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Soundmatters foxL Dash 7 - The Very Best Travel Bluetooth Speaker and Speakerphone
Maybe you’ve never heard of Soundmatters International, Inc., but it’s very likely that you’ve owned products using their technology. Soundmatters was formed in 1998 as an Audio Research and Development Company. Until recently, their website named a few of their very well known partners but that’s been removed now, so I’m pretty sure I should not call them out here. The new statement reads: “We can count some very large and prestigious commercial and consumer electronics companies among our customers, creating wonderful economies of scale and enabling us to provide our soundmatters-branded products at surprisingly competitive pricing”. In 2003, Soundmatters began also producing their own branded products as referenced in the statement.
Among business travelling audiophiles around the world, Soundmatters has been well known and popular for their very small, light, high quality Bluetooth speakers and speakerphones. The original foxL ‘pocket-portable’ has been a very successful product.
At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year (CES 2013), Soundmatters announced the foxL Dash 7. I’ve been following the announcement and progress toward an actual product launch ever since. And now very recently, after several delays in the spring/summer, the Dash 7 is finally available.
I received mine about 3 weeks ago and I can tell you, it was worth the wait. Very much living up to the company’s venerable reputation, the Dash 7 is everything I had hoped it would be, from compact, light and easy to travel with to great sound across the board, I will say it’s the very best travel speaker and speakerphone I have ever owned. And to think I almost got tired of waiting, nearly giving up for Jawbone’s Jambox Mini announced just before the Dash 7 began shipping (hmmm, were those two just a coincidence?).
While I think the Jambox Mini is very good, as well, I like the design and size of the Dash 7 much better. And now, after using the Dash 7 for a bit, I’m very happy I waited. Battery life has been very good at [easily] more than 10 hours of continuous use per charge; Audio quality during media playback is really quite excellent – I know that can be somewhat subjective, but the deep lows, crisp highs and perfect clarity across the range is stunning for such a small speaker. I’d pit the Dash 7 against a number of other larger Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers I own and have owned. Sound from the Dash 7 easily fills a large room, great for presentations with media content, and if normal output isn’t enough, though I find it hard to imagine, you can plug in the power adapter to double the audio output. If you want more bass output, you can also connect it to Soundmatters’s foxLO Subwoofer, which is fairly small and portable, as well. Note, too, that the Jambox range of devices can also connect to the foxLO.
Speakerphone capability is one of the most important criteria for me – primarily in hotel rooms and conference rooms with poor solutions or lacking other options. The first time I used the speakerphone function I was very pleasantly surprised. Local audio is clear and full sounding. And the noise canceling microphone does a great job of delivering a quality experience for remote parties, as well. Holding an effective audio conference call with the Dash 7 will certainly impress your peers around the table.
The Dash 7 comes in three colors: midnight black, arctic white and vibrant red:
Check out the foxL Dash 7 at http://store.soundmatters.com/dash-intro.html and in the meantime, I leave you with a few ‘unboxing’ photos ('click' to enlarge and scroll through).
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