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UPstage 360 – The Hi-Res Audio 3 Way Speaker with Smart Home Integration

The Upstage 360 is reportedly an innovation in speaker technology. In this review, you will learn if this speaker worth a buy.

Okay, so how does it really work?

Engineered by Soundmatters, it’s got a circular design that is supposed to put out sounds in all directions. That would certainly be an improvement on the single direction that comes from traditional speakers.

It’s also designed to use Bluetooth technology to link up with your smartphone. It can work to not only link up with Amazon’s Echo Dot, but it can dock it, as well. Google’s ChromeCast can cast it, and there’s an Aux-in. It’s also supposed to be portable, meaning you can take it anywhere, and it has a battery life of 6-10 hours.

Review and Discussion – Should you buy this speaker?

So, is it as good as it’s advertised to be?

Let’s start with some of the flaws that they openly advertise on their Kickstarter campaign page.

First of all, they advertise that it has a wide range of frequency- from 40 Hz- 40 kHz and they say that audiophiles will love it. However, audiophiles know that a variable of 10 like that means that it will get louder, but not give any more detail in the sound.

It would have better sound quality if it had a flat frequency response. The 360 design may actually compromise the sound quality, as well. That said, we’ll still have to wait and see once they start being shipped and fulfilled.

There are several issues that could come about with controlling it.

First of all, it’s Bluetooth. Anyone who has ever had to synch two Bluetooth devices knows that it can sometimes be a pain. Sometimes they synch up fine on the first try, but not always. Also, you can’t turn the Bluetooth all the way off.

So, if you were to need to have the Bluetooth shut off for some reason, but still wanted to use it, that’s not an option.

There’s no app to control the system, as of now. Your options are to control it with the Bluetooth on your smartphone, or via voice control on your Echo Dot, or to manually do it on the device itself. There is no remote control.

It’s supposed to be portable.

However, it’s 18.9” tall x 5.9” in diameter and weighs 6.17 lbs. That means it’s roughly the same size and weight of an infant. If you’ve ever lugged an infant around, you know it’s not easy, and this wouldn’t be, either.

At least an infant can kind of wrap its arms and legs around you. The speaker can’t. For this reason, it might be a good thing that the company isn’t planning on releasing any sort of multi-speaker system.

The Upstage speaker system won’t support all file types, so it’s not guaranteed that it will play every song in your library. For instance, it won’t support atpx files.

If it stops working for some reason, there’s a 1- year replacement warranty. It doesn’t work on man-made damages or improper usage, but at least there’s some sort of warranty on it. They’re not expecting to ship the speakers until at least July (September, globally), and they cost at least $329.

So, if you’re waiting that long just to get it and it costs that much, it had better have a warranty!

Is this speaker worth it? It’s a no from us. Comparing to this smart speaker that I found on Amazon, The UPstage 360 has a bulky design that is neither aesthetic nor compelling to some. Plus, the price is fairly expensive. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preferences and the final product received if it lives up to the hype. If you think this is for you, feel free to check out their project via the green link below.

UPstage 360 - The 360° Smart Speaker in Hi-Res Audio
UPstage 360 - The 360° Smart Speaker in Hi-Res Audio

This campaign is now funding on Kickstarter and will end on Thu, April 19 2018.

$329
6.6 Total Score
Average

A smart-home integrated speaker that gives you 360˚ surrounding sounds.

Price
6.5
Backers Response
6.8
Compare to competitors
6.5
User Rating: 3 (1 votes)
5 Comments
  1. Hi,
    This is Level 10, the creator of UPstage 360. We designed UPstage 360 to incorporate the best audio qualities with modern demands of having everything in a compact size, smart controllable and available everywhere. UPstage 360 has been tested with the latest Klippel Near Field Scanner, and from the test result, it is evident that our speaker’s sound quality is not compromised. UPstage 360 delivers omnidirectionally uniform and consistent sound pressure. Readers can find more info about test results in our KS update.
    The 10 dB variation mentioned was raw data from our early stages of development. That graph was designed to show that UPstage 360’s response changed very little, whether listening in front of, to the sides or back of the speaker system. Unlike typically shown frequency response graphs, that one is not averaged and is higher resolution. Other factors that are of equal, or perhaps even greater importance to sound quality include phase shift, distortion, directionality. Also when listening to music, instead of a frequency test, such a response doesn’t normally appear as a problem unless it exists over a large frequency range, which ours does not.
    We understand that people might need to completely turn off Bluetooth, and UPstage 360 does provide the option to turn it off. We absolutely do playback aptX-encoded files, we just don’t decode the added aptX algorithm (if your music device is an iOS device it’s a mute point, as Apple doesn’t include aptX). We hope this clears up any confusion.
    Thanks,
    Level 10

  2. Dear Level 10: the word you’re looking for is spelled “moot” not “mute” as you stated in your rebuttal to this review. I am a Kickstarter backer of the Upstage 360, so I’m wishful that your product will prove the folks at GismoReview.com terribly wrong in their sight-unseen and heard-not-at-all, nothing-but-speculation review of your as-yet-to-be-released product!!!

    • Hi Stereoman, thanks for your opinions. Due to the increasing number of scam projects on Kickstarter, which I’m sure you are aware of, one of the reasons of this website is so that for backers to discuss openly about any projects and try to save your money before purchasing. Certainly, we tried our best to address some of the existing or potential issues from our point of view, as well as the customers. Anyway, good luck with the UPstage 360, we would be gladly accepted if they can actually prove us wrong. Afterall, it’s all about the welfare of the backers’ community.

  3. This *was* my whole reply post:

    “Dear Level 10: the word you’re looking for is spelled “moot” not “mute” as you stated in your rebuttal to this [gismoreview.com] review. I am a Kickstarter backer of the Upstage 360, so I’m wishful that your product will prove the folks at GismoReview.com terribly wrong in their sight-unseen, heard-not-at-all review of your as-yet-to-be-released product!!!”

    Hopefully my honest post won’t get censored this time. :-/

  4. You just scared me enough to pull my backing of this product. Thanks.

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