Living,  Tech

Gadget Review: UE Boom Speaker

Is this the best Portable/ Wireless speaker? Read more to find out:

Recently Ultimate Ears (a brand of Logitect) released the UE Boom to the market. A portable/wireless speaker offering 360-degree sounds and features a 15-hour rechargeable battery life. It also allows users to connect two speakers together through the UE Boom app – available for both iOS and Android.

Review

I have tried portable/ wireless speakers before. Most of them worked sufficiently well but nothing that really impressed me. The UE Boom is something different altogether. This thing works on a whole different level.

I received the Wireless device about a week ago and began testing it. The speaker does weigh quite a bit for its size. It comes in a cylindrical case with a slide off cover. The case itself is a simple all black case that opens through the middle to reveal the speakers.

The packaging was tidy with the speaker as the center piece and two slots on either side to house a USB wire and charging adapters. The accessories are in a hi-viz (high visibility) yellow, which I thought was cool.

The Speaker

The speaker I receive was navy/red in colour (they do come in several other colours). The built quality is solid; I mean you could feel that this thing is well built.

The speaker does go around its cylindrical shape. With the exception of an inch of rubber that stretches across the front from top to bottom.  This houses the volume buttons in big ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ shapes vertically.  The speaker will tell you the remaining battery percentage by pressing both these buttons simultaneously (yes it speaks).

The power button is located at the top of the speaker, as well as a Bluetooth connection button. At the bottom is where you find the ports for connectivity. It has 3.5 mm for non wireless connections and a micro-USB port for the charger. It also has a place for you to mount it on a tripod. All of these are covered with a flat rubber piece and a plug (for the mounting hole) to make the speaker water proof.

However, that speaker I receive did not come with the plug. It should come with the speaker as well as the flat rubber piece. And just a head’s up, they do not provide a 3.5mm auxiliary cable, so you would have to get your own.

Connectivity

The speaker’s main feature is the wireless connectivity via Bluetooth. To connect the speaker to your phone, you would need to download the app; which it will ask you to do when you connect your Bluetooth.

The app is a really nice feature on this. Along with several cool features that will allow you to get the best out of speaker.

Once connected, the app will even know the colour of your speaker. The app will allow you to connect more than one speaker together, adjust EQ settings and set an alarm. It also has a “how-to” guide and basic settings.

If you connect two speakers, you can also choose from stereo-to-stereo or left/right modes for your speakers.

The range of connectivity is decent. The speaker was able to play even when I would go as far back of my house as possible. However, it started to crackle once I reached upstairs. Which I felt was a little disappointing.

Sound

Like I said earlier, I’ve tried portable speakers before and don’t expect much. But I was blown away by the sound quality on the UE Boom.

It played all the song I threw at it effortlessly, from rock, blues, metal, classical and even some club mixes. The sound quality was clear, crisp and well balance. And you can use the EQ settings to adjust it to your liking.

When it came to songs with a strong bass, the speaker handled it handsomely. The beats were well projected; you would get the same feeling as using a pair of earphones.

With other styles of music, it was easy to make out the instruments, from the guitars to bass and drums were all recognizable when playing a piece of music on the speaker. This is one of the main issues I have with previous experiences.

And this thing is loud!

Most of the times I would only play it at half – sometimes even less – of full volume from my phone. And I’m the type that plays music through my earphones at full blast. Even so, I would place the speaker at the front of my house and go all the way to the back and I was still able to hear it clearly. Any louder and you might get complains. Props on Decibel Levels!

Quick point on battery life:

Out of the box it took about 2 hour to charge the UE Boom up (100%) . But after that you really don’t need to charge it so often. I only needed to charge it again after 2 days.

This makes it easy for you to bring the speaker with you anywhere without having to worry about charging it.

Conclusion

Overall I think the UE Boom is an amazing portable/ wireless speaker to have. The built quality is good. It’s really easy to use and the app adds extra value as you would be able to adjust setting to your liking.

Not forgetting that you can connect two of the speakers together and get a home theater like effect (with surround sound).  But if you have a party and use these speakers, I would suggest connecting it to your table so you can venture off with your phone.

I love these speakers, but the price would be a point to mull over. The UE Boom retails for RM799. I do understand the high price, because of the quality you get from the speaker. But I don’t need a portable speaker that badly that I would throw down that kind of money without thinking over and over about it.

You can visit Ultimate Ears website here for more info and specs.

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