Stelle begin their marketing of today’s review product with “designed to bridge the gap between home décor and technology”. In the vast majority of cases that’s quite some gap and of course, one person’s décor is another person’s mess. So, the Audio Pillar is Stelle’s attempt to bring a high style (and quality) Bluetooth speaker into our lives. Let’s take a look at it…
Packaging and Bundle
The Audio Pillar arrives in a box which looks pretty good. There are flashes of Apple style design such as the top surface showing the product top on a white background. There is a limited amount of product info on the box and then inside we get some product documentation, power adapter and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm flat cable along with various travel plugs. This allows us to connect a device with a standard headphone output to the speaker if we can’t (or don’t want to) use Bluetooth.
The Audio Pillar is 4.5×4.5x12inches in size and weighs 3lb. various colours are available, including the silver shown above as well as the likes of black and bronze. It is worth noting that other than the black version all have a silver top and base section.
Inside the Audio Pillar we have a 2.1 stereo system (proprietary 1.5” acoustic drivers) with a 3” subwoofer. Also present is a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery with up to 15hours of playback capability.
Looking at the top of the device we find the Stelle logo in the centre and beside this, shining out from under the grill is a power/charge LED. Towards the front are our volume up/down buttons and towards the back is a button for sync and another to start/end a call on our mobile device.
On the bottom edge of the audio pillar we find a power button (which fires off a built on voice saying hello/goodbye), the power input, a USB port we can use to charge a phone and then the 3.5mm audio input. In terms of the base, it is a plain black rubber.
User Experience and Conclusion
In terms of build quality the Stelle Audio Pillar impresses from the moment we unbox it. There is nothing plastic, flimsy or lightweight about his unit. The main body of the pillar is solid and while it could potentially get bashed/dented it should take a lot of force to do so and even then, given the thickness, we doubt any internal components would be damaged. There is a decent weight to the unit which keeps it stable on our desk, in addition to the rubber base and the buttons all have a quality feel to them too.
For the setup and functionality there is also a lot to like. We press one button to pair and that’s about it really (along with the usual device options on our phone/tablet). For those who want it even simpler, or more traditional, there is of course that 3.5mm input. The main functions on the pillar are backed by audio/voice feedback which adds a feel of quality to the experience and it is great to be able to charge our mobile device from the speaker rather than needing a separate plug.
All of the above help the Audio Pillar justify its £299 price tag but that can only be completed if it delivers on the performance front. From the battery we didn’t quite get the advertised 15 hours but we did easily exceed 10 hours which is good from a single charge and the range was also decent (50m rated) and so should easily stretch round a normal house.
For audio quality, speakers of this type rarely impress and there is a lot of cheap, low quality rubbish out there. The Stelle Audio Pillar exceeded our expectations in terms of audio quality. It offers loads of bass and a nice clear vocals. It sounds best on acoustic sources, or those with limited instruments where the clarity really shines however is very capable in more demanding situations also. As an added bonus there is more than enough volume available from the unit to provide audio for a reasonable BBQ with friends, and will no doubt impress with its appearance too.
Pricing: Stellé Audio £299