Home audio devices have been around a long time. Since the invention of the phonograph in 1877 home audio has consisted of a device to reproduce sound and a device to produce sound waves. After that there have been several different methods of sound reproduction made like record players and receivers. There was also the invention of radio in 1895. As time went on we have listened to music from radio, records, 8-track tapes, cassette tapes and CDs. Now we have streaming music and can download music files. We have amplifiers and highly evolved speaker systems. Now audio equipment manufacturers or looking for new innovations. One product stemming from this search is the Levitating speaker.
The levitating speaker is a speaker encased in a spherical or disk shaped enclosure that levitates over a base platform. The OM/ONE is billed as the worlds first levitating speaker.
The OM/ONE uses Bluetooth technology to receive a signal from your phone or any Bluetooth enabled device. It also has a microphone for conference calls. It uses a battery as it’s power source which can be recharged by plugging a charger into a USB port in the base. The levitation is made by two magnets, one in the speaker and the other in the base. You have to find the magnetic “sweet spot” between the speaker and the base in order for levitation to take place. Finding this spot can be difficult by hand and with some levitating speakers there is a placement tool to help with that. Once it is levitating it spins so that music can be hard evenly throughout the room. There is also a separate charging dock for the orb so you can charge it up and then take it with you for music on the go. The cost of OM/ONE is $97.50.
Reviews have not been positive for the OM/ONE. There have been many complaints about it’s sound quality, it’s ability to levitate and charging the battery. If your let the speaker orb fall against the base the magnets will be held against each other and if you leave them like that while the power is on the system will burn out and not work anymore. Apparently customer service for this product is non-existent.
Another levitating speaker is the ICEORB, pictured below.
Like the OM/ONE, ICEORB uses Bluetooth, magnets and has a rechargeable battery. It has an orb containing speakers that levitates and spins. The orb can be used separately, on the go, as a portable speaker. ICORB’s base can be plugged in to a wall socket and works as a charging dock for your smartphone or tablet. A difference is that ICEORB has four indicator lights to help you find the sweet spot necessary for levitation. ICEORB works with NFC enabled devices as well as Bluetooth which is another capability that makes it unique. For $149.99 you can have a brand new ICEORB.
Users of the ICEORB say that the sound quality is lacking, but like the cool look. The complaints about sound quality are the sort associated with most small speakers, they lack bass. Some users complain about difficulties getting the speaker orb into the right place above the base for it to levitate.
There are several levitating speakers similar to the ICEORB like the MOXO X-1 which costs about $20 less.
A few different companies have made levitating speakers like the MOXO X-1. There is the SainSonic SS-01 which is almost identical to the MOXO X-1 but costs a little less. The PowerLead Flat F400 and Findway Levitating Bluetooth Speakers are also almost identical to the X-1. MOXO also made the X-2 which has a band of colored LED lights around the speaker orb that changes colors. It costs about $60 more than the X-1.
The Music Angel is similar to the levitating speakers I’ve mentioned so far but there are a couple differences.
It has a different shaped base and features flashing LED light effects. Personally I like the color of lights on it a lot! There is a model with red lights though. There is a control panel on the top of the orb which is another good point. It still doesn’t provide sound for the audiophile but according to reviews it’s sound is good. Getting the orb in levitating position still may take a while to get the hang of. Music Angel costs a bit less, at $88.99.
Mars by Crazybaby has some major differences and is now the leader of the pack when it comes to levitating Bluetooth speakers.
Mars has a UFO shaped disk speaker that simply sets in the base. When you turn it on it rises and levitates. This separates it from other levitating speakers. Also it has two speakers, a tweeter in the floating disk and a sub woofer in the base so you get a full range of sound. It was made for quality Hi-Fi sound. These two characteristics satisfy most of the complaints about other levitating speakers! Like the others it spins delivering sound 360 degrees so no matter where you are in a room you get quality sound. With Mars the volume level increases or decreases according to your distance from it, a feature that can be set how you want it along with several other things through the Crazybaby app. The battery Mars runs on lasts for eight hours. When it starts running low, or when you turn Mars off the levitating disk will descend back down onto the base. The portable disk is made of aircraft grade aluminum so it is very durable, even waterproof! Mars was crowdfunded with Indiegogo and it’s inventors are Allen Zhang and Steven Zhu. You can own Mars for $329.
Now for some complaints about Mars and Crazybaby. Overall people like Mars itself and it’s sound quality. Going between the Crazybaby app and other apps can cause the music to stop and/or the Crazybaby app to freeze and require a restart. There are preset EQ settings instead of an equalizer function that your can set yourself. Mars does work with other music apps so these problems may not be that big of a deal. As Crazybaby is a startup and this is the first edition of Mars I’m sure they will work out the kinks in their app. Personally if I worked with the Crazybaby guys I’d make the app better and also add more cool lighting effects to Mars.
If you want a levitating speaker that is easy to get levitating and that has great sound quality I’d go with Mars by Crazybaby. It costs more than the others but it is made with quality in mind. It may not be perfect yet but the kinks are in the app which you don’t have to use. Also, I think that soon the kinks in the app will be worked out.
As a toy for young children one of the less expensive levitation speakers might be a good choice. Kids aren’t usually audiophiles, and have more patience, time and the creativity to be able to get an orb to levitate.
Something to keep in mind about all levitating speakers is that they all use powerful magnets. Sometimes these kinds of magnets can cause problems with smartphones and other devices. I’d recommend keeping such devices a few feet away from a levitating speaker.