No audio jack? No worries

With the release of the iPhone 7, and the advent of the mobile phone’s embrace for the USB Type-C standard, it’s best to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. Sure, there’s a way for our current setups work with these USB only phones but I’d rather have an option readily available – especially if your device requires charging while you’re on an important voice call.

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This brings us to stereo capable Bluetooth earbuds. A thing that actually has been around for a couple of years now. Ours came from our friends at LUXA 2 – a division of Thermaltake specifically catered for mobile and audio solutions. The model we’ve got is of course the LUXA2 Lavi X – a Bluetooth 4.2 enabled, 14.2mm driver touting pair of earbuds.

A huge update from the Lavi O, the Lavi X isn’t just about the driver size and its support for the latest Bluetooth specifications. It carries the IPX4 certification – meaning that it is splash resistant for at least 5 minutes. It also has a anti-slip earhook design, coupled up with a multi-paring capability so you can use one for your phone and one for your tablet. You can directly check it out HERE for more details.

Product Name Lavi X Sports Wireless Earbud Headset
P/N AD-HDP-PCLXBK-00
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2 with A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HFP 1.6, HSP 1.2 support , Class 2
Supported Audio Codecs AAC, SBC
RF Carrier frequency 2402 ~ 2480 MHz
Receiving distance 10 meters (360°)
Dimension 48 * 40 * 32mm
Weight 12g * 2pcs (bare unit, no packaging)
Working voltage 3.7V
Low power voltage indication 3.4V
Playing time Up to 6 hours
Charging voltgage DC 5V
Charging interface Micro USB
Charging time 1-2 hours
Charging current 100mA
Auto-shut-off time without connection 5 minutes
Waterproof IPX4
Driver diameter Φ14.2mm
Driver spec. 104dB± 3dB sensitivity
Driver rated power 10mW (15mW at Maximum)
Frequency 20Hz – 20KHz Impedance (32 Ohm)
Battery spec. 3.7V 95mAh Lithium-ion Battery

UNBOXING CUZ WHY NOT:

The LAVI X came in a small yet sturdy packaging. It isn’t the flashiest but is enough to tell us what are we expecting to get, together with an ample protection for what is inside. The pack is designed for a number of shelf mounting options.

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Inside, you’ll find a starter guide, a pair of extra buds (medium and large), and a Y-split charging cable. There’s also a handy hard pouch with the LAVI X inside. Not bad!

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DESIGN FIT & COMFORT:

The LAVI X isn’t huge, but isn’t exactly small either. Each piece weighs in at 12 grams and is jet black to keep it low profile in spite of its bulky looking nature. Best thing about this case is the IPX4 certification – which is basically certified to withstand 5 minutes of continuous water splash. This makes it good for sweat engaging activities such as sports. Reason why LUXA2 markets it for such active individuals.

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Each piece has their own media controls since they feature dual pairing modes. The volume up doubles as a next button, the power/pairing button doubles up as play and pause, while the volume down doubles up as the previous track button.

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Underneath each piece are sealed charging docks, mic inputs (possibly stereo mic on this case), and an activity light.

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While you can try, it’s not best to use the device while charging with the included cable. That is unless, you’ve got one of those wearable power banks. The cable is just enough to charge your device with a tangle-free value added design.

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The LAVI X is easy to pair and use and you only need to remind yourself about the Two pairing modes – single piece and dual or stereo. For single piece mode pairing, you have to press the power button for more than 8 seconds. This ensures that only a single piece will be paired even if you powered up the other one. That said, the unused piece can be used for other devices. As for dual pairing mode, press the power button of any piece for more than 3 seconds then after pairing, just power up the other piece. No need to pair it as it will automatically connect itself. FOr an easy to use – easy to pair kit, the manual never stated that it is that just easy.

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As for fit and comfort, the LAVI X prefers small to medium sized ears. The hook stays in, and can be rotated to adjust for a better fit – allowing the wearer to get the most out of it. The buds provided an ample amount of isolation but it is quite noticeable even after a few minutes due to the sealing pressure. This thing is comfy enough, and stays in place no matter what you do – but do note that the buds are made for isolation, and not for maximum comfort.

TESTING THE HEAD GEAR:

The vast world of head gears are subjective, and is usually a heated debacle among avid listeners. For an instance, some may favor heavy bass emphasis while others may favor less bass and prefer a rich mid-range or higher frequency range details. In short, a head gear might sound great from someone’s perception, while at the same time, it may sound awful to other listeners. There are also other things to look out for such as the sound stage, the general sound signature of the head gear, and several others used throughout the audiophile community.

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Head gears although mostly subjective, can still be tested for basic objective measurements with the help of AudioCheck.net’s Headphones and Earphones Benchmarking Test Files. Gears used to take cross reference sampling is my SONY MDR-7506, and the on-board ALC892 audio solution of my ASUS Z170-A motherboard. As for wireless devices, a mobile phone with Bluetooth 4.0 support is used.

HEAD GEAR TEST FILES FROM AUDIOCHECK.NET
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: BASS 10 HZ – 200 HZ PASSED AT 20 HZ
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: TREBLE 8 KHZ – 20 KHZ PASSED AT 18 KHZ
SPECTRAL FLATNESS PASSED W/ DIP
DYNAMIC RANGE PASSED @ 58 DBFS
DRIVER QUALITY PASSED W/ MINOR RATTLING
DRIVER MATCHING PASSED
WIRING PASSED
BINAURAL TEST PASSED

Based on the test files from AudioCheck.net, the LAVI X delivered a solid performance across all the audio benchmarks, with a few exceptions. First off, it passed the bass response test, able to output a minimum of 20 HZ which is inline with its specified range. As for treble, the LAVI X just fell short at 18 KHz, but it isn’t a major problem – just short compared to its specified range. Most tracks doesn’t even feature contents above 16 KHz, just saying.

Spectral flatness is a pass but featured a small dip around the mid-range sweep.  Dynamic range on the other hand passed with flying colors as expected, able to deliver 58 DB below full scale which is an indication of a good isolation. Now as for driver quality, the LAVI X’s 14.2mm drivers features minor rattling. It isn’t game breaking, as we tested bass shaking hits and never noticed any of the rattling. Still, it’s something that you should note.

Not all head gears features a flat sound signature, and not all ears are created equal so keep that in mind. If you want to learn more about these tests, head over to AudioCheck.net. I suggest you sample your own tests with your current gear.

GENERAL AUDIO PERFORMANCE:

We tested the LAVI X with a variety of tracks, games and movies to gauge its general audio performance under a variety of consumer usage. The first thing we’ve noticed is how loud and clear the thing is – extremely loud, with crystal clear upper ranges and a bass quantity to match. I never enjoyed YES’ live performance with their track Roundabout with wireless earbuds before so this one gets a yes from me.

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The LAVI X is better in every way compared to the LAVI O featuring a well rounded performance over vocal heavy tracks, together with a clear mid-range and rich top end to seal the deal.

As expected, the microphone of the LAVI X isn’t the best out there, but it gets the job done nonetheless. It picks up background noise easily, but our voice is audible enough on the receiving end. We tested this one on a busy street with a minimum of 60dBA noise level so it’s all good to yours truly.

THE VERDICT:

The LAVI X is a huge step up compared to the LAVI O when it comes to sheer audio performance. LUXA 2 made a proper wireless earbud, featuring a good sound stage, well balanced performance across the audio spectrum – and is just oozing with bass quantity for its size. This set is not just for the sporty – it’s also for those who are looking for an excellent pair of wireless stereo headgear that could take a beating – movement wise. Range, and battery life is appealing too. With a maximum of 5 hour play time and a range at up to 11 meters. Charge time is a little under an hour too, which is great.

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Comfort is generally good – with sealing being the the top priority. That said, it’s generally balanced around this area but if you want to get more out of it, I suggest getting yourself a compatible pair of memory foam buds. Price wise, the LAVI X should set you around 39 USD. That price isn’t bad, as there are equivalents retailing for about 54+ USD. I supposed this one is hard to top, with only minor nuances that never affected our actual listening experience. There isn’t much to complain, but if we’re to nit-pick, we’d like LUXA 2 to improve the manual. That driver quality check we did requires attention too, but let us leave that to LUXA 2’s side.

Stereo, truly wireless, and wont budge – the LUXA 2 LAVI X is one of the best wireless buds I have tested to date. Nothing I’ve tested compared to it as far as pricing, features, and performance are concerned. Get it at Amazon.

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