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soundmatters foxL

January 22, 2009 By Lauren Dragan

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soundmatters foxL

Can you hear them now?

We’ve all been there: In a meeting, on the road, away from all manner of sound system, when there is something on a portable device that you need heard. Maybe it’s music, or a conference call via speakerphone. Yet whatever it is, it sounds terrible pushed through the sad excuse for speakers bleating away on your mobile device.

Until now. Audiophiles on the go take note: your portable sound prayers have been answered. Meet the FoxL after the jump.

Introduced as “portable loudspeakers”, the foxL is soundmatters’ multi-tasking mini dynamo: it can play music, connect via Bluetooth as a speakerphone with built in mic (foxLmb), and can even function as an external microphone for a computer.

They do all of this with finesse unseen in the portable speaker field to date. Meaning: they actually sound pretty darn good. With a claimed frequency response of 80Hz-20kHz, and an output of 95dB at 0.5m plugged into the included 5v power adaptor (and 92dB when powered by the battery), they immediately impress.

soundmatters foxL

Especially when one considers its size. Weighing in at just 9.5oz and with dimensions of 5.6” x 2.2” x 1.4”, they feel sturdy yet are at home in the pocket of a suit jacket.

What really fascinates is how foxL accomplishes all of this.

soundmatters foxLUsing what they call Linear Magnetic Drive “Twoofers” and BassBattery, the speakers achieve their clarity through 1-inch back-to-back dual Extreme Energy neodymium magnets.

The bass actually radiates through the lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

The bass can be enhanced by placing the speaker on a solid surface to better resonate, and any unwanted vibrations are dampened by an optional rubber “foot.”

The manufacturer warns that playing at high levels can cause the speakers to dance around, but that wasn’t something I encountered.

soundmatters foxLWhat I did find was a slight sound of distortion in the lower-mid range when playing music.

With some toying around, I found that when I lowered the 125Hz fader on my computer’s equalizer, the distorted sound lessened. Is this nitpicking? Absolutely. But in a set of portable speakers aimed at the audio-obsessed set, it does bear mentioning, even if a minor flaw.

Especially when you take into account the $199 or $249 price tag.

Also missing is an auto-shutoff feature; as speakers accidentally left switched on while unused are often found completely drained when returning to them later.

And for owners of the iPhone or iPhone 3G, Bluetooth streaming is not currently available, so you will have to use a cable to get your music out to the world.

But the good more than outweighs the bad in the foxL. A full charge can power them for up to 5 hours. Conference calls placed through the noise/echo canceling microphone sound fantastic.

And when did you last find portable speakers that offer the ability to attach an external subwoofer?

True, they are portable speakers, and no replacement for a full-sized sound-system, but for close-range portable sound, they as yet have no equal.

And that will have audiophiles everywhere saying halleluiah.

soundmatters foxLPRICE:
foxL $199
foxLmb $249 (includes Bluetooth and built in microphone)

CONTACT:  775.981.1460, soundmatters.com 


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