PREMIUM WIRELESS SPEAKER FROM LUXA2 REVIEWED
In an age where mobile computing is the king, it is just reasonable for PC Hardware manufacturers to branch out and try something new. It’s the exact case with Thermaltake, a world renowned PC Hardware manufacturer specializing in chassis, coolers, and gaming peripherals.
Now meet the company’s mobile division, LUXA2. WIth a full range of mobile centric products, it is one of the most established young brands as of today. With that said, we have been invited to review one of LUXA2’s flagship mobile accessory, the Groovy Wireless Stereo Speaker. It weighs in at around 500 Grams, packs a 1800mAh Li-Polymer battery, and has Two 3W drivers for stereo output. Let us check it out, shall we?
Some say, you have to sacrifice performance for looks. Luxa2 say, why not have both. The Groovy Bluetooth sound system may look like a celebrity diva, with sleek aluminum curves and fashionistic genuine leather, but just like a true diva, it comes with a tantrum!
FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS: CLICK HERE
|Product Name||Groovy Wireless Stereo Speaker|
|Weight||556 g / 1.22 lbs|
|Material||Aluminum, Genuine Leather|
|Compatibility||All Bluetooth enabled devices|
|Content of delivery||Groovy Wireless Stereo Speaker x1
USB to micro-USB Cable x1
AUX Cable x1
Carrying Pouch x1
Leather Handles x2 (Brown, Black)
User Manual x1
|Wireless range||In 10meters(open area)|
|Capacity||1,800mAh / 3.7V Li-Polymer|
|Input||5V0.5A Micro USB|
|Audio output||2.5W+2.5W(RMS), 3W+3W(Max.)|
|Playing time||11-12 hours|
|Others||A2DP(Audio Sink only),
AVRCP(Remote Control only),
Hands free(Built-in Mic)
Pairing : Blue & Red flashing
Charging : Red
UNBOXING & BUNDLED ACCESSORIES:
The Groovy came in a well packed matte Black packaging, creating that premium feel to it. When LUXA2 shipped the Groovy, it came inside a larger box. I’m pretty surprised that nothing happened to it since regular mail delivery guys tends to throw stuffs even though they are electronics or fragile. That said, the packaging used by LUXA2 proved to the sufficient enough to protect the Groovy.
The back of the packaging houses the features of the Groovy. Nothing much here.
Once opened, you will be greeted by a number of accessories. That includes the easy to use quick start guide, the charging cable, an audio cable if you wish to use the Groovy with a wired source, an extra genuine leather carrying handle in Black, and a pleather carrying pouch which is awesome. The thought allotted by LUXA2 into choosing the right accessories to go with the Groovy is much appreciated.
THE LUXA2 GROOVY:
You know a product is well built if it gave you the feeling that it will pass the test of time, and the Groovy is one fine example. Out of the box the Groovy impressed us with its lush brushed aluminum surface in conjunction with its soft mesh that protects the drivers. It looks simple, but the time taken to think about its awesome simplicity is something I should be thanking for at LUXA2.
The mesh engulfs the front and the side of the Groovy. The side doesn’t have openings for the 3W speakers so I guess it’s just there for the looks. Looking at this angle reveals that the brushed aluminum housing goes from the top to the bottom of the Groovy, making up for the simple yet elegant look of the speaker system.
The underside of the Groovy features Four anti-slip rubber footings. This is to ensure less vibrations and a much more secure foothold if used on slippery surfaces.
The top features a real leather strap, if you wish to bring it anywhere. It’s a nice addition, since it’s there for the looks and functionality. I/O wise, we’ve got an audio input jack, a mini-USB port for charging, and an on-board microphone if you wish to use the Groovy as a speakerphone. Buttons are a plenty, with a power, volume adjustment buttons, and a dual function call – play/pause button.
BATTERY LIFE & EASE OF USE:
The LUXA2 Groovy proved to be an easy to use, no frills wireless speaker. All you need to do is to turn it on, push the power button once again to initiate pairing mode, and then use your phone to pair it up with the Groovy. It’s that easy. We really had no problems pairing it up with our mobile devices.
The Groovy is rated to operate with a paired wireless device up to 10 Meters, but we find no problems using it even at 13 Meters. Thick walls seems to be a huge problem though, as it had troubles receiving good reception as it frequently goes out of range even at 6 Meters. Thin walls and open spaces between them doesn’t pose any connectivity problems though which is good.
Battery life would seem shabby if we’re to talk about the 1800mAh battery specifications alone, but fear not, as the Groovy will last for days of casual listening. In fact, our smartphone gave in on the third day and the Groovy is just blinking like an arse; challenging any mobile devices paired with it. For continuous full volume listening, it will wither out at around 5 Hours max. Charging time from depleted battery is around 4 Hours using a home plug so it’s all good.
You could use the Groovy while it is charging, but it’s only recommended if you paired it with a wireless device. That said, anything that goes into the audio port makes it screech unwanted noise when charging. Hopefully, there is a switch that could enable the Groovy to directly power itself up if I wanted to, for example, use it as my PC’s primary speaker. Ultimately preserving its battery’s lifespan while I could enjoy using it for long periods of time.
TEST SYSTEM & PROCEDURES:
Testing audio products is not our forte, but nonetheless well try to provide the best user experience results we could. We’ll test audio solutions with the Right Mark Audio Analyzer (if possible), some games, my favorite upbeat playlist, and my favorite HD movies. Do note that we’ll test the audio solutions with the sampling mode of 24bit, 48Hz. Below is the test system’s specifications.
|CPU||Intel Core i5 4670K|
|CPU COOLER||Cooler Master Seidon 120XL|
|MEMORY||ADATA XPG [email protected] 16GB|
|INT. STORAGE||Kingston HyperX 120GB & SSDNow V+200 120GB|
|PSU||Cooler Master Silent PRO Hybrid 1300W|
|DISPLAY||ASUS VX279H AH-IPS|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 (Updated)|
|EXT. STORAGE||2TB Western Digital My Passport|
SOUND QUALITY PERFORMANCE:
Since the LUXA2 Wireless Stereo Speaker is a Bluetooth compliant product, we tested it with a number of MP3 files stored on it since there is no reason to listen with FLAC wirelessly due to the smartphone’s measly components and the wireless nature of the Bluetooth features the Groovy has (No support for aptX). We find the Groovy very pleasing though within its operating range, since it offered an enjoyable music playback via wireless streaming.
Now if you want to maximize the Groovy’s performance, or rather if you want to hear its full potential, you must use the auxiliary port located at the top. Our real test revolves around the use of the said port, since it’s a good measure to find out how good the drivers really are without the limiting combination of our phone and the wireless connectivity itself.
LOWS: Bass heavy tracks such as Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz’s “Get Low” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” are a good track to check out how good or bad the bass response of any speakers. We are pleased with the LUXA2’s response with bass heavy tracks by providing a rather good ratio between what it could produce and its size. That said, it’s far from being boomy, but not that punchy either. Just between both. In short, the low-end decays a little slower than everything else in the frequency range as it hangs around for quite a good amount of time. That said, it provides enough fun for an energetic presentation. Adequate.
MIDS: Accentuated is the word for the mid-ranges where it is more pronounced compared to the highs and lows. Vocal clarity is good on these ranges, as heard from some of my favorite vocalists such as the performance of Andrea Corr with the band’s MTV Unplugged performances, and Phil Collin’s well revered solo performances. There is nothing to complain here for casual listening.
HIGHS: Clean but a little bit leaning on the blanketed side, as if the performance were surrounded by a veil. Lacking is the word here but I am fine with it since the Groovy already gave emphasis on the lower registers which should satisfy most listeners. Not the best, but still tolerable since the mid-ranges doesn’t extend itself that much as to hurt the details of the upper ranges.
Movie playback and gaming seems to be fine with the Groovy by offering good directional audio when needed. I have been playing Battlefield 4 with the Groovy for almost a week now and I must say that it’s a great wireless speaker to use if you wanted to add a bit of immersion to your games. That bit comes from the vibrating nature of the Groovy, and it is a much appreciated side effect of the lingering lower-ends. Meaning that the vibration is transferred from the groovy to the peripherals if placed on the same desk. I love it for this accidental feature.
VALUE & CONCLUSION:
The LUXA2 Groovy Wireless Stereo Speaker currently retails for around 60 US Dollars pitting it against numerous wireless audio devices. Competition is stiff within the said price tag but since I have tested some devices within and above its asking price, I am going to bet for the Groovy due to many things.
First off is the build quality: It is superb for the price as you cannot find anything else that comes close to it at the price point. The aluminum unibody-like design is just astonishingly awesome, together with the finish and other small details that LUXA2 have placed on it. Ease of use comes next, and is possibly what most users wanted. Just push the button on the Groovy, and accept the pairing thru your mobile device. It’s just that easy. The old Bluetooth 2.1 protocol made all this possible, just sayin’.
Sonic-wise, the Groovy is a pretty surprising piece of aluminum. Maybe because I am so accustomed to see manufacturers masking performance via form? That said, the Groovy performed above my expectations by delivering good sonic quality that is far flung compared to its size.
While there is more to love with the LUXA2 Groovy, I hated the fact that it cannot output loss-less audio due to the fact that it does not support aptX. This is where the 2.1 protocol misses its mark. Also, the status LEDs are a bit confusing.
Overall, the Groovy Wireless Stereo Speaker from LUXA2 offered a great blend between form, functionality, performance, and ease of use. With a sweet price-point, there is no reason to doubt its arrival into the market, nor the quality of products from LUXA2. Now excuse me while I play games with it.