I have been waiting to review the Crescendo for years. Literally years. I first met the designers at Eroticon three or four years back and kept in touch throughout the process of bringing it to the market. I held its cleverly motorised ‘vertebrae’ in my hand before I’d even seen the fully finished item. The whole thing seemed new and interesting and potentially brilliant.
So having a fully realised Crescendo actually under my roof was super exciting. Everything was going to be perfect, right?
Let’s start with the good points. It was developed by very clever and genuinely lovely people. It’s very pretty and it’s bendy and you can make cool shapes with it. And it vibrates, which is what vibrators are supposed to do. But…there are problems.
Seriously there are so many problems. Get comfy, because this might take a while.
Like most upmarket sex toys, the Crescendo is rechargeable.The charger unit is a neat little disc that plugs in through a standard usb attachment, with the Crescendo lying on top of it. This is a clever move, because it means there are no sockets on the product itself at all – it really is 100% sealed and waterproof.
The problem is that the Crescendo is just balanced on the base whilst charging rather than clipping on firmly, so unless it’s on a perfectly flat surface, it tends to fall off. And it only charges when it’s in a specific position on the base – a rather dim charging light shows when it’s working, but it’s easy to miss.
Even at this point I was thinking, ‘But it’s still beautiful – so long as it works brilliantly, I shall forgive it everything’. So I got it charged and hoped for the best. I really, really wanted to love this thing.
Oh. My. Fucking. God. And not in a good way.
This toy is possibly the most awkward to handle of any I have ever tested. And I’m the woman who shoved gelatine eggs up her fanjita with a slippery alien dildo and then wrote about it for a national news outlet. I live awkwardness. But the Crescendo is beyond even my ‘coping with awkward’ capabilities.
The perfect aesthetic of the Crescendo means that there are no ugly buttons, just teeny tiny press controls on either side – one side for intensity, the other for choosing wave patterns. They’re not even clearly marked, just embossed into the silicone. I CANNOT SEE HOW ANYONE WITH HUMAN-SIZED HANDS COULD EVER USE THESE BUTTONS WITHOUT EVERYTHING GOING WRONG.
In theory you don’t really need the controls though, because there is an app. There is an app that makes me cry.
By the time I received my Crescendo I’d already read other reviews, some of which pointed out a problem – if your phone switched off whilst you were using the toy, it stopped working. So you either had to keep tapping your phone, or disable its sleep mode. When I tried to open the app at my second attempt at using the Crescendo, it told me it needed updating. The update took forever and I got bored and went to walk the dog instead of having a wank. Yeah, THAT bored. But I assumed it would be worth it cos it would have presumably fixed the ‘auto-off’ problem.
When I came back to the Crescendo and switched on the newly-updated app, all seemed good – the toy ‘paired’ with the app and the menu popped up. Then it told me I needed to ‘update the firmware’ on the toy itself. This took nearly five minutes, during which I seriously debated whether to throw the fucking toy out of the window.
ALL I WANTED WAS TO HAVE A WANK FOR CHRIST’S FUCKING SAKE.
When I finally got to use it – seriously, look how much trouble I’ve gone to already, which just shows how much I really, really wanted to love it – all I felt was a great big ‘meh’. It’s…okay. The click-y joints do hold their shape well and it’s a real novelty to be able to choose your own shape. But it’s still ‘just’ a vibrator – and not a particularly spectacular one.
Also, wtf are the flappy fins supposed to do? There’s no real vibration through them and they’re not very big so def not intended as an arse-flange (that is totally a technical term, so shut up). WHAT ARE THEY EVEN FOR??
The app is STUPID. I don’t want a million different options, I don’t need to ‘personalise my vibe’, I don’t want to browse a library of patterns. I just want a toy that switches on and works. So, does it work?
It’s reasonably discreet – not too rumbly loud. Which is a problem in itself, because rumbles are my favourite thing when it comes to vibrators. This one is buzzy rather than rumbly (not a good thing, in case you were wondering). I tried and failed to find a pattern that gave really good vibes at the tip so that I could use it in specific areas, you know what I’m saying.
I bent it right over on itself to see if it would work as a G-spot vibe and was thoroughly underwhelmed. I tried turning the intensity up, only to find that the app had lost its connection to the toy. It was at roughly this point that I was overcome with ennui and sat for a while just wondering what the fuck I was doing with my life, really, when it came down to it. SEX TOYS SHOULD NOT MAKE ME QUESTION MY EXISTENCE.
This thing is overcomplicated to the point of ridiculousness. I want a toy made by sex toy freaks, not over-achieving geeks – if I fancy having a wank over beautiful technology I’ll go stand in an Apple store and hope they’re feeling tolerant.
Despite everything I’ve said so far, the Crescendo has some genuinely good points, not least of which is the fact that it is absolutely beautifully packaged. Real thought and care has gone into the way the product is presented – it’s black, gold and tasteful, and whispers ‘expensive’ into your ear from the moment you open the package.
But £139 for something about which the best I can say is that I like the designers and the packaging is nice? Oh dear. Oh fucking, fucking dear.
It could have been a beautiful and brilliant thing, but it’s hobbled by its own ambition – it tries to be everything and risks being nothing. I wanted to love it and I tried to love it and in return it did its absolute best to BREAK MY FUCKING HEART.
The Crescendo costs £139 direct from Mysteryvibe.
I am sent items free of charge for review purposes but I am not paid for reviews and my opinions / those of my reviewers will always be honest. I sometimes get a (very) small commission from purchases made from links on SDRR, which goes towards site costs. I adhere to all advertising rules and always use ‘no follow’ links where appropriate.