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Nyne Bass review: A modestly priced Bluetooth speaker that delivers meaty sound

While it's not supercompact, the inexpensive Nyne Bass lives up to its name and outperforms many portable Bluetooth speakers that cost more.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.

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You may not have heard of Nyne, but it's got a full line Bluetooth speakers, including this flagship model, the Bass, which is one of the better Bluetooth bargains at $150 or £125.

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8.0

Nyne Bass

The Good

The Nyne Bass is an attractively designed wireless Bluetooth speaker that delivers fuller sound than other speakers in the $150/£125 price range. It also has an integrated mic for speakerphone calls, NFC tap-to-pair technology for smartphones that support it, and uses Bluetooth 4.0. Battery life is decent at 10 hours.

The Bad

Yes, it's a portable speaker, but it's not all that travel-friendly.

The Bottom Line

While it's not terribly compact, the Nyne Bass lives up to its name and outperforms many portable Bluetooth speakers that cost more.

I was pleasantly surprised by both the build quality and performance of this speaker. It comes in white or black and weighs about 6.5 pounds (3kg), so it's on the bigger end of the portable Bluetooth speaker spectrum.

It looks more like a tabletop unit but it's portable and Nyne is promoting it as an "outdoor" speaker. It has a built-in "hidden" handle that makes it easier to move around your home or out onto the patio. It does work well out by the pool or in the garden, but it doesn't seem like the most rugged speaker -- it's not splashproof, and one of the little rubber feet on my unit fell off and I had to stick it back on.

Its battery life is rated at an ample 10 hours and it can charge your phone via the USB charging port on the back, though you'll obviously lose some battery life on the speaker if you're charging your phone at the same time. Other extras include an integrated mic for speakerphone calls, NFC tap-to-pair technology for smartphones that support it, and an auxiliary input for non-Bluetooth devices. It uses Bluetooth 4.0.

Nyne Bass 9 product photos

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Performance

From a sound standpoint, the speaker lives up to its name and indeed delivers strong bass performance and plays quite loud (it helps to put the speaker near a wall to get some reflection). Despite its bass focus, it sounds fairly clean and is reasonably detailed.

It may be a tad bright for some people's tastes -- there's a little treble push -- but for the most part it manages to avoid having a harsh edge and can play at higher volumes without distorting.

You'll find some decent-sounding Bluetooth speakers in this price range, such as the TDK Life on Record Trek Max A34 and Sony's SRS-X5 , though all of them lack stereo separation due to the proximity of their drivers, including the Nyne Bass.

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Side view of the Nyne Bass, which also comes in black. Sarah Tew/CNET

Those two competing units are easier to carry around and the TDK is ruggedized. I probably like the sound of the Sony SRS-X5 the best of the three. It sounds warmer and more natural overall. The Nyne Bass has a little more kick to it, however, and sounds a little fuller than both the Sony and the TDK. It would be the superior speaker if you were having a party, though it's better suited to small to medium-sized rooms than large ones.

Speakerphone performance was decent, though not exceptionally good. It helps to stand within a few feet of the speaker to have the microphone pick up your voice.

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Around back you'll find a carrying handle along with a USB charging port and auxiliary input. Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion

The Nyne Bass carries a list price of $180 in the US, or £160 in the UK, but it can be found online for $150 or £125. It's a good value at those street prices, and certainly worth checking out if you're looking for a beefier Bluetooth speaker that looks like a tabletop unit but also has a built-in rechargeable battery for portable use.

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8.0

Nyne Bass

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Sound 8Value 8