The world of products competing for your ears these days is incredibly crowded, from the multitude of budget Bluetooth speakers on up to Sonos and others aiming to drag your dad's treasured hi-fi into the 21st century with top-notch wireless sound. The Nano HiFi NH1 falls somewhere toward the latter end of the spectrum, but maintains a notable level of portability and affordability. Gizmag had the opportunity to play part of our northern summer soundtrack over this nifty setup and we came away with this review.
First off, it's important to understand what the NH1 is and isn't. It's more than just a single Bluetooth speaker that you throw in your backpack, but it's not a full-blown home surround sound or multi-room sound system. Rather, it is something like the audiophile's answer to a boombox for the 21st century. It can play audio via Bluetooth from a device or direct line-in from a turntable or other source. It's stereo speakers are detachable (but wired into the main tuner unit) to allow for a little bit of adjustment to accommodate each room's specific acoustics.
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The speakers and tuner easily snap together into a single piece only 4.5 inches tall and 8.7 inches wide that can then be transported easily from room to room or location to location, and the entire thing has a sleek, clean design that can easily add a little color to a room or disappear into the background.
What initially caught our attention about the NH1 is the company's claims that the system packs up to 58 kHz frequency response and includes something called "multi-yoke" technology that allows this portable unit to maintain a level of sound integrity we'd expect from much larger, professional sound systems.
A representative for NanoHiFi told Gizmag in advance of our review that the multi-yoke tech uses a small structure that looks something like a cube-shaped waffle with ribbed construction along with other components "to pack high, low and medium levels of sound, making it seem like there is a subwoofer in the speaker when in reality there is not."
Upon review, we did find that the NH1 delivers on its promise of maintaining pretty impressive sound integrity with no muddiness – the audio is clear thanks to a separation of high, low and medium frequencies. It holds its own against other units we've tried from the relatively new semi-portable home audio field like the Archt One.
Still, there's something to be said for the pure power that comes from the much larger, professional systems that the NH1 is hoping to compete with. I never felt anything like the gut-punching rumble you come to expect with a full-size subwoofer.
However, the NH1 offers the ability to easily fill a room or small yard with high fidelity sound at a reasonable price, and it looks pretty spiffy and even a little hip, too.
It's available in white, blue, maroon, violet, green and brown for US$299 via Amazon.
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