The premise behind NudeAudio is to create affordable audio products that keep the thrills of pricier alternatives. The Studio 5 speaker boasts about its large room-filling sound and its wireless Bluetooth and in-built Lightning connector functionality. Available within the UK for £149 and Australia for $189.
On lifting the Studio 5 speaker out of the box we were stunned by just how light it was, weighing slightly over 1kg. The entrancingly informally shaped free and easy design is now one of our favourites within the speaker world. It was immediately at home within our contemporary studio and almost looks like a sculpture of sorts with its perfectly contrasting grey fabric wrapped around the grill, soft touch rubber top and bright white base.
A polished aluminium ring of controls is used to highlight where the iDevices can be docked. It presents key functionality like pausing/playing tracks and adjusting volume. One improvement we thought could be useful for this control scheme would have been the addition of buttons to skip and go back on tracks. An independent button is positioned in front of the ring of controls for controlling Bluetooth paring, and on the back of the speaker is a three-way switch for the purpose of adjusting bass.
Lightning & Bluetooth
The Lightning connector, which can be used to charge an iOS device and play music through, is featured on top of the NudeAudio Studio 5. It pivots back and fourth to accommodate different sized iPhones and iPads with or without a case equipped. Bluetooth setup was like most devices which execute the technology nowadays - swift. A press of the Bluetooth rescan button on top of the speaker will scan for new devices to join; and any of our previously paired devices promptly connected when within, what we found to be, the max rage of ten metres. If you’re a dinosaur and don’t have either of these connectivity options, don't worry, a line-in connection is featured on the back of the Studio 5 speaker next to the AC plug port.
Unlike products such as the Urbanears Zinken headphones that aim for contemporary style and neglect the sound performance, NudeAudio have hit the ball out of the park here! If you’re looking for an affordable room-filling rich and outstandingly loud sound producer, this definitely gets our nod of approval. Interestingly, quality difference between playing music over Bluetooth and via Lightning was near identical, but the Lightning method did edge ahead by being a smidgen clearer.
As a 2.1 speaker producing a 40w output its specifications include a 3-inch sub-woofer with two 1.6-inch full-range reodymium drivers. The outcome of this setup, coupled with the speaker's unique shape, is a sharp and spacious sound stage. Instruments and vocal layers are unwrapped from one another and stereo separation was satisfactory, so the audio is clearly heard from the left and right channels. It makes for a clean listening experience that all genres benefit from and busier tracks don't trip up either. We think it’s unmatched within its price range. Acoustic performance was an area that particularly impressed, with the confident frequencies and tremendous separation between track elements, leading to glorious renditions of very vocally lead songs with bold simplistic instrumentals like the cover of ‘One Fine Day’ by ‘Natalie Merchant’.
As we have already briefly mentioned, the bass level can be adjusted via a knob on the back of the speaker. What we love about this is that it doesn’t interfere with the mid and high range frequencies. It solely separates and contains the degree of low bass level frequencies; so the NudeAudio Studio 5 speaker can easily cater for people who prefer a bold and deep bass, or those who prefer lighter and more airy low levels. We adjust the bass all the time to accommodate the kind of music we’re playing. The thriving depth when the bass was turned up all the way was quite startling, because of its firm control within a speaker that’s very lightweight, but the mid range was also given freedom to flow and the highs were towering and never pitchy, we really can’t fault the warm and clean sound style of the Studio 5.
Similar sounding speakers (albeit with higher spec) include the Libratone Zipp, featuring an inbuilt battery, priced at £299 and the Audyessy Wireless Speakers also priced at £299. The latter of these speakers does offer tremendous value with separate speaker modules for really great stereo, but it doesn’t quite reach the same degree of value that the Studio 5 speaker provides at £149.99.
The performance of the NudeAudio Studio 5 speaker isn’t just a notch above the similarly priced competition, it pole-vaults over them with its king-sized accurate sound coming from a sprightly packed delicious looking exterior.