Stereo sound for everyone – Wavemaster Cube Neo
With the Cube Neo, Wavemaster has an updated version of their Cube speakers in the portfolio. The predecessor already showed that quality does not always have to be extremely expensive. They offered good sound quality and functionality at a relatively small price. We took a closer look to see if that is still the case with the new edition, the Wavemaster Cube Neo.
Scope of delivery
Let’s first take a look at what Wavemaster packed in the box. Before you get to the speakers, which by the way are very well packed, you first get to the accessories. In addition to a speaker cable and the power cable, the packaging also includes a 3.5 mm jack cable and an RCA cable. With this selection, everyone has the possibility to connect the suitable device. Furthermore, a remote control including batteries is also included. With this, all settings can be made, but more about this later. After you have taken out the accessories and removed the top packaging protection from the package, the actual speakers are next. These are wrapped in extra protective material for transport, so that they are also protected from dust and dirt. Now the speakers are freed from this protective material and closely examined.
Design and workmanship
The design of the Cube Neo speakers is kept very simple and elegant. Apart from the back, you don’t have any directly visible clues about the manufacturer and the type of box. The drivers are protected behind metal grilles and only the active, right box has components that are not directly needed with the infrared receiver and the rotary control, above which there is still a status LED. Especially the interplay between the white paint and the black grilles provides timeless elegance, which finds its place everywhere. However, if the white does not appeal to you, you can still choose something more inconspicuous with gray, or also contribute something to the feel-good atmosphere with the Bamboo look, here the speaker is made of solid bamboo.
Now let’s take a look at the workmanship. The base of the speaker is formed by MDF boards, in which the corresponding holes were then sawed. Especially around the speaker grilles, it is quickly noticeable if mistakes are made here, but this is not the case. The applied white lacquer is also flush everywhere, so there is no discoloration or even the MDF panel is visible. The rotary knob also sits super and can be operated well. We search in vain for flaws in the workmanship of the Cube Neos. Let’s now take a quick look at the technical details before we get to the operation.
|Overall performance||2x 25 watts|
|Frequency range||45 Hz – 22,000 Hz|
|Midrange and woofer||130 mm|
|Connection options||Digital TOSLINK, line-in (3.5mm jack and RCA), RCA subwoofer output (mono), Bluetooth, AC power|
|Dimensions||175 x 245 x 200 mm|
|Price||€ 189.80 *|
As mentioned above, a woofer/midrange with a 13 cm cellulose cone in combination with a tweeter in the form of a 25 mm silk dome provide the sound. While the left speaker is passive, the right one is used as an active speaker. Therefore, all connections are also located on the back of this box. Even the previous version of the Wavemaster Cube Neo were known for good and diverse connectivity. This is exactly what has been maintained, as the speakers can be used both with and without cables. The integrated Bluetooth module receives high-quality audio signals via A2DP standard and is compatible with all devices that use Bluetooth 2.1 or newer. The next connection is also a digital connection. Stereo signals of up to 24bit/96kHz can be received and processed via TOSLINK and the built-in D/A converter. This results in a high-quality signal on the digital side of the connection options. However, if you’re a fan of analog signals, you won’t be disappointed here either, because a line-in is available. This can be connected via 3.5 mm jack as well as RCA.
To operate the speakers are given two options. Once a rotary knob and once the remote control. The rotary knob allows you to switch through the sources by pressing in the direction of the case, while a turn changes the volume. The knob offers very good haptic feedback when pressed as well as when turned, and the status LED also flashes to indicate that an action has been performed. Additionally, the LED changes color depending on which source is currently being used. However, you either have to remember which color belongs to which source or look it up in the manual. However, if you deliberately only have one source active, you can switch through the different source options until you find the right one. Because even with the remote control, it is not possible to directly select a specific source.
On the remote control itself you have more options of operation. You get the possibility to adjust the bass (bass) and treble (tremble) once again in 10 steps each, so you can adjust the sound well for yourself. You also have two buttons with which you can activate or deactivate the modes “Tone defeat” and “Loudness”. The settings are all well and good, but besides the briefly flashing status LED, there is no indication of which mode is active or which level the bass setting is currently at. While this isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s still a disadvantage in terms of operation. But now let’s focus on the most important thing about speakers.
First of all, there is the important information that the sound is always subjective. What is the perfect sound for one, is too bass-heavy for a second and not enough bass for a third. In addition, a trained ear can have all the more detailed perceptions. In the following, however, now comes my personal assessment.
Before that, briefly about my test environments. I tried the speakers in the living room with 10 centimeters from the wall and once freestanding on a desk. Why is this important? Simple. As briefly mentioned above in the technical details, the Wavemaster Cube Neo also work with bass reflex ports. So if the speakers are placed at a proper distance from a wall or the like, the bass has a much stronger effect again. And this phenomenon should be taken into account, because the 13 cm woofer/midrange already has a lot to offer, but it is hardly convincing when standing freely. You have to increase the bass settings to the maximum in order to have a fairly balanced sound. However, if we now assume that the speakers are positioned in the right place, the bass is powerful enough. Certainly not the strongest, but if that’s not enough, you still have the option of connecting a subwoofer.
Since music doesn’t only consist of bass, but also other frequencies play a role, we’ll continue with the tweeter. This is just 25 mm in size, but it doesn’t need to be bigger for what it does. It provides clearly discernible highs that make their way. They offer the possibility to still distinguish detailed music. Here, too, there is the option of boosting the highs or taking them out a bit. Similar to the bass, it depends on your own taste. The Cube Neos already have quite cutting highs in the factory settings, which not everyone likes. Therefore, this setting option is chosen with care.
What’s missing. The mids. No extra driver was installed for here, which wouldn’t make sense in most cases. The mids shouldn’t impose themselves on the sound, but should still be clearly audible. Especially conversations and vocals are rounded off by this. Wavemaster has done a very good job here and made a nicely rounded sound possible.
If we now look at the overall sound image, we can say that the Cube Neo speakers from Wavemaster are the classic all-rounders. Properly positioned, they have powerful bass combined times clear and sleek treble. For listening to music at home, they are the optimal companions for most, as no music genre comes up short.
Summary of the Wavemaster Cube Neo review
Let’s summarize everything again briefly. With the Wavemaster Cube Neo you get a pair of speakers, which is visually very elegant and timeless. Who does not like the color white, which can also choose the between gray and Bamboo. Almost all connection cables are included in the scope of delivery, only the optical connection (Toslink) is missing, which is not bad. The control options on the speaker itself are quite limited, but the remote control offers much more possibilities. However, there is no feedback about the current settings.
The sound is very well rounded in the optimal case and is actually sufficient for every genre. There are only problems when the speakers aren’t positioned optimally, because then the bass is hardly noticeable. However, the connection option for a subwoofer remedies this. All in all, the speakers deliver good sound for all-rounders, but those who go to the extremes will have to help a bit.
Wavemaster Cube Neo
Value for money
With a timeless and elegant design, the Cube Neos are the perfect speakers for all-rounders. The sound is very balanced and with good positioning also comes a powerful bass.
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