I have been holding off on writing this review for a while. I’ve had these headphones for about 2 months now and have been using them primarily out of my MacBook Pro at work and on my Pixel 2 and now iPhone 6s Plus. Yes, I went back to my old iPhone after iOS12 and a battery replacement. But thats another story. Back to the Luxe.
The Luxe get the job done at work. Decent sound isolation, comfortable fit, clean sound with a nice low end at moderate listening volumes. The mic is OK on calls in quiet environments but I am told picks up a lot of background sound. If you need something that can block out wind noise or be used for calls in a coffee shop these aren’t it. If you need that check out a purpose built device like the Plantronic 5200.
While I have been enjoying the Luxe, I didn’t think they were anything special. That is until I hooked them up to my recently acquired EarStudio 100 Bluetooth DAC/Amp. The EarStudio is an impressive piece of gear. The build quality is not the best, but the device performs. Music streamed from my Pixel, iPhone or iPad via Aptx or AAC sounds excellent. The Android and iOS apps allow you to shape the sound and adjust the device for different uses (headphones or pre-amp). I have used it as a BT DAC to feed my DarkVoice amp with impressive results. The device is not powerful enough to drive demanding headphones like the 4xx or 6XX but handles my SR80, m100, x11i and PX with no issues.
Like my other less demanding headphones the Luxe are not a challenge for the EarStudio. When paired with the EarStudio the Luxe really come to life. Good amplification does this with most earphones/headphones. The attributes that make the Luxe a good office companion with my MBP are enhanced when driven by the EarStudio. Crisp and detailed highs and mids with tight and controlled low end. The highs sparkle without being sibilant, vocals are slightly recessed, but not terribly so and the bass is present but never boomy or sloppy. The Luxe sound really good on there own, but respond really well to the EQ tweaks I can make with the EarStudio.
I was not initially impressed with the Luxe. They were OK and got the job done. After using them with the EarStudio, I am now a big fan. These earphones perform well when driven from a phone and respond exceptionally well when amped and EQ’d. They scale. If you’re looking for a detailed IEM with a solid low end pick up the Luxe. Well done Massdrop and Noble.