We've come across Bluetooth speakers of all shapes and sizes here at Gizmag, and at first glance the FoxL Dash7 is hardly one to stand out from the crowd. But spending some time with Soundmatters' latest offering you come to appreciate what's inside. The Dash7 might not pack enough punch to keep the neighborhood up at night, but it really hits that sweet spot of great portability without compromising on high-quality sound.
Appearing inspired by a TV remote control, or perhaps an oversized chocolate bar, the lightweight design of the Dash7 speaker strikes you the moment you wrap your fingers around its 0.75 x 2.1 x 7.5 in (18 x 53 x 190 mm) frame. Weighing just 7.1 oz (201 g), the speaker can be slipped into a pocket or thrown in your backpack and you'll barely even notice its there.
But anyone can make a Bluetooth speaker that's small and light, right? What gives the Dash7 an edge over devices of similar size, at least the ones we've turned our ear to, is the clarity of its output right across a range of sounds. We've put it to the test on wooden desktops and the grass down at the park, streaming everything from The Staple Singers to Notorious BIG, and the audio remained nothing short of impressive for a speaker of its size.
The company puts this down to what it calls "Twoofers." This patented portmanteau pertains to flattened neodymium drivers that both "tweet" and "woof" and are claimed to deliver a "uniquely wide frequency range." The lower frequencies are boosted further by the Dash7's battery, which serves as a passive bass woofer.
You will hear the speaker begin to strain under the stress of more bass-heavy audio, which again, for a speaker this compact is a minor criticism and doesn't really come as a surprise. Soundmatters does offer a separate plug-in sub-woofer called foxLO, which it says combines with the Dash7 to better round out the frequency range.
One other drawback is the size of the buttons, which are no bigger than the end of your pen and sit flush along the face of the speaker. This makes operating the device a bit of a pain in the neck, unless you're two years old or have unhealthily long fingernails.
The speaker features a noise-canceling microphone, which affords it functionality as a speakerphone. It also comes accompanied by a folding stand, which allows you to sit the speaker on its edge for better-targeted audio, while also doubling as a protective carry case.
Connecting over Bluetooth LE, the Dash7 will work within 30 ft (9.1 m) of your mobile device and is recharged via an included Micro USB and wall adapter, with a charge lasting for around 12 hours of listening at a time.
The FoxL Dash7 is far from the cheapest Bluetooth speaker you can find, but at the same time isn't in the same league as big players like Bose, whose high-end Soundlink speakers will set you back between $300 and $400. The Dash7 is a speaker that strikes a good balance between a compact, mobile listening solution and providing clear and high-quality audio – and to us, the $200 price tag seems about right.