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Cambridge Soundworks Oontz Angle 3 Plus review: One of the best-sounding inexpensive Bluetooth speakers

As far inexpensive wireless speakers go, the $35 Oontz Angle 3 Plus delivers a lot of sound bang for the buck.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

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Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.

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Last time we reviewed an Oontz was a few years back when Cambridge Soundworks' original no-frills "value" Bluetooth speakers first hit Amazon. The Oontz Angle 3 Plus is technically the fourth generation of Oontz, and continues the brand's tradition of delivering good sound for the price. In fact, you could say very good sound for the price.

Oontz Angle 3 Plus
8.0

Cambridge Soundworks Oontz Angle 3 Plus

The Good

Cambridge Soundworks' Oontz Angle 3 Plus manages to deliver fairly rich sound despite its small size and relatively low price. It also has excellent battery life, is water-resistant and has speakerphone capabilities.

The Bad

Some treble push.

The Bottom Line

Ignore the goofy name: The Oontz 3 Plus delivers about as good sound as you'll get from a $35 Bluetooth speaker.

The speaker, which can be stood up vertically or laid down horizontally, isn't going to win any design awards but it's functionally attractive. More importantly, it costs only $35 on Amazon. What's impressive about is that it manages to play pretty loudly with decent clarity and strong bass performance for its size. Sound-wise, it's in the same league as speakers like the JBL Flip 4 and UE Wonderboom that cost around $100. 

Oontz Angle 3 Plus
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Oontz Angle 3 Plus

The Oontz 3 Plus is about 1 inch longer than the earlier Oontz Angle 3 and delivers better bass.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Additionally, battery life is excellent (it's rated at up to 30 hours at moderate volume levels) and the speaker is water resistant (splashproof) so you can take it in the shower. A built-in microphone means you can use it as a speakerphone. 

We fed it some pretty hard material -- material that often makes other small speakers distort -- and the Oontz 3 Plus managed to handle most everything we played.

The 3WW track "alt-J" has some deep bass frequencies that tend to hurt some speakers. The Oontz Angle 3 Plus, however, held its own. No, it's not going to deliver room rattling bass -- after all it's a very compact speaker that weighs in at 13 ounces (369 grams). But it definitely plays much bigger than it looks.

Oontz Angle 3 Plus
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Oontz Angle 3 Plus

The USB charging port and auxiliary input are behind a gasket. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Like with a lot of these inexpensive Bluetooth speakers, performance is a little uneven -- it sounds very good with certain tracks and less good with others. To keep the speaker from distorting, the speaker's DSP (digital signal processor) limits the maximum volume and also strips out certain frequencies to prevent the speaker from distorting. The Shaun Frank remix of Chainsmokers' "Closer" track introduces some low frequencies that make a lot of other little speakers warble. But instead of distorting the Oontz Angle 3 Plus simply toned that hard-to-process bass line way down. That's both good and bad, though ultimately it's better for the speaker not to distort.

Most of these little speakers tend to sound reasonably good in the midrange and vocals came across sounding pretty natural with the Oontz Angle 3 Plus. There's a bit of presence boost in the treble to make you think the speaker sounds clearer (it's the trend these days to boost the treble a bit), but it doesn't go too far. 

I'd definitely spend the $7 extra on this newer Plus version of the Oontz Angle 3, which retails $28 Amazon. Not only is the Plus about 1-inch longer and offers better bass performance, but it has much longer battery life -- 30 hours vs. 12 hours for the Oontz Angle 3.

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What you get in the box.

Sarah Tew/CNET
Oontz Angle 3 Plus
8.0

Cambridge Soundworks Oontz Angle 3 Plus

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Sound 8Value 9