By Don Lindich
Week 48, 2015
Q. I ordered an OontZ Angle 3 from Amazon. Do you have any comments about this new Bluetooth speaker?
–Bill Freisleben, Waukesha, WI
A. You made a great choice. OontZ speakers have long been the best-selling and best reviewed Bluetooth speakers on Amazon, and the new $29 OontZ Angle 3 continues the tradition.
Most noteworthy of the new OontZ speakers is the Angle 3XL. The predecessor $99 OontZ XL was my favorite Bluetooth speaker under $100, and the $129 Angle 3XL ventures into new territory with higher quality, better sound, and new capabilities.
The styling and construction are a step up from previous OontZ speakers. The Angle 3XL has a premium feel to it, with chrome-finished passive bass radiators on the sides and buttons that have a pleasing look and touch. Pairing is quick, easy and reliable. In terms of sound, it’s a step up from before with more bass and detail, and it can play at higher volume levels without distortion.
All this is enough reason to heartily recommend the OontZ Angle 3XL, but things start getting really exciting when you have two of them. The Angle 3XL can work in tandem with another 3XL to greatly enhance performance and versatility.
The first way is as a left/right stereo pair. You pair the speakers to each other and then one of them pairs to your Bluetooth device. One will say, “Right speaker” so you know it goes on the right. If you leave them plugged in they stay paired so you do not have to go through the process again.
I put the speakers on opposite sides of my living room mantle to try them as a stereo pair. Even when listening far away in the dining room, I smiled and shook my head in pleasant surprise. The stereo pair provides solid, full-range sound and spaciousness comparable to a pretty good component system with bookshelf speakers. I was also surprised that the sound quality seemed enhanced as well. Using a stereo pair of Angle 3XL speakers took the sound quality up at least one notch, with more fullness, clarity and detail. Perhaps the frequency response is somewhat different when used this way. Whatever the reason, the sound quality was surprisingly good.
The second way they can be used together, in what is perhaps the killer app for a pair of Angle 3XL speakers, is with a television. It is an understatement to say that poor flat-panel TV sound is the #1 complaint sent to my newspaper column. It’s an epidemic, and the Angle 3XL provides new remedies to the problem.
With two paired OontZ Angle 3XL speakers in stereo mode you connect one to the TV’s headphone jack using the included miniplug cable, then place them far apart. This will give you much more spacious, room-filling sound than a single-piece soundbar. You can also have the Angle 3XL connected to the headphone jack work as a small soundbar reproducing both channels, and have the paired speaker reproduce the exact same sound elsewhere. You can put it on a coffee table next to the seating area for those who are hard of hearing, use it to spread TV sound on the other side of a big room, or listen to the ball game outside or elsewhere in the home. Volume is controlled solely with the wired speaker.
Given the overall excellence of the product, at $129 the OontZ Angle 3XL is a great deal. Through Christmas Eve using the code ANGLE3XL at www.theoontz.com provides a discount of 15%, bringing it to $109, only $10 more than the original OontZ XL. That’s $10 well spent, and if you buy two they really shine in pairs. Like the classic rock song by The Turtles, “So Happy Together!”