43 Hz to 20 kHz ±12.9 dB on-axis, ±11.1 dB avg 0-30°
Bass output (CEA-2010A standard)
20 Hz NA
25 Hz NA
31.5 Hz 79.9 dB
40 Hz 96.2 dB
50 Hz 104.4 dB
63 Hz 110.6 dB L
To measure the quasi-anechoic frequency response of the iNuke Boom Junior, I set it atop a 2-meter stand and placed the microphone at a distance of 1 meter. (Quasi-anechoic measurements eliminate reflections from surrounding objects to simulate measuring in an anechoic chamber.) I started out by placing the mike on the tweeter axis, then moved the mike around a bit to make sure I was getting the smoothest possible measurement. I then ran a ground-plane measurement at 1 meter to get the bass response. To create the graph shown here, I spliced the bass response to the average of quasi-anechoic measurements of the left channel only taken at 0°, ±10°, ±20°, and ±30°. I used a Clio FW analyzer in MLS mode for the quasi-anechoic measurements and log chirp mode for ground plane, feeding test signals into the iNuke Boom Junior’s RCA line input. The quasi-anechoic measurements were smoothed to 1/12th octave. The blue trace shows the 0° on-axis response, while the green trace shows the averaged response.
Obviously, if you look at the frequency response numbers, the iNuke Boom Junior doesn’t appear to measure terribly well. The problem is a half-octave-wide, -14 dB cancellation dip centered at 2.3 kHz, which I assume is a crossover-related phase cancellation between the midrange and tweeter. There’s also a steep treble roll-off above 15 kHz. However, over the majority of the audio range, from about 200 Hz to 7 kHz, the response is admirably flat. Between 7.5 and 13 kHz, there’s a mild excess of treble energy, possibly the cause of my perception of the treble as a little sizzly. Off-axis performance is excellent, with barely any difference in the averaged and on-axis measurements.
Because the iNuke Boom Junior plays very low for an iPod dock, I decided to include full CEA-2010 bass output measurements here. I did the measurements at 1 meter instead of the usual 3 meters, my standard practice with iPod docks and Bluetooth speakers. The bass is undeniably impressive for a dock, comparable to that of a typical subwoofer included with a $350 2.1-channel soundbar.
When I performed my MCMäxxx™ test, in which I crank up Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart” until it sounds distorted then back it off one notch and measure the output at 1 meter, the Boom Junior still sounded good even at full blast, especially if I turned the treble down a notch or two. At 98 dB at 1 meter, it plays 5 or 6 dB louder than most dock-type products.
The iNuke Boom Junior is far better than its appearance, name, marketing spiel, or price would suggest. Yeah, the treble can be a little hot with some music, but the unit’s real downside is the old-school feature set. I’d love to see a version that dumps the 30-pin dock and adds Bluetooth.
Regardless, if you’re looking for a dock for your beloved older iPhone or iPod, the iNuke Boom Junior is a great deal at its $179 list price. At the $139 price that Costco’s offering through December 16, it’s a steal.
Brent Butterworth and Geoff Morrison combine their years of gear testing and knowledge in one überblog of irreverence and techiness.
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