Hands On CES 2013 Preview: Nyne NH-6500 Dock and Guitar Amp
Debuting at CES 2013, the NH-6500 has power, connectivity and a cool guitar amplifier feature.
When Julie Jacobson saw “guitar” in the pitch for this new product, she immediately forwarded it to me, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
This $900 device had a docking station for the iPhone and iPad, Bluetooth connectivity for portable music devices, CD player, USB and SD card reader for music files and, oh yeah, the ability to hook up my guitar and use this same device as an amp (with optional controller). OK you now have my attention.
The NH-6500 from NYNE is definitely one of the most unusual products I have ever had my hands on.
The look of the product is unique – sort of shaped like an acoustic guitar body remnant of some old classic guitar amps I have seen. The visual presentation is better than I’d expect from a product like this, and the stand packaged with the NH-6500 gives it some extra height for an easier-to-use component.
Every time a friend sees this unit the first question they ask is about the sound quality. I don’t even answer. I just turn it on, watch their faces, and wait for the “wow”.
The sound from the NH-6500 is amazing. I think this may be due to the fact that in this little box is a bass reflex enclosure, two high-output, full-range drivers, two dome tweeters and an amazing subwoofer.
With 120 watts and a fine-tuned audio processor, this unit has the power and sound that is sure to shock and surprise. Nyne talks about best-in-class sound, but I suggest it beats out products a couple of levels above its “class.”
For the real magic Nyne added a connectivity platform that I’ve never seen before. First, there is the universal dock to charge and play iOS devices. This is one of my favorite features. It’s an iPod dock on steroids. I only wish Apple had not changed the connection on the new iPhones.
Android users can instead take advantage of the product’s Bluetooth connectivity. In fact, this is the feature I’ve used the most since I got my hands (and ears) on this product.
Trite, I know, but … Wait there’s more. The NH-6500 also has a 3.5mm Stereo Aux-in for feeding analog line level devices. It has a built-in AM/FM tuner, includes a front loading CD player, and has a small bonus feature with front facing ports for both USB and SD Cards.
All very cool but not nearly as sexy as the guitar feature set.
Here Comes the Guitar Part
As an optional add-on you can get what Nyne calls a “guitar control,” which is pretty much a mixer with guitar and microphone inputs and some built-in effects.
As an amp to get a little practice in, or to play out on the patio, it is truly a great piece. I wouldn’t call it stage or concert quality, but that’s not the point. You can plug in your effects pedals and have a lot of fun with this.
There are some things I would like to see in the future on this product.
Adding analog RCA audio inputs to the back of the unit would be nice in a whole-house setting or just to add another source.
I really would like more finishes as well. The NH-6500 looks OK but some nice wood finishes would enhance the product line. Even a tough outdoor version would be amazing!
All in all this is one “combo device” that I really enjoy on a regular basis. From just listening to some tunes in the house to playing songs on the deck, this is a unit that has found a special place for me.
I am keeping an eye on what else is to come from Nyne this year at CES 2013, including the just-announced SMC-1000 Smart Media Center—a 2.1 soundbar, with 400 Watts RMS power, two midrange drivers, two tweeters and one subwoofer with 96db SPL, and oodles of connectivity including Near Field Communication (NFC).