Pros: Gets really loud, good clarity
Cons: Price, bass can sound boxy
This review is for Ultimate Ears UE BOOM
Let me introduce myself my name is Adam I am a 38 years old, I have been into audio equipment since I was in high school. I don’t consider myself an audiophile, I am just an average guy that loves music. I like to listen to my music with the best possible quality. My journey to Head-Fi started one day doing a search on the web for headphone reviews. Just about all searches for headphones and ear buds brings you to Head-Fi one way or the other, after lurking for a couple weeks I finally made an account and here I am writing reviews. Since I am your average Tom, Dick, or Harry working a 9 to 5 job, raising 2.5 kids and a dog that know one takes care of but me.
My reviews are written geared towards the average consumer since most web searches direct you to Head-Fi. Head-Fi reviews get more traffic than most pro-audio magazine or any designated review site, you won't find my reviews filled with audiophile terms or do I use graphs, meters, or charts the only tools I use are the ones stuck on the side of my head, there cheaper and it's the only tool that matters in the end. Audiophile terms can be confusing half of them I find have 2 different meanings or the definition will say see the following. I am a simple guy and not the greatest writer, if you have at least a 8th grade education or your a caveman then my reviews are for you. So if you're looking for the other type of review, skip down about 67 pages and you will eventually find one. If you just want to know if this product sounds good and is worth all your hard earned cash, then you're like me then, so keep on reading.
Sound is subjective, what I hear will most likely be different from what you hear so take my opinions with a grain of salt. Before I get into the review I would like to say thank you to Andrea from Logitech for sending me out a demo to review. I am not an employee or am I being compensated for this review. This review is based on my honest opinions. UE BOOM sells for $199 and can be purchased directly from the link below.
UE BOOM is a wireless Bluetooth speaker, just about every company is offering some kind of wireless speaker these days. I have used Bluetooth speakers ever since they came out, some of the problems I have found with other offerings is the audio quality and build quality.
Bluetooth pair up to 8 devices, connect two sources at the same time
Wirelessly play (stream) to 2 UE BOOMs from one source
Range 50 feet
NFC pairing Android Jellybean and higher
Max Sound Level: 88dBa
Frequency Range: 90Hz-20kHz
Drivers: (2) 1.5” 4 Ohms
Radiators: (2) 2.0” Passive
App Configurable IOS-Android
2-Year limited hardware warranty
Diameter: 6.5cm (2.6”)
Height: 18cm (7.1”)
Weight: 538g (speaker only) 19oz
The UE BOOM comes in reusable coffin like black hard plastic case, with a cardboard sleeve with the Boom’s photo on the front and the specifications on the back. UE BOOM’s carrying box also has a compartment on the top and bottom that are removable to store the usb cable and wallpart. This case works great for long period storage, or for traveling. The storage compartments are very convenient and keeps the accessories safe and with the speaker.
Usb wall charger
Usb charging cord
BUILD AND FIT
UE BOOM is built to withstand harsh environments, I have seen many pictures of the Boom strapped to mountain bikes, coolers, motorcycles, and many other objects that you normal be afraid to strap a speaker to. The Boom is mostly made of a hi-density plastic with a mesh speaker screen. There is a rubbery strip going down the middle also, this is where the volume button is located. They offer to many color options to mention, but there is a color for just about everyone's taste and lifestyle.
The Boom has a 15-hour battery life, you can check the status with the plus and minus buttons. It’s also has a wireless range from up to 50-feet, you can also connect 2 Bluetooth devices at the same time, it is also NFC compatible. The design of the Boom is also water and stain resistant.
After spending some time with the Boom, I have come to the conclusion this is the most durable Bluetooth speaker out on the market. I have actually taken the speaker in the shower, so don’t be afraid to take the speaker in the shower with you and throw on some Marvin Gaye, just make sure it’s not just you and the speaker if you know what I mean. I wouldn’t recommend submerging it totally in water it’s only water resistant. UE included a rubber gasket the protects the charging port and auxiliary port. On the same end is a key chain like hook to clip it to whatever you want.
You can also pair the speaker with another Boom for a stereo effect, UE has an app for Windows and Mac for some cool features. One of the best features is you can answer phone calls, there is also an EQ to further adjust to your liking. For you have sleepers you can set an alarm to have the Boom wake you up playing your favorite tune. UE Boom is perfect for so many applications like backyard BBQ, beach, college student, workout room, bathroom, and so many more.
The most important part of the device the sound, when I use a wireless speaker I don’t expect a hi-fidelity sound. Bluetooth for me is more of a convenience, especially if I don’t want some of my more costly equipment to get damaged. The UE Boom sounds pretty damn good, most Bluetooth speakers just don’t get loud enough. And using a bluetooth speaker I want it to get load since I won’t be right next to the device, the Boom gets insanely loud for the size of it.
Testing the Boom I mostly used my Samsung Alpha cell phone, I also used the following AK100II, Sony MP3 player, and my Lenovo Ultrabook. I also streamed Spotify music to it also. Pairing the Boom is pretty straight forward with the designated button, you can also pair it using NFC if you device is compatible. Mids is the Booms strong point they are clear and smooth and have good clarity for a wireless speaker. Upper frequencies have a good natural sound, without being ear piercing. The lower frequencies is where the Boom struggles, they can sound very boxy at times depending on the type of music you are listening to especially at high volumes. Mid-bass is more prominent than sub-bass. Instrument separation is on average for a Bluetooth speaker.
You can change the sound of the Boom depending on how it’s placed towards you, the distance between the speaker and the wall can have an effect on the sound also. For what the Boom is meant for it’s one of the best sounding bluetooth speakers that I have used. The sound of the UE Boom can fill an entire room, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it getting knocked over or broken. I found the best kind of music to listen to with the Boom is just about anything where there isn’t a lot of bass. The overall sound of the Boom if I had to describe it would be a nice full sound, compared to the Bose Soundlink the UE sounds more open and fuller. The Soundlink sounds quite hollow to me as if it were playing inside a garbage can. The Soundlink’s bass wins over the Boom’s with more of an impact and more of a natural sound.
Answering phone calls while it’s playing is as simple as pushing the bluetooth button. When testing phone calls I always call my mom, since she is hard of hearing. The old lady just kidding my loving mother had know problem hearing me and didn’t know I was on a wireless device. My mommy’s voice came over the speaker nice and clear. The sound of the call sounded just as good as a conference calling speaker.
Most speakers I have used like this just don’t get loud enough, and using a Bluetooth must mean you don’t want to be wired down and you are going to be moving around. Another problem is battery life with wireless speakers the Boom has one of the best if not the best battery lifes that I have used. I set it to a low volume before I went to bed at night, waking up in the morning it still had plenty of juice.
My overall 2 cents of the Boom, it has to be my favorite Bluetooth speaker that I have had a chance to use. You don’t have to worry about getting it wet or the battery life going dead on you. It is the perfect speaker for outside gatherings or the beach. If you go on UE’s Twitter you can see all the crazy things people do with there Boom. The price might turn some people off, but how many times have people bought a cheap wireless speaker and end up disappointed and just throw it to the side and buy another one. I would have know problem recommending this to anyone looking for a Bluetooth speaker. The best thing about this speaker is it gets pretty darn loud. Thanks for reading I hope this helped anyone in the market for a wireless speaker. UE also has a UE Mini Boom and a MegaBoom, hopefully one day I will hear the Megaboom.