Big thank you to Gravastar for sending the Mars Pro to review!
Full disclosure: This is a paid review but I made it clear to them that I do not guarantee positive reviews or recommendations – I make in-depth, honest evaluations based on my impressions and the ultimate value that the product may or may not provide.
Greetings mate and Welcome aboard! Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
At A Glance
In The Box
1x USB Cable
1x AUX cable
1x User Manual
Note: They are doing 20% off. Just use code DJSTUDIO (will become 16% off after 5/31/22). Act now!
- Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.0
- Net Weight: 1.3kg
- Output power: 20W
- Package dimensions: 205mm x 205mm x 206mm
- Battery Life: 15H (65% output)
- Battery Capacity: 2500maHX4
- Materials: Zinc Alloy
- Full Range Subwoofer Drivers
- Triangular Support Structure
- 6 RGB Lights
- Touch Volume Control
- True Wireless Stereo
- Transmission Range: 10M
- Power Supply: 5V/2A
Out of all the products I’ve ever reviewed on this site (and there are quite a number of them to be sure), the Mars Pro from Gravastar is by far the coolest.
If you frequent this blog on a regular basis, you’re probably familiar with my ever-growing disdain for stuff and the neverending pursuit of placing emphasis on gear rather than the music.
Part of the reason I vehemently oppose this unapologetically awful trend is that it’s created a sea of absolute garbage – products that have no business existing and only serve to confuse people more than anything.
This is especially prevalent with headphones that are almost carbon copies of others, only, they’re not made nearly as well and sound horrendous.
An example would be every new manufacturer under the sun copying the original M50x design but doing it badly.
Even so, a product like the Mars Pro comes along very seldom and absolutely stands out from the crowd in the best way possible.
Bear with me as I explain.
Imagine for a second you’re in a junkyard looking for something specific.
You don’t know what it is, but you’ll know it once you see it.
That was the assignment tasked to my sculpture class and me in 2011 when I attended college at Western Carolina University.
We had to build, and specifically weld, something unique out of scraps from a junkyard – actual pieces of garbage that someone else threw away.
That’s right you heard me correctly. We took a field trip to … a junkyard.
Oh boy, where do I sign up!?
It was quite a daunting excursion, to say the least, but it ended up being a lot of fun and an experience I will never forget.
The irony is that most of the stuff I came across was completely forgettable.
In fact, I can’t even remember anything I saw aside from the pieces I used to build what I dubbed “The Manipulation Device.”
This contraption involved some interesting-looking scraps of metal/steel and a cage, but there was something that stood out from everything else – something so unique that I still to this day have a hard time believing I found it.
It was a ceramic monkey with his hands over his eyes. You know, one of those “See no evil” type things.
I knew right then and there that I was going to craft something special and that I’d always remember my adventure in the junkyard.
Over 10 years later I can still see it in my mind – the moment I picked it up and held it high in the air like Rafiki holding Simba in the Lion King.
This is how I feel about the Mars Pro.
I see this unique-looking Bluetooth speaker as a hidden gem buried within a sea of trash.
What makes it so special, you ask?
Let’s dive in and learn more.
Build & Aesthetic
There’s no doubt in my mind a lot of thought went into this project from a conceptual standpoint.
Don’t believe me?
Take a look at the original sketch.
First off, the speaker looks like something out of Star Wars (or the original Twilight Zone’s “Invaders” episode if you’re familiar), and it even dons a similar-looking font on the side – one that reads “Mars Pro”.
Gravastar chose a fantastic-looking type here and being that I’m a graphic designer obsessed with typography, I really do appreciate the selection.
In addition to that, the weight of the Mars Pro will likely be the second thing that jumps out at you.
In your hands, it feels absolutely marvelous and has just enough heft to deter any doubts about build.
Coming in at almost 3 lbs. (2.86 lbs.) or 1.3kg, it’s robust, feels incredibly durable, and practically screams “I’m a quality speaker.”
In short, it really is built like a tank.
They struck a perfect balance between not too heavy and not too light, as I feel it’s a perfect size.
In other words, it isn’t too big and bulky to the point of you not wanting to take it to the lake, pool, or beach, but it’s also not so light that it would blow away if a swift breeze came through.
It’s obvious that Gravastar really took its time coming up with an exemplary design, as the attention to detail here is nothing short of astonishing.
If the zinc-alloy finish and cannonball-like design weren’t cool enough, it also has adjustable feet complete with incredibly tiny, ever-so-subtle pads on the bottom that really put your mind at ease when placing it on a hard surface.
No scratches, no noise, nothing. And it doesn’t move. At all.
I got a chance to take the Mars Pro swimming at the lake and the experience was pretty awesome.
One huge benefit of placing it on any surface is that the rubber feet ensure it won’t move at all – even on an enormous Pontoon boat the size of Texas.
Again, the attention to detail here is exemplary
Here are some photos I took (Click the image for best quality):
Furthermore, the feet fold under when you’re ready to transport the unit, and rotating them feels incredible.
Again, the build here is simply outstanding and I can’t get over how well everything was handled.
On the back, you’ve got the bass port and the front contains the tweeter which will handle mid-range and treble duties.
Finally, On the underbelly, there’s a USB Type-C charging port, and the unit comes with both an auxiliary cable and a USB cable.
With that, let’s discuss its features.
Features & Usage
Starting it up is a breeze.
Just long-press the power button on the back and it will make a really official-sounding “Whoosh”, with some machinery-type whirs and zips.
Lol, I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s totally rad. They made it sound like a big robotic thing powering up.
In fact, it made my heart drop into my stomach the first time because I wasn’t expecting it.
Then a very nice British-sounding man says “Ready to Pair” and you’ll notice a flashing light near the back that indicates it’s in pairing mode.
Again, the attention to detail is excellent here as that light has a small BT icon above it indicating what it is.
On the other side is another light indicating charge status.
To pair, grab your phone, go into Bluetooth settings, and hit “Search.”
It should come up as “Gravastar Mars Pro” immediately.
He’ll then say “Bluetooth connected” and you’re ready to go.
“Ready to pair.” This will search and connect. A single click also disconnects the device from your phone.
You can obviously do this on your phone as well if you want.
If you have 2 speakers you can connect them both.
Press and hold the Bluetooth buttons on both of the speakers for 3 seconds and the Bluetooth indicator will flash rapidly.
Now single-click the Bluetooth button on the main speaker (the indicator light will flash once), and double-click the Bluetooth button on the slave speaker (the indicator light will flash twice).
Now the 2 speakers are paired.
After a successful connection, the main speaker’s Bluetooth light flashes, and the indicator of the slave speaker is always on. It will say “Network connected.”
Press the Bluetooth and Light Buttons simultaneously.
To Delete The Bluetooth Record
Press the Bluetooth button and On/Off button simultaneously and hold for 5 seconds.
The nice British man’s voice will say “Bluetooth Connection Deleted”, only this time he sounds a little bit irritated. xD
The button below the Power button acts as your play pause via a single click.
Perhaps the coolest feature of the Mars Pro is the 3-mode lighting scheme and your choice of 6 colors: Red, Cyan, Blue, Gold/Light Orange, Green, and Magenta.
Here’s a mini-gallery I put together so you can see what you’re getting:
What’s neat is that you can choose a single color, have the colors cycle, or there’s even a mode where the colors pulsate to the rhythm of the music.
Upon close examination, it does actually match the song which you’ll likely find terrific.
You can also select a color as it pulsates.
I wish it would pulsate while changing colors simultaneously, but that’s a tiny nitpick.
To cycle between modes, just double-click the LED button. To cycle between colors, you’ll single-click.
On the top, you’ll find the volume slider bar which is also pretty neat. It’s a touch function which I find very slick and futuristic, but I noticed that it’s very sensitive.
For example, if you pick up the unit wrong or accidentally graze the volume bar (which I keep doing a lot), the volume will shoot back down almost immediately.
In other words, it can behave erratically at times.
A minor annoyance and I probably won’t dock much off for this, but it’s something to keep in mind.
All in all, it’s very responsive, feels great to the touch, and is also in a super convenient spot.
No longer will you be fiddling with volume dials, buttons, etc.
Adjusting the volume has never been easier.
By now you may be wondering how it sounds.
Look, I’ve heard a lot of high-end gear: really amazing speakers, way-too-expensive headphones, overpriced DACS that all do the same thing, and pretty much everything in between.
And I’ll be honest, I was not expecting to be impressed with the sound quality here at all.
I mean, it’s a Bluetooth Speaker for crying out loud; how good could it possibly sound?
Well, my friend, it sounds pretty excellent for what it is.
Gravastar claims their built-in proprietary DSP audio algorithms were developed to deliver deep bass, accurate mid-range, crisp highs, and equal-loudness contour.
“Our technology produces high clarity and punchy bass even at low volume.”
That was taken from the manual^
What do I say?
I’ll have to take their word here because it does actually sound pretty darn good.
It’s clear, crisp, and lively.
Is the mid-bass a bit too accentuated? Perhaps, but you probably won’t care that much because that distinction is rather subtle.
In addition to that, this product isn’t really targeted toward audiophiles.
It’s mainly for casual listeners and people who want to chillax by the pool or beach with some tunes.
I’m also a firm believer that most of the actual quality of a track comes from the track itself – how it was recorded, mixed, and mastered.
In other words,
with a good source, the Mars Pro sounds phenomenal, and for the most part, the bass kicks deep and sounds relatively clean all things considered.
Put it this way, you’re probably going to be impressed with how it sounds regardless, especially given it’s a small-ish Bluetooth speaker.
The fact that you can just pick it up and take it wherever you want is also incredibly convenient and a huge added benefit.
Today I re-potted all of my herbs and vegetables and figured it would be a perfect time to take the Mars Pro outside for a test run.
In short, the sound filled up the space extremely well and most certainly sounded much bigger than its tiny footprint would indicate.
This phenomenon was also experienced with iFi’s Aurora, and while the Mars Pro isn’t going to necessarily emulate surround sound speakers as the Aurora kind of did, it’s super impressive that it’s able to give off such a grand soundscape.
All in all, I’m really impressed and would absolutely recommend this thing to anyone and everyone.
To sum up, I’ll go through a list of things I liked and perhaps a couple of things Gravastar could improve in the future.
What I liked:
- It’s really convenient and works immediately. No pairing issues, etc.
- It’s incredibly durable and built really well. You can tell a lot of thought went into this project.
- The aesthetic and design are remarkable. If you want to turn heads and start conversations at the beach, the pool, or at a party, bring this little beast with you and play some jams.
- The attention to detail is stunning and the small rubberized feet at the bottom really sold me.
- The price-to-performance ratio is excellent and I think the value for what you pay is just right.
What could be improved:
- I think Gravastar should absolutely include some kind of high-quality carrying bag here given I’m most certainly going to be taking this thing with me to the beach and pool. As it stands now I’m going to have to figure out a way to not look like a complete geek when transporting it. xD
I really can’t come up with anything else I’d improve!
My regular readers and subscribers know by this point how picky I am when it comes to recommendations, but the Mars Pro is certainly an exception here.
I mean, what’s not to love?
If you’re looking for an incredibly built, unique, great-sounding Bluetooth speaker, look no further.
The Mars Pro from Gravastar is an almost monumental achievement in conceptual design/development and makes the perfect musical companion no matter the season.
Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Gravastar Mars Pro Speaker review and came away with some valuable insight.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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Is the Mars Pro worth a purchase? Do you have any experience with Bluetooth Speakers? I’d love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,