Nyne Rock Review: The Boombox Is Back
The Nyne Rock (MSRP: $250) is big - nothing subtle about this beast. It weighs over 12 pounds and measures 21” x 9.75” x 6.75”. The built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery is said to last from 8 to 10 hours, depending on playback volume, and the battery can also be used to charge a phone or other portable devices. With a massive 65-watt amplifier powering two front-firing midrange drivers, two tweeters and a subwoofer, it puts out a rather big sound too.
The Rock is designed to be used on the go, although its weight might be a limiting factor in many outdoor adventures. It has a rugged rubberized surface, but its waterproof/dustproof rating is only an IPX 3. Technically speaking, that means it’s splashproof, not waterproof: it is protected against spraying water up to 60 degrees from vertical for 5 minutes. In other words, you can use it by the pool but keep it indoors during a rainstorm.
The top surface of the Rock has all the track controls, including power and a button to answer phone calls. They’re all underneath the rubber coating to keep them waterproof. Connections are on the side, behind a water-resistant gasket. Here is an Aux input and a line out 3.5mm jack, the USB charging port, power jack, and a battery level indicator with a button to turn on the indicator.
Included with the boombox is an assortment of power adapters for four different AC standards, and a 3.5mm AUX cable for wired playback. The Rock features Bluetooth 4.0 and has NFC to simplify the pairing process. Pairing it either way was simple enough.
I couldn’t resist testing it out with Uptown Funk - I knew it would play loud, but it plays much louder than I could ever want indoors, and is quite sufficient 30 feet away outdoors. There is plenty of bass - deep and impactful. Listening to both the bass guitar and bass vocals was a joy - the bass on this track is just plain fun. However, I was disappointed with the midrange. It was much too forward and pronounced, especially on the electric guitar and prominent horn section in this track; in other listening examples, male and female vocals both were a bit harsh. The stereo separation was okay, but honestly, given the size of this boombox, I expected a much wider stereo image - upon closer inspection, although the chassis is 21-inches long, the speakers are clustered quite close together in the center of the body.
For sheer power and bass, the Rock can’t be beat, but for a purer, cleaner listening experience, bigger might not be better. For subtle, quality background music, the Rock a bit of a bull in a china shop. There’s definitely a place for the Rock, especially considering the lack of competition with this much power and portability. The Nyne Rock is a powerhouse, and for a really jamming beach blast, it’s a winner.