Mystery Vibe made a pretty big to-do about their customizable, smart vibrator called the Crescendo last year. “It has 6 motors!” they said. “You’ve never used anything like it,” they claimed (more or less). They sent me one to try, and I took my sweet time getting around to writing this review. You’ll see why after I introduce you to this beast.
Similar to the gKi, you can bend the Crescendo at various joints to take on whatever shape your
heart vagina desires (you can fold it nearly in half or bend each end in either direction to create an S-shape). Ostensibly, the two triangular flaps near the base can provide clitoral stimulation while you can create a hook for simultaneous G-spot/internal stim. It’s a two-hand job because the joints are stiff enough to stay in place, but not difficult (don’t count on ever getting it perfectly straight once you bend it, however). This is not something I have a problem with.
The truth is, I don’t want to use an app with any sex toy, partially because my devices invariably are crawling with bacteria that could lead to a nasty infection should I forget and reach down with my phone hand to operate a toy. Partially because I have small hands and using my devices single-handedly is a struggle. Partially because the more attention my eyes pay to a screen, the less my vagina, clit and various other erogenous zones pay attention to what’s going on there.
And the MysteryVibe app? Is not intuitive. It tries to be with gestures, but basic settings wind up hidden behind icons that just aren’t user-friendly. Sure, you can use it, but you really need to get used to it first.
Let’s not forget the logistics. Pairing devices that are buried within orifices to your phone? Not always an easy task. It was ridiculous with the kGoal, and while the Crescendo works much, much better, it just seems like the industry is trying to make using toys more difficult than it really needs to be. The only exception I’m willing to admit to is feedback (as in with kegel toys), but there’s no need for that with the Crescendo.
Speaking of logistics; have you ever had to wait over 30 minutes for your vibrator’s firmware to update? No? Keep it that way! Crescendo uses wireless transfer to update the device’s firmware, despite the fact that literally every device I’ve ever had to update urges you to do it wired because you can brick your device if the wireless update fails.
MysteryVibe support says this shouldn’t be an issue (and that it shouldn’t take nearly as long as it’s taken mine);
The Crescendo firmware file is quite a large one and the file transfer takes around 15 minutes. If there are any interruptions during this time, such as a phone call, Bluetooth interference, it could show an error. In this case, simply tap on the circle again to restart the update and it should work perfectly.
I think the argument for all this hassle is “but personalization!” Or maybe “Adriana, you can create your own one-of-a-kind vibration setting.” To which I laugh because I’ve already proven that I am a lazy SOB when it comes to masturbatory preparation and, secondly because anyone who’s been around this blog a time or two realizes that I couldn’t care less about modes. Seriously. My highest praise for pulsation, escalation or what-have-you is usually along the lines of “Well, it doesn’t suck.”
So that brings us to controlling the Crescendo via the app. Note that you don’t have to. You can just use the buttons on the toy; although, they’re more flush than I prefer because they’re embossed into the silicone, which makes them a little difficult to find and use when your hands are covered with lube. They can also get bunched up if you bend the Crescendo at the joint right near the buttons, which are located in two locations along the side (one set turns it on/up and off/down while the other cycles through modes).
For once, I want some big, clicky buttons with tactile feedback like a mechanical keyboard. I want my fumbling fingers and long nails to have plenty of space. Enough with the tiny, “cute” buttons, people!
If you choose to use the app, it provides you with a visual that better helps you understand which motors are operating and what they’re doing. You can edit the base vibrations or download new settings from the “store”; although, it appears the Crescendo can only hold so many. I find the whole process of downloading and deleting settings from my sex toy to be a bit tedious myself. However, it’s interesting that you can rearrange the order of the settings on your Crescendo. My immediate thought after finding the settings that seemed like they’d be the most useful was that I was going to save them and never use the app again.
I’m pretty much saying that a toy has to be amazing if it’s going to require an app. So is the Crescendo? No. It seems pretty run of the mill. Because you’re supposed to customize the shape to your preferences, it’s rather flat and narrow, underwhelming, really. The internal vibrators that work well for me clitorally definitely have a rounded tip, which this does not. Unfurled, it looks a bit like a finger with the joints visible on the underside. Bent into position it looks perhaps a bit medicinal.
In terms of power, you’d expect something pretty impressive from the Crescendo. After all, it has six motors. But those six motors are each a little lackluster, too, providing less of a symphony and more of a forgettable background noise. This review is about six words away from comparing the underpowered motors to Kidz Bop versions of pop songs. Is it terrible? No. It is what I want from a vibrator? Also no.
And believe me I tried. My first attempt was to turn on all the motors as high as they can go. I mean, isn’t that what us reviewers do with every vibrating toy we receive? Take it out of the package, charge it up and see how far this puppy goes? Crescendo doesn’t for up to 11, that’s for sure.
It’s not that it’s exactly weak. It just falls on the buzzier side of things, and I, like so many, prefer a deep and rumbly vibration that penetrates. The buzziness is definitely more perceptible on certain modes, and certainly more noticeable when you turn up the power. Ironically, the site describes the vibrations are deep and rumbly and whisper quiet. Surprise! Neither is exactly true.
I do enjoy that there’s a sort of throbbing pulsation. The sheer variety of vibrating modes the Crescendo offers means it’s probably go something for most people if the power output works for you.
The charger could also use some work. You plug a standard microUSB (I’ve only used one other vibrator that relies on this standard connection) charger into a little disc that the Crescendo rests on to charge. But the lightweight disc has a bevel along the bottom and only the end of the toy rests on it, which causes the disc to tilt and the toy to want to slide off. It takes a bit to find the sweet spot because the vibrator doesn’t sit securely in the base (like some of Minna or Jimmyjane’s smaller toys), just rests atop it. Again, the user has to work around the toy rather than the toy fitting nicely into their life.
It’s hard to say what might be a better design. I don’t need a charging base. If the toy has to rest on a table, then the USB cable might as well plug directly into it (companies have done it and kept their toys 100% waterproof in the past and if they could make it a data+charging cable, firmware updates wouldn’t take over 30 minutes to complete!). If they want to do inductive charging, then perhaps provide a case that also works for travel like the one that used to come with the Delight.
The truth is, Crescendo isn’t a terrible vibrator. It’s just another mediocre sex toy that seems like a much bigger letdown because the marketing led us to believe it would change our worlds. But as long as “change your world” translates to “you have to adapt to the toy,” it’s not smart. I want my sex toys to adapt to me, not the other way around.
The Crescendo is on sale for Valentine’s Day if you’re interested in buying it.