Review: Braven Lux Wireless Speaker

The Lux Has A Softer Design Scheme

Braven Lux combines female sensibilities with a ton of extra features. Braven

They say looks aren’t everything. Then again, pleasing visuals certainly help. A lot. Just look at the role that looks play when it comes to men and women picking shoes, clothes and other material possessions.

It’s a concept that’s starting to apply now more than ever with electronic gadgets, too. In many cases, electronics are more about function than form. As gadget companies jockey for position in a competitive market, however, design is turning into a key weapon for distinguishing oneself from rivals. The Braven Lux wireless Bluetooth speaker serves as a perfect example.

For the most part, I like Braven’s design approach when it comes to speakers. At the same time, most of its speakers use a modern look that ranges from gender neutral for its indoor offerings to the more rugged and testosterone-charged leanings of its outdoor speakers such as the BRV-1.

The Lux, which is being pushed more to appeal to women, is an obvious departure from this philosophy. Although it continues to use Braven’s familiar rectangular shape and propensity for using tiny holes to mark its grill, the Lux replaces the symmetrical hole design with a new arching pattern while also replacing Braven’s trademark silver and gray color preference seen in speakers such as the Braven 850 with flashier pearl white, gold and purple offerings.

It’s a design approach that seems to harken to handbag design, which would certainly make a lot of sense when courting women to give your product a shot. I even did a test where I surreptitiously placed the speaker within view of female friends and family and they all had positive things to say about its design.

Then again, there’s a reason why “looks aren’t everything” became a popular phrase. After all, looks ultimately don’t mean much if it comes with horrible insides, so to speak. Braven certainly tries to provide plenty of substance by loading the Lux with a ton of features, including a few that go above and beyond what most folks expect from their portable speakers.

Bluetooth capability, for example, might be par for the course these days but the Lux also adds the ability to work as a wireless receiver that syncs with other Braven speakers. The effective wireless range for the device is more than 30 feet, which is more than ​ample.

For more basic functions, the Lux doubles as a speakerphone when synced with a smartphone. Speakerphone performance is OK though not as powerful as some other speakers that I’ve tested. Not sure if its noise-cancelling feature has anything to do with it, but it still works fine overall.

For folks who prefer a wired connection, you can use a double-ended 3.5mm cable to physically plug in the device to your music source for a more reliable connection. It even has an Aux Out port, which means you can connect it to a speaker that does not have wireless capabilities and turn it into a de facto wireless receiver for that speaker, too.

For gadget warriors, the Lux doubles as a portable battery, courtesy of a USB port that allows you to charge portable devices via its internal power source. At 1,400 mAh, it should be enough to charge older or smaller smartphones and partially charge newer devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or iPhone 6. Otherwise, the internal battery provides up to 12 hours of play time for the Lux. The speaker is also water resistant, adding extra durability when used outdoors.

Finally, we get to sound quality, which is solid overall though not as loud as some other competing speakers. When used with stock smartphone music players, the Lux produces clean sound with balanced bass and treble. Use an excellent MP3 player with an equalizer like the Sansa Clip and sound gets even more dynamic.

It’s a bit underpowered, though, so don’t expect to turn the volume all the way up to nuclear. Even with its issues, though, the Lux is a good speaker overall. If you’re looking for a solid speaker with a ton of bells and whistles plus a more female-friendly look to boot, this is one device that’s worth looking into.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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