Having owned and even reviewed some Bluetooth speakers, I find that they usually fall into three categories. First are those blocky, unattractive speakers that usually offer great sound. Second, are beautifully designed ones that offer lackluster sound. And of course, the third category is reserved for speakers that excel in both areas but come with a hefty price tag. Oh, and then we have the robotic Gravastar Venus Bluetooth speaker that just goes against the grain and seemingly brings everything you’d want from a speaker at a highly affordable price.
Gravastar Venus is available for purchase over on Gravastar website.
While it isn’t advanced enough to talk to you like during that little intro there, this little 100$ speaker is definitely still out of this world in many aspects. The first notable thing about Gravastar Venus is the design and the overall product presentation. The packaging is very colorful and thematically appropriate, even coming with a small comic book of Venus sound blasting some aliens. As far as the speaker itself goes, it’s one of the more uniquely designed ones out there. As a matter of fact, the robotic design makes it so appealing that it would be something to proudly display on your desk or shelf, even if it wasn’t a speaker.
Looking at it, it’s 9 cm tall and 9 cm wide at its widest point, but definitely don’t let the relatively small size fool you. Venus is exceptionally well constructed since most of it is made out of heavy-duty zinc-alloy. This fact is made evident as soon as you first hold it in your hand where you’ll probably be surprised by its hefty weight of 417 grams. It feels so solid and so robust that I wouldn’t worry about accidental falls leaving anything more than slight scuffs on the surface of the material. What little plastic there is delegated to the top portion of the speaker where the buttons reside and the small grille over the speaker driver.
Besides looking like an awesome little robot, Venus is filled to the brim with small details that give it even more personality. The most notable thing in that regard is the fairly vibrant and bright 6-color RGB ring surrounding the driver. The implementation is subtle and you can simply have one static color without any sort of special effects. I didn’t mind this at all since the light isn’t in your face and is there simply to give Venus a bit more flair.
The buttons and the branding give Venus some Overwatch D.Va vibes which is sure to make it even more appealing to the gaming audience. Speaking of buttons, there are four in total. The big left one represented by a dot is used to turn Venus on or off while the left, plus-shaped one is used for Bluetooth pairing. Two smaller buttons on the top are just simple protrusions that blend in nicely with the plastic and are used to increase and decrease the volume or change the ring LED color when pressed simultaneously.
The small three legs aren’t movable but they make the speaker very stable, and they even have some rubber on the bottom to absorb shocks and to prevent it from sliding around once the bass starts pumping. While I mostly used it on flat surfaces, Venus is made with portability in mind, and to that end, it has a small handle so you can hang and carry it around with you. I definitely don’t see it carried around someone’s neck or hanged in a moving car due to its weight, but hey, the option is there if you find a time and place for it.
One last thing to mention in terms of the design is the fact that the Type-C charging port is located on the bottom of Venus. This isn’t an issue if you are using the included cable or the charging base which is sold separately, but it becomes one if you try using any other Type-C cable lying around. Essentially, you’ll have to lie the speaker down or put it in some other position where using it while charging it might not exactly be ideal.
Gravastar Venus is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and it’s amazingly fast to recognize and pair up with other devices. What’s more, the connection is rock solid and there’s no delay or interruptions to speak of when playing media from any connected device. Speaking of playing media, Venus sounds absolutely amazing, especially considering its size.
Spec-wise, it’s equipped with a 1.75in 10W full-range speaker whose power is further boosted by the inclusion of the movable diaphragm in the back. The latter is responsible for Venus having a surprisingly punchy bass and you can literally see it moving and even feel it pumping the air. What’s more, the sound is crisp with the mids and highs being fairly consistent and clear across all volume levels. Seriously, many people I showed it to were simply astonished at how loud it could get and how clear anything I played sounded even with the sound maxed out.
Predictably, playing music is the strongpoint of Venus, and using it for that is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Despite it being a directional speaker, it’s loud enough to fill even a crowded room with sound and is also perfectly okay for outdoor usage. While clarity isn’t an issue when watching movies or playing games, some details do get lost at higher volume levels. Despite this, I found myself often using Venus when watching Netflix or Youtube on my smartphone as the sound was miles above what mine or any smartphone could ever hope to deliver.
Lastly, Venus has a substantial 1500mAh battery that will consistently last you somewhere between 8 to 10 hours and will charge up from 0 to 100 in just under 2 hours. The volume level is the only factor that will influence the battery drain since the RGB ring can’t be completely turned off. Still, 8 hours at the minimum is a great result and the speaker will even turn off after half an hour of inactivity to conserve battery.
Since I had only one I didn’t get a chance to test out the feature where you can connect two Venus speakers for a full-on stereo experience. I imagine this would solve some minute issues I had with using only one and would give you an even richer, crazier sound. It’s definitely something to consider If you aren’t afraid of a small-scale robot uprising or the fact that such setup would set you back for 200 dollars.