Nyne Rock Review: The Boombox Is Back

They say that size matters. With audio products, it is often the case: bigger speakers, bigger amplifiers, and bigger batteries can often translate into better sound and added convenience. The Nyne Rock boombox is one of the biggest and most powerful portable Bluetooth speakers we’ve seen in a long time. Let’s see if bigger truly is better.

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.

jalan's picture

...."There’s definitely a place for the Rock, especially considering the lack of competition with this much power and portability"

I would certainly say the Aiwa Exos 9 is direct competition

John_Werner's picture

I love good audio stuff out of left field. I say this because I never heard of NYNE as a audio brand. That changed when I was asked to review the NYNE Bass Sport on a popular shopping site. It would be like you took a foot long device that was a flat circle in front and back and you quartered it. You took that quarter and on the long side you made a nice metal grill for the speakers and you covered the whole thing in a rubberized composite. On the long top are the controls you're going to use to control the device and the paired device. on the long flat side back are the connectors and a master on/off. You need to see this device because it is a well thought out design as it can sit on a table aimed at a room and fill that room with sound that actually has bass. You can take it outside because while it's not waterproof it is made to sustain a some moisture and is tough as far as the exterior goes. Think the perfect companion at the pool or in the yard, even work. The NYNE Bass Sport can play loud enough I never, I mean never, play it at anywhere near it's capability. It has a nice balanced sound with decent treble that's not harsh.. It's a bit mid-bass concentric, but I think some of this is wrapped up in the fact you'll mostly play compressed files which are then manipulated and compressed again for Bluetooth. It really sounds better when feed lossless files even though we know Bluetooth reduces that fidelity...it just helps to start with pristine audio. So, I'm offering up a review on the NYNE Bass Sport, a smaller and less costly, alternative to the NYNE Rock. This company knows how to hit a sweet spot in form, function, price, and performance...especially if you gotta have bass.