Gravastar Mars Pro review: the wireless spider speaker from space

Gravastar Mars Pro review: the wireless spider speaker from space

MSRP $230.00

“Gamers, manga fans, and sci-fi nerds alike will adore this speaker.”


  • Awesome design
  • Prime quality materials
  • Superb battery life
  • Auxiliary input


  • Expensive as a speaker
  • No low-latency Bluetooth
  • No app support for EQ

There may be plenty that corporations can do to make their portable Bluetooth speakers more appealing. They’ll dress them up in retro rock’n’roll garb just like the Marshall Emberton II, they’ll make ’em tough and waterproof just like the JBL Flip 6, or they’ll load them up with voice assistants and multiroom Wi-Fi connectivity just like the Sonos Roam.

But let’s agree that in the event you really need to face out from the gang, your Bluetooth speaker must seem like a mechanical spider from outer space, complete with color-changing LEDs. I can only be talking about one Bluetooth speaker: the Gravastar Mars Pro.

It’s all in regards to the mecha

Gravastar Mars Pro seen from a side angle.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

For those who’re going to query why a Bluetooth speaker must seem like it just escaped from the MechWarrior video game franchise, or why it may also bear a passing resemblance to DOR-15 from the Disney’s 2007 animated feature film, Meet the Robinsons, just stop reading. I mean, you may as well be asking why Doc Brown decided to construct a time machine out of a DeLorean.

So let’s skip past the why and get right into the wow. Gravastar has created a beautiful conversation piece within the Mars Pro, which starts at $230 for the matte black or white paint job, after which quickly jumps as high as $350 for the Shark 14 Special Edition, which bolts a shield and dual gatling guns onto the speaker’s sides. I especially just like the War Damaged Yellow version.

Gravastar Mars Pro LED lighting details.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The detail and craftsmanship are top-notch and so are the materials. The predominant housing uses two zinc alloy shell pieces — one large shell that absolutely covers the highest hemisphere, and a smaller one that gives the structural support for the tripod legs — and the remaining is high impact plastic. At 7.5-inches tall, and with a 7-inch spread between the points of every leg, it’s not massive, but at 5.55 kilos, it has some serious heft.

The body and legs are adorned with exposed metal bolts, and the legs are partially articulated — the talons can tuck themselves under the lower leg segment for a more compact shape. But as cool because the Mars Pro’s body could also be, it’s the LEDs that steal the show.

Gravastar Mars Pro leg close-up.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Gravastar says there are six in total, and possibly that’s the variety of actual LEDs it used. But in the event you count the variety of individually lit areas, it’s as high as 17. They’re color-changing, too: You’ll be able to pick from a menacing red, a high-tech green, two friendly shades of blue, a warning-sign amber, or a psychedelic purple. And in the event you can’t resolve, there’s a mode that constantly cycles through all of them, and one other mode that makes them pulse in time to your tunes.

My only criticism of the design is the labeling, which sits on the portion of the belly that faces forward. If the speaker sits below shoulder height — say on a desk, beside your monitor — chances are you’ll not notice it, but I believe Gravastar must have tried to cover it a bit higher.

Gravastar Mars Pro charging port.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

On the very bottom is the USB-C charging port, which conveniently doubles as an analog line-in port. Within the box, you get each sorts of cable: USB-A to USB-C for charging, and USB-C to three.5mm headphone jack for external sources. Unfortunately, there’s no approach to pipe digital audio into the Mars Pro from a pc or phone using a USB cable.

Hidden across the back, out of sight, are three small control buttons. One for Bluetooth pairing, one for power and play/pause, and one to alter the LED light mode. An LED-lit volume strip runs along the highest of the shell, like a flattened mohawk, and you possibly can tap anywhere along its length to regulate the extent. The one thing missing is a approach to track skip.

Satisfying sound

Gravastar Mars Pro seen from behind.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

While there’s no doubt that the design of the Mars Pro is otherworldly, its sound quality is decidedly right down to earth. Which shouldn’t be to say that it’s bad — in reality, it sounds excellent considering its size — but it surely’s also pretty clear that you simply’re paying mostly for the speaker’s looks, and never its sound.

Gravastar says the two-way speaker (a front-facing tweeter positioned directly in front of a woofer, with a passive bass radiator facing the back) is rated for 20 watts of power, but it is a bit deceiving. I had trouble getting the spherical spider to pump out anywhere near the amount of a Marshall Emberton, which has a similar power rating, probably since the Emberton uses two full-range drivers and two passive radiators — a more efficient design. Plug it into an analog source and the utmost volume drops even further.

Gravastar Mars Pro volume control close-up.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

There’s nice clarity, especially in the upper frequencies, and that bass radiator helps the Mars Pro sound full and grounded. The midranges are decent, with good detail, but when distortion creeps in every now and then, that is where you’ll hear it.

Due to the coaxial layout of the 2 drivers and its very small circular grille, the sound is very directional. Any off-axis listening definitely loses some fidelity. Sit the spider in front of you and aim its glowing aperture and your head and also you’ll be positive, but exit that sweet spot, and there’s a rapid drop off in clarity.

I discovered myself wondering what sorts of tweaks I could accomplish if I had access to some sort of EQ adjustments. But, unfortunately, there’s no companion app for the Mars Pro, so you possibly can make no adjustments of any kind — including firmware updates should any be needed.

Due to its gaming-inspired looks, you is likely to be tempted to think about the Mars Pro as a gaming speaker. But when that’s your intended use, you’ll have to follow its wired connection. On the wireless side, you get a alternative of SBC or AAC codecs, but neither of those are especially good for latency, with as much as 300 milliseconds of lag, and Gravastar doesn’t offer a low-latency mode.

Still, in the event you’re in search of a approach to enjoy your tunes out loud, as an alternative of counting on your computer speakers, or your phone’s internal drivers, the Mars Pro is a wonderfully capable companion. If you’ve the money, and like a little bit symmetry in your life, you possibly can pick up a second Mars Pro and switch the 2 units right into a stereo pair. I didn’t get a probability to try it, but given how directional these speakers are, it could sound really fun.

Hours of power

I’m assuming that one reason the Mars Pro has a lot heft is that it should have a giant battery inside that orb of a body. Gravastar says you possibly can expect about 15 hours of life on a single charge, but presumably that number will vary depending in your use of the LEDs and the amount level.

Trouble is, there’s no easy approach to tell how much battery life is remaining, especially in the event you use it with the optional analog line-in cable, as this robotically disables the Bluetooth connection.

Price it for many who find it irresistible

Is the Mars Pro price its $230 price? As a speaker, no. You’ll be able to definitely recuperate, greater, more rewarding sound from other Bluetooth speakers for less money. But you can’t — must not — judge this spider from Mars on its audio chops alone.

A lot effort has been put into making this device so way more than a speaker, that for lots of folks, even in the event you just plugged it into power and left the LED lights on all day, the Mars Pro could almost justify its cost on that alone. Speaking of that, Gravastar sells a $60 charging base, with its own set of LED lights — perfect for maximizing the attention candy factor.

So in the event you dig the mecha-sci-fi vibe that this speaker puts out, I believe you possibly can rest easy knowing that despite the fact that it may not provide top-notch sound, the Mars Pro is a completely unique, beautifully crafted accessory that gives you a planet’s price of pride of ownership each time you take a look at it.

Editors’ Recommendations

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Elgin Shopping Mall
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart