I’ve been looking for a good portable external speaker for my laptop for quite some time. I thought I had found the answer in the Logitech USB 305 Laptop Speaker Z305 (see my review of the Logitech Z305 speaker here), but when that Logitech speaker died just after using it for two months, I decided to invest in something of higher quality. So when I found the Soundmatters foxLv2 Bluetooth Pocket-sized Audiophile Loudspeaker System with Bluetooth and Hands-free Microphone, I realized I’d found not just a good speaker, but a great one.
The foxLv2 portable speaker, developed by Dr. Godehard Guenther and named after his grandson, is exceptional in almost every respect. First, it seems a quality unit and is very solid–no cheap plastic on this speaker. It’s built like a tank so I’m not too worried about breaking it if it drops. Second, the sound from the speaker is great—clean and loud (much better than the Logitech speaker I tested). Third, the unit is very portable–smaller than the Logitech–the foxLv2 is 5.6 inches by 2.2 inches by 1.4 inches. Fourth the speaker is packed with features, like optional Bluetooth and a real stereo mini-jack.
You can power the speaker using battery power, wall AC power, or via USB cable. Battery life is about 5 hours. When powering the speaker using wall AC or USB, the audio volume is much greater than when using battery power.
There are two ways to input audio to the speaker, via a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack or optional Bluetooth. The mini-jack input makes the foxL speaker much more versatile than, say, the Logitech USB Z305 speaker, because you can use the foxLv2 with any device that has a headphone out jack, such as your laptop, iPhone, or iPad. Moreover, with the optional Bluetooth model, you can play audio over the speaker without needing any cable connections. Note, however, that the quality of the audio coming through the stereo mini-jack is much better than the quality of the audio played via Bluetooth.
So then why use Bluetooth? The Bluetooth option also includes a Bluetooth microphone, which means you can use the foxLv2 as a hands-free microphone for a conference call.
The speaker is even ready for international travel—it comes with a set of foreign AC plugs.
I like most everything about the speaker, except for the price. However, in this case you get what you pay for. The speaker is solid, well-built, feature-rich, and cranks out big, clear audio.
Note that this speaker does not clip onto the laptop like the Logitech USB Z305. Rather, the foxL is meant to stand alone using a small metal panel that folds out, allowing the speaker to sit upright on a flat surface. This is convenient, but the speaker produces so much bass that it may “walk” across a table onto the floor due to vibration if you are not careful.
Also, this speaker does not have an auto-off feature—you must physically turn the speaker off when not in use if you don’t want to drain your battery. This is not hard to do, but you do have to remember to do it.
So, after major frustrations with portable speakers made by other manufacturers, I’m here to stay with the foxLv2. The foxLv2 is a high quality, great sounding portable external speaker for your laptop, iPhone, iPad, or most any other audio-playing device that has a jack for audio output.
For a direct comparison of audio from my laptop to audio from the foxLv2 speaker, please watch this video review: