Nubert nuBox A-125 Review – The small, fine sound pair…

It’s an offer that one shouldn’t be able to resist, so one could put it in a nutshell when describing the compact Nubert nuBox A-125 active loudspeaker. It is designed primarily as an audio solution for TV and multimedia, which is why the manufacturer also speaks of a sound pair. As our test shows, however, there are indeed hi-fi virtues slumbering in this solution from Schwäbisch Gmünd, which the manufacturer himself calls a sound pair.

There it stands, the brand new TV, or it is very fine and mounted on the wall, which of course makes its flat appearance even more apparent. Better said, this flat appearance contributes to the fact that the TV doesn’t look dominant, virtually nestles up agaainst the wall and is therefore hardly noticeable, can be integrated as harmoniously as possible into the living room, although the generously dimensioned screen diagonal is already very, very impressive. Alone, there is no real fun to be had, although the picture quality is of course fantastic. But there seems to be something wrong with the sound, voices are missing any volume, music and actually as dramatically and massive designed sound backdrops all seem to come out of a shoebox. In short, the sound is a catastrophe. Yet the manufacturer promises a cinema-like sound…

Experience shows that the sound of modern televisions is simply poor, sometimes even downright bad. Whatever innovations the manufacturers promise in this respect, physics cannot be tricked or outsmarted, sufficient volume is and remains a fundamental prerequisite for attractive sound, and this is exactly what is lacking in deliberately flat screens.

So it cannot be emphasised often enough that an additional audio solution around the television is essential, because the gain in sound quality is often quite remarkable, especially when such solutions don’t require a deep pocket, as is the case with our current test candidate, the Nubert nuBox A-125 active loudspeaker system.

The alternative to the soundbar

Normally, the simplest answer to the question of what audio solution you should treat yourself to in order to bring picture and sound back into harmony on a television set is to invest in a so-called soundbar. This product group was born out of the need to “help” a television set with its greatest deficit in the figurative sense, i.e. to provide it with an external, sensible audio solution in the most compact form possible.

A soundbar is indeed a fine thing, but it is also only a compromise, this must be admitted openly. Here, too, the requirement is that the system should be as compact as possible and fit under the television set in the best possible way. Many solutions also deliver a very attractive sound, but with conventional speaker systems even more is possible…

In addition, and this is the really decisive point, the speakers of a soundbar are very close together due to the system, so the potential to create a credible stereo image with a wide stage is limited. Normal speakers can easily be set up far apart from each other, resulting in the classic hearing triangle between source and listener. This guarantees an optimal spatial reproduction. And this is exactly where Nubert electronic GmbH comes in with the Nubert nuBox A-125 active loudspeaker system.

Specially developed for TV and multimedia

The exciting thing is that Nubert electronic GmbH offers two very similar solutions, namely our current test candidate, the Nubert nuBox A-125, but also the Nubert nuBox AS-225 soundbar, which is identical from a technical point of view, but is a soundbar, or rather a so-called soundbase. While the Nubert nuBox AS-225 soundbar is obviously designed for use underneath a TV set, the Nubert nuBox A-125 active speaker system is advertised as a hi-fi and multimedia system, and the range of applications is therefore much wider.

Nevertheless, first and foremost the Nubert nuBox A-125 active loudspeaker system is of course also ideal for the television set, especially when it comes to the range of interfaces, but more on that in a moment. So it is no wonder that Nubert electronic GmbH deliberately refers to it and speaks of a sound pair with the Nubert nuBox A-125.

Very compact, very attractively designed

The Nubert nuBox A-125 is, it must be said, extremely compact. Whoever claims to have no room for a decent audio solution…

The speaker system measures no more than 24.5 cm in height, has a width of only 13.5 cm, and a depth of 20 cm without, 21 cm with front cover. To make a comparison, the footprint of the Nubert nuBox A-125 corresponds almost exactly to a DIN A5 sheet.

The case is made of MDF in the proven manner, using boards with a wall thickness of 19 mm. This prevents unwanted resonance and guarantees a clean sound image. The surface is covered with a high-quality foil.

Initially only the graphite version was available, but Nubert electronic GmbH now also offers a black version. Solid, as always perfectly manufactured by Nubert electronic GmbH, the speaker weighs 3.7 kg for the master and 3.3 kg for the slave.

In both available versions, a loudspeaker grill is of course part of the scope of delivery, whereby this is always in black. It is held in position by magnets, so that when the grill is not mounted, there are no holes or anchors to spoil the appearance.

Basic principles…

As already mentioned, the Nubert nuBox A-125 is an active loudspeaker system, which in this case is designed as a master/slave configuration. This means that one speaker is the master, the second one is the slave, the first one houses the electronics and all connections, the second one actually serves as a passive speaker.

In concrete terms this means that the right speaker of the Nubert nuBox A-125 is the active one, i.e. all electronics and also the central connections for source devices are located here. The connection between the speakers is made by a system cable with a screw cap, thus providing a secure connection. It has a practical length of 3 m, so that the two speakers can actually be placed far enough away from each other without any problems. Should this not be sufficient in some cases, Nubert electronic GmbH also offers an alternative in the form of the Nubert A-125 connection cable with a length of five or even seven meters.

Want to make friends

Let’s stick to the connections, where the first thing that stands out is the HDMI input. This is used to connect to a TV set, whereby a so-called ARC, i.e. an audio return channel, is of course supported. HDMI CEC is also supported of course, so that central control is done by the TV’s remote control alone and the Nubert nuBox A-125 wakes up from standby as soon as you switch on the TV.

The Nubert nuBox A-125 also offers a coaxial and optical S/PDIF interface, so that streaming solutions on a digital level can be integrated. For analogue sources a classic pair of cinch connectors is available.

Another possible source is Bluetooth, so that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can also be used directly as sources. Here the Nubert nuBox A-125 also supports the aptX codec for signal transmission in “CD quality”.

To anticipate our conclusion a bit, even if you don’t really need it, especially such a compact speaker system profits immensely from having an active subwoofer at its side. With the Nubert nuBox A-125 this can be done via a separate output in form of a RCA connector.

Of course, the power supply unit is directly integrated here, so the power connector is the final touch to our view of the panel at the rear of the master speaker.

One more look at the front of the Master Speaker, where there is not only an IR diode for the included remote control, but also a status LED that serves two purposes. On the one hand it indicates that the Nubert nuBox A-125 is switched on, but also the active input is displayed. Green means that an analog source is used, red stands for the optical, white for the coaxial S/PDIF input. Purple indicates that HDMI is active, and the LED can also light up blue, which it does when Bluetooth is active. Even when the speaker grill is mounted, the LED shines through it, so you can always see the operating status clearly.

The inner values…

For the Nubert nuBox A-125, Nubert electronic GmbH relies on a 25 mm fabric dome tweeter and combines it with a 118 mm woofer with a polypropylene composite cone, which has been specially designed for a particularly long excursion to conjure up sufficient bass even in view of the very compact enclosure. It is supported by a bass reflex system that acts outwards to the rear. In addition, the developers of the Nubert nuBox A-125 rely on DSP-based signal processing that guarantees optimum control of the drivers and also offers special equalisation.

In principle, this compact active loudspeaker system is also neutrally tuned, but a DSP-based tone control is available, which should make the reproduction in Movie or Music mode a bit more vivid, voluminous and wide. Nubert electronic GmbH refers to this as a hearing extension that can be activated and deactivated with a single button press. With the Nubert nuBox A-125 a frequency range between 50 Hz and 20 kHz can be reproduced.

The Class D amplifier of the Nubert nuBox A-125 delivers twice 25 Watts of power and is equipped with soft clipping to protect against overload.

It should also be emphasised that the Nubert nuBox A-125 has a standby function, so especially when this active speaker system is connected to a TV set there is no need to worry about switching it on and off. When the TV is activated, the Nubert nuBox A-125 is also ready to play. Conversely, it switches to standby mode when the TV is switched off.

The system also offers automatic standby for all other sources. After some time without a signal the system switches to standby mode.

Everything under control

If the Nubert nuBox A-125 active loudspeaker system is used with a television set, the only thing you need for everyday use is the remote control of the television set. Nevertheless, the Nubert nuBox A-125 can do more, so a matching infrared remote control is of course part of the package. Here you will find everything you need to have the Nubert nuBox A-125 completely under control. The remote control lies well in your hands and gives a valuable impression.

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From the practice

For our test we used the Nubert nuBox A-125 in two different ways, first of all of course for its most original purpose as an audio system for the TV, but also on our desk.

And exactly this is a decisive plus point for us, which speaks for the Nubert nuBox A-125, its very, very compact dimensions. Just to remind you again, the footprint of the Nubert nuBox A-125 is equivalent to a DIN A5 sheet.

This means that the loudspeaker system can easily be placed on a sideboard on which the television set is placed or above which it is mounted. It’s also worth playing around with finding the optimal placement, i.e. angling the speakers a little, although we found that this is only minimally necessary to achieve a really good coverage of the listening position on the couch.

For the audio system on our desk we used an AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt as a converter, so we used the analogue input of the Nubert nuBox A-125. When used as an audio system for television, the HDMI input was of course available.

So, turn on the TV and the Nubert nuBox A-125 is activated. It’s immediately noticeable that voices have body again and stand out well against background noise and music, but they are also presented very credibly and fully. In addition, a realistic sound stage can be heard, the events on the screen are now also distributed acoustically credibly in the room, voices and events can be clearly located in depth and width. Although we are not lovers of various DSP artists and mostly prefer neutral reproduction, we must nevertheless praise the Hörizone extension used by Nubert electronic GmbH here. It really does its job very well and adds a bit more richness to the sound. In this case we would definitely leave it activated…

But one thing is also clear, of course the “little ones” won’t tear down walls, but that’s not their job either, after all nobody wants to sell a “Home Cinema System” here, Nubert electronic GmbH only promises an appealing, compact solution for good TV sound, which also has what it takes for more demanding tasks, and that’s exactly what the Nubert nuBox A-125 delivers with flying colours. And if you bring a subwoofer into play that is adequate to the size of the actual speakers, there is a good deal more sovereignty and power, and this should not be concealed either.

These “higher tasks” just mentioned, it should be noted that we are not only dealing with an audio system just for TV, but ultimately with a particularly compact hi-fi system that concentrates on the essentials, and this becomes clear even with music videos on TV.

So there is a lot to be said for connecting a streaming client to this system, for example via the S/PDIF interfaces, and its app can be used to access your own content as well as online services from Internet radio to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD and the like. And many consumers do not need more than that…

It was the same with our test at the workplace, where we used the Nubert nuBox A-125 as the ideal solution for music accompaniment throughout the day. Again, we didn’t ask for an elaborate hi-fi system, but a compact solution like this is exactly what we were looking for, especially since the Nubert nuBox A-125 offered a very balanced and appealing sound. Of course, we also used the “Music” button as a corresponding preset of the DSP-based signal processing, resulting in a more open sound image. This may work well for some music, but for others it may not fit so well, but it is primarily a question of personal taste. Just try it out… The only disadvantage in this configuration from our point of view is that the Nubert nuBox A-125 has no USB port for direct connection to a PC or Mac. This would be another fine feature we would like to see in the next generation.

Getting to the point

With the extremely compact active loudspeaker system Nubert nuBox A-125, Nubert electronic GmbH offers a truly first-class solution for delivering fine sound in the smallest of spaces. Especially in the living room this system, which is called a sound pair, is in good hands, because it not only delivers impeccable sound for the TV, but is also a very versatile HiFi system. The Nubert nuBox A-125 is therefore also suitable for any other place in the house, where you want to enjoy appealing sound in the simplest way possible and don’t have to dig deep into your pocket, because measured by the performance at the price called for it, the Nubert nuBox A-125 is a very, very tempting offer.

HiFiBLOG Award Excellent

It is noticeable that the small active loudspeaker Nubert nuBox A-125 has years of experience in this field. This is a deliberately very small, but nevertheless impressively impressive speaker system, which as a so-called sound pair is a real alternative to a TV sound bar, but can also be used as a flexible, compact HiFi system and can therefore be placed anywhere in the house, as our detailed test shows.

Manufacturer:Nubert electronic GmbH
Distribution:Nubert electronic GmbH
Price:€ 385,-
The Good– Space for a speaker is no larger than a DIN A5 sheet
– stylish design
– perfectly processed
– flexibly applicable
– Connection variety including HDMI
– quite powerful measured by the size
– simple control concept
– very attractive sound
The Bad– Display of the volume would be practical
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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