When it comes to Thermaltake's Luxa2 brand of accessories, the standard is set pretty high for me purely because of my prior experiences with their accessories. Honestly and truthfully, Luxa2 is probably the most underrated brand of mobile accessories that exist within the industry. Luxa2 uses the highest quality materials and engineering to create their products and their overall finish and quality are unparalleled. So, naturally, when I heard that they were going to be making a wireless bluetooth speaker, I got really excited and wanted to check it out for myself. My first experience with the Luxa2 Groovy was back in June at Computex and simply by holding it in my hand I was already interested. We also want to apologize in advance for our San Diego photos, we know it is December, but the weather yesterday just enticed us too much to go out and take some great shots of the Groovy.
The Luxa2 Groovy
is basically a solid aluminum built wireless Bluetooth speaker, which already has a lot going for it since most of their competitors are made of plastic or some other lower quality metals. The goofy name of the Groovy certainly doesn't hamper its overall stunning looks and quality build feel, this is certainly the best built wireless speaker of them all. The strap itself is also made of genuine leather and you get to choose between a black leather strap/handle or a tan leather one, a great decision by Luxa2 to give people choice.
In addition to having a solid aluminum body, the Luxa2 Groovy has an aux jack if your device doesn't have Bluetooth or if you don't trust Bluetooth audio quality.The buttons along the top of the Groovy allow you to power on the device, control the volume and to pickup/hangup a call or play/pause your music, although that last feature has an ever-so-slight lag. The top of the speaker also has the USB charging port and microphone for speakerphone calls, which from my experience worked pretty great and people didn't have a hard time hearing me or ask me if they're on a speakerphone. It also has four rubber feet to reduce vibration on surfaces and not to slide or scratch on certain surfaces like glass.
Due to the Luxa2 Groovy's design, the entire back of the speaker is a large piece of very nice brushed aluminum and as a result, the speaker is very directional and can't be considered a 'room' speaker of sorts. However, the quality of the audio itself is fairly good compared to other wireless speakers as it actually has some bass to it and the music experience doesn't feel diminished by using it. Obviously, it doesn't have as much bass as the JBL SoundFly, but that speaker is directly plugged into the wall and is designed to fill an entire room with sound. In my testing, I successfully and easily paired the Groovy with multiple smartphones and a laptop, the Groovy easily and quickly associated and disassociated with my phone. And when I left the room, it would disconnect and then immediately reconnect and keep playing the music once I was within about 25 feet. Due to the Groovy's side I was also able to take it with me to more places than i would have expected because its about the size of a 16oz bottle of water and has a nice leather carrying case.
The pairing process is incredibly straight forward and all you have to do is make sure you've powered on the device and see that the red and blue LEDs are blinking. Once you've got a pair, it should blink slowly with a blue LED. And if you play music while paired and charging the blue and red LEDs light up simultaneously creating a purple looking LED. The setup process is so straightforward that I don't even think a guide is necessary if you've ever set up a Bluetooth device before.
The accessories that Luxa2 includes with the Groovy are pretty standard, like the aux cable, USB charging cable (without the actual charger, assuming you'll use a computer?) extra leather strap and leather bag. Some of the other nice touches on the Groovy are the fact that all of the info on the back of the brushed aluminum body of the speaker is actually laser etched, which simply adds another level of quality to an already pretty high quality device. One of my biggest pet peeves is when companies print things on aluminum only to have it rub off.
In terms of usage, I got a solid 5 hours of usage out of the speaker at a pretty reasonable volume over Bluetooth. I suspect that at lower volumes you could get 6 or 7 hours. Luxa2 claims a battery life of 3.5 hours at maximum volume and my experience seems to be pretty fair considering their numbers. It also takes about 3 hours to charge the Groovy, so if you let it completely die be prepared to wait a while to refill that 1800 mAh battery (3.7v nominal voltage). I would've liked the ability to do NFC pairing but with an aluminum body like this, NFC isn't really an option since you can't mount the antennas inside of or behind aluminum.
The Luxa2 Groovy carries a 1 year warranty from Luxa2 and has an MSRP of $89.99 however, right now you can find it on sites like Newegg for as low as $65
which is a great deal when you consider that the Jambox Mini is $180, and the Beats Pill is $199. The truth is that neither of the other wireless Bluetooth speakers really offer 2x the value of the Groovy although their bigger bretheren may. With the extra strap, leather bag and the necessary cables, this speaker is more than a great deal at $65 and I'm fairly sure that anyone that gets one of these as a gift will not be disappointed after just seeing the thing and holding it in their hands, before listening to it.
Based on my experiences with the Luxa2 Groovy and the pricing revelation, I would have to say that the Luxa2 Groovy is a no brainer, even with a questionably cheesy name. Because of this conclusion, we've decided to award the Luxa2 Groovy our editor's choice for home entertainment because it simply falls within an incredibly affordable price point while oozing quality.
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