UE appears to have a fixation with the word Boom; BOOM, BOOM 2, MEGA BOOM and now WONDERBOOM.
All these share UE’s attitude of playing music loud wherever you are, and whenever you want.
It helps to be IP67-rated (one metre for up to 30 minutes and able to float), have a virtually indestructible outer skin, battery life up to 10 hours (at 75% volume) pumping out clear, up to 86dB sound (roughly equivalent to a motorbike at eight metres) and four times as loud as 70dB likely to cause hearing damage in eight hours’ exposure.
This writer tested the speakers at Logitech’s Sydney office/warehouse and can confirm the sound levels – emanating from all sides (360°). They can also be paired although not for stereo (Left+Right) but for twice the coverage. Two Bluetooth devices can connect as well, at up to 33 metres.
The sound had reasonable bass (from 80Hz), perhaps a tad less midrange, and good high-frequency response (treble) from two 40 mm active drivers and two 46.1 mm x 65.2 mm passive radiators. The output is good for a small, Bluetooth speaker. Using the standard audio signature, it is Balanced.
The IPX7 rating means a drop of up to 1.5 metres (5’) won’t faze it and it floats.
As is usual, the Logo acts as the volume up and down controls and there is a top UE power/pairing/play/pause/skip button.
The model comes in six colours: Stone (Grey), Phantom (Black), Fireball (Red), SubZero (Blue), Cashmere (Pink) and Lilac (purple). There is a lanyard for a secure connection.
Charging (not tested) is via a supplied microUSB-USB-A cable and any USB charger (not supplied) up to 2A is fine. UE claims 2.8 hours charge (battery and Amp hour unspecified).
At $129.95 it is cheaper than the accomplished UE Boom 2 ($229.95) and Mega Boom ($349.95) so there are some compromises:
- It pairs, but not as a left and right stereo set – Boom 2 and Mega Boom are best for that;
- Won't pair with other boom products or Party Up app;
- No hands-free speaker phone;
- You will need to supply a charger – 500mA or more;
- The iOS and Android Boom apps don’t work with this speaker; and
- No aux in 3.5mm port.
It is a good personal Bluetooth speaker – a compact travelling companion. Sound-wise it is not quite up to the Boom 2.
It is available from Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Apple Shop and UE online from early April. Apple Shop has a special deep blue colour.