first impression. I instantly liked it and spent a few minutes inspecting the design before diving deeper to find the only other included accessories, the 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable and a USB-C cable with a right angle adapter.
The right angle adapter is important with the unit as it has the PowerPoint located on the bottom of the speaker, so to charge without having to raise this off the ground, you need to use this or a similar style you can purchase online. Straight-angle plugs may have difficulty depending on the length of their strain relief.
Build Quality and Design – Gravastar Mars
Goodness me, the build quality on the Gravastar Mars is amazing. This is a hefty all-metal unit, and it’s very, very cool. I worried before arrival if it would feel cheap and plasticky or if the metal body panels would be tinny, but boy was I wrong. This is a solid thick zinc alloy, and it looks and feels great.
The body is a giant orb that stands on top of its insect/mech legs. Inside the orb is all the controls, and it also houses the large drive and rear bass port.
The legs are also all-metal, and the feet fold to give a few different positions. You can fold in all of them for a tucked look, but really, this position is designed to make the Gravastarr Mars easier to transport. I like to use the two positions with all three legs extended or with the two front legs extended and the rear folded, which gives a more upward direction to the driver, which is good to use on tables and countertops.
The legs have thick rubber dampening pads on them, which grounds the speaker and prevents internal vibrations from the speaker and surface vibrations. This, in combination with the weight, makes it sound way better than cheap, lightweight offerings from other companies.
The RGB lighting is in 6 different locations and can be toggled on and off using a switch at the back. It lights up the speaker, legs, and body.
The only less-than-premium part may be the 3 plastic buttons on top; it not that I have any long-term concerns, but the use of metal here would have been a nice touch to boot.
Overall I think it’s a fantastic-looking speaker for people who are the border of traditional designs, want something fun, or are just general SciFi fans. The construction is exceptional, and the Gravastar Mars feels like a premium high-end product. While it might not be to everyone’s taste, it is to mine, and trust me; the photos do no justice to how good this thing looks and feels in person.
Operation and Features – Gravastar Mars
The Gravastar Mars is a simple Bluetooth speaker that most people will operate easily without a manual.
When you press the power button and get into the functions, you will be pleased to see that customization didn’t end with the aesthetic. Gravastar keeps the theme going with the audio cues. When you turn it on, there’s a mechanical whir of a machine starting. After that (pairing, power status), commands are given as status reports. Nice touch.
With the speaker powered on, I long pressed the pairing button, did a quick search on my phone and connected in seconds. From there, every time my phone and the speaker are in a range, they connect automatically.
Playback controls are also up top and allow the usual play and pause functionality.
Yet another nice touch is the power bar style touch volume control. Its smooth with a matte finish and runs directly up the speaker’s top from front to back. It’s very responsive and allows you to run your finger over it to alter the volume level.
The range is excellent, and I was able to keep the music playing from multiple rooms away. The Gravastar Mars has Bluetooth 5.0 built-in, which is the latest and greatest technology, allowing longer range and a more stable connection.
Sound Quality – Gravastar Mars
Most people will be most interested in whether or not the Gravastar Mars sounds good, and to that, I can say yes. However, it is not the best sounding in class or for the money.
I was blown away because, honestly, I had set the bar pretty low with my expectations. But the more I listen and the more tracks I throw at it, the more I am impressed with the full-bodied and punchy sound Mars can produce.
Size is important here, and being fairly large for a portable speaker, the Mars puts out a good amount of volume and weight in its sound. The bass is punchy and tight, and little bleeding of the lows into the midrange was observed even at higher volumes.
Clarity was another strong point from the Gravastar Mars’s sound. It puts the highs and trebles out the front of the speaker, and that separation where the bass port is located on the rear makes for a sense of space with good imaging and separation between instruments and vocals.
Overall, the tuning is smooth and airy. There is a lean towards the low end, which I think most people will like as it sounds good with a wide variety of genres but excels with EDM, Hip hop, Lo-Fi, etc.
Distortion was low, which is very good for something this size. Many manufacturers allow their speakers to go overly loud, far beyond their capabilities. That leads to a breakdown in sound quality. I get the feeling that the Gravastar Mars could even be made to go louder if their engineers had wanted but that it could have impacted the fidelity. I think that’s a good choice.
Positioning is, of course, a strong point for such a design. To get the most from the sound, it should be placed around 6 inches from a wall or other hard surface. The rear-facing bass port will be amplified, and an even louder and fuller sound achieved. This is something that can’t be achieved with a solely front-facing speaker.
Overall the sound is loud, distortion-free, smooth, fun, and displays adequate detail. I think it sounds great and I was surprised given what I said about my initial feelings before Mars arrived in the office. It far exceeded my expectations.
Final thoughts and Recommendations – Gravastar Mars Review
That said, there are a lot of very good-sounding speakers at this price point. One that springs to mind is the outstanding iLoud speaker from IK Multimedia, which sounds ridiculously good and is the gold standard for semi-transportable Bluetooth speakers under $300. Then you have things like the Bose Soundlink Revolve, JBL Charge 4, and Harmon & Kardon Onyx 4. Actually, if you look around, you may even find a Marshal Kilburn at this price. All those speakers sound about equal or slightly better than the Gravastar Mars, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
All those speakers listed have very boring and off-the-shelf consumer designs; there’s nothing really cool or exciting about the way they look. Most are well made, but they all look the same and are very uninspiring. I would also say they aren’t all as well-made. So it really depends on what you are looking for. The Gravastar provide
For me, this speaker sounds great, looks funky and cool, and is well made. It makes a great party piece. When people are over, they always take a closer look. I really like it, and I like that when a company tries to do something different from the norm. There really is nothing else on the market that fills this futuristic spot other than the insanely expensive Devialt Phantom.
So with all that in mind, and with the chance that you can get some terrific discounts on it now and again, I’m going to happily recommend the Gravastar Mars to those who like the aesthetic and who are bored with the consumer-driven design. A fun little speaker that ticks a lot of boxes.