Every good tailgate has a few things in common. You’ve usually got tasty food, fun games, and plenty of great people. You might also have some good music just to bring everything together. In the past you might have dragged out the old boombox or even just turned up the radio in the car as I’ve done. However, the old methods may not be useful anymore. Let’s face it, depending on where you’re going to be tailgating the radio options can potentially be downright awful. How many times do you need to hear the latest top 40 song before it gets old? So to combat this many of us carry our music collections around on mp3 players, or our smart phones. The problem with this is how can we play our music for a group of people without needing to leave one of these devices physically attached? The answer is a wireless connection, and probably the most common one these days is Bluetooth. This is how the nyne BASS speaker system works.
Disclaimer: We received a sample of the nyne BASS free of charge for testing. This in no way affected our ability to review the product fairly and objectively.
The nyne BASS is a portable audio solution that incorporates quality acoustic performance into a truly portable device. When the product arrived for testing the first thing I noticed was the weight of the box. It was heavier than I had expected it to be, which I felt to be a good thing. Once I opened the box I was pleased to find a very sleek and attractive device. Since I wanted to test this in the way most like tailgating I decided to charge the device overnight so that I could test the manufacturer claim of a 10 hour run time.
The following day I powered on the device and paired it with my phone. This process was pretty straightforward and I had little problem making the connection. Then I decided to listen to a broad variety of music so test out the audio performance. What I experienced was a sound that far exceeded my expectations for this sort of peripheral. With a name like “BASS” you would expect decent low end sound, and that sound was delivered quite well. Not only did the lower frequencies come through well, the middle and high ranges were also well represented for a pleasantly balanced overall delivery. I had some doubts about the quality I could expect from being on a wireless connection, but those were unsubstantiated and completely erased once I was able to listen to things from techno all the way through contemporary jazz. Furthermore when I consulted others for their opinions they were impressed by the sound performance as well. As for the claim of 10 hours of playback, while I did not sit by with a stopwatch, I made it through a day at the office and a couple more hours at home and it didn’t die one me. That, to me, was a passing mark.
The volume on the device can be controlled in two ways. First you can raise or lower the volume via the buttons on top of the device. Those buttons, like all of the controls, are large and have raised emblems to distinguish which does what. The other way is to use the transmitting devices volume control. Each of these would be important for using this at a tailgate, as you’ll likely want to control the volume from whichever piece is closest to you. One obvious question is does this thing get loud. Yes it can get loud. Does it distort when it gets loud? That I cannot answer definitely. I took the BASS as loud as I could tolerate and as loud as I feel would be prudent at a tailgate party and I experienced no distortion. This was a very positive feature in my eyes. The 20 watts of power were more than enough to deliver the level of sound needed from this size apparatus.
Other positive features include the ability to use a cable (included) to connect your music device directly to the BASS. However I would reserve this for non Bluetooth equipped devices because the performance is that good. The charger has interchangeable plugs for various outlets that you might encounter around the world. Speaking of chargers the nyne BASS has a USB port on the back which can be used to charge your device, if that is how it charges. The only thing I would note is that it will draw from the battery so if your phone has a large battery capacity you’ll likely cut your playback time significantly. However the ability to charge the device is very handy. There is also a convenient carry handle which makes for easy moving if the need should arise.
The last feature to cover on the BASS is the microphone which allows you to use it as a Bluetooth speakerphone. Of all the features this one is probably the one that you’d be least likely to use in a tailgating setting. However we did want to give it a fair shake. Initial tests did not go so well. These were done across the room speaking in an elevated voice, but not so much as to call it yelling. However once I moved closer to the device and spoke directly into it the quality improved. I would think that any ambient noise in the area would only work against you as it pertains to this feature, however if you use the BASS on your desk when you’re not tailgating it could be useful. It may take some getting used to, but the learning curve should be minimal.
All in all the BASS delivered on everything that it said it would. I especially liked the rich sounds that was produced, and that it covered a wide spectrum of music very well. Furthermore the ability to control things remotely via Bluetooth is very much a win win. As such I am declaring the nyne BASS as “Tailgate Approved” for it’s functionality and its usefulness for being on the go. The only negatives I could find were the white finish was easy to get dirty, however it was also easily cleaned, and the microphone took a little getting used to. Those, I believe, are minor and shouldn’t influence purchasing decisions by themselves.
The nyne BASS is available in white and gray (tested) or in black and silver and sells for around $150 online. You can check out all the specs, see their other products, and get more info on nyne’s site here.