Cambridge Soundworks was founded in 1988. The goal of the business was simple, to provide quality speakers at affordable prices and market them directly to the consumer. Their initial efforts were met with critical acclaim and buoyed up by this success the product range was expanded.
In 1991 they opened their first retail store and in 1994 entered the online sales market. Thirty other stores were opened, and they were bought out by Creative Labs in 1997.
Problems arose, and by 2018 all visitors to the website were redirected to the now separate OontZ site. The product range was reduced dramatically in size, and all the retail outlets were closed. Speakers and associated products are still manufactured, but now it is online sales only.
They have recently had two new owners but still manage to manufacture some very good products. And you’ll find out all about one of them in this OontZ Angle 3 Ultra Review.
OontZ Angle 3 Ultra – Overview
This is a speaker that is not going to win too many awards for its innovative design features. In fact, it resembles a lot of other Bluetooth speakers currently on the market. But what it lacks in style it certainly makes up for in many other ways. Especially with its performance, as we shall see.
The OontZ name has become the principal brand associated with the Cambridge SoundWorks name. Effectively the OontZ Angle 3 Ultra is the fourth generation of OontZ speakers. As such, it builds on the impressive and respected name and traditions the name has achieved.
That tradition has always been producing a good sound at a very attractive, cost-effective price. This speaker does better than that. It produces not just a good sound but a very good sound. In fact, we would go as far as to say a bit more. We think that the sound is equal to some speakers costing many times the price.
So what is it that makes this speaker so good? Let’s find out as we take a closer look at the OontZ Angle 3 Ultra…
As we said, it isn’t going to win any design awards, but it is very functional. That is an important part of this speaker’s dynamic. It is designed to be carried around with you. Trips to the beach or the park, around the pool or a backyard BBQ. That is the main reason for its existence.
It has a triangular design that is compact and lightweight. Measuring 6.5 by 2.9 by 2.8 inches and weighing only 15 ounces, it is certainly easy to carry around with you to wherever you might need it. The curves and angles of the design mean there are no sharp corners. It will play its music equally well when placed either horizontally or vertically.
It has a good rugged build with a great deal of rubber for protection. There is some confusion in the literature about its weather rating. It is quoted as being IPX7, and as IPX6, and as IPX5.
The confusion comes because there are two versions of the same speaker: the black and the white. The white version has a rating of IPX6. This makes it water-resistant and not waterproof. Able to handle a light shower or being splashed but no more. Interestingly the white version has a lower level of Bluetooth connection at 4.2.
But here we are dealing with the black version. This has a waterproof rating of IPX7. That means it can be submerged up to about a depth of three meters for up to 30 minutes. The fish are gonna love it. But it is also dust and sand proof. This makes it an ideal speaker for just being on the beach or on a boat. It also has a higher rating of Bluetooth at 5.0.
If you are using a speaker for entertainment with friends, then long battery life is something you will definitely need. The OontZ Angle 3 Ultra doesn’t let you down in that respect. Battery life at a reasonable volume is about 30 hours though this will decrease at louder volumes.
However, it does take eight hours to give the Lithium battery a full charge. That is quite a long time. However, the speaker can be used while it is charging.
Inside the cabinet are dual neodymium drivers that drive the sound along with a downward-facing bass radiator. This gives out a surprisingly loud sound that is distortion-free even at near maximum volume. The triangular design of the speaker allows a good even spread of sound and allows good separation between the bass radiator and drivers.
There is a built-in mic that extends the opportunities of the speaker to hands-free calls from your phone.
The build quality is, therefore, very good. It is solid and stable and ideal for outdoor use. And the IPX7 rating means it is a tough speaker that will be great on the beach and near water without problems. You also get the feeling that if you happen to drop it, it will bounce and be fine. Though we don’t recommend you deliberately try it.
Sometimes you are surprised by a speaker simply by the quality of the sound and how much it puts out. This is one of those speakers. It delivers a sound a lot bigger than it looks capable of producing, and what’s more, it is a good sound.
We mentioned that it will perform at nearly full volume without distorting. This is because the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) acts as a volume limiter. It will also remove some frequencies to prevent distortion.
It handles the frequency ranges very well and was especially impressive with its low bass sounds. These can often cause smaller speakers to struggle, but the OontZ Angle 3 Ultra coped very well. It isn’t going to give you thundering bass as a speaker ten times the price might, but it was surprisingly clear and warm. The bass radiator definitely earned its corn.
Having a good sound dispersion also helps the mids and highs to sound good. They are clear and accurate and deliver an excellent stereo sound. The neodymium drivers help to provide clarity. The top is boosted a little with some extra presence. That is not an uncommon design feature today as it helps to increase clarity and sharpness at the top end.
However, as are many budget range speakers, it is better at reproducing some frequencies than others. And performance can be a little uneven across genres. Most sound good at the top end and suffer a little as you move downwards. This speaker is a little bit like that. But the extended bass adds just enough at the bottom end to give it a very rounded sound.
That is why we remarked that it will surprise you. You do not expect that from a cost-effective speaker. It won’t, though, handle music genres with a very prominent bass sound to great effect.
To enhance the sound, the company recommends that you can link two speakers together. Well, they would really, because they get double the sales. Anyway, if you do, one speaker plays the left, and the other the right channel. This will give a great stereo effect, and we can see that. The sound separation is good with one. But placed a few feet apart from each other, the sound with two speakers will be exceptional.
The controls on this speaker are extremely basic. The idea is that you have your phone connected and, therefore, can control it from there. There is, therefore, no remote control, and your device will fulfill that function.
On the speaker itself, there is a volume control and power on and off, as well as a Bluetooth pairing button. They are rubber protected and have a soft feel to their operation. Above the Bluetooth button is a light that comes on blue when Bluetooth is engaged. There is also a small red blinking light to tell you when the battery level is low.
The main controls are therefore operated from your device, which, of course, needs to be connected via Bluetooth. It has a good feature in that if the controls have not been used for a while, it will turn itself off to save battery.
As we mentioned earlier, it is Bluetooth 5.0 enabled, which gives you a fast and stable connection. It also gives up to 100 feet of range, providing you have no obstacles in the way. Connections are supported via an advanced antenna.
It will connect to any phone, tablet, computer, or TV, providing they are Bluetooth enabled. It also has a 3.5mm socket for connecting to non-Bluetooth devices. You can call up Siri to use it with your iPhone or iPad.
They don’t give you an awful lot if we, to be honest. But then this is a budget range speaker, so maybe you cannot expect a lot. Included is a 3.5mm audio cable and for charging a Micro USB cable. A carrying care is not included, but there is one available as an optional extra if you choose. There is no online app available for this speaker.
OontZ Angle 3 Ultra Pros & Cons
- Very easy to set up and use.
- A bigger sound than expected.
- Sleek and durable design.
- Not the highest quality of construction.
- Prone to distortion at higher volumes.
- Need a few more speakers?
Need a Few More Speakers?
If so, check out our reviews of the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, the Best Powered Speakers, the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Radio, the Best In Ceiling Speakers, the Best Party Speakers, and the Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers on the market.
Quite often, when you review a budget level product, you are not really expecting too much. You have an open mind, of course, but you suspect it will be a ‘what it is’ deal. With this speaker, we have been more than surprised. It has its failings, of course, it won’t be perfect, but for the reason you buy it, it works.
That reason is to carry around with you. Maybe to a small party or a BBQ, or a day on the beach. Its compact and lightweight build makes that easily possible. So that is the first requirement completed well. It is well-built, with a very good IPX7 rating. It will, therefore, be great down on the beach or around the pool.
It is solid and stable and is going to bounce if you drop it once or twice. Another requirement test passed. It is sturdy enough for the job.
The connections are very basic but high quality. You get good Bluetooth connections and a very good usable range. There are also facilities for non-Bluetooth enabled devices. And with your device acting as the controller, it doesn’t need more in the way of control features. It is, therefore, easy and functional to use.
But it is the sound that is the most impressive element in some ways. Budget level speakers can sometimes be a bit awful sound-wise. Especially when you start to crank the volume up. This is one of the exceptions. The low frequencies, especially, are very good. And they give it a balanced audio reproduction and good stereo split.
And it is surprisingly loud. This speaker could serve a number of functions. It is good for the beach and the pool and small gatherings. But it is also going to work very well at home just as a music provider in the house.
There are some things that maybe could have been improved but generally speaking, this is a very good speaker at a very attractive price-point. It does its job, and it does it very well. For the price, it will be hard to find something better.