Review: Nyne TT Bluetooth speaker

Speaker provides long battery life, good sound in the home and outdoors (May 19th, 2014)

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Product Manufacturer: Nyne

Price: $130

The Good

  • Balanced sound feel
    - Consistent song over song
    - Big controls

The Bad

  • Volume curve
    - Bass distortion at upper levels
    - Buttons not registering

Bluetooth speakers are important not for only adding a bit of punch to music from mobile devices, but also for providing entertainment in social situations. With the increasing frequency with which people are carrying around music on portable devices, it makes sense that listeners would be on the lookout for an equally versatile speaker. But is there a one-size-fits-all speaker that works for a single listener indoors or a gathering on the porch? Nyne throws its hat into the ring with the TT, a hardback book-sized speaker with a combined 20 watts of power. Would it be adequate for open use? Or is it another speaker only good at short distances?

The Nyne TT Bluetooth speaker has many things going for it. For a speaker that isn't too large (10.1 x 5.8 x 2.0 inches), it packs a lot of power from the aforementioned speaker wattage. It also features a 2200mAh battery. The design of the speaker offers an expanded metal mesh as the predominant feature, with a large port on the back to allow air to expand when the speaker is in use. It makes use of two 10-watt drivers, 2.8 inches in size, with stereo output to deliver sound.

The speaker is offered in white and black color schemes for the plastic body, two colors that should match with most smartphones or tablets. The outside of the speaker has a rubberized coating that allows an easier grip on the speaker.

The angled speaker requires the use of a built-in kickstand for it to be used on a desk or table. When not in use, the kickstand sits flush to the speaker, but hides the on/off switch, power port, USB port and 3.5 mm auxiliary port. Rubber feet are on the bottom of the TT, helping it stay in place when in in use. Nyne includes a shoulder-slung neoprene case, to give users an option to use it on the go.

Like many speakers, the TT can also be used as a backup battery, allowing devices to be charged through a five-volt, 1A USB connector. When using this feature, the speaker will automatically drop down to a volume level of eight -- to keep the battery from draining too fast while music is playing. The indicators for the battery are fairly plain, offering an appearance of a battery cell. The indicator is green when full, but white when charging. If the battery does get slow, the Nyne logo blinks slowly to warn the user.

Other standard features for the TT speaker include pairing through NFC, and a built-in speakerphone. NFC pairing works without issue, as does the standard pairing over Bluetooth 4.0. Bluetooth worked as expected until there was 25 to 30 feet from the source device, then the signal then began to break up. The speakerphone picks up a projected voice well on a phone call, but does have some clarity issues when being used outside in a windy environment.

Controls along the top edge of the speaker are bold in their presentation. Nested in a rubber strip on the speaker, each button is spread evenly apart with big, hard to miss buttons if felt out by fingers. The TT has buttons for power, speakerphone use, track next and previous, as well as volume up and down. Each button is easy to press, with only a slight amount of feedback felt with used. On the review sample we received, the volume up button felt different than the others. It also offered a more audible click than the rest.

Another observation with regards to the buttons was that they took significantly longer to relay a button press over Bluetooth than other devices we have tested. Most of the time, the press will feel like a slight delay, with around a second until a track changes. Sometimes, the track change command won't register when using the on-board controls, even with the device is less than a foot away. More than once, it took several clicks of the button before it changed a track in iTunes.

Sound from the TT speaker is rich, but also slightly favors bass. It gives an overall balanced feel, with highs that are easily picked out. Mids tend to blend into the bass, since the latter has a strong punch, but it isn't enough to be distracting. However, the bass at high levels can deteriorate the overall sound quality -- due in part to the odd volume curve the speaker has. Songs like Bjork's "Hunter" give off large vibrations in the TT, distorting the sound significantly through most of the volume range.

The unit provided an interesting issue when trying to measure the dB levels in volume ranges because of its odd curve. Music from the speaker didn't have a significant drop off in volume until the speaker was offering within 12 percent of a source's maximum volume.

This created several instances where the dB levels could be recorded at a slightly higher peak across the 100/75/50 percent volume levels, since point-to-point differences were often less than one percent. This was observed at distances of one and three feet, with only two exceptions. This also meant that song-to-song, the TT had good volume consistency since one song was rarely much louder than another.

Outside or in a group environment, the speaker comes into its own. The volume curve works in its favor in these situations, as does its rate of decay over increasing distances. Tested songs saw a maximum decrease of 18 percent in its dB readings going from one to nine feet away. Because of the way it balances out sound and slight bass focus, the speaker is easy to talk over without having the music being a disruption.

Nyne's TT speaker bridges the gap between musical enjoyment for one person and a group. While not overly bulky, the speaker offers a powerful, well-rounded sound that can be enjoyed from a moderate distance without interfering with conversation. The TT's size does allow it to flex its bass muscle, with mostly favorable results even though it can be a bit distored at high volumes. Priced at $130, it isn't out of range for many consumers looking for a good quality speaker. Given its battery life and good overall sound, the TT will be good for any situation, be it for home use or background music at a social event.

by Jordan Anderson


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