The UE Boom 2 is the follow-up Bluetooth speaker to Ultimate Ears UE Boom. It’s a feature-rich waterproof wireless speaker designed to fix the flaws of the original Boom. The new UE Boom 2 brings a tweaked exterior, new internals and a range of new colors. The speaker is also 25 percent louder than the original version with an improved wireless range of up to 30 meters.
The UE Boom 2, however, maintains the Bluetooth with NFC compatibility for wireless connectivity, and the 3.5mm input plus micro USB charging port for alternative hard wiring of your tablet or Smartphone. The only close rival to this creative design at the moment is the UE Boom and the Ultimate Ears Roll 2.
It still claims a 15-hour battery life from a 2.5-hour charge. The rugged exterior, IPX 7 standards waterproof certification, and 360-degree sound projection are also carried forward from the previous version.
360 Degree Sound Projection means that you will get the same loudness no matter where you listen around the UE Boom 2. A feature that is not offered by many competitors.
Anyone familiar with the original UE Boom will find this one very familiar. A colored fabric cover surrounds the speaker leaving only the bottom, top, and front of the speaker. The UE Boom signature + and – buttons that control volume are located on the front. The IPX7 certified covering fabric makes it waterproof while the rubberized plastic gives it a great grip.
If you are looking for something to bring along to the beach or pool party, the UE Boom 2 makes a natural choice. In addition to creating a waterproof functionality, the covering makes this speaker more durable as it can survive several drops without a single scratch.
UE Boom 2 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker Review
On the upper top, you’ll find the power button and the Bluetooth pairing button. The bottom of the speaker has two flaps that are flush with the speaker but open up to reveal the micro USB input for charging and the 3.5mm input. You will also find a small metal hook so you can attach the speaker to a string or a carabiner clip.
The Boom 2 comes in new flashier colors, which include Yeti (white), Cherry bomb (red), Phantom (gray and black), Tropical (purple and orange), Green Machine (green and blue) and Brain Freeze (blue).
As far as connectivity is concerned, you will never experience a dropped signal with the UE Boom 2 wireless speaker. UE promises a 100 feet Bluetooth range in an open space, which drops to about 30 feet once you throw a few walls in between. But still, that’s very impressive for speakers of this size.
Things get even more interesting when you decide to install the UE app. The app shows you a miniature version of your exact speaker and lets you increase or reduce the volume by clicking on the + and – signs on the miniature version. You can even power the speaker on and off, tell how much battery life is left, pair a second UE speaker, customize the sound with EQ settings and set alarms all in the app.
As earlier mentioned, the UE Boom 2 claims the same battery life of 15 hours similar to the original UE Boom. However, most users have reported average battery life of 13 hours from a full charge, which is still pretty decent. To know how much battery juice is left, simply hold the + and – buttons down at the same time and it’ll tell you.
Place it upright on the table and you get the characteristic Ultimate Ears “360 degrees” audio profile. The previous Boom version had issues with sound quality past 75% volume level.
You could feel a slight distortion as the speaker struggles to catch up at high volumes. Ultimate Ears has tried correcting this minor issue with the UE Boom 2 using 1.75-inch active drivers and 3-inch passive radiators.
The sound quality on the Ultimate Ears Roll 2 is quite impressive, basing on Bluetooth speaker standards. The bass levels are quite solid and offer a powerful punch, although you might experience a little distortion with bass-heavy songs at maximum volume.
The good news is that you can easily fix this using the UE Boom app available for Android and iOS. Apart from enabling you to control speaker volume and skip tracks, it has advanced audio settings that allow you to manually reduce the speaker’s bass or boost the treble.
UE Boom 2 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker Review
The app can also add new features to the speaker via an additional software update, which I find very practical and useful. After fiddling around with the app, I was able to strike a decent audio balance for most of my favorite songs. However, the overall sound quality and projection do not match other competing speakers such as the Bose SoundLink Mini II.
The bass might not be as strong, but it’s there. It Kicks in quite early but you will feel the real impact around the mids. The vocals in the mids are overly clear and well set apart from everything else that happens on the track. The bass is always in sync with the vocals and blends well with other instruments in the background.
A number of details and clarity in the highs is quite impressive. The overall sound projection in the Ultimate Ears Roll 2 is effortless with sufficient space and openness never sounding strained or muddled.
The guitar and other strings have rhythm and texture, and a lot more is revealed than you can expect. While it doesn’t deliver the power and weight of a mega boom, the bass is more defined than its predecessor. The treble and mids are more lively and rhythmical with tighter sync between the piano loops, the beat, and the twinkly chimes.
UE Boom 2
Pros and Cons
- Improved sound and volume
- Easy free operating app
- The app has EQ to adjust sound quality
- Waterproof and durable design
- Full 360 degrees sound projection
- 15 hr battery life
- Kind of pricey
- Could use a little more bass
- New tap controls do not work that great
Boom 2 is a significant improvement from its predecessor with 25 percent more sound, better sound quality, and improved Bluetooth range. For the best sound quality, I recommend that you keep it around 80 percent volume, which is still great for a party.
The waterproofing is also stepped up and you don’t have to worry about getting it a little wet, muddy and messy. The 15 hours of battery life is good enough for most standard users and charging only requires a couple of hours.
Overall, the UE Boom 2 is a great wireless speaker that performs impressively across various music genres. If you want full waterproofing capabilities coupled with amazing sound quality, then you should consider the UE Boom 2.
Price: $99.95 US
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: Ultimate Ears