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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Soundmatters FoxL Dash 7 Bluetooth speaker review:

A top micro wireless speaker that's pricey

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The Good The Soundmatters FoxL Dash 7 is a tiny wireless speaker that sounds good for its size, has good battery life (12 hours), and is ideal for frequent travelers. It comes with a nice carrying case that converts into a stand and has speakerphone capabilities.

The Bad Pretty pricey; doesn't sound as good at higher volumes with bass-heavy material and more complicated music.

The Bottom Line While it's a bit overpriced, the Soundmatters FoxL Dash 7 is a superslim Bluetooth speaker that sounds very good for its size.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.7 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Sound 7.0
  • Value 6.0

Jawbone put tiny Bluetooth wireless speakers on the map with the Jambox, but Soundmatters is the company that provided key audio components for the Jambox while quietly selling its own well-received speaker, the FoxL.

Like the Mini Jambox, which also apparently uses some of Soundmatters' technology, the new FoxL Dash 7 is a very slim speaker that's only 0.75 inch deep and weighs a mere 0.44 pound. It's thinner than the Mini Jambox but longer and can be propped up vertically using the included convertible case stand, or laid down flat so the speaker fires upward. Like the Jambox, it doubles as a speakerphone and works well in that capacity.

The speaker weighs only 0.44 pound and is 0.75 inch thick (click image to enlarge). Sarah Tew/CNET

Overall, it's a really nice little speaker that comes in a few different colors and obviously travels very well -- and I like the fact that it comes with a case, something that Jawbone didn't include with the Mini. On the flip side, the Dash doesn't have the Mini's fancy voice prompts, which also alert you to battery level.

As far as connectivity goes, there's an audio input for non-Bluetooth devices and a port for connecting Soundmatters' optional FoxLo palm-size powered subwoofer. You can charge the device via Micro-USB or an AC adapter that offers faster recharging. Battery life is rated at 12 hours for wireless streaming, which is better than average for this type of speaker.

For its size, the Dash 7 sounds quite good and plays as loud as the larger FoxL v2. According to Soundmatters, it features a new fifth-generation twoofer ("tweeters that woof") -- and BassBattery, which is a battery that doubles as a passive radiator. And the Bluetooth is described as having extended range (beyond the typical 30 feet), but no specific range is given. I did manage to stream to the speaker from over 50 feet away.

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