Towards the end of last year, a company called AC Worldwide launched a promising Kickstarter project. Essentially, these were fully licensed, to scale Star Wars Bluetooth speakers in the shape of C-3Po and Stormtrooper heads. Not long after the speaker project launched, an investor came in and offered the company all the money they needed to get the speakers to market. Now they’re here, and I just had to try them out…
The speakers ship in big, attractive black boxes featuring front, back and side profiles of the head-shaped speakers on each side. As unboxing experiences go, this was a pretty standard affair, except for the C-3PO model which ships with some special white gloves. Since the droid’s head is entirely coated in a gold chrome, any touch with a bare finger will result in marks left on the mirror-finish. The company’s PR insisted that I wear these during the unboxing process, so I obliged.
Other package contents include a large black cloth bag, a 3.5mm jack-equipped audio cable, a quick-start guide and a power adapter with three different regional wall plugs.
While the C3PO speaker is life-size, completely to scale, the Stormtrooper model is smaller. On the front, both have two 32mm 3W speakers hidden behind the grilles covering the eyes, and they both have 102mm 10W subwoofers pointing down from the base, where the neck should be. Essentially, they have a 2.1 system encased in a single plastic unit. They also have a 2,200mAh battery to keep them powered when you don’t want to use the included power supply.
Along the front of the base are a number of touch sensitive controls for playing, pausing, skipping tracks, increasing bass, answering calls, pairing and switching modes. On the back of the base is a series of ports including 3.5mm jack, a 5V USB output and a 9V power input as well as a small LED and power button.
Once plugged in and powered on, the eyes glow and flash. If you use an audio cable, you’re ready to go right away. But you can pair the speakers to your phone using Bluetooth. They can even be used as HD Voice-ready hands-free speakers. Once connected, each speaker gives its own custom phrase and flashes a few times.
What’s really cool is that if you have a pair of speakers, like these, you can press and hold the ‘Mode’ button on both, and they’ll pair to each other to give you a full stereo effect. Then you connect your phone to one of them, but have music playing through both simultaneously. That, plus the flashing lights, plus the fact they’re awesome Star Wars merchandise, makes these fantastic.
On first impressions, the sound seems decent enough. They’re certainly loud enough to fill a room, especially together. They’re not audiophile grade quality, but no one is going to buy these for their sound. They’re a fantastic piece of merchandise that also happens to fill a room with loud, bass-heavy music. But you’ll need to be a serious Star Wars collector to want to stump up the cash to buy them.
On the company’s own online store, it’s £129 for a single speaker, or £250 for a pair. Converted to dollars, that’s approximately $184 for a single, or $356 for two, that’s without taking in to consideration the £40 ($57) it’ll cost to ship to the States. Still, if you’re a Star Wars fan, it might still be worth it for you. If these are way out of your budget, there are plenty of other Star Wars themed speakers available for much less, many under $50.