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November 8, 2016

LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones: The first premium over-ear wireless active headphones (review)

by John_A

I do quite a few product reviews for AndroidGuys and find most products fun to review. However when reviewing multiple products from the same category, many tend to blend together as they all generally perform the same functions. First world problems are real.

Headphones are one of the most popular mobile accessories, especially the wireless variety as companies like Apple and Motorola move away from the 3.5mm audio jack.

Today’s review is one that I found particularly fun to do: the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones.

Former NFL wide receiver Mark Clayton saw a need for high-performance headphones that could keep up with the most active of lifestyles. What drove him to be an NFL star was a passion and work ethic for perfection that less than .1% of the population will ever achieve. He turned that passion into headphones and did an incredible job with the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones.

I’m guessing like many NFL players, he got tired of the cheap build offered with Beats Headphones. He probably wasn’t impressed with the sound performance too. While they look good and arguably are entertaining to listen to, they offer very little substance.

I’ve been fortunate to use the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones for the past month and think they are a hit.

Build

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The LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones are designed for the active lifestyle. They are over-ear headphones that are made using a very glossy black plastic that is useful in keeping the weight down. They use memory foam earcups with 40mm drivers and are connected by a very strong headband that never touches your head. The earcups are easily removable so you can wash or replace them since you will be sweating if you use them during exercise.

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The LIVV Pros use the all important aptX driver for improved audio quality over Bluetooth. Bluetooth in nature was not designed for music playback, and the aptX driver optimizes streaming quality. If your wireless headphones don’t use the aptX driver or custom software, you’re severely missing out on audio quality.

The headphones also come with 8GB of memory onboard so you can store your MP3 collection and go phone free.

On the side is where you will find the controls for your music, volume, as well as the microSD charging slot and 3.5mm audio jack for using them in passive mode if the battery dies. There’s also a built in microphone for taking phone calls.

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Sound and Usage

When I come across “active lifestyle” headphones, I have the preconceived notion that they aren’t going to be as good as normal headphones. In many instances that is the case as sports headphones are tuned in a manner that emphasizes bass and treble to make music sound more fun. However, the LIVV Pro Headphones put the emphasis on sound quality first and foremost.

The LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones’ sound quality rivals any headphones I’ve used all year. That includes high-end headphones such as the Master & Dynamic MW60 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones that cost almost twice as much. The sound signature is balanced, but extremely powerful.

I almost never listened to these beyond 70% of the maximum volume as they get loud. With a snug fit using the patented SureFit headband that can be adjusted for any head-size, including my large noggin, in combination with memory foam earcups, these create an almost soundproof environment. There’s also enough space in between your ear and the large 40mm drivers to offer a huge soundstage. The detail and sound signature are where it’s at with these headphones.

I tested the sound with this list of songs:

  • Get Lucky by Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers – for clarity
  • Brass Monkey by the Beasite Boys – for ultra deep bass
  • Everlong by the Foo Fighters – for overall sound depth
  • Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins – for vocals over powerful guitars and drums
  • Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major by Yo-Yo Ma – cello music for which these headphones were probably not designed

The LIVV Pro Wireless headphones sound incredible. The highs are crisp without being piercing, and maintain detail even when the volume is turned up. The mid-range sound quality is arguably the most important aspect of any headphones as it falls into the broadest range of spectrum our ears can detect and the LIVV Pros hit the nail square on the head. The mids manage to emphasize the right harmonics which are a fundamental required in all premium headphones.

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The LIVV Pros are definitely forward sounding headphones and the bass is a piece of art. Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys tests the low end more than almost all songs that exist. The Pros managed to turn that bass into discernible frequencies that could be felt in my toes. Hearing the records scratch to the ridiculous bass, matched with proper highs and mids made this song sound like I was sitting in the recording studio.

Even though these headphones are designed for the active lifestyle, they are perfect for any type of scenario. I did use them for 60-90 minutes at a time during CrossFit, weight-lifting, running and hiking. However I found myself listening to music at home simply because they are so fun to listen to.

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Battery life is excellent with a life expectancy of 12 hours. I frequently pulled in 12-14 hours on a single charge mainly because I couldn’t turn them up past 70%. When I did, my head hurt but they still managed to keep the sound balance clear.

The built-in mic was also a nice feature as I like to take phone calls on walks with my dog. I never noticed a single issue with call quality, and I would guess that was due to the strong Bluetooth signal these Pros maintained.

The LIVV Pros differentiate themselves from the crowd with the built-in 8GB of internal storage. For those who do serious workouts like NFL players, or in my case CrossFit, you can’t carry your phone on you or in your pocket while exercising. Nor would you want your phone as the last thing you need during a real workout is a notification or call to throw you off your game.

The headphones act as external an external disk when you connect them to your computer – all you need to do is drag and drop music (mp3) files to them. Then hit the red button on the headphones to put them into MP3 player mode and you can play those files. It’s simple but very useful.

Conclusion

Mark Clayton was a winner in the NFL whose career was cut short by injuries. He turned the work ethic and passion for football into a masterpiece with the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones.

The LIVV Pros sound exceptional, fit very well, and have great battery life with internal memory to keep you going strong while staying active. They come in White and Black and retail for $299 at http://www.livvheadphones.com. If you love audio and love the freedom to go wireless or wired, you won’t find a better set of cans priced under $300.

The included case to keep the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones safe.The included case to keep the LIVV Pro Wireless Headphones safe.

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