Compact, Durable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – UE BOOM Speaker
UE Boom, the Ultimate Ears Boom wireless Bluetooth speaker is shaped like an energy drink and sure has enough to juice all your day. This rugged Boom wireless speaker is touted as a powerful and durable one with a special acoustic skin with plasma coating making it water and stain resistant. That means you can wash it when it gets dirty. At 1.2 pounds, it is neither light nor heavy, but has a little heft to it. You can carry it everywhere you go-indoors and outdoors.
The UE Boom Bluetooth wireless speaker comes in six different colors- moss green, pink, blue, white, red and black. Though it seems better being propped up vertically, it is designed to sit vertically or horizontally.
Part of the UE Boom speaker has soft to touch rubberized finish. The darker colored models can show oil from your skin whereas the lighter colored models show dirt and grime over time. But don’t you worry as it takes just to wash the speaker or wipe it down with a damp cloth and you are done with a clean speaker.
You could use it as a shower speaker since the speaker is water-resistant but you probably would not want to keep it in the stream directly for too long. UE failed to include rubberized caps for audio input and USB ports on the first units it shipped but now all units are shipped with those caps.
There is a hook on the end of the speaker where the USB and audio input connection are. You can clip the speaker with a carabiner to a backpack. And you will find a threaded tripod mount if you unscrew that hook.
The speaker charges via USB and claims to provide 15 hours of battery life, very good for a portable Bluetooth speaker. There are volume controls on the speaker and the speaker has speakerphone capabilities, most people simply like to use their smartphone or tablet as a remote.
The UE Boom wireless Bluetooth speaker has two 2-inch passive radiators and two 1.5 inch full-range drivers behind the fancy fabric that covers the speaker. UE has designed the Boom to deliver 360-degree sound which means that it sounds the same whether you stand in front of it or behind it.
The UE Boom wireless speaker has its own app called UE Boom, like a few other premium wireless speakers. This app is available for iOS and Android devices. The app enables you to tweak the treble and bass of the speaker and if you have a second Boom, you can chain two speakers together to fill a larger space with sound, using this app. You can also make speakers to act as a right or left channel to provide real stereo separation.
UE claims that the UE Boom wireless Bluetooth speaker has a range of about 50 feet, better than usual 33 feet that typical Bluetooth speaker is rated for. But it is also necessary to note that 50 feet outside is not as far as you think is.
The UE Boom speaker remembers up to eight devices once paired. This makes it easier to make a connection once the initial pairing is done. Currently there is no aptX support but company reps said that could be added through a software upgrade at some point.
Certain smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and S4 support aptX streaming. The aptX offers better sound quality for Bluetooth transmission. But it matters less with small speakers such as the Boom.
There is also NFC support which is sometimes referred to as “tap-to-pair”, works with certain smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4. It makes pairing a device easier.
The UE Boom is a power-packed speaker inside as it is vibrant on the outside, with a long-lasting battery and capable sound. Just right out of the box, the UE Boom wireless Bluetooth speaker sounds quite vivid. But you are really missing out some interesting functionality, if you don’t have the companion app.
The app is simply called “UE Boom” and is available free on iOS and Android devices. It makes the investment shine. With this app, you can tweak simple settings such as you can name the speaker as you want to appear on the list of Bluetooth devices to connect. It also enables you to set up an alarm of your choice whether a noise or a song to wake you up.
Through the app, you can adjust the equalizer, in case the stock settings are not working well in your listening environment. Options to give vocal clarity, bass and the mids and highs are available. But you can also create a custom EQ if those don’t do it for you. You can link up two Boom or a UE Mini Boom to play sound to two adjacent rooms at the same time and to create a surround sound effect.
Without tweaking the equalizer, the sound offering is impressive. It also provides tight and responsive bass performance. Most genres sound balanced evenly with lows, mids and highs. And if spoken word in podcasts is your audio of choice, the speaker also plays it fine.
- Compact and durable wireless Bluetooth speaker
- Water and stain resistant
- Speakerphone capability
- 15 hours battery life
- Somewhat pricey
- Bass could be fuller
The UE Boom is one of those gadgets, that grows on you the more you use it. If you judge it purely form an audiophile perspective, it does have its shortcomings, in the bass department particularly. But on the other hand, it is a well-designed compact and durable speaker with good build quality, sleek looks and long battery life. It is also water and stain resistant, that makes you confident about taking it outdoors.
The UE Boom wireless Bluetooth speaker excels both outdoor as well as indoor. Though it is a bit pricey, but after using it, you will surely not regret buying it, as it is a durable and versatile wireless Bluetooth speaker.