Nyne Cruiser Review

Listen to music on your bike with Nyne's portable Bluetooth speaker

Nyne Cruiser Bluetooth Speaker
Nyne Cruiser Bluetooth Speaker. Image © Nyne Multimedia, Inc.

Manufacturer's Site

Introduction

Before the use of Bluetooth became mainstream in audio, the only option to listen to digital music on the move was to use an MP3 player and a pair of earbuds. Today, devices like smartphones which have this wireless technology built into them offer a convenient way to stream your favorite tracks to portable speakers.

But, most speakers on the market designed to be portable are usually free-standing only.

This might be fine if you are traveling by car, but what if you are a cyclist for instance? You'll know that using a Bluetooth speaker on a bicycle is normally impractical. And, without any modifications there's little chance of fixing a speaker to your bike so it doesn't fall off.

Nyne's Clip-on Cruiser Speaker

As well being a free-standing speaker,  the Nyne Cruiser can be attached to the handlebars on a bike, or in fact anything that has tubular framework of a similar size -- examples include gym exercise equipment, strollers, golf trolleys, etc. This tough-looking speaker comes with a pair of mount clips that can be fixed to handlebars without any tools. The unit slides onto these clips so it is completely detachable when you need to take it back in doors.

Oh, and did we mention that it can also charge your phone?

On the surface the Cruiser seems like the ideal speaker to take with you on a trek, but how practical is it and does it deliver great sounding audio?

Main Features

The Nyne Cruiser speaker has the following specifications:

  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with NFC.
  • Universal handlebar mount clips.
  • Built-in phone charger via USB.
  • Auxiliary input for devices that don't have Bluetooth (mini-jack plug).
  • 2200 mAh rechargeable battery (approx. 10 hours playtime between charges).
  • Carry case with spring-loaded hook.
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free calling.

What's in The Box?

The review sample we received had the following items in the box:

  • 1 x Cruiser Bluetooth speaker system.
  • Micro USB charging cable.
  • 3.5mm audio cable (mini-jack) for wired connection.
  • Carrying case.
  • 2 x universal bicycle clips.
  • Quick user guide.
  • Warranty card.

Design And Color

Measuring 5.75" x 3.25" x 3" (W/D/H) and weighing 0.8 lbs, the Nyne Cruiser is a decent sized speaker, but isn't too large to travel with. It has a rubberized coating to protect against the usual knocks and bumps, and also has four rubber feet underneath making it quite stable on flat surfaces.

According to Nyne's website, the Cruiser comes in a choice of four color combinations. At the time of writing this review, they are: white / gray, blue / black, silver / black, and green / gray. The unit we received for the review had a nice combination of gray (main case body and speaker grill) with the ends and control buttons finished off in a zesty lime color. The end result is a good looking mix that gives the speaker a stylish look.

Mount Clips And Carry Case

The biggest stand-out feature of the Cruiser is of course being able to fix it to handlebars or any cylindrical bars of a similar size.

The mount clips that come with the unit are designed so you don't need any tools. You simply have to twist the screw handle on each one to adjust to the right size and then push the locking lever down for a tight fit. To aid in a secure fit, Nyne have also included a couple of rubber spacers if the bar you are fixing it to is slightly too small. The system works well and did a good job of holding on to the handlebars we tested it on.

To keep your Cruiser safe, Nyne have also included a carry case that sports a carabiner (spring-loaded hook). The outside of the case has a printed representation of the buttons which can be handy if you want to control the unit while it's in the case.

However, in practice it's quite tricky to line these up with the unit's buttons, and the case is a fairly tight fit as well. Still, the case is made of good quality material and will keep the unit safe while being carried around.

Battery And Phone Charging

The battery inside the Cruiser is rechargeable and can take up to four hours for a full charge. According to Nyne, you can expect up to ten hours playing time from a full battery. This will vary however, especially if you've also used it to top up your phone's battery. This is a great bonus feature that provides 5V / 1A output which is a boon if you're traveling and find your phone's battery runs out of juice.

Pairing With a Phone And Using The Controls

Like all Bluetooth devices, the Cruiser needs to be paired to a phone before you can start streaming music. Looking at the specifications, the unit uses Bluetooth 4.0 with the added bonus of NFC (near field communication). If your phone supports NFC then you can quickly pair with the Cruiser automatically rather than manually setting up. When we tested this feature out it worked like a charm. The connection was virtually instant. Range was good too on the Bluetooth side of things and while streaming there were no noticeable audio drop-outs.

Nyne have gone for a vertical button arrangement for the Cruiser. This configuration makes sense while on the move. It's easier to access the buttons especially when there's lateral movement on a bike. There are six buttons on the Cruiser which provide the following functions: play / pause, volume up, volume down, hands-free option, previous track, next track. All the buttons give a good positive response with only a slight delay between when you depress them and the action.

Input / Output Connections

On the back of the unit you'll find some useful connections. The first interface on the left is a standard 3.5mm auxiliary audio input. This is for connecting devices that don't support Bluetooth. The included audio cable that comes with the Cruiser has one straight connector and one angled at 90 degrees so it can easily fit into the headphone socket on a portable player etc.. The next input to the right is a USB port for charging devices like a phone. And lastly, a micro USB port is used (with the supplied cable) to recharge the Cruiser's built-in rechargeable battery.

Audio Quality

For the audio test, a Samsung Galaxy S4 was paired with the Cruiser. Once the two devices were connected (using NFC), a mix of music tracks were then streamed over Bluetooth. Different genres were selected (dance, pop, jazz, and orchestral) to test how the speakers responded to different frequencies.

The first track that was played was bass heavy and the speaker responded very well. Actually, the amount of bass you get is seriously impressive coming from such a small unit. And, there's hardly any distortion even when the bass gets to the very lows. The next track played contained a mix of mid to high frequencies with quite a lot of vocals. The speakers produced a clear and well-balance sound that didn't over-respond in any particular area. Vocals were clear and crisp, while the mid to highs were nicely detailed. Finally, the last two tracks played focused on mostly complex high frequencies. The Cruiser played these very well without the hiss you can sometimes get over Bluetooth.

Overall, the Cruiser is an impressive Bluetooth speaker that packs a punch both in sound quality and loudness.

Bottom Line

 

Pros

  • Very good audio quality that doesn't distort at high volumes.
  • Sturdy mounting clips.
  • Useful phone charging option.
  • Long-lasting battery.

Cons

  • Carry case: Cruiser can be tricky to put in it and line up with the case's printed buttons.

For more information on the Cruiser and where to buy, go to Nyne's website. You can also read user reviews and purchase directly from Amazon: Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.