This little beast, hardly bigger than two bars of bath soap end to end, makes other portable iPod-and-iPad speakers sound like they're playing in the next room.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983
FoxL speaker has big sound in a tiny package
April 17, 2011
By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2011, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2011, The Post-Standard
I listened to my first dancing speaker the other day.
It traveled around my desk while I played "Dark Side of the Moon," the classic Pink Floyd album with the thundering heartbeat bass.
It danced when I played Mozart, vibrated when I put on some vibraphone tuners and cha cha'd when I changed to a Latin beat.
The box with the vibrato was a FoxL iPod-iPad speaker from Soundmatters International at www.soundmatters.com. At about $200, the FoxL isn't cheap, but it sure is good.
This little beast, hardly bigger than two bars of bath soap end to end, makes other portable iPod-and-iPad speakers sound like they're playing in the next room. The FoxL puts out a shockwave, setting up motions in your room that can vibrate off the pictures on your walls.
The FoxL is loud. It's bright. It's pulsing. The sound is clean and clear, so surprising that your friends might find it impossible to identify where the voom-and-boom are coming from.
Your first clue that you're holding something unusual is the solid metal feel and heft of the FoxL. Instead of an array of plastic pieces, the FoxL is heavy and metal -- real heavy metal for all you rock fans. It weighs more than a dozen iPods put together.
Listening to the FoxL pour out the bass is an exercise in legerdemain. Where does such potent thump-a-dump come from? The FoxL's makers say the flat battery radiates the bass out of a grill in the back.
And that's surely where the FoxL's dancing urges come from. Any bass at all will do. But if you play some reggae tunes, the FoxL will put on a real show. It comes swith an anti-reggae mat -- OK, it's really called something prosaic like non-skid something-or-other -- but the mat didn't do much anti-skidding on my Plexiglas-topped desk.
The FoxL I tested had Bluetooth built in so it could connect to my iPad and Mac wirelessly up to 40 feet away. It also had a built-in rechargeable-by-USB lithium battery, but it could also be powered by a computer's USB port.
If you've got forgiving neighbors and strong walls, give the FoxL a try. A little Bob Marley can go a long way.