Every now and then, I get a review unit that I need to figure out an angle on. Top that off with a virtual deluge of Bluetooth headphones lately, and I have to wonder why bother. Lucid managed to grab my attention with a few interesting features.
The “rubberized” body is chunkier than some of the headsets I’ve used, but it’s quite solid. In fact, there’s something about it that makes me think it would be good to give a younger kid. The foam ear buds sit on a retractable, flat, no-tangle cord. A very nice touch.
The important thing is how it sounds, of course, and I have to say I was expecting a bit more from Lucid. The foams stay in, but I didn’t get the same level of depth as I have been from some of the other sets I’ve been looking at. Still, it was certainly good–just not amazing. I was impressed with how well they blocked out external sound. Which is funny, because external sound is the Amped’s entire shtick.
Via a set of controls on the right side, you can use the Lucid Amped to raise the volume of the noise around you. This is, theoretically, a good idea for running–helps you be aware of the world. However, I found NYC to have way too much noise for it to be useful. Where I think it might really shine is in classrooms–a great way to boost a quiet lecturer–except if you have headphones on in a classroom, you’re likely to spend that period in the principal’s office. On the other hand, when walking at 5AM for my morning commute, before the sun is up? Kinda cool. One caveat: I kept forgetting to completely turn off ambient sound, which drains the battery a bit faster. Also, the Amped does not have Bluetooth multi-device pairing. So if you switch from tablet to phone a lot, this is not for you.
As a first Bluetooth headset, the Amped may be an interesting choice for a younger user, if you do not balk at the $129 price tag. It’s absolutely worth waiting on a sale. As for me, I’m impressed enough by it that I am going to watch Lucid to see what generation 2.0 is like.