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Portable Amps item created by jacksonchansf, Jun 4, 2012
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.
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:
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.