Swedish soundsmiths Nocs went unapologetically big with their initial monolithic speaker design, a handmade minimalist ode to music realized in a blackened birch plywood cabinet, powered by a Class-D amplifier, and an array of 3.5-inch full range drivers and 6-inch dual vented woofers. The unique three-over-two arrangement resulted in an enormous presence both aurally and physically, with something we’d describe as a Batman+boombox aesthetic. Nocs Lab’s followup, the Nocs Mini, sets out to attain a similar presence and retain a familiar design language but at a more modest (and affordably priced) scale.
“We were driven to preserve the Nocs Studio sound within a smaller unit,” explains Nocs Founder, Daniel Alm. “In the process, we encountered several challenges: For example how do we maintain a solid bass response within this ultra-compact frame? The answer lay in our decision to choose a subwoofer module with a passive radiator over the conventional vented design – a choice that defines Mini’s distinct character.”
The challenge required a year’s research and development before the Nocs team reached a satisfactory solution. Utilizing the same technical platform as their larger Monolith audio system, the Mini is equipped with a pair of Scan Speak drivers and bolstered on the low end by a custom tuned subwoofer module. The two over sub layout is powered by a 110 watt Class-D amplifier housed within the CNC’ed MDF cabinet measuring 10.6 x 9 x 3.9 x 4.1 inches.
The Mini may be smaller, but it is designed to be a prolific presence if you desire to use them in multitude. Up to eight Minis can be connected for multi-room playback/wireless stereo, including mix-and-match setups integrating the original and larger Monolith with a single or multitude of Minis all conjoined using the Nocs app.
In the effort to make a more sustainable product, Nocs made the decision to move their manufacturing from China back to Sweden and Europe, most notably in Estonia where speaker manufacturing is a well-established industry. Additionally, the speaker was designed with modular components that can be repaired and upgraded one part at a time, leaving the majority of the unit aesthetically intact.
The Nocs Mini will be available for pre-order for $750, and will begin shipping orders the first week of October.