Bluetooth speakers, I love them. They are one of my favorite products to review and Â every time I get one I get excited to see what this speaker has to offer. Usually Bluetooth speakers have one thing that the company wants to push and show how much better they are than the competitors, UE (Ultimate Ears) just has the speaker. Now you might be a bit blown away that there isn’t a gimmick to go with this speaker, I know I was; but when I got the UE Boom I realized why. The UE Boom just works and it works brilliantly. Everything from design, to sound, to features, and even the charging cable this speaker encompasses all fields and has replaced every Bluetooth speaker I have in my home. But enough general talk allow me to tell you why the UE Boom is quite possibly the best Bluetooth speaker you can buy today.
What’s in the box:
- UE Boom (1)
- Micro USB Charging Cable (1)
- Wall Adapter (1)
- Ports Plug (1)
If I could just use one word to describe the sound of the UE Boom it would be BOOMING!!! For its size this speaker is just an amazing, powerful, and room filling speaker that completely took me by surprise when played at full volume, the UE Boom could easily replace your desktop speakers (in my opinion). In order to test the sound I always use two songs, one to test the bass and another to test the treble. For the treble test my favorite song to use is “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve. This song has a classical music aspect to it and some great rich vocals that really push speakers to the max when played at full volume. Despite the huge amount of treble the UE Boom handled it beautifully, even at full volume the sound didn’t distort and the high point came in crisp, flat out it just sounded great. After this song I played a low end song with some rich bass and, at least for me, when I think bass i think Hip-Hop. So for the purpose of this test i used “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West, this song has a great bass and low end feel to it. For the size of the UE Boom I knew not to have great bass expectations which the UE Boom couldn’t deliver but then again almost all speakers can’t so it didn’t bother me at all. The bass is there, it isn’t anything earth shattering but it shouldn’t be for this size. The low ends of the song however sounded great and gave me that low I look for in a portable Bluetooth speaker. All in all, the sound test was a success and the UE Boom passed with flying colors. As far as the room filling sound goes it is there, this is largely because of the unique 360 degree speakers in the UE Boom which allow for great sound from a small package.
This is a small feature but for me this is one thing all Bluetooth speakers should have. The built in NFC on the front of the UE Boom (place right below the – symbol) makes it a breeze to connect with your NFC-enabled device. I used my Note 2, Nexus 7, and my girl’s S4 to connect in one tap. I love that NFC feature and what’s great is that it’s an option, if you don’t have an NFC-enabled device you can connect to the speaker by just searching for it in your Bluetooth menu.
This feature is my personal favorite, the ability to use TWO UE Boom speakers together. Thanks in part to the application the UE Boom can actually be used alongside a second UE Boom and give you a whole new sound experience. Again, thanks to the UE Boom app I can actually use both speakers together in two different ways, the first one is using each UE Boom as their own individual speaker and the second is using them as a standard left/right combination (hence the desktop replacement comment). This Double up feature came in handy for me when I took a road trip to San Francisco, I was in the back seat and put one UE Boom on the left cup holder and another on the right, started up my movie and I forgot about the trip as I watched Pacific Rim on my tablet. Double up is a great feature and one I will be using for the life of my UE Booms.
This is another one of those features that most people won’t need but that doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to have. Personally, the speakerphone on my Note 2 sucks and this didn’t become more apparent than when I placed a phone call for my whole family to sing Happy Birthday to my Uncle in El Salvador. Thankfully I had my UE Boom handy and once I paired it with my phone I had the perfect solution to my problem. So whether you’re in a conference call or just at home listening to music on your UE, when a call comes in having the ability to take calls on your UE Boom is a feature you’ll definitely want to have around.
This is the term UE uses when it comes to the water and stain resistance of the UE Boom, which for me fits, and I’m happy they at least included some protection against liquids. Now please remember this is water-resistant NOT waterproof, so don’t go submerging the UE Boom in your pool (my brother was going to do this to my speaker). It repels small water amounts and it was nice of UE to put this much thought into the design of this speaker.
UE Boom App:
This is a great addition to the UE Boom and while it is just a simple app (available on iOS or Android) it adds a whole new functionality to the UE Boom that makes the speakers even more unique. There are quite a few things you can do with this app so I am just going to give you a run down of my three favorites. First one is the Double Up feature that this app gives you (read “Double Up” portion of this review), the second is the Equalizer which allows you to choose from three different sound profiles (Out Loud, Vocals, and Intimate), and the third feature is the ability to name your speakers whatever you want for that added bit of customization.
UE Boom has a built-in rechargeable battery which according to site specs will last you about 15 hours between micro USB chargers. I can tell you this is on the money during my testing I actually found it to be really hard to kill the battery on this thing, I mean listening to music for 15 hours straight is a bit of a chore and after I did it well, let’s just say the UE Boom proved it’s worth. The UE Boom also takes about 3-4 hours to charge but when you get 15 hours of use out of it those 3-4 hours are well worth it. One other thing I like is how you can tell battery life, you simply have to push the + and – buttons together and the UE Boom will announce the remaining battery life to you.
The UE Boom is a great portable Bluetooth speaker but if you’re like me and travel to places where there are a ton of wireless connections in a building you can appreciate the 3.5 mm auxiliary input. Thankfully UE Boom has an auxiliary in port for those times and I had to use this more than once, again just one of those things that I prefer to have and not need than need and not have. The other thing I wanted to cover is the strength of the wireless connection, as far as range goes while using Bluetooth I was able to get about 45-50 feet with zero break or lag in the music, this was of course on an open field where I have direct line of sight. When in my home after about 15-25 feet lags and breaks became apparent, this is of course attributed to the walls which when it come to Bluetooth breaks are expected.
The speaker can be mounted to say, a tripod, as it has a mount for that near the bottom. This is under the hanging clip that can be used to simply hang it from anywhere you want, be it with a rope or if you’re thrifty like me a wire hanger. This just lends even more credibility towards the UE Boom as your ultimate go to portable speaker and it has become just that for me. The other thing I love is the Micro USB cable, I was pleasantly surprised as they went with a vibrant highlighter kind of yellow for the cable and wall adapter. This cable received many compliments and many people wanted to know where they could get one themselves, maybe UE Boom should sell the cable separately.
I have none, just one opinion. Maybe put a case in there a hard cover case to protect the UE Boom materials like the woven material surrounding it, I got a scratch on my UE Boom taking it out of my backpack didn’t think the zipper teeth would damage it. Besides that, the UE Boom is a great device and I don’t see any other speaker replacing it any time soon.
- Portability: 10/10
- Battery Life: 10/10
- Sound: 8/10
- Features: 10/10
With all the Bluetooth speakers out there I am happy to say the UE Boom really is one of the best ones that i have tested by far. With a sleek profile and great design colors the UE Boom provides a much needed refresher to the Bluetooth speaker category. If you want to get your very own UE Boom in some great color combos just hit up the link below, for $200 bucks I think this speaker is completely worth the money and I will be buying another one real soon. This has been an AndroidSPIN review thanks for reading.