We first met NuForce when I did a review on their NE700M headphones, at that time, I was impressed with their 70 dollar offering. Then came the 770, which I wasn’t too fond of. This roller coaster ride has lead me to the Cube, not a headphone from NuForce, rather a speaker. Read on for the full review:
In the Box
- NuForce Cube
- USB to USB Mini Cable
- Auxilary Cable
The Cube comes with everything you need to begin using it.
Like the new iPods, NuForce offers their cube in a variety of colors. Unlike the iPod, there are only 4 to choose from: blue, red, silver, black. The cube offers a very basic design holding to a single color all around. Anodized aluminum gives a nice texture to the outer housing while the bottom and back are made of plastic. The front speaker is covered like most are. The speaker simply falls into the background with a minimalistic design. You really can get any simpler than a cube.
The design is very minimalistic, but attractive. It looks great with any iDevice.
The speaker plays in mono, rather than stereo, because… well, there’s only one speaker. The sound of that it produces is reminiscent of a smaller speaker, slightly shrill with rolled off lows.
The bass isn’t as well defined as it should be. The problem is better than expected, but still a problem. Punches, and even impacts still come across fine most of the time. The bass has little problems in the upper end, but the lower end lacks texture and body as a whole. Something that could use some major improvement in. Overall, it’s what I’d expect from a small speaker.
The midrange comes in with ample clarity. Vocals come along sweeter. They, however, do lack a lushness to them. Instrumental detailing is actually very well done, but vocal nuances are less than average. Sibilance, becomes a slight problem with the Cube. Timbre is fine with the cube as well, it could use some improvements here, but timbre still runs through.
The highs are well detailed throughout, which is always a good sign to start off strong. Treble splashes are audible and energetic while still being able to maintain good separation. They could extend slightly further into the spectrum though. The lower highs strike hard with a nice extension to them.
The Cube is meant to be a portable speaker, with that said, it will be tossed around and go through rough times. That said, it will be able to stand up from these rough times and play along. NuForce supplies a pouch with the Cube to protect it from the elements while it’s traveling about.
NuForce supplies a pouch to keep the speaker protected when not in use.
NuForce decided to use a thick metal to enclose the speaker with. This is a smart choice because it will protect the speaker well, but also very strong. The outer coating, as stated before, is anodized to give a higher quality look to the metal. It’s strong, rigid, and tough. There’s not much more to say.
A strong anodized metal is used to keep the internals from damage.
This speaker, does come with another feature outside of just being used as a speaker. It can also run as an external digital to analog converter (DAC). For those of you using a weaker source, like a Nano or Shuffle, the DAC will be able to amplify the sound and provide better quality overall. However, it will also function bypassing a laptop’s DAC (using it’s own) if you use the USB mode. Otherwise, you’ll be using your own DAC through an analog connection.
This speaker doubles as an external DAC/AMP as well as just a speaker.
Overall, the 120 dollar speaker does serve its purpose well. It works very well as a speaker to bring from point A to B. While you’re on the run and can’t carry a 3, 4, 5… 11 speaker system with you. Sure, the audio quality could use a slight improvement for the buck twenty you drop on it, but it does well for what it was designed to do.
I absolutely love this little speaker, unfortunately however, this love is not for the sound. The metal design is spectacular that also does well for the build quality. It will be put to use going to and from places when my laptop speaker just won’t cut it.
I’d like to thank NuForce for the review sample