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Monday, 4 November 2013

Product Review: Nakamichi NBS5 - 2.1 Bluetooth Speakers

It's been a while since I last posted on here, however The Technology Room is back and better than ever. As well as the interesting sciency-stuff you got before, there's going to be product reviews of the latest technology and gadgets for you to cast your eyes over. And with that, I introduce you to Nakamichi's NBS5 speakers.

Nakamichi, for those that don't know, is a Japanese electronics company, famous for producing some of the best ever cassette decks.  However, we've moved on a long way from cassettes, and Nakamichi failed to keep up with the times, resulting in  the company filing for bankruptcy in 2002. Now though, Nakamichi are back, and keen to regain its stature of old.

And so we come to the NBS5 speakers. They're not widely available in the UK, although your local Richer Sounds might have some in the clearance section (at a ridiculously low price) if you're lucky, as they seem to be the sole official UK distributor. If not, some are popping up on ebay every now and then, or keep a lookout next time you're away on holiday!

First off, I think the unit looks fantastic. The "bullet design" Nakamichi has gone for works really well with the glossy black finish, with the base unit being my favourite. Everything also has a high-quality feel about it, from the way the circular volume control feels in your hand (yes, that little ball controls the volume in case you were wondering, and also lights up to tell you if you're using bluetooth) to the brushed metal on the tweeters.

Connectivity-wise, you get a standard 3.5mm jack which will plug into almost any MP3 player or computer. You can also pair a device via bluetooth, which is incredibly easy to setup and works well, without any noticeable sound distortion. One point to note though is that any other bluetooth enabled devices which are nearby can have a tedency to interfere with the speakers, so make sure to keep a lookout for that. Also, before purchasing, remember that the speakers themselves aren't wireless, and that the cables provided aren't particularly long, so you'll have to keep them relatively close to the base unit.

And now, the most important thing, sound quality. Wow. For such a small pair of speakers (less than 10cm high) these really pack a punch. The tweeters handled everything I threw at them perfectly, with no sound distortion at high volumes, and well-defined treble and midrange. The base, as you can probably tell from the size of it alone compared to the speakers, was incredibly powerful. A point to note if you're thinking of getting a set of speakers - the amount of base will increase the closer it is to a corner and if its in something like a cabinet, due to sound waves crashing into one another. I have this base unit under a desk in a corner, so the base is clearly going to be amplified. That being said (with a bit of fiddling of my computer's sound settings) the base wasn't overly powerful, and didn't overshadow the rest of the frequency range.

Overall, the NBS5's are a fantastic little set of speakers if you want something to connect to your computer or pair with your phone, and mark a welcome return to the world of audio for Nakamichi. They're also available in a design which makes them look like golfballs, but if you're the kind of person who finds that attractive well, um, it's probably best you don't visit this site anymore.

5/5

RRP: £129.95
Available at Richer Sounds for £49.95
Full specification

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