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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- TPSQL Database AdministratorNSW
- FTeCommerce Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTDeployment Analyst / Customer Service - Minchinbury NSWNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- CCTechnical Support/HelpdeskVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- FTPrincipal Project ManagerVIC
- CCTechnical WriterVIC
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Configuration Engineer - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- CCData ArchitectWA
- FTSecurity Engineer (IPS & Firewall exp essential) - Perm - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperSA
- FTChange Manager, Agile Environment, Financial ServicesNSW
- FTLearning & Development Consultant, Wealth ManagementNSW
- TPAssistant Change Manager | System Implementation ProjectQLD
- CCProject ManagerACT
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCDeployment Manager - TelcoVIC