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Nuforce Black Cube Portable Speaker, Headphone Amp, and USB DAC

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #36 in Portable Amps

Posted

Pros: Compact size, component quality balance, flexibility, pouch, design quality, aesthetics.

Cons: Supplied cables, occupies an USB slot

Need an unimposing loudspeaker for your tranquil personal space? This is the finest niche product for the job I have found in a market which is flooded with cheap and not so cheap noise makers.

 

Although you could annoy the person in the next office if you were to exploit the Cube's volume potential, you can also use this little beauty whisper quiet. Perfect for the office environment or anywhere you have small personal space and do not want to wear headphones or disturb those around you and achieve an appreciable audio quality.

 

The supplied cables are serviceable at most. Very bottom of the barrel (crud), just to get your unit operating. If you intend to actually use the Cube other than a quirky gadget for show, I recommend a good quality USB cable. Non-audiophiles will not only frown on the expense and notice no real difference other than visual. Now a days $50 will buy you a cable of considerable quality. My unit even after only 1 day of use has richer midrange and high frequency ranges (think piano, brass, violin etc) with a Furutech USB cable ($70) connecting it to the computer.

 

The pouch is a sweet addition, likely not to be used by me, but I appreciate the thought and extra effort Nu-Force put in.

 

If you have reasonable expectations on what a 5 centimeter full range speaker can achieve the Cube will please and likely exceed your experiences. Each component seems to be selected on how well it matches the goals of the unit, something Nu-Force has done very well. No "high end" DAC chip or amplifier in sight. A thoroughly well designed product that can easily be appreciated by the discerning user, it's all about design quality with excellent materials to implement it.

 

The headphone amp works fine (with Grado SR325is), a considerable improvement over the MacBook Pro I connect the Cube to.

 

I have heard a few other small loudspeakers that compete with the Cube, they all were "boom box" style focus. 

Posted

Pros: size, sound, build quality, great value as a whole

Cons: bit of a niche combo unit, not good value as individual components

My full review can be found here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/618638/review-nuforce-cube-portable-speaker-usb-dac-headphone-amp

 

The executive summary: The speaker is surprisingly good for its size and cost. It's not the best dac or headphone amp at this price point however, but you'll be hard pressed to find all these things in one little package. The excellent form and build quality is just bonus.

Nuforce Black Cube Portable Speaker, Headphone Amp, and USB DAC
Description:

The NuForce Cube is engineered to be your all-in-one mobile audio center. If you want good sound wherever you go, then you'll find it an amazingly convenient and easy to carry companion. In one tiny cube-shaped enclosure, we have united a quality headphone amplifier, high performance speaker, and audiophile grade USB DAC. Whether your music source happens to be a computer, cell phone or other portable music device, the Cube can accommodate them all while significantly improving their sound. Speaker, you can hear NuForce's experience in high-end audio electronics--along with a very high-quality speaker driver--in Cube's superior sound, which blows cheap plastic, low-quality portable speakers out of the water. With the Cube, listeners no longer have to sacrifice great sound for portability. Despite its small 2" cube frame, the Cube offers audio detail, depth and dimension other portable speakers simply aren't designed to deliver. You'll hear the character of your favorite singer's voice, the clarity and fine details of the musical instruments, the squeaky floor in a horror movie, or the subtle rumbling of the race car engine. USB DAC, the Cube's USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC) accepts digital music directly from the computer and bypasses the computer's on-board DAC, which are often low-quality and result in compromised sound, to offer a major improvement over the sound quality. Headphone Amp, the Cube's finely optimized amplifier circuit takes the audio to a new level, providing plenty of power to drive even the most power-hungry set of "cans". It helps ensure that the headphones provide all the clarity, detail and power they're designed to deliver.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandNuForce
EAN0816924010359
FeatureA special adaptor for the iPod Nano is available. With the adaptor in play, the duo becomes one of the world's smallest, high-quality music systems.
Height2.36 inches
Length2.3 inches
Weight0.35 pounds
Width2.3 inches
LabelNuforce, Inc
List Price$119.00
ManufacturerNuforce, Inc
MPNNF-CUBE-BLACK
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameCONSUMER_ELECTRONICS
PublisherNuforce, Inc
StudioNuforce, Inc
TitleNuforce Black Cube Portable Speaker, Headphone Amp, and USB DAC
UPC816924010359
SKUNF-CUBE-BLACK
Part NumberNF-CUBE-BLACK
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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