13th Aug2014

‘Stelle Audio Pillar’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stelle-Audio-Pillar-speaker

There have been many variations of the “luxury speaker” in the years since Apple unleashed its stylish iPhone range on the world. Many have tried, and many have failed to live up to the fashion-led design of Apple’s products. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great luxury speakers – a while ago we reviewed a Libratone speaker that was covered in cashmere which both looked and sounded fantastic. But that is the exception rather than the rule.

However now comes the Stelle Audio Pillar. Billed as a speaker for those who refuse to compromise style, the Stelle Pillar boasts, and I quote, “high-quality sound and fashion, a 3” subwoofer connecting to any Bluetooth enabled device in a 50ft range, with 15 hours of continuous play”.

That’s the PR spiel. But what’s the truth?

Well, truth be told the press release for the Stelle Audio Pillar isn’t far wrong. For a start the pillar looks absolutely stunning – the version we had for review was the Hi-gloss White model which just screamed elegance and luxury. But no matter how good a speaker looks or how expensive it feels, its the sound quality that counts. And this doesn’t disappoint. We previously reviewed the Libratone Zipp, a speaker billed as the first lossless audio speaker and frankly, given the sound reproduction on the the Stelle Audio Pillar, even though this is just a mere bluetooth speaker I could not tell the difference between the two!

The Pillar contains two 1.5-inch acoustic drivers towards the top and a 3-inch subwoofer at the bottom – what that means in layman’s terms is that the pillar is extremely well equipped to produce a well-balanced, well-round sound that belies the size of the product. The audio pumped out by the speaker is at once crisp yet bass-y, a near-perfect marriage of treble and bass and a mid-range that cannot be faulted. As was the case with the Zipp, the Stelle Audio Pillar is exactly what I want from a portable speaker, i.e.it gets very loud and there’s a ton of bass; and setting up the pillar is a doddle –  you can be up and running in less time than it will take to decided what track to play. As with the Zipp, the first track I tested the Stelle speaker with was DJ Khaled’s All I Do Is Win, which sounded superb blasting out at volume – as did my other go to “test track”, Country Folks by Bubba Sparxxx.

However the Stelle Audio Pillar is not just a bluetooth speaker, oh no… With a built-in microphone you can make and receive hands-free calls using the Stelle as both mic and speaker. And that purported 15 hours of playback? All true. Which is amazing given the size of the product and the sheer speaker power housed within.

It’s hard to fault the pillar – even if it does cost an arm and a leg – the audio quality is EASILY the best I’ve experienced from a bluetooth speaker, putting a lot of the more well-known names to shame (Beats I’m looking at you). The Stelle Audio Pillar is currently available in four colours; Hi Gloss White, Brushed Aluminum, Matte Black and Pewter. And it’s awesome.

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