With so many different wireless Bluetooth speakers on the market, how does a product differentiate itself from the pack? Some manufacturers ruggedize the speaker like Scosche's BoomBottle, while others choose a different form factor to please the crowd like LuguLake does. Braven makes quite a few Bluetooth speakers and all of them fit various form factors and lifestyles, and Braven's LUX fits right in with that mindset. The folks at Braven seem to have noticed that most Bluetooth speakers look similar, and there's a specific segment of the market that's been undeserved in the style category: women. Yes, Braven's latest is marketed specifically to women who are looking for a Bluetooth speaker with a bit more fashion sense, and I think they've achieved it here.
Since I'm not a woman I thought it would be appropriate to let my wife use this speaker for a good chunk of the review and see what her thoughts on it were. She immediately liked the style and particularly the pastel purple color of the speaker. It's definitely a great looking speaker and has feminine style to it, with all the available colors fitting that description too. Construction of the speaker is plastic but feels solid with a particularly nice weight to it. This comes in handy since the bottom of the speaker is outfitted with a thick rubberized material to keep it from sliding off even a friction-less surface like glass. The device is also IPX5 water resistant, which means you should be able to spray this speaker even with a hose and it'll keep working, so getting splashed at the pool or rained on while outside shouldn't prove to be a problem at all.
The right side of the unit has all the regular controls including rubberized power, play, volume up and volume down buttons, which are easily accessible at all times. The other side of the unit features a sealed compartment that has access to the microUSB charging slot, regular sized USB out, battery life indicator as well as auxiliary in and out ports for audio. The Braven LUX doubles as a power bank for your devices too, so not only can you use the speaker as a wireless Bluetooth speaker but you can also charge your devices on the go, saving space in your bag so you don't have to carry an extra power bank with you.
Pairing is done by turning the speaker on and holding down the play button until you hear an audible noise and see the small white light flashing on the front grill. Once the speaker is in pairing mode you should be able to find it via your phone's Bluetooth interface and connect to it using the default PIN of 0000 (four zeroes). The speaker plays short little noises for different status indicators including power on and off, pairing mode and connected to a Bluetooth device. These were all fantastic sounds that were very satisfying to hear. There's a noise-cancelling microphone included on the unit which makes using this speaker as a speakerphone for your phone a very real possibility, cancelling out the audio output so you don't have that horrible echo chamber going on during the call.
Audio quality, which is probably the main reason you came here anyway, is phenomenal to say the least. There's some seriously deep bass here that I didn't think was possible in a Bluetooth speaker this size, and the audio is somewhat multi-directional as well. Audio primarily comes out of one side of the unit and bass seems to primarily come out of the other side. The volume levels achievable with this speaker are off the charts and are even clear at the loudest setting. Hearing this one across your house isn't an issue, and hearing it outside is a very likely possibility too. If you need to use it in the car to temporarily (or permanently) replace an aging or broken sound system this is also a possibility as I needed to in one of my vehicles during the review period. For $100 this is absolutely the best Bluetooth speaker I could think of recommending so long as you're OK with the more feminine style, and of course if you're looking for that this would definitely get pushed into the must-buy category.