Can you fall in love with a Bluetooth speaker?
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself over the last few weeks, gaming away on my mobile and laptop, playing Game Pass titles via the power of the cloud, listening to tunes via Youtube Music and having that audio pumped out – at volume – by the GravaStar Mars Pro Bluetooth Speaker.
It’s a device that was intriguing from the get-go with GravaStar promising that their Mars Pro speaker would be capable of letting you “Hear everything and feel it”, providing, “Sound from the Future”.
Now, you wouldn’t think that a Bluetooth speaker would be right at the front of our gaming wishlist, what with our Xbox Series X fully hooked up to a well built out Sonos system. But whilst Sonos powers our direct console gaming audio, it’s not something that fits with the more mobile nature of Game Pass play via mobile phone; something that we’ve found ourselves doing more and more of in recent months, mostly thanks to the likes of PowerA’s MOGA XP7-X Plus and Razer’s Kishi.
It’s here where GravaStar come in.
We’ve been flicking between Bluetoothing our mobiles with the Mars Pro Speaker and the smaller – much smaller – GravaStar Sirus Pro buds, with choice dictated by our mood. Do we want to annoy pretty much everyone in the vicinity with uber-loud public audio, or kick back in the corner with the more personal buds.
When the time has called for it, the Mars Pro has been our go-to.
From initially taking it out of its box to gasps of glee – my daughter still thinks it’s the cutest speaker she has ever seen – to bearing witness to the sheer power and sound quality that it’s been able to provide, the GravaStar Mars Pro is a seriously interesting option.
Visually, it looks great. A sci-fi robotic little orb in which the tripod-like feet flip out to ensure it’s utterly stable on any surface, the hand-painted (yep, no two speakers are alike) ‘war-damaged yellow’ version that we’ve been hands on with looks superb; albeit that we think it’s pretty orange in person. That beauty may be in the eye of the beholder though, as whilst our gaming head adores how it looks, we fully understand that it may struggle to fit in with certain aesthetics. GravaStar have your back there though with multiple colourways and variations available – black, white and special editions aplenty.
We’re big fans of the design and even more so as the Mars Pro lights up when in use, detailed around the front face, the legs, the rear and around the speaker drivers. These colours can be amended via the ‘light’ button, letting you scroll through greens, blues, purples, oranges and more. Solid state RGB lights are present, but letting the hues breath slowly, gradually working through the spectrum is extremely nice. Better still though is the music beat mode that can be switched on. This does as you’d expect of a name, the lights flashing away to whatever audio is being played through the speaker. It’s a real selling point, utterly brilliant and can turn any room into a party state. The lights absolutely nail the beat too – we’re sitting here typing away watching in awe as Ministry’s ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’ is blasted out via the Mars Pro, with lights accompanying it. It’s so good, we may just have it on loop.
That light button is hidden away well with the rest of the options on the top of the Mars Pro. There’s a power button too – a press of which is delivered with a great little power on/off statement of intent, helping make the Mars Pro feel alive. A Bluetooth button is in house as well, although this is only really likely to be used the once. Connecting to your Bluetooth device is as easy as pie, and once confirmed we’ve not found a single dropout taking place. The connection here is totally solid.
Turning up or down your audio is a cinch too, and whilst you’ll more than likely use the volume controls on your mobile or laptop, a touch sensitive bar on the top – again worked in well with the rest of the aesthetic design – is a neat touch.
All good eh? But what about really making the most of that mobile gaming that we’ve been using the Mars Pro with? Well, power is delivered by a standard USB-C port, placed in the bottom of the speaker and totally out of the way, but this has a built-in battery too, letting you take your gaming anywhere you like. If you want to take this on picnic trips out into the wilds or make the most of it for a garden BBQ or party, it really does fit the bill. There’s tons of battery life to be found from the Mars Pro Speaker and we’d happily hold GravaStar to the fifteen hours of power they are promising. Of course, if you wish to have it plugged in at all times, that’s obviously doable – the cables you need are included but we’ve hooked this up to any one of a multitude of USB-C cables we’ve had sprawled around the place.
Being a Bluetooth speaker, it’s the audio that pumps out of this thing which is going to be of utmost importance. I’m pleased to say that for such a small, yet hefty, unit, it sounds pretty damn great. It’s certainly got a ton of punch about it.
We’ve been mostly using this for Game Pass sessions via our mobile, but have also utilised it for pumping out some banging tunes. Personal taste dictating whether they are actually ‘banging’. The Mars Pro has coped with everything that has been thrown at it in style, and whilst it can’t match our Sonos system, in our eyes, unless you’re spending big money, very little ever could. Especially not something that is as small as the Mars Pro.
That said, this copes with all levels of audio really well, capable of delivering enough detail to cover all bases. You’re getting true stereo sound via left and right channels, whilst the dual speaker 20W Superbass system that GravaStar has included is immense. As you’d expect, this is super bassy – something which on a personal level is adored – but it never seems to miss a beat in terms of the mids and highs either. It’s pretty much a case of throwing what the hell you like at the Mars Pro and it’ll cope.
Except that is for one thing; one thing that many may not even consider using this for – gaming. See, in terms of the gaming, we’ve not found any title capable of pushing the GravaStar Mars Pro beyond any limits, but like the majority of Bluetooth audio options on the market, we have been let down by the lag between on-screen action and the deliverance of the accompanying audio. That’s obviously a Bluetooth issue of the times, and whilst we’d not be using this – nor Game Pass mobile cloud gaming for that matter – as a professional set up, it caters for the quick gaming hits we find ourselves taking in via mobile. A fix for that lag? Use the USB-C to 3.5mm jack cable that is included. It’s not ideal, but it works.
So, the big question: can you fall in love with a Bluetooth speaker? The obvious answer is no – that would just be a bit weird. But if it were totally possible, the GravaStar Mars Pro Bluetooth Speaker would be the one giving us that teasing look. It’s utterly unique and looks brilliant, but it sounds even more awesome, perfect for those who are either looking for a quirky speaker unit that can be moved from space to space, or as a desktop companion. It may not be the best option for pairing up with cloud based mobile gaming via the likes of Xbox Game Pass, but aside from that, this is a speaker that will bring much delight into your world.
Huge thanks go out to GravaStar for providing us with a review unit of their Mars Pro Bluetooth Speaker. If you wish to grab one for yourself, hit up GravaStar direct. We’d highly recommend the war-damaged yellow.