Portable speakers will never compete with hi-fidelity home systems when it comes to audio quality, but they sure are getting better. The latest in audiophile gear for the mobile set comes in the form of the Soundmatters foxL V2, a tiny speaker system that delivers big where it matters: sound.
If you feel like you've heard a similar description before, then you're probably thinking of the Jawbone Jambox, currently the top seed in the "compact size, booming sound" category. Well, this new portable audio device is going head-to-head with that and, from what we've heard so far, the thing is just as impressive.
The Soundmatters foxL V2 comes in a bar form factor reminiscent of a TV remote, measuring 5.6 x 2.2 x 1.4 inches. It comes in both wired and wireless (Bluetooth) models, both of which feature the same specs: 8-octave bandwidth, four digital amplifiers, rechargeable battery (8 hours of playback), removable kickstand and a 3.5mm jack. The Bluetooth version packs a microphone behind the grill, so you can use it to make hands-free calls.
To achieve the high quality sound, it packs a pair of tricks that aren't available on other mobile speakers. First is the “Twoofer”, a tweeter and woofer combo that delivers big sound from a small (25mm) driver, all while managing to save space; the other is “BassBattery,” a clever engineering trick that uses the mass of the onboard battery as an “acoustic suspension bass driver.”
While something as small as the Soundmatters foxL V2 will never replace your giant speaker and woofer systems as home theater staples, it's the kind of product that makes listening to audio outside the confines of your home just a tad more enjoyable. Price is $200 for the base model and $250 for the Bluetooth version.