We first saw Braven’s Lux ($100) at this year’s CES, and it mostly seemed like an afterthought in the excitement of all the other new products introduced at the Incipio/Braven booth. The speaker — which was designed to appeal to women — has two drivers, a passive radiator, and a built-in microphone and speakerphone. The standard 3.5mm input and micro-USB port for charging are included, as are the less-standard audio output port and USB output for charging with the built-in 1400 mAh battery; a micro-USB cable is included. A battery life meter is also included, which is both a rarity and a nice touch. Lux is also IPX5 water-resistant, and claims to get 12 hours of continuous playtime. As if that’s not enough, Lux can also pair with other specific Braven speakers for stereo sound, and the speaker can also be used as a Bluetooth receiver for non-BT speakers.
Lux looks more expensive than it really is, with its intricate grille design and sleek finish — it’s actually hard plastic with rubber ends and a rubber bottom. The speaker is 6.25” x 2.6” x 1.8”, and at 11.8 ounces, it’s small and light enough to drop into a purse or any other small bag.
On one end are the volume controls, which double as skip track buttons when held, a power button, and a pairing/call answering and ending/play-pause button. On the other end, covered under a rubber cap, are the ports and battery meter, which indicates how much battery life is left on Lux, by way of five lights.
As for the look of Lux, significant others of iLounge team members said the design was “pretty” and “cool-looking,” with obvious feminine appeal. Really though, it’s just a nice looking speaker for the price. If you dig the design, you should consider Lux, regardless of your gender. It comes in three different colors — white, gold, and purple.
The list of features packed into Lux is quite impressive. The speaker’s 1400 mAh power bank will give a newer iPhone at least a partial charge; it outputs at 1A. We didn’t expect water resistance, and we definitely didn’t expect the ability to use the speaker as a Bluetooth receiver; the latter worked as promised.
And though iOS will sometimes note the remaining battery life of a Bluetooth speaker, having a meter on the speaker itself is a nice touch.
Compared to the very best speakers in its price range, Lux falls a tad bit short on sound, but it’s certainly no slouch. The bass is lacking, but Lux does well with mids and highs. The sound is very clear, with little to no distortion at high volume. Now, it’s not a powerful speaker — which isn’t a surprise considering its size — but it’s got enough oomph to fill a smaller room. Also note that though it may look like the sound comes out of the speaker from both sides due to the design, that’s not actually the case.
Speakerphone testing results were acceptable. We think Lux would probably work best as a desk speaker or kitchen speaker when not on the go.