Soundmatters foxL DASH7
Sound & Image, www.foxl.com.au
Excellent audio for the size; well-built; great for travellers
None – even the price is good
In 2011 we reviewed the foxL v2.2 Bluetooth speaker from Soundmatters, declaring it “definitely something special”, saying its audio quality was “nothing short of astounding for a hand-sized unit” and giving it a score of 4.5 mice.
Then in 2012 we followed that up with a review of the Platinum edition, which took its quality a step further. That time it scored a perfect 5 mice. Both times we awarded it an Editor’s Pick. Now it’s late 2013 and, after a number of delays, the foxL DASH7 is available in Australia.
It’s similar to the v2 Series speakers in many aspects, but differs from them in one big way – it’s flat where the others are chunky. The DASH7 is 5.3cm wide, 19cm long and 1.8cm thick, which makes it a bit narrower than an iPhone 5, 50 percent longer and twice as thick. It has a black front grille and back, with a side band in white, black or red.
To the right side of the grille are two volume buttons and another for power and Bluetooth control. Behind the grille are two speakers and a BassBattery, which is the same configuration as the V2 Series.
The former are ‘Twoofers’ – tweeters that also woof – that deliver 2W of power when powered by the rechargeable battery or USB, and 4W when plugged into mains power via the 5V Power In jack. The BassBattery is a 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 Twoofers.
Put together, they produce a sound that belies the DASH7′s size and is just as amazing as that of the V2 range. It’s rich and detailed with a beautiful balance across the tonal range. It’s best when placed relatively close to you – in front of the iPad on your desk, for instance – but can also sound excellent from across the room.
We gave it a long test over a couple of weeks, playing everything from Verdi, Bach and Benny Carter to Them Crooked Vultures, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Lorde – and it didn’t disappoint us once.
There’s a good amount of bass evident, but more is easily available by hooking up Soundmatters’ $219 foxLO subwoofer to the DASH7′s dedicated Sub Out jack.
The unit is designed to be omnidirectional when resting flat, and to provide a more targeted sound when standing up against the included case/stand.
Rounding out the package are a 3.5mm audio-in jack, a noise-cancelling microphone that lets you use the speaker as a handsfree unit for phone calls, and a set of four wall power plugs for use in different countries.
Almost all small Bluetooth speakers lack something – definition, bass, balance, power, etc – but there are no compromises you have to make with the foxL DASH7. It’s one of those “Wow!” products that never fails to put a smile on your face, and we have no hesitation in giving Soundmatters another perfect score and an Editor’s Pick.
– DAVE BULLARD