Pillar: Portable Speaker System (Review)

It’s not a stylish bottle of perfume, it’s an expensive portable speaker system

Stellé Audio Pillar is an awesome portable Bluetooth speaker. Available in Apple Stores and online, it took us by surprise from the second it arrived in the office. It feels bulletproof to the touch – light enough to put in a bag and take to the beach, and sturdy enough to do some serious damage to potential muggers on your way back home. And the sound? We’ll get to that in a moment.

It’s not just a speaker, either. It connects to any Bluetooth-enabled device for music-listening purposes, but it can also act as a hands-free system for answering phone calls. Plus, it has an internal battery for 15 hours of mobile fun, with a 3.5mm line-in port bringing up the rear so you can connect non-Bluetooth audio sources.

Portable speaker system

No matter how classy a product like this looks, and regardless of how premium it feels to the touch, a speaker that costs £299 has to sound pretty great to impress. Thankfully, Pillar does just that. Despite the cylindrical form factor, the Pillar contains two 1.5-inch acoustic drivers towards the top and a 3-inch subwoofer at the bottom. And they combine to create a balanced sound that took us totally by surprise. It really does sound great for a device of this shape and size.

This is not a speaker you’d use to fill a room at a party, but for private listening even in large rooms; the sound is full-bodied, crisp and robust across the board. We couldn’t detect any holes in the midrange, just a smooth sonic wash of purity.

Of course, that’s not to say it’s the best sound system ever. It’s still just a portable Bluetooth speaker, but given how many of these we’ve tested that just sound abysmal, it’s a revelation. Our only complaint is where the on/off button is on the back, right at the base – it’s awkward to reach – it should have been on the top with the other buttons, and this is enough of a bugbear to lose a star.

Verdict:

Not room-shakingly powerful, but it sounds fantastic. Expensive, yes, but it sounds as good as it looks.

  • Great looks
  • Excellent sound
  • Difficult to reach on/off button
  • It’s pricey

£299 Manufacturer Stellé Audio, stelleaudio.com

Drivers 2×1.5-inch, 1×3-inch

Features Built-in microphone for speakerphone capabilities, Bluetooth wireless range of up to 50ft