Soundmatters foxL portable speaker
This portable Bluetooth speaker has more oomph than its small size suggests
- Well-rounded sound with noticeable bass extension -- from 1in speakers!
- Poor stereo sound-stage, distorted Bluetooth sound quality, expensive
The Soundmatters foxL portable speaker packs quite a punch given its small size. It's a good companion for an iPod or mobile phone if you're travelling, with warm and expansive sound.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The Soundmatters foxL is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a rechargeable battery. It's easy to slip into a pocket or backpack, and its expansive sound makes it a good choice for travellers. It is expensive but its audio quality is also head and shoulders above other portable speaker systems we've tested.
The Soundmatters foxL was smaller than we expected — it's like a chocolate bar on steroids, measuring 143x5x35mm. Two 1in "twoofer" stereo speakers are crammed in (a twoofer can reproduce the high frequencies of a tweeter and the low frequencies of a woofer driver).
The internal, rechargeable battery lasts for five hours of music playback at moderate volume levels — though its life takes a hit if you're using Bluetooth. Apart from the internal battery, the Soundmatters foxL can be powered via USB or the included DC adapter. The internal speakers are rated at 4W each when connected to the power adapter, but using USB power halves their output.
We had no problems connecting the Soundmatters foxL to our Apple iPhone 3G S mobile phone, so any A2DP-compatible Bluetooth device should work without issues. The device's usable range when using the battery was around 5m during testing. Separating the source and the speaker past this point introduced significant stuttering and loss of audio. There are also 3.5mm audio input for hooking up an MP3 player and a 3.5mm output for connecting the system to a subwoofer (although we can't see this system being frequently hooked up to a bulky, not-so-portable external subwoofer).
The sound quality of a portable speaker is obviously its main selling point. The $249 foxL has a lot of selling to do to justify its price, but we can see why it's been lauded as brilliant piece of audio engineering. The stereo 1in twoofer speakers create a sound that's very well rounded — there's a significant amount of detail in treble, and mid-range is warm and equally full of nuance. Most surprising is the foxL's bass response, which relies on the internal rubber-cased battery vibrating to act as a passive subwoofer radiator. With the volume turned up, the Soundmatters foxL was able to shake the table it was sitting on, sending the portable speaker skittering around. The bass response adds the expansive dimension to the foxL's sound, and at moderate to high volumes the speaker system delivers very pleasing audio.
There are two things we think hold the Soundmatters foxL back from being a truly exceptional product. It doesn't have particularly good sound quality when connected via Bluetooth, with a distracting bed of interference and distortion. The sound-stage of the speakers also isn't exceptional. It fills a room with sound at higher volumes, but we were always aware that the sound was coming from two speakers spaced very closely together — if you enjoy some stereo separation in your music tracks this might annoy you.
The Soundmatters foxL is a fascinating product; there aren't many other small speaker systems on the market that can match its good all-round sound quality and surprising bass.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTTechnical Support RepresentativeNSW
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCProject Manager - Security/Cyber SecurityVIC
- TPMobile DeveloperWA
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- CCNetwork Specialist - IPAM TelcoVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- TPInsights ManagerWA
- CCTest Planner - Infrastructure/Data CentreACT
- TPScrum MasterVIC
- CCFinance Analyst/ Project SpecialistVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)VIC
- FTSenior .Net Developer with Silverlight proficiencyVIC
- TPTechnical WriterVIC
- FTJunior / Entry Level IT role - Recent IT TAFE GraduateNSW
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- CCGun Java Developer wanted...VIC