About Twist Smart Light Bulb

Home automation products should make life easier, but with complicated setup and problems connecting to other devices, they often make it more difficult.

With Astro Inc.’s Twist, though—a patent pending Smart Light Bulb that combines custom lighting with premium audio—all you have to is find a light socket, twist it into place, and “make yourself at home.” Then, when paired with your smartphone, you’ll instantly gain access to customizable lighting and high-quality audio. And best of all, you can connect multiple Twist Smart Light Bulbs for whole-house sound!

Easy breezy, right? But just because it’s easy, does this necessarily mean it’s good? How much value will you get out of it? Are there similar products that are better? We’ll help you find questions to all the answers (and more!) in this Twist Smart Review.

To kick things off, let’s dive deeper into the world of Twist Smart and find out exactly how it works and the benefits it provides.

How Does the Twist Smart Light Bulb Work? What Does It Do?

As we mentioned above, Twist Smart is made up of two key parts; a light and a speaker. There’s no hub, wires, or installation—just screw it in to any light socket:

Twist’s Self-Adjusting Light

What is a self-adjusting light? Well, in the instance of Twist, it’s one that “automatically mimics the sun’s patterns” throughout the day, changing between a bluish-white color in the morning and a warm glow in the evening. Why? According to the company, so that “waking up, falling asleep, and everything in between is a breeze.”

Despite the fact that Twist’s LED (which will last 12-15 years—more in a moment) bulb only consumes 10 watts of power, it produces 800 lumens, which is equivalent to a standard 60-watt bulb, while its color temperature ranges from 2700K (warm yellow) to 5000K (cool white). You’ll also be able to control your lights, including brightness, from anywhere via the Twist app.

Twist’s Built-In Speaker & Audio Quality

Built in to this same unit is Twist’s wireless AirPlay speaker, which uses “the same high-quality audio technology as the big name speakers.” This includes a specially-designed driver that features neodymium magnets, a lightweight aluminum cone, and a high-temperature polycarbonate frame. Why? So you’ll experience booming, pristine, lossless sound.

Just touch a button and you’ll be able to stream music from any app, without having to mess with pairing.

Over time, you can add more Twist Smart Bulbs, which can be connected across multiple rooms and streamed as a group. Still want to listen to music with your lights off? Twist can do that, too.

The Twist Smart Light, with its LED bulb and Bluetooth speaker combination​The Twist Smart Light, with its LED bulb and Bluetooth speaker combination.

Considerations For the Twist Smart Light Bulb

Given everything we just learned, probably the biggest thing to keep in mind is that Twist Light Bulbs only use Airplay technology to connect to phones, which means that it must be connected to an iPhone. According to the company’s FAQ, they are working to integrate Google Cast, but until then about 80% of Twist’s potential audience won’t be able to use it.

And even for iPhone users, Twist Smart Light Bulb won’t be able to integrate with your other home automation systems, whether thermostats like Nest, security like Vivint, or whole home systems like Vera.

Next, if you think you can pull double duty by using your Twist Bulb in conjunction with a wall dimmer, be aware that the company claims this can damage it and reduce its lifespan. And don’t use them outdoors either, because they’re not waterproof.

Finally, it goes without saying that you’ll need a standard 2.4Ghz WiFi router to use Twist, so don’t think you’ll be able to use it at your remote cabin in the woods.

What’ll you pay for this technology and ease of use?

Shining a Light On Twist Smart Bulb’s Price

For a limited time, Twist is offering preorder (estimated shipping early 2016) deals on all their Smart Light Bulbs:

  • 1 Speaker: $99
  • 2-Speaker Pack: $149
  • 3-Speaker Pack: $199

This includes free shipping. You can also download your own referral code and share with a friend, which gives them $25 off their purchase and you “free money and exclusive rewards.”

All Twist Smart Bulbs come with 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects. Customer service can be reached at 855-908-9478.

What’s the Online Consensus For Twist Smart Light Bulbs?

As you might imagine, since Twist Smart Bulbs won’t ship until sometime early 2016, there weren’t many online customer reviews at the time of our research. However, the company has received a fair amount of media attention through popular sites like MacWorld, VentureBeat, and The Verge, although these were written after short demos, not at-home use.

Nonetheless, MacWorld came right out and stated, “Twist is one of the simplest home automation products I’ve ever seen demoed. There’s no installation. There’s no hub.” The Verge noted that the sound was “very clear” across all ranges (low, mid, high) and that the audio stream was fast.

On the other hand, VentureBeat had a problem that Twist “doesn’t solve a consumer problem — or at least a problem that consumers are aware of.” And in the end, they claimed that it’s more of a novelty than anything else.

If this is your first venture into smart lighting (or lighting/sound combos), you might be surprised to learn that a fair amount of competition exists for Twist. This includes Sony’s LED Light Bulb Speaker, in addition to lesser-known companies like PlayBulb ($40), Propel ($26), and Pulse ($149).

Granted, each of these features different designs and functionality, but the point is that Twist isn’t your only option.

Let’s bring it all together.

Will You Be Pleased with Twist Smart Bulb’s Performance?

Ultimately, your expectations have a lot to do with your level of satisfaction for any product. So, if you’re just getting in to home automation and are primarily looking for easy setup and use, then you probably can’t go wrong with Twist. Just don’t expect theater-like sound like you’d get from a high-end (read: expensive) system.

Even with this in mind, we’re left with a few questions:

Can you really expect Twist Light Bulbs to last 12-15 years? Although it’s well known that LEDs can last this long, we wondered if the constant vibration from the speaker would impact this number at all.

After a little digging though, this doesn’t seem to be the case, as Bulbs.com notes that LEDs are ideal even for commercial/industrial use.

Are Twist Smart Light Bulbs lossless? Lossless sound just means that an audio file hasn’t been compressed (or made smaller), which typically involves information loss—hence the name. And as you might imagine, the more a file is compressed, the more information it loses and the worse its quality sounds.

The point here is that since Twist Bulbs won’t be compressing (or uncompressing) your audio files, they’re technically not lossless. Instead, what you hear through your Twist speaker will only be as good as your original audio file.

Does lighting color affect mood? This is a huge topic and far outside of the scope of this review, but suffice it to say that, while it appears that some colors can affect some people’s mood, there’s still a ton we don’t know.

In short? Even if Twist’s different colors do impact your mood, the effects will likely be minimal at best.

How many users can Twist accommodate at the same time? For example: If I wanted to listen to my music in the kitchen, and my wife wanted to listen to something else in the living room, would this be possible?

Or, would different users have to pair their iPhones with specific Twist Lights, and would therefore only be able to control those lights?

The bottom line about Twist Smart Light Bulb: These questions aside, even though Twist is marketed more toward apartment dwellers, we could certainly see it working extremely well for just about anyone who wants multi-room sound and custom lighting that’s a) easy to set up and b) won’t cost a small fortune.

Will it provide pro-level sound? Probably not. Are there some limitations? Certainly. But if you use what you learned here and keep your expectations realistic, you might find that it’s right up your alley.

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17 Customer Reviews for Twist Smart Light Bulb

Average Customer Rating: 2.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 6 4 star: 1 3 star: 1 2 star: 1 1 star:  8
Bottom Line: 41% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 17
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Super easy sound and light!

    • Boston, Massachusetts,
    • Jun 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    These smart bulbs have been on preorder for what seemed like forever, but the wait was well worth it. These are easy to set up, no hub, smart bulbs turn having a surround sound system easy. With cool light effects and smart airplay technology, these are my new favorite smart bulb.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Don't waist your money

    • Orlando, FL,
    • Jun 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Twist is a great idea, and I waited a year for my three-pack. After an hour of trial and error (many, many errors) attempting to set these up, I finally succeeded in connecting to one of them.

    Here is a tip that worked for me. I turned off the 5ghz band on my router that normally broadcasts both 2ghz and 5ghz (New Netgear Orbi router).

    After I was finally connected and my patience was stretched really thin, I turned on the music. This is where I was really let down. To compare, my iPhone's built-in speaker sounded significantly better than the Twist bulb! It doesn't matter what kind of music or what volume, it sounded terrible.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Lots of hassle, little payoff

    • St. Louis, MO,
    • Jun 19, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I finally got these more than a year after I ordered them, and I have to say it was not worth the wait.

    First, the sound quality just isn't that great. I've heard $25 speakers that sound a lot better.

    Second, Airplay on an iPhone can currently only be linked to one speaker at a time (although it sounds like this may change soon). You can link to multiple speakers at once from a computer, but not from a phone. So if you're hoping to use your phone to control speakers throughout your house, just realize that you're only going to be controlling one at a time. If you want to move around your house and have your music follow you, you'll be opening this app a lot.

    Third, the Bluetooth connection that the app uses to turn the lights on and off is really inconsistent. Sometimes I'm sitting three feet from the bulb, and my phone loses the connection, so I can't turn the bulb on and off from the app anymore, just from the switch. Yes, I realize it sounds like I'm lazy when I complain about having to use an old-fashioned switch instead of an app to turn off a light. But the Bluetooth issue is really just part of a larger problem, namely.

    Fourth, once you experience what it means to have your speakers installed in your lights, you'll discover that it's actually a pretty stupid idea to begin with. Yes, it makes the setup convenient (no extra plugs or wires!), but there are a couple major problems.

    For one thing, you're now controlling each bulb both by the regular light switch and by the app. If you turn the bulb off using the app, you can always flick the light switch off and on, and the light will come back on (meaning that the speaker is on again, too). If you turn the bulb off using the switch, then of course the speaker is off too, and in order to turn the speaker on, you have to turn the light on. But if you want the speaker on and the light off, that means that first, you turn the speaker and light on together with the wall switch, then you turn the light off in the app. That's just a lot of on and off. It's almost enough to make you wish that you just had two separate devices, a light and a speaker, with two separate switches. Too bad nobody's ever been clever enough to invent such a thing.

    For another thing, here's an interesting discovery: most light fixtures don't sound that great. Want to put your Twist bulb in an Ikea floor lamp? Great idea, if you like the sound of music played from a plastic box. Want it in a ceiling fixture? You'd better have pendant lamps since obviously no closed fixture will work. Want to put it in a desk lamp? Hope you like the sound of a tin can, with occasional rattles from the stand. Basically, there's a reason speaker designers put time and money into designing a good housing. Whatever time and money went into designing these bulbs is basically squandered by the effects of the light fixture you put them in.

    I originally ordered these bulbs at the pre-order discount, and after waiting this long to get them, I've decided to keep them even though I'm not satisfied with the quality or convenience. But I'd been hoping to be so impressed that I'd order more to play music throughout my house, and I'm definitely not going to do that. The only person I'd recommend these to would be someone who lives in an apartment with no free outlets and lots of exposed light fixtures. As long as you have an outlet to spare, don't settle for these speakers, you can do much better for the same price.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Simplicity is its key

    • USA,
    • Jun 17, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a minimalist, so when I heard about the Twist Light Bulb/Speaker, I was in. Not that having a speaker on the counter in the bathroom is a lot, but knowing that I could just screw a light bulb in and also have a speaker, I liked the idea.

    However, it was not until I actually received my Twists that it became even cooler. They are super simple to setup, and then they just work. Twist has an app, but you don't need an app with Twist, at least to use them, you just open your favorite music, podcast, video, etc. app and using AirPlay, stream it to the bulbs. No worrying about the speaker being charged, being on the counter, getting wet, etc. And, I like the fact that when I am done in the morning, I just use the switch and shut off the lights, which also shuts off the speaker.

    Now I cannot wait for AirPlay 2, coming with iOS 11. Currently, AirPlay from iOS only allows you to stream to one speaker at a time, so having the Twist 3-pack is great, but with AirPlay 2 it will be even better. Then I will be able to have two speakers in my bathroom and have stereo sound, or place them around the house and have music blaring everywhere.

    I would recommend Twist to anyone that loves music and loves simplicity. They seem to be very well made and are working great.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Ordered in 2015, no product still in 2017!

    • Grand Rapids, MI,
    • Jun 11, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife purchased the bulbs for me after I showed her how cool I thought the idea was. I was totally aware of them being a startup, and that delivery would take an extended period of time. I would never have anticipated it taking almost two years, and I still do not have a product.

    The most frustrating part has been the complete lack and disregard of customer service. In order to know what's going on with your order, you have to go to their blog for updates. The company does not proactively correspond to customers to let them know of changes or delays in their order. They expect you to find out for yourself. If the communication had been upfront and transparent, I would not be feeling the way I do now. I completely frustrated and disappointed.

    Also, when I purchased the bulbs, they were advertising them for early adopters at a discounted price. I can go on their website right this very moment and purchase the same amount of bulbs for the exact same price I paid two years ago. How is that an incentive to place an order early? Seems disingenuous to me.

    All in all, the idea and technology seems like it could be great. But unfortunately, the lack of transparency and the extraordinarily long wait (still waiting) has caused me to completely sour on this product. I would have been much better off purchasing something from their competition, even if it is of less quality, because I would actually have the product and it would have been much cheaper.

    My recommendation for anyone considering this product is to steer clear until they've proven that they can deliver on their promises.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Absolutely worth it!

    I am really happy with my Twist Smart Light Bulb! I plan to buy more as gifts for my family and friends.

    I love how the light changes automatically with the time of day! I have mine in the bathroom, so it's great to have the correct light when I am putting on my makeup for the day or going out at night. I think the quality of the speaker is top notch! No need for any other useless speakers in each room anymore.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Twist Speaker Light Bulb - amazing sound

    I love my new Twist Speaker Light Bulbs! I've had them for over a month now, and I've used them every morning since while getting ready. My wife loved how easy it is using native AirPlay from her phone to connect to them. No more drop outs like we used to have while using other airplay connected speakers. It simply works!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Purchased 9 bulbs for my home; big mistake

    After waiting for nearly two years for these bulbs, they finally showed up this evening! Setup was actually pretty easy, the system prompted the connection to the network, naming and prioritizing was really easy. I put two bulbs in my living room cans, three in my kitchen cans, one in my breakfast nook can, and three in the can lights down my main hallway.

    The lighting features are really neat, and it's easy to get the light to blend with other lights to keep color consistent. As I started to play with the music feature, I was really disappointed since playing from my iPhone as I was only able to get it to play from one bulb at a time. Once I figured out that I could play music on multiple speakers from the computer, I got some wind put back into my sails.

    Fast forward 10 minutes and I have extremely distorted music coming from all nine bulbs with no way to adjust the music other than volume. The website claims that it plays "premium lossless sound that will fill any room with high-quality audio." DON'T be fooled! This speaker is AWFUL. All the bulb seems to be good for is adjustable color (warm glow to cool white) and a night light feature. I'm pretty sure you can go to BestBuy and get a similar bulb without the speaker function for less than $25 each.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 11, 2017

      Shaun Springer, CEO

      Hey Mitch, I am sorry that you feel the audio quality isn't up to par with the speakers. It is our goal to create a simple way to put music in every corner of your home. I think from your review it seems that was achieved. I believe it's possible to get the desired audio quality from our product, but I'd have to learn more about what your expectations are and listening habits would be.

      We've worked very hard on this product and have several software updates planned to improve the audio quality (via DSP). Also, to expose an equalizer so you can tune the speaker for the fixture type and listening experience you'd want. With that said, it's important to keep in mind that these speakers are a 3/4" driver. They are sourced from a very high quality and reputable manufacturer Peerless by Tymphany will have its limitations.

      If you can contact me (shaun.springer@hellotwist.com), we can get you some new software that will address many of your concerns in the immediate future.

      Thanks again for your support and patience during the preorder process!

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Long wait, awful set up

    • Reading, PA,
    • Jun 7, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Was told that "they are coming" so many times I just figured that I was scammed. When they finally arrived the bulb worked, but after a week of trying, the speakers will not become visible as an airplay option. I tried to use various help options. No help at all. They sent me multiple articles to read and then tried to set up a call between 7:30 AM and 10:00 AM. I guess I was scammed after all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 7, 2017

      Shaun Springer, CEO

      Hey Chris, thanks for writing a review on here. I'd be happy to get on a call and better understand the issues you are having. I want to provide support to address any issue you've experienced. We've worked very hard to provide comprehensive support for our product. It looks like our last correspondence went unanswered, please respond via chat and we will get you fixed up. Cheers.

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Technophobe

    What a surprise (the delivery took so long, I'd honestly forgotten the order) to open the ingenious "Prince-perfect" purple packaging to unveil three neatly nested bulbs. I twisted them into the sockets, downloaded the app and watched with glee as they glowed green and bright. I literally squealed as I adjusted the brightness and color tones with my finger! First world privileged problem, but am I the only one overwhelmed by light bulb selections? Am I the only one that frets over lamp color coordination? So, yeah, I squealed.

    Unfortunately, my delight quickly turned to abject frustration. I can usually figure anything out with guidance. The documentation was minimal, but that's OK. I'm into Quick Starts, but the listed support link didn't work, and the support page provides only a chat line. No knowledge base. Ugh! The support page states: "On weekends and evenings we might be slower to respond, but we'll get back to you as fast as changing a light bulb." Really? Maybe as fast as changing every bulb in the Governors Mansion! It was the weekend, and I didn't expect a fast reply and was thankful that I might get a reply at all, so while the claim is cute, it's also a bit annoying.

    As I waited for a chat response, I kept messing around and googled galore until I finally found the Twist support blog. Voila! Gosh, it would have been nice if the link had been right there on the support page along with the chat line or the correct link had been provided in the documentation.

    With the help of the support blog, I had mostly figured everything out by the time I received a (knowledgeable and friendly) response.

    So, here's my thinking. Great concept. Not so great execution. First and foremost, the speaker sound quality is well below par. Like, not as even as good as an iPhone. I also was unable to stream music to a group of bulbs/speakers from my iPhone. All my bulbs were well within router range, yet I had to be in close proximity to a bulb to manage it. I would expect control from anywhere once the bulb is connected to the network. The nightlight feature is not light and motion sensitive. Nest thermostat and smoke detector have these last two features, and they should be standard on any smart home device. I was unable to delete unused groups. Apparently, that's a known bug. Finally, it would be cool to be able to change bulb colors to red or green (and other colors?) for the holidays.

    Bottom line, are the Twist bulbs a good value? If the speaker quality were better, maybe. But as the product currently stands, the answer for me is no. At least not yet. I still believe Twist is a great concept. That's why I made the investment and why I won't try to return the bulbs. The potential is there, and my hope is that future upgrades will reach that potential.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Do not buy

    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Jun 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased bulbs in 2015, and my family also purchased at least two other sets as gifts for me for Christmas. While excited at the time, I've lost all hope that these items will ever be delivered. I've sent multiple emails to customer service, and every time they respond that the items will be shipped in a couple weeks. While I appreciate that, I typically get a friendly email and an apology for the delays, there is clearly no action behind their words and I strongly encourage no other customers to make the same mistake as I have. Do not buy!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 2, 2017

      Shaun Springer, CEO

      Hey Brian, do you mind sharing your order number? I can provide you with an accurate order status with that information. We've shipped tens of thousands of units in the last two weeks and it's possible yours slipped through the cracks. Thanks!

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