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REVIEW: FoxL v2 pocket-sized wireless boombox

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March 23, 2010

The foxL v2 - great wireless sound for your iPhone, iPod or other devices

The foxL v2 - great wireless sound for your iPhone, iPod or other devices

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Let’s face it, there are a million of these types of loudspeakers kicking around and some aren’t worth the trouble of hooking them up. We got our hands on the Foxl v2 wireless speaker to see if it lived up to the hype.

The Foxl v2 is instantly impressive by its weight, it’s not made of plastic and it delivers impressive bass sounds through technology that combines the unit’s rechargeable Lithium-ion battery with a Flatmagic acoustic bass radiator.

The unit's mid and high-range come at you via two patented dual voice coil 25mm (1 inch) Linear Magnetic Drive Twoofers (tweeters that also woof – tuned to 100Hz) and on-board amplification is supplied by four ultra high-efficiency digital amplifiers delivery total power up to 8W at <0.1%THD. Add in Bluetooth capabilities and this unit ticks a lot of boxes.

It’s easy to set up, just fully charge the foxL before its first use, pair it to your iPhone or other Bluetooth device. It worked without dropping out for around 8m line-of-sight indoors and equally well outdoors. With an iPhone sitting on a window sill, the foxL had no trouble belting out tunes from around 5m away, even non line-of-sight.

And if it’s not pumping enough bass for you, there’s an output jack to attach a separate sub-woofer.

In the past we’ve tried out cheaper, plastic versions of 2W and 4W loud speaker/docks before which don’t perform anywhere near as good as the foxL (the foxL isn’t a dock). The foxL V2 is so bassy, it comes with a grip pad to stop it “walking” off shiny surfaces - useful when the unit’s volume was turned up near full outside on a glass table top.

As the manufacturers, soundmatters, say: the sound quality is better on a hard, flat surface and the sound is slightly bigger when connected to power.

According to Sound&Image, who provided the unit, the relatively tiny Foxl unit uses highly advanced speaker technologies not found elsewhere to achieve its eight-octave bandwidth.

The big sound it generates from that special battery/bass radiator was developed by soundmatters founder and audio designer Dr Godehard Guenther – a physicist and former NASA engineer with three PhDs. He says: “Music is a big part of my life, yet so is travel. There weren’t any really small hi-fi quality portable loudspeakers, so utilizing a number of our patented and proprietary technologies, I developed one myself. A true labor of love, I named it after Fox, my first grandson.”

The foxL comes with two charging options – wall socket AC and USB.

On the front of foxL is a wide bandwidth, high sensitivity microphone with dedicated noise-canceling electronics which provide enhanced voice clarity. FoxL automatically over-rides streaming music, becoming both mic and speaker when a call is answered by your Bluetooth-connected hone or computer.

When powered, the unit produces 4W and when running on its battery drops to 2W (97-95dB). It weighs 9.5oz and measures 5.6 x 2.2 x 1.4 inches. Its 3.5mm input jack lets you use the foxL for a multitude of devices, like portable gaming units, MP3 players, etc. It has a lanyard which can be attached to let users carry the device around their wrist or neck.

The foxL v2 sells online, for around US$199 plus postage or via retailers worldwide. The original foxL (sans Bluetooth) is around US$149.

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