Bluetooth speakers haven't flooded the market – they've drowned it, crowding physical store shelves and online outlets with a seemingly endless supply of devices, most from little-known brands. Take Soundmatters, for example, and its inexplicably named FoxL Dash 7, which doesn't have the grabby design of some competitors, but carries a premium price tag.
And yet, this has been our go-to Bluetooth speaker for months. It's remarkably thin (0.44 inches), making it easy to slide into a coat or jacket pocket while running out the door. It can fill a room with clean, clear audio while laid flat on its back, with more bass and battery life (12 hours) than expected from something so small.
But what it does better than any Bluetooth speaker we've tested is sync up correctly with audio from movies and TV shows, when paired with a tablet or laptop. With other models, there's often a slight but deal-breaking lag between on-screen video and the accompanying sound, putting lip movement just ahead of audible dialogue. The Dash 7 has never committed that sin, pumping perfectly aligned audio that, when aimed directly at your face, is also surprisingly expansive, wrapping around like the left and rear-channel components of a surround-sound system. Bottom line: It's a wonderfully rich speaker that's up for any task, whether you're listening to Matthew McConaughey's morose ramblings on True Detective or lounging on some sandy, sun-speckled beach. [$219, soundmatters.com]