Nakamichi has a long and storied history as an innovator of high-end cassette decks in the ’70s and ’80s. Now a company called Wow Technologies has used the Nakamichi nameplate on a new sound bar for home theaters, the Nakamichi NK 22.
Wow sent us a unit for review. Could this $349.99 product live up to the Nakamichi quality I admired back in its heyday?
The NK 22 is a 2.1 Dolby Digital/3RS True Surround HD speaker system with Bluetooth, consisting of a sound bar with four 2.5-inch drivers and two 1-inch tweeters. Its wireless subwoofer has one 6.5 inch driver. The 37-inch sound bar is 3.14 inches tall, designed to sit in front of a TV screen.
It was a simple matter to connect an optical cable (not included) from the TV to the sound bar, and then plug it and its wireless subwoofer into wall outlets. you can also use a coaxial audio cable or a cable with a 3.5mm audio jack to connect it. After pairing up the subwoofer and sound bar, and pairing my iPhone to its Bluetooth radio, I was all set for my listening tests.
That was when the trouble started. First of all, using the optical output, I couldn’t use the TV’s remote to control the volume, even when the TV was set to do so. Worse, the sound of the subwoofer was boomy at best, and no matter how I adjusted it or placed it in the room, all I could hear from it was a flabby, muffled roar.
But those were not its worst defects. Alas, there is a showstopping problem that makes this system useless: There is a slight audio delay between the subwoofer and the sound bar. Listening to the system with a variety of content, it was immediately noticeable. The delay was particularly annoying with music, where it sounded like the bass drum was separated from the rest of the music by nearly half a beat.
To me, that makes this product completely unusable.
That’s too bad, because the system has a couple of features I liked. Its Bluetooth connectivity lets you play any audio content from a Bluetooth device on the speaker system. It was cool playing Pandora over the speaker system from my iPhone. And NK 22’s simulated surround sound was not unpleasant, especially when sitting within three or four feet of the sound bar.
Never mind that. There’s no reason for me to go on with this review. Didn’t anyone listen to it before deciding it was ready to ship to paying consumers?
To answer my question at the beginning of this review, no, this product does not live up to the Nakamichi quality I once admired. In fact, this product is simply junk with the Nakamichi name pasted onto it. Wow Technologies has appropriated that once-revered name and trashed it with this fatally flawed product.
The only reason I decided to write this review was to alert anyone tempted to buy it of its intolerable defects. You’ve been warned. Not recommended.
Pingback: Product photography tips for bloggers: It's not as hard as it looks - Charlie White
It sounded great when I heard it. You probably connected the wrong cables.
Thanks for your comment, but I couldn’t have connected the subwoofer with the wrong cables — there aren’t any. It’s wireless. Nor was the problem rectified with various connections between the sound bar and video/audio sources — I connected the sound bar with an optical cable and with the 3.5mm cable Nakamichi provided and the problem persisted.
I am certain the product was properly connected in every possible way. This is how the company is sending this product to its customers, and I had a typical experience.
I’d suggest you take a closer listen to the way the subwoofer’s sound is delayed by about a tenth of a second from the sound bar. Listen to music — that’s where it’s most obvious.
Are there any objects standing between the subwoofer and sound bar like wood panels? how far do you separate sound bar and subwoofer? I wonder the subwoofer delay may come from wireless signal attenuation.
There were no objects between the sound bar and subwoofer, which I positioned in several places. The farthest-away location was about 9 feet.
John your absolutely correct its the modem cable speed.
How did you get the subwoofer to sync with the soundbar? I was given no manual and am quite lost. There is no manual online anywhere
Pingback: Product Photography Tips for Bloggers: It's Not as Hard as It Looks | Bloggers Boot Camp
I bought the nk 11 280 watt system that is bomb i listened to a pimk floyd album live from the ruins of pompey and i heard things i never heard before sorry for your loss but nakamichi from my research is makin a comback after a 15 yr absense in the us i rate it 9 out 10. in my comparison to polk audio,polk carrys nakamichis lunch box to school ,nakamichi blows it away.
How did you pair the sound bar to the subwoofer? I was given no manual and cannot find one online
On the back of bar theres a blue light that stays on with the green light on the back of the sub ,then it started giving me trouble so i shit canned it and sent it back and bought a real system ,harmon karden reciever with klipsch speakers and the klipch ks 100 sub ,makes my windows rattle with sound you dream off ,i had both nakamichi soubd bars nk 8? And 22 both junk.
Listen your problem is when you do wireless if your cable modem speed is not atleast 25 mbps this is what happens fact. I have the nk 11 280 watt system that makes my windows flex in my house you want to hear sound quality , polk audio don t have nothing on my nakamichi system, i have had nakamichi old school products from the mid 70s to 80s then they dissappeared at end of 1999 now there making a come back. I am the type that does my home work before i buy it., but your problem is not the system, i have had this happen make sure your innthernet speed is atleast 25 mbps.
“Manufactured by Jazz Hipster Corporation” – not exactly trust-inspring – lol.
Hello. I wanted to know if any other brand wireless sub can be linked to this system ( NK22 ). the one I got works perfect but I want a Lil more depth in my bass ?
Got it less than a year and now it has intermittent sound. sometimes, the computer does not “see” it as a blue tooth device or when I connected it to my computer with an HDMI cable, the computer still says device unplugged ???the cost of fixing this is more than half the purchase price. What a waste of money.