UE Boom 2: Our Favorite Bluetooth Speaker
The demand for high-quality Bluetooth speakers is as high as it ever was, and Ultimate Ears is always able to come with exciting new products that meet expectations of their customers. One of newest additions to their line of products it the UE Boom 2 waterproof speaker. This review will tell you everything you need to know about it and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
- Great sound with impressive bass
- Completely waterproof
- Can get very loud
- Excellent fit and finish
- Bluetooth distance
- Gesture controls
- Rather pricey
The UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker is a worthy successor to the previous model. It improves upon the already great design in almost all aspects and offers buyers a very good portable speaker that can be used in virtually any situation.
Design and Build
The UE Boom 2 are a successor to the first version, released back in 2013. Both devices look very similar to each other, and you need to take your time to spot what’s new. The USB charging port and the 1/8-inch input are now covered with rubber flaps that should keep them protected from sand and other debris. The ports themselves are actually waterproof, just like the rest of this portable Bluetooth speaker. According to Ultimate Ears, the Booms 2’s IPX7 waterproof certification guarantees that it will survive being submerged in a one-meter pool for 30 minutes without any taking any damage. This is a huge improvement from the previous version, which was able to take a few water drops, but probably couldn’t handle anything beyond that. UE Booms 2 is also shock-resistant to a hight of five feet. Indeed, the device feels rugged and gives you the confidence to use it without worrying about breaking it.
That’s a good news because it’s small size and light weight make it easy to toss into a backpack and take on all kinds of adventures. The speaker can also be clipped to a belt loop or a bag using the built-in D-ring, which sits just above the micro USB power port.
The UE Boom 2 has very simple external controls and support for tap gestures. It takes one slap on top to start playing music and two slaps to skip to the next track. These gestures work only when the built-in accelerometer detects that the device isn’t motionless. These gestures can be a hit or miss as they tend to reliably work only about half the time you attempt to use them. Volume can be controlled in two different ways: the first of these is via the built-in volume buttons, and the second is through the dedicated app.
The app is available for Android and iOS and it enables you to use many additional features such as the speaker’s equalizer settings, alarm, and also setup audio sharing between two Boom 2, Boom, Megaboom or Roll speakers. A recent software update also added a new feature called Block Party. This new mode lets up to three people connect to the same speaker and take turns over who’s music is going to be playing. That way, everybody gets to choose what their want to listen to. Setting up the Bluetooth connection is easy, and you just need to press the small sync button on the top of the device and head over to your smartphone or tablet to connect in the usual way. The UE Boom 2 should have up to 100 feet Bluetooth range when you are in an open space.
The Boom 2 is powered by a non-removable Lithium-Ion battery, which lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. This, of course, depends on how loudly you are going to play your music.
And finally, you can get this speaker in six colors: Cherrybomb (red), Tropical (orange), Yeti (white), Phantom (black), GreenMachine (green), and BrainFreeze (blue).
The original Boom Bluetooth speaker was criticised because of its low volume and lack of bass. We are happy to say that both of these issues have been solved, and the new Boom 2 is about 20% louder and can play without any distortion to about 90% of maximum volume.
Bass frequencies are not better articulated and have a good weight behind them. The bass slightly bleeds into mid frequencies, but it’s not something that would ruin your listening experience.
Highs are very crisp, and the overall quality managed to surpass our expectations. This small portable speaker really manages to stands on its own feet even against much bigger and more powerful speakers. This is largely due to its 1.75″ active drivers coupled with 3″ passive radiators. These babies can deliver some serious output, and are thus suitable even for use in larger areas.
What’s in the Box
Aside from the Bluetooth speaker itself, you also get a micro USB cable and wall adapter.