Looking suspiciously like an evening clutch that I would love to own, the new Braven LUX HD Wireless Speaker is much more than a fashionable portable sound system. Measuring 6.5″ long x 2.6″ wide x 21.8″ deep, this 11.8 ounce speaker offers 12 hours continuous battery life and it can even top-off your phone’s battery.
Similarly to the way that many high-end mobile phone makers have accepted that we want to use our devices in real-world scenarios which can sometimes include sudden dunkings in a sink, the plastic and rubber bodied LUX is IPX5 certified water-resistant; that means it can sit on the counter of your bathroom without fear of splash damage, or it can come along with you on trips to the lake or beach.
Included in the package are the speaker, a microUSB charging cable, and a quick start guide.
The Braven LUX is available in pearl, gold, or the absolutely gorgeous purple I was sent. The dot that you see above the Braven logo on the top is a built-in noise- canceling microphone, so the LUX can be used as a speakerphone for conference calls.
The right side of the speaker has a removable rubber plug …
Once the plug has been pulled off, you’ll have access to the 3.5mm audio-in jack, the 3.5mm audio out jack (for daisy-chaining), the external USB charging port (you can share the 1,400mAh Li-Ion battery with your phone if your charge is running low), a microUSB port for charging the speaker, and on the right side a battery check button above 5 LEDs which indicate 20% charge levels (20%, 40%, and so on).
The left side has rubber covered buttons which are for adjusting the volume up or down, turning the Braven LUX on or off, and perhaps the most important button — the right facing arrow play button — which when pressed and held facilitates pairing, but also answers or ends phone calls and pauses and resumes music play. The volume up bottom will skip tracks forward when pressed and held, and the volume down button will skip tracks back when pressed and held. All in all, there are a lot of functions without too much to remember.
There are power saving functions built in; if your LUX doesn’t have an active Bluetooth connection for longer than 30 minutes, the speaker will automatically shut off.
Pairing is easily accomplished by pressing and holding the play button for a few seconds until a sonar ping begins and then a pairing tone sounds. If your device asks for a passcode, you’ll just need to enter the standard 0000. The only con I can find is that it appears the speaker will only allow a single Bluetooth connection; the upside of this is that the music sounds great from the moment your device is paired, as there is none of the skipping an static usually present when a receiver is trying to figure out which BT device it is supposed to connect to.
One of the cooler functions of the Braven LUX is that it can be wirelessly paired with another Braven speaker, including another LUX or the Braven 705, 710, or 770 series models.
As for the LUX’s water-resistance: don’t get any ideas about submerging it in your hot tub or swimming pool, but there is no reason to be nervous about rainfall, water jets from your kids Super Soaker water guns, or water splashing; it will be fine! You do want to make sure that you’ve got the rubber seal on the end with all the ports installed, though.
It takes about 3 hours to get a full charge on the LUX, but the battery has easily lasted 11 – 12 hours in my testing; I’ve got no complaints. Of course, this did not include using the internal battery as a charger for any of my phones; you can expect seriously diminished capacity if you do this, especially considering that the internal battery is only 1,400mAh and many phone batteries are as large as 3,000 anymore. If this speaker had a 6,000mAh battery inside it would no doubt weigh more and cost more, but I think the trade-off would be worth it.
So the Braven LUX looks great, it’s easy to operate, and it is incredibly portable … but how does it sound? That’s the really cool part. I played Royal Blood’s Out of the Black, and while there was a little bit of mid-range distortion with the volume all the way to the top, the bass drum heavy song sounded great! I noticed the same mid-range distortion on The Black Key’s Fever; turning the volume down just a bit makes all the difference. On less mid-range intensive songs like Jack White’s Lazaretto or Cherub’s Doses and Mimosas don’t distort at all; the treble is very crisp, and the vocals sound excellent. Ben Folds’ You Don’t Know Me and David Byrne’s Dance on Vaseline sounds amazing at any volume … so obviously it just depends on the song and the artist’s sound. While this speaker may not be enough to entertain an entire pool party, it definitely creates enough sound to operate as background music in a room (or deck) full of people. In a quiet room, there is no need to use it anywhere near full volume.
The Braven Lux is truly a beautiful, pocketable sound system that will also look fantastic in any room. If you are searching for a gift that your favorite fashionista will appreciate, look no further than this speaker.
The Braven LUX HD Wireless Speaker is available in purple, white or gold; it retails for $99.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer and as low as $94.14 with free Prime shipping from Amazon [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: This speaker is incredibly beautiful and sleek; the sound grill is cut into a lovely fan-shaped bubble pattern; it looks like an evening clutch; sound is xx; all ports and buttons are covered with rubber, and it is IP5 water-resistant; speakers can be paired together for even bigger sound
What Needs Improvement: I do wish that the Braven Lux had an even larger internal battery, because that would make the external device charging feature even more valuable