foxL V2.2 Bluetooth Platinum
Sound & Image, www.foxl.com.au
Amazing sound; excellent build quality; 20-hour battery life; AudioQuest Evergreen cable for audio purists
The original foxL V2.2 Bluetooth is a speaker that has been engineered by a rocket scientist – soundmatters founder Dr Godehard Guenther, who is a physicist and former NASA engineer with three PhDs – to produce audiophile-quality sound despite only being about the length of an adult hand.
When we reviewed it back in October 2011 we said the audio quality was “nothing short of astounding for a unit measuring 14.3cm x 5.5cm x 3.5cm”.
“It’s a big, full sound,” we went on, “with a surprisingly wide frequency response (80Hz-20kHz) and a decent soundfield that almost hides the source of the music.
“It’s clear, smooth and, most importantly, engaging. Anyone who uses the foxL just wants to keep playing their favourite tracks because it’s just such … fun.”
We gave it four-and-a-half mice, only stopping short of giving it top marks because of a low-level hum emitted when the Bluetooth circuit was turned on.
Enter the pimped-up Platinum edition, and we have no more reservations about its abilities. It now gets the full five mice – and an Editor’s Pick to boot.
This model is basically the same as the V2.2 Bluetooth, but is silver in colour instead of black, has a 20-hour battery life instead of 12, and includes an AudioQuest Evergreen audio cable for ‘ultimate fidelity’.
It also adds support for aptX Bluetooth – a technology which developer CSR says delivers a wireless audio quality which is indistinguishable from wired. This is good news for those using Macs running OS X 10.6.5 or later, but as yet no iOS devices or iPods support it.
Mind you, having said that, with the foxL we got a fuller Bluetooth sound with less interference when using our iPhone as the source than when using our aptX- enabled MacBook Pro. Go figure.
But speaking about a full sound, if you want the ultimate audio experience from a unit of this size then hook up the AudioQuest cable, sit back and be amazed.
Not only does everything we said about the V2.2 above still stand, but the dynamics are even better than before, and the amount of bass (down to 80Hz) is almost unbelievable, especially if the unit is placed close to a wall.
The foxL features two ‘Twoofers’ – 1in tweeters that also woof – driven by four digital amplifiers delivering up to 8W of power.
That amazing bass is pumped through the back of the unit via a BassBattery, which is a very clever rechargeable Lithium-ion battery combined with an acoustic bass radiator – an unpowered panel which extends the bass by resonating at a frequency lower than the active, or wired, woofers.
The grille protecting the BassBattery flips out to act as a stand. Next to it are power and volume buttons, and insert holes for the included wrist-strap or a lanyard.
On the sides are a 3.5mm Aux-in port, a Mini-USB input for charging from a Mac, a power input port and a second 3.5mm mini-jack for connecting an optional SUBstage powered subwoofer.
Like most Bluetooth speakers, the Platinum is able to handle phone calls, pausing the music to receive a call. A front-mounted noise-cancelling mic works better than most we’ve reviewed, providing for clear, strong in-call audio.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
The foxL V2.2 Bluetooth is still a very good buy, but for an extra $50 the Platinum edition is the best mini speaker on the market.