Thermaltake are one of the biggest names in the PC market, not only are they well known for their PC chassis design, power supplies and other components, but they also spawned another company known to many at TteSports who have gained a great reputation in recent years for some of the best gaming peripherals on the market, but lesser known here in the UK is there other brand, Luxa2, who make mobile friendly products and audio solutions and I’ve been waiting patiently for quite some time to get hold of a pair to see what they have to offer.
“LUXA2, a Division of Thermaltake, was created in 2009, with characteristics of simplicity, luxury, and unique lifestyle. The core design theory of LUXA2 starts from simple shapes blending with luxury elements, which create the unique lifestyle for different segments within the society such as Creative Pro, Mobile Blogger, Leisure Seeker, Hip Newbie, Entertainment Junkie, and Apple’s Mac Lovers.” – LUXA2
When it comes to mobile products, appearance is vital and many people care just as much about how they look while wearing headphones as they do about their headphones sound, which is in my opinion a silly way of doing as I’ll always pick audio quality over style, but that’s just me.
“LUXA2 represent an emerging trend of “individuality” in the world. Not only do people need function, but they also need aesthetic appeal. This is what LUXA2 has achieved. Exquisite craftsmanship with aesthetic and elegant design style is a promise and commitment from LUXA2. Thus, the Simplicity, Luxury and Lifestyle of LUXA2 creates a Uniquely You.” – LUXA2
LUXA2 are playing to a tough crowd, from their own worlds we know they’re targeting the hipster, Apple loving, trendy and self proclaimed cool people of society, a scene of which you could say contains people who are often picky about the products they’ll use, let alone be seen using.
The LUXA2 come nearly boxed in a fairly straight forward box, with a clear panel that gives us a sneak peek at the design, nothing particularly standout so far though so let’s get them out the packaging and take a closer look.
The headphones are hard-wired from both the left and right ear cups, with a Y split cable.
The cable is rubber coated and while it might not look much it’s enough to prevent cable noise traveling up to the ear cups. The jack plug is 3.5mm gold plated, but the large body on it could prevent usage on smartphones with a recessed socket.
The ear cups and the side of the headband are finished in a high gloss plastic, which if I’m honest feels really cheap to touch, it rattles and squeaks endlessly while your handling them and it doesn’t feel particularly durable either.
There is a push / pull length adjustment on each side with a simple metal strip divider and this should help you find a good fit. The headband features a firm foam lining and this is makes for a nice overhead fit, it also helps keep the headphones from slipping off your head.
The ear cups are an “on ear” design and features some durable padding that gives a nice fit over the ear, but it’s not overly comfortable and I find that ear covers like this often need to be worn in to provide the best fit. The drivers can be rotated inward, this partly helps give a good fitting angle but it’s also more comfortable if you wear the headphone around your neck between listening.
Given the more mobile nature of these headphones I decided to take them out for a spin with my iPad, I’ve had quite a big of walking to do this last week and it was a great opportunity to get out into the sun and listen to some music along the way. My taste is music is extremely varied and I had enough time to throw quite a lot of albums at these headphones and overall I have to say I wasn’t terribly impressed, but not completely disappointed either.
The bass on these drivers is really thick and rich, more than I would expect from an over ear design and if you’re a fan of bass heavy music such as dance, dub step, or just generally any kind of electronic club type music then you’ll get a lot of joy from these headphones.
Yet that is where the fun ends in my opinion, as I love heavy metal, rock music, jazz and all kinds of stuff and the EQ bass tones really scrub out the mid and high tones when things really get going, as if the driver can’t respond in time to loud and heavy bass tones. This is generally something that plagues most over ear design headphones though and it’s not even that uncommon within this price range, but it could certainly be better.
Listening to podcasts and audiobooks is good though, since there is little bass there the audio quality is silky smooth. This led me to discover that if you can EQ the bass down a fair bit, push the mid and high tones a little and you’re not at high volumes, you can coax a nice tone from these drivers, but in all fairness, you really shouldn’t have to tweak like that just to get something acceptable.
Overall a fairly sub par performance here today, the headphones are not “bad” as such, they’re just not as good as they could be for this price range. They may only be £35 shipped here in the UK but for that kind of money you can get some incredible sound quality from competing brands and just as much, if not more style, as well as far superior build quality.
If you can pick up a pair of these at around £20 then I would say they’re reasonably good value for money, so long as your more inclined to heavier bass tones and electronic music at least. Should you wish to listen to high volume death metal or other intensive music then you may want to look elsewhere. The way I see it, a pair of headphones should be suitable for all kinds of music, regardless of your own tastes.
LUXA2 F1 headphones do look good though and while I don’t like the choice of materials used in their construction they do look nice and trendy when you are wearing them, they’re glossy, relatively smart and look more expensive than they actually are for the most part, that is at least until you handle them, at which point they feel a little sub par.
So a mixed bag here really, on one hand we have good bass performance and decent style, on the other we have shaky all round audio performance and lack luster construction, I think overall I can safely say I don’t really like the F1 headphones.
- Good Bass
- Distort at higher volumes
- Sub par construction
- Could be cheaper