Nyne’s Rock Bluetooth speaker is a modern boombox at a killer price

Whether you’re at the beach or enjoying a backyard barbecue, when you need powerful sound for an outdoor space, you’re going to want to choose a Bluetooth speaker that’s up to the task of providing loudness and projection while delivering great sound quality. With its heady collection of two 3-inch main drivers, twin 1-inch tweeters, and a 6-inch powered bass radiator, Nyne’s Rock Bluetooth speaker handles this task impressively well.

Every outdoor party speaker needs to be able to handle rain, sand, and the occasional physical impact during travel. The Rock (no relation to Dwayne Johnson) passes these basic tests, but falls short of being “very rugged.” Its IPX-3 water-resistance rating means it can get rained on or survive a spilled drink, but it cannot be fully submerged. The lightweight rubberized exterior and metal grilles are prepared to take on some bumps and resist scratches, but a hard fall would likely damage the smooth finish or dent the flexible grille. We don’t think you’ll spend a lot of time carrying around this 10 pound speaker, although the conveniently placed hidden handle in the back makes this task easier than it looks.

The Rock has a few extras in addition to standard playback controls like hands-free calling with a built-in mic, NFC pairing, and a USB port for charging mobile devices. You can also connect an input source via Aux-in and chain to a second Rock or other speaker using the line-out port. The ports and charge indicator LEDs are safely stowed behind a rubber gasket that keeps the unit waterproof when closed. The speaker’s 6600 mAh battery doesn’t have a ton of capacity, but it’s enough to keep the speaker playing for up to 8 hours depending on volume level.

As for sound, the Rock does a great job reproducing bass and the low rumble of sub-bass ranges. However, the treble register is somewhat over-pronounced, which can make midrange vocals sound harsh at louder volumes. That was disappointing since blasting music at maximum volume is a big draw for a boombox-style speaker. In spite of this, backing off the volume a few notches helps to avoid the sibilance and distortion; you still get plenty of sound with a decent amount of detail from a dozen yards away at moderate listening levels.

Nyne’s Rock joins the ranks of contemporary large-bodied boombox speakers like Monster’s Superstar Blaster and Braven’s BRV-XXL. While it lacks the on-board EQ control and PA system capabilities of its competitors, the projection and the sound quality are comparable across all three. The Rock’s MSRP of $250 is already the most affordable of the bunch, but we spotted it recently online going for $180. At that price, this speaker could be an enticing option for your next backyard bash.

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.

The best smartphone stocking stuffers for a very techy Christmas

If you've got a tech-loving smartphone enthusiast to buy for, we can help you out. Here's a selection of top phone accessories that would make amazing stocking stuffers so you can have a very Merry Christmas.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.