Soundmatters FoxL review: Soundmatters FoxL

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Soundmatters FoxL mb Personal Audiophile Loudspeaker (Bluetooth)

(Part #: FOXL-B)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Soundmatters FoxL Personal Audiophile Loudspeaker is super compact and offers excellent sound quality over a wired connection.

The Bad The Soundmatters FoxL Personal Audiophile Loudspeaker suffers from static and distortion when Bluetooth is engaged. The unit is expensive and doesn't include a hard-sided carrying case.

The Bottom Line The Soundmatters FoxL Personal Audiophile Loudspeaker is well-constructed and offers a super compact design without sacrificing sound quality. Sure, it's pricey, but it's worth it.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

To put the word "audiophile" in the name of your product is a bold claim indeed, but that's exactly what Soundmatters did with its FoxL Personal Audiophile Loudspeaker. This travel-friendly speaker is among the most compact we've seen, and yet it manages to offer exceptional range and clarity--not to mention a tight low-end. However, you'll need a wired connection to enjoy the speaker's audio capability. The FoxL comes in a Bluetooth model ($249) and a standard version ($199), but we don't recommend dropping the extra $50 for wireless connectivity.

No doubt the Soundmatters FoxL speaker is compact and super portable. It measures just 5.6 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 1.3 inches deep, and a pouch is included in the package to offer minimal protection during transport. (Considering the price, though, we would prefer a hard-sided case.) The unit is all black, with a metal grille covering the face and two bulbous speaker drivers sticking out of the front. It's also well-constructed, with a weighty feel, and has two rubber feet and a pop-out kick stand in the back to support it during music playback. Other physical characteristics of note include volume buttons and a power switch on the back; a 3.5mm line-in port and a power-input jack on the left spine; and a mic/subwoofer input, LED status light, and mini USB port (for charging through your computer) on the right.

As mentioned, the FoxL Soundmatters speaker comes in two models: one with integrated stereo Bluetooth and one without. The Bluetooth version offers the added bonus of wireless connectivity with any audio device that operates on the A2DP Bluetooth protocol. (Examples include the Samsung P2, the Samsung T10, and many smartphones.) It also offers a built-in mic for making and taking hands-free calls. Both models feature an internal Li-Ion battery rated for a rather paltry 5 hours of play time. The package for each includes both an AC adapter and a USB cable for charging. There's also a 1/8-inch stereo-patch cable--with gold-plated straight plugs at either end--for attaching an audio source to the speaker. And to get the best audio quality, this is the method we recommend, even with the Bluetooth version.

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