Nyne’s new Rock ($250) is a massive, portable Bluetooth 4.0 speaker — its size will divide prospective consumers from the get-go. Boasting 65W of total power, Rock packs two midrange drivers, two tweeters, and a subwoofer into its large, rugged, black frame. Rock has a speakerphone, and offers some water protection as well, claiming a rating of IPX3. Nyne claims the speaker can get up to 8-10 hours of playtime on a full charge, and an included USB port on the speaker can charge an iOS device at 1A speed. Rock ships with an AC adapter for recharging its battery, and an audio cable. Nyne calls Rock “The Booming Beast,” and we soon found out why.
Rock is one of the largest portable Bluetooth speakers we’ve ever reviewed. The speaker is certainly wireless, but weighing in at 10 pounds, and measuring 21” x 9.75” x 6.5”, it stretches the definition of portable. It does have a carrying handle built into the back of the speaker, which works well enough for toting it around. Controls are found on top of the speaker, while a panel on the back of Rock covers aux-in, line out, the AC adapter, and USB charging ports. A battery level meter is also included. We didn’t experience any Bluetooth connection issues during testing.
The overall build and look of Rock is utilitarian, and similar to many other matte rubber black speakers, just on a much larger scale. Rock’s oversized design is geared more toward performance than aesthetics, though it doesn’t look bad. Some users may be happy enough to gaze upon the speaker’s sheer size.
The trademark of Rock’s “booming beast” sound is its big, thumping bass, which can rattle the room like few other Bluetooth speakers. As one might expect, Rock also gets very loud. Its overwhelming size and power make direct comparisons to other recent Bluetooth speakers rather tough. The oversized speaker excels with bass-heavy tracks, proving to be an excellent portable system for most hip-hop and electronic tracks, and a fair share of straightforward rock songs, as well. Speakerphone performance was solid, but not stellar.
Some nuanced tracks suffer from Rock’s bass-heavy attack, though. A few rock songs we listened to became muddled when turned up to higher volume levels, as well. For most situations, however, listening to Rock at low-to-mid volume levels should suffice. These findings further establish what Rock is clearly supposed to be — a powerful, modern boombox.
Rock is a specific type of speaker. Those looking for something with great balance and nuance should keep searching, to say nothing of those looking for a portable speaker that’s easy to toss in a bag and bring to a friend’s house for a small gathering. There’s nothing inconspicuous about Rock. Some may even argue that a rugged behemoth like this should have even stronger weatherproofing.
But consumers looking for portable power and booming bass should put Rock at the top of their wish list. It’s got more than enough volume for an outdoor party, and it’ll blow away almost any other tailgating competitors in the parking lot. The price is right for the power, too. Rock is a big hammer of a Bluetooth boombox, and it earns our strong general recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: Bluetooth 4.0-compatible iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches