In the affordable range of Bluetooth speakers that are portable, have a reasonable sound but most of all can blast out a loud sound at your outdoors party you may want to consider the NYNE ROCK Portable Bluetooth Speaker.
It is a weird yet impressive looking speaker with some features that not everyone likes. In my review, I’ll detail what those features are and whether you’ll be in the like grouping at the end. You’ll find out what you’re paying for, where it’s best suited and whether it sacrifices sound quality to be loud.
If you already know what question you want answered, look up the subject in the Table of Contents following, otherwise, continue reading.
The shape is different yet durable
The NYNE ROCK speaker is a big unit. A size reminiscent of the boombox era but the shape is not of that era. Place it on a dresser, and you won’t have room for anything else.
It’s an odd yet appealing shape. It’s a distinctive shape and hard to describe. With the rubberized black plastic casing and flexible black mesh protecting the speakers, it’s very much a rugged look. And tough black is the only color it comes in — no wimpy look for this speaker.
It’s a design, color and a build that says I’m good for the outdoors. I’m good to take the knocks, scuffs, and scratches that’ll inevitably come my way when I’m outside.
While the shape may be different, the bottom has 4 pads to keep it stable with a grip that stops it moving on a shiny surface. And the finish wipes down easily to maintain the robust black look.
But the protective black mesh is flexible and can suffer dents.
It’s a loud outdoors speaker
The NYNE ROCK has a 4.1 Advanced Speaker Design.
If you opened it up (I wouldn’t recommend this) you’d find:
- One subwoofer.
- Two woofers that are symmetrically positioned right and left of the subwoofer.
- Two small tweeters below the subwoofer.
- Two bass reflex ports one on the left and one on the right-hand side of the speaker.
There’s no stereo sound because the drivers are all grouped together in the middle.
And that’s its outstanding feature.
But don’t turn the volume level up too much above 80%, as you’ll start to notice distortion. You’ll be put off by the distortion, and it’ll ruin what until then is a great sounding outdoor speaker.
Mids are clear, but not perfect, while the highs are surprisingly clean and crisp. The speaker has a decent bass that is good for the outdoors, but when you move indoors, you may feel the bass is not rich enough.
All in all, the NYNE ROCK is a loud and heavy bass sounding speaker built for the outdoors and large interior spaces. But the smaller the room at the lower volume levels, the more you’ll notice the imbalance in the sound.
A rechargeable battery with quality playtime
The battery in the NYNE ROCK is a rechargeable lithium metal battery.
At moderate volume, it plays for 10-12 hours. If you ramp up the volume, playing time drops to 5-6 hours. That’s fine as playing time for all battery powered speakers decreases with the need for more power.
My beef though; this is another speaker with an in-built battery. So, if the battery dies on you or loses capacity you must switch to using the AC adapter. That means you lose portability. And that’s why you bought it in the first place, right? You have a dilemma you shouldn’t have to face. Do you invest in another portable speaker or go through the inconvenience of finding a licensed repair center to replace the battery?
There are LED lights at the back which indicate the level of remaining battery charge when you press the button. From fully discharged the recharge only takes an hour or two which is acceptable.
Also, at the back is a port to charge your phone. That’s fine, but if you use it, you’ll have less playing time. My preference is to avoid using the option and keep your battery power exclusively for playing your music.
The NYNE ROCK is not exactly a lightweight, portable Bluetooth speaker with a weight of 10 lbs.
You could carry it on your shoulder like a boombox. Or, there is a recessed carry handle, but that gets a little uncomfortable after a while. Because of its bulk, you won’t have much room left in your backpack for other stuff when carrying it to the beach party.
On the lower front part of the speaker, there are two posts on either side. You could attach a strap to these to make carrying the speaker a lot easier over a distance.
With a portable speaker, you need some protection from the elements. And the NYNE ROCK has some by way of its IPX3 rating. In other reviews, you’ll read that this rating means it’s resistant to dust, water, and will survive falls from low heights. Take those assessments with a grain of salt.
The X in the rating means “there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criteria.” So, while it does have a protective covering the ROCK is not officially rated as dust proof.
The IP code no longer is used to assess “mechanical impact resistance” so we can’t say the ROCK has a damage protection rating. So, dropping it could cause some damage, and the flexible grille could be dented, but the rubberized exterior will provide protection against bumps and scratches.
But with the 3 we can say the ROCK with its rubber, and aluminum mesh can handle “water falling as a spray.” It won’t survive a rainstorm or being submerged in water but will cope with water splashes at the pool or a light shower of rain.
It’s a speaker for the outdoors
If you’re going to be close to water or there’s a possibility of a passing shower you don’t need to worry about the NYNE ROCK.
It can take a spray of water but don’t try throwing it in the water.
It’s easy enough to carry but not too far.
So, it’s ideal for:
- Tailgate parties.
- Camping near the car.
- Partying at the beach.
- An outdoor BBQ get together.
- Poolside parties.
- Any big outdoor social outing or family get together.
- Or just lying in the park or backyard listening to music.
What’s in the Box
The NYNE Rock comes in a large package that has some weight about it at 13 lbs. But nothing like the Soundboks 2 or DiamondBoxx XL2.
Inside the packaging you’ll find:
- The NYNE ROCK speaker.
- A universal AC Adapter with four interchangeable international adapters.
- A ⅛ inch (3.5mm) AUX-in cable.
- The User Guide.
The NYNE ROCK weighs 10.1 lbs. and measures:
- 6.75 inches high.
- 21 inches wide.
- 9.75 inches deep.
Once unwrapped all you must do is charge the built-in rechargeable battery, and it’s ready to go.
For California residents, there is a Proposition 65 Warning.
Open it up and let’s get started
So, you’ve opened the box, and the NYNE ROCK is maybe way bigger than you thought. It is like the boomboxes of old but surprisingly not as heavy as you might expect from the size. That’s not to say it still isn’t heavy.
What do you see?
Along the top is a row of control buttons:
- Power button.
- Speakerphone button (to answer/end calls – I’ll talk about this later).
- Play and Pause button.
- Forward and rewind buttons (to skip tracks).
- + and – buttons (to adjust volume).
- NFC pairing tag (sorry iPhone users, this is only for those in the Android world).
What’s distinctive about the buttons? They are large. And that’s good because large fingers and small buttons don’t mix. There’s nothing more frustrating when you must concentrate on which button to push. With large buttons, you can’t miss the one you want.
You can control the NYNE ROCK speaker with the source device you’ve paired to, or you can use the buttons.
Oh, and by the way for those who like a little difference, the buttons have bright LEDs that light up when you power on.
There is two beeps when you power up.
At the back is the weatherproof hatch protecting your connection points:
- An AUX Line In port to connect your device using the 3.5mm audio cable.
- An AUX Line Out port to create an audio system by connecting two or more NYNE speakers.
- A standard USB port for charging your phone or another device.
- A Battery indicator button. Press it, and the four LEDs next to it will light up depending on the charge left in the battery.
- Power in port for charging the internal rechargeable battery.
As always, I’ll sound off about the built-in battery. If you get a dud battery first up, at least you have the 30-day return period to return the speaker. But if it dies or loses its capacity over time, outside of the one-year standard warranty period, you’re done. You can’t replace the battery, and you’ve wasted your money.
And that’s all you’ll see:
Unlike some speakers, you won’t see any of the woofers or tweeters. They’re hidden behind a waterproof black mesh.
It has connectivity covered
The NYNE ROCK has all the connections you expect from a modern Bluetooth speaker plus one that I’m not sure about. I’ll come to that later.
It has Bluetooth 4.0
Any Bluetooth device will connect with the NYNE ROCK within a 100-foot range. With a straight line of sight, there’s no signal loss or interference. But if something is in the way like a wall or a tree, the connection may not be as strong, and you could get outages.
A handy feature is that the speaker remembers the last connected device and will stream music automatically when it is in range. If you want to change to a different device, press and hold the hands-free button to put the ROCK into Bluetooth pairing mode.
An unadvertised feature that some folks might find irritating is that the speaker will “go to sleep” and close the Bluetooth connection down to conserve battery if you don’t keep music streaming to the device. That can be annoying if it takes some time to find your next playlist and it means you must get up off the lounge to “wake it up.”
There’s little involved in pairing and is no different to the usual procedure:
- Press and hold the power button down until Bluetooth activates on the speaker.
- On your device find the NYNE ROCK speaker from the devices listed and select to start the music streaming.
That’s it. The ROCK beeps once on connection and twice when it disconnects.
And for Android Users, there’s NFC to make Pairing Easier
In case you don’t know, NFC is the acronym for Near Field Communication, it sounds like technical gobbledygook doesn’t it? But it’s quite simple.
With NFC, all you do is tap the device on the ROCK NFC tag to the right of the buttons, and you have a connection with the music playing in seconds. You only need to have your device turned on. You don’t even have to open your device menu to select the ROCK.
Remember though no Apple device can do this.
You Can Daisy Chain to Create a Massive Sound
If the 107 dB from one NYNE Rock is not loud enough, you can use the AUX Line Out port to connect to another NYNE speaker. It doesn’t have to be a NYNE ROCK, but that’ll maximize the sound.
Well sort of, because you can keep going and connect one NYNE speaker after another to your heart’s content or at least until it’s loud enough for the crowd at your party and have a great surround sound blasting out.
I’m not sure about hands-free calling
You’re buying the NYNE ROCK to stream music, right? So, why would you want to interrupt the party to use the built-in microphone for a phone call?
Sure, if you’re listening to music on your own while you’re preparing eats for the party and a call comes in that feature might be handy. You can keep the call going. But I’m not sure whether I want anyone overhearing my conversation.
If it’s of interest though, this feature is easy to use. Press the speakerphone button to answer the call and press it again when ending the call. Your caller’s voice will play through the speaker. The mic picks up your voice without a problem even though it’s at the back of the speaker.
There is a 30-day service policy for the NYNE ROCK. If it fails within 30 days of purchase Nyne will pay for both ways shipping to repair or replace your speaker. Make sure you ring within those 30 days otherwise you’ll revert to the standard warranty.
And the standard warranty covers only one-year free parts and labor for repair and replacement and has all the usual provisos like
- You’re responsible for the shipping charges to return the speaker.
- Get a Return Authorization number before you return it.
- Provide a copy of the original invoice with the date of purchase.
Interestingly if you buy directly from nyne.com or from an authorized Nyne dealer (like Amazon), you’ll get an extra two years on your warranty. But only:
- If your purchase is made and the speaker is shipped within the US.
- Covers parts and labor to repair only (not replacement).
What I Don’t Like
- You can notice the distortion at the higher volumes especially indoors.
- The battery is not replaceable, so your portability could be limited if the battery fails.
- Not light at 10 lbs. but it’s still portable for short distances.
What I Do Like
- It’s an affordable speaker that produces an ear-pumping 107dBs.
- The decent bass-oriented sound quality which is ideal for outside parties.
- It has rubberized and mesh protection with an IPX3 rating which means it can survive a little drizzle of rain.
If you can’t afford the high prices of the Soundboks 2 and the DiamondBoxx XL2, the NYNE ROCK might be for you.
Don’t expect a balanced and nuanced sound. You’ll get a loud (107 dBs) sound, a portable speaker ideal for your tailgate party or at the beach or BBQ. And a rich bass sound that’s right for a hard-pumping outdoor sound.
It’s no shrinking violet so its size, shape, and loud sound will impress your friends and rank with any other comparable speaker.
Does the NYNE ROCK Portable Bluetooth Speaker sound like what you’re after?