Laptop Mag Verdict
The OEPLAY Music Star 5 offers incredible sound quality in an elegant design that makes for a brilliant home Bluetooth speaker.
Hi-res codec support over USB
Incredible price (for now)...
…but will get pricey at $899
No wired audio inputs
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To say the OEPLAY Music Star 5 is highly anticipated would be an understatement, given it achieved its Indiegogo crowdfunding goal within an hour.
This studio-grade Bluetooth speaker packs some seriously impressive audio tech into an effortlessly elegant design, which is a conversation starter in any room.
But with a premium build comes a premium price, which begs the question — is this Bluetooth speaker worth the investment? Let’s find out.
OEPLAY Music Star 5 price and availability
Right now on the fully-funded Indiegogo project, you can snap up the OEPLAY Music Star 5 for $449 — really good value for what you get. When it launches later this year, the full retail price will be $899, which is a little steep for a Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, the Music Star 5 is a lot more than your standard speaker, which we’ll get into in this review. But if you’re shopping savvy for cheaper wireless options with a nice sound stage, there are lower cost options.
OEPLAY Music Star 5 design
The first thing you probably noticed is its design — this is quite the looker.
A spherical speaker structure built upon three wooden legs oozes luxury from every angle and looks incredible in any room. I’m a particular fan of the white model for blending in seamlessly into the living room, while still making a statement and dominating the corner by making a conversation piece.
But the other finishes look fantastic, too: black, Ferrari red, and Mclaren orange (two colors that really speak to my love of motor racing). Sure, it is a little heavy at 13.2 pounds, but that does make it easy enough to move around from room to room.
With subtle branding on the front and a proud display of all the speaker construction, this all adds up to one hell of a timeless piece.
OEPLAY Music Star 5 ports
The Music Star 5 is fairly limited in terms of ports — packing just a USB-A port on the back that supports only flash drives with preloaded files (more on that later) and the antenna port for expanding the range of wireless connectivity.
This does limit the scope of using this, which I will go into more detail about later.
OEPLAY Music Star 5 connectivity and controls
Connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 5.0. Without the antenna attached, you can play music from any device at a length of 10-15 feet without any disturbances, but this can be further expanded up to 30 feet with it attached.
The remote is nifty for interacting with the Music Star 5 and (specifically) a USB drive you can slot into the back. Make sure you setup a file structure of your tracks that fit into each one (e.g. “dinner”) and you can fire up individual lists of songs or podcasts. Plus, the USB port supports fully lossless audio for a noticeable upgrade in audio quality over the standard codecs over Bluetooth.
Speaking of, controlling Bluetooth devices is separate, so any track changes need to be done on the device itself and cannot be done on the remote.
OEPLAY Music Star 5 music
Let’s get technical. The Music Star 5 packs a 5.25-inch woofer and a 2.3-inch tweeter, tuned to deliver the extremely wide frequency range of 33Hz to 55kHz and packed into a spherical sound box, which doubles as a fantastic spherical acoustic structure and provides optimal heat dissipation.
The flatter, rectangular tweeter up top provides a vastly expanded sound emission area that is balanced by a neodymium iron boron magnet for perfect clarity at super high frequencies with greater efficiency, due to the size.
Meanwhile, the explosive lows come through the advanced woofer, which consists of all the layers you need to maintain properly balanced bass.The vibrating diaphragm is connected to a damper and voice coil within the basin-shaped stand that’s laid upon a magnet and T-iron, for impressive flexibility and room to express throughout the acoustic sphere.
All the audiophile nerd details out the way, the end result is, quite simply, one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. I really tried to put the Music Star 5 through its paces with all the most complex and expressive songs I knew across so many genres, and it rendered each one flawlessly.
“2009” by Mac Miller is a good place to start — a beautiful tune that packs so many fine details that many speakers can’t handle. The reverb of the piano and the small breaks in Mac’s voice are emphasized and given plenty of life, while the sharp stings of 808 bass are felt without impacting on any of the other levels.
But the biggest test of all is “A day in the life” by The Beatles. In particular, the discordant orchestral uprising in the middle, which on most speakers sounds like a flat mess, as they try to stuff 100 instruments through a construction designed mostly for modern, popular music.
The Music Star 5 manages to provide a vast sound stage where you can identify each instrument clearly. The woofer and tweeter combo gives the lower instruments a ground shaking bass wallop and a soaring clarity of the flutes and violins. Whatever you listen to, it will sound incredible here.
Plus, the spoken word in audiobooks and podcasts are thoroughly well balanced, providing the voice with an impeccable warmth that helped me spend hours listening to my favorite shows for an entire evening without turning on a single screen.
OEPLAY Music Star 5 films and games
For films and games, it’s more of a mixed bag. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic in saying that, but let me explain.
Everything sounds fantastic, as you’d expect from how glowing I was with the praise in the previous section. Web-slinging in Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered has a fantastic detailed quality to it and combat provides a satisfyingly bassy thump with every punch.
But there are no real wired audio options — no 3.5mm jack or optical audio. And no, I tested the USB port with a USB-A to 3.5mm jack dongle and that didn’t work, so you need to rely on the Bluetooth 5.0 connection.
That limits TV connectivity to newer models that sport Bluetooth, but you’re fine with most computers. Don’t get me wrong, the connection is strong and there are no break-ups, but there is a slight latency that lags the audio behind what is happening on-screen.
For movies and TV shows at less than 60 fps, this latency is not overly noticeable, but for smoother videos and games, it can distract from the immersive experience the content is trying to build.
The OEPLAY Music Star 5 makes a statement in any room with its luxury design with premium materials and a magnificent sound expression across everything you throw at it.
I would have loved to see wired audio inputs to maximize the usage of this with TVs and computers without latency. But for its purpose, this is a visual stunner that fills any room with stunning sound.
The retail price is set to be pretty steep, but for 50% off in the Indiegogo crowdfunder, this is a steal!
Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.