- PC Advisor Awards foxL
4 ½ Star Rating - “Soundmatters foxL v2 review: a magical portable
speaker that beggars rational belief” by Andrew Harrison.
- Soundmatters foxL v2
review: a magical portable speaker that beggars rational belief
£169 inc VAT
4 ½ Stars
By Andrew Harrison | PC Advisor | 05 April 13
- The Soundmatters foxL
v2 is a very compact speaker for laptops, smartphones and iPads
whose sound quality belies its tiny 14cm long size.
- We’ve heard many small
PC and gadget speakers before, but nothing that has come close to
the sonic realism of the Soundmatters foxL v2.
Laptops don’t have to be the only source of sound for small
speakers. And when a speaker is this compact, this pocketable, it
demands to be picked up and hooked up to phones and iPads too. Just
don’t confuse the
Soundmatters foxL v2 with the usual cheap tat billed as portable
wireless speakers – this solid-feeling black bar just 140mm long
reproduces music beautifully.
Most little plastic PC speakers are light in weight and even lighter
in sound quality, yet the Soundmatters foxL exudes class, in both
its feel and its sound reproduction.
At 269g, it’s strangely heavy, a glass-filled-plastic case stuffed
with a 4W stereo Class D amplifier, two innovative
woofer-cum-tweeter drivers that Soundmatters calls a twoofer. And a
lithium battery that doubles as a bass speaker, trademarked the
A little grille-shaped kickstand hinges off the back to let the
Soundmatters foxL sit at a good angle on the table. Behind this
stand you can make out the rectangular battery pack, suspended on a
rubber diaphragm and acting as a passive bass radiator.
The actual sound drivers are the unusual twoofers, facing forward
and standing proud of the main chassis as two spherical domes. These
patented units use 1in voice coils, which seems exceptionally large
given the moving domes are no larger. Across the entire front face
is a perforated panel which prevents you from touching and damaging
As well as a sound speaker to augment laptops and other mobile
devices, the Soundmatters foxL v2 can be used as a hands-free
speaker when paired with a phone. We found it just usable as such,
with the usual distant-sound issue that made conversation a little
harder than usual.
You can connect the Soundmatters foxL v2 through a regular 3.5mm
minijack socket, or via Bluetooth A2DP. The latest version is said
to support aptX, a near-lossless audio codec, although our older
sample was only able to use the default SBC codec, which compresses
the bitstream too heavily for our taste.
But over a wired link the foxL v2 gave an uncannily fulsome and rich
sound. Held in the hand, you can feel the device’s palpable
vibration as its battery gets excited.
Set down and playing music, upright bass had real texture, heard in
the prelude and riff of Miles Davis’ ‘So What?’ before moving on to
the ambling walking pattern. Trumpet and modal piano sat neatly
over, projecting cleanly into the room.
Vocals were also flattered by the speaker, maintaining great diction
and highly intelligible without standing forward enough to imbalance
With speaker drivers only around 100mm apart we can’t expect super
stereo but the Soundmatters foxL nevertheless has a way of conjuring
up a large soundfield.
Feed it some ping-pong stereo material like ‘Any Colour You Like’
from The Dark Side of the Moon and you can just pick out the
left/right edges; but it still satisfies with that punchy yet
As you move your listening position around a Soundmatters foxL sat
on a table, tonal quality remains strangely constant, rather than
fall apart with the huge tonal shift that many speakers – large or
small – suffer.
The spooky thing is just how much the Soundmatters foxL v2 can be
appreciated... from outside the room. There's something quite
wholesome and phase-coherent about its sound that makes it just as
realistic when heard from afar.
Maximum volume level can be exceptional given the size. Powered from
the internal battery, Soundmatters specifies the amp at 2W per
channel. With the help of the Mini-USB charger connected, it
stretches to 4W, and you can actually hear the extra few dB of sound
Played flat out, we never heard clipping or driver bottoming,
suggesting some crafty limiting to prevent damage to your
sensibilities or the device itself.
The Soundmatters foxL v2 is distributed in the UK by
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