Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Review

Devices capable of playing music anywhere have seen growing demand over the past few years, and manufacturers have responded accordingly. The market is now flooded with a variety of Bluetooth speakers, and finding the perfect music mate can be incredibly daunting. If you do so happen to be on the look for some excellent portable hardware to pump out tunes though, then look no further than the UE BOOM 2 from Ultimate Ears. It’s compact, rugged, and more than capable of pushing out music at maximum volume.

Designed for adventure

I’ll be honest, the BOOM 2 may not be visually pleasing to most. The range does not offer anything that looks elegant by any means. What Ultimate Ears have offered instead, is a bunch of devices coated in funky, bright colours.

That’s not a bad thing mind you, because this bluetooth speaker is not designed to match any furniture, or built to be permanent fixture in any home. No, it’s made to be taken out and about. In fact, the design encourages adventure.

Holding it alone perfectly illustrates this idea. The UE BOOM 2 may not be heavy (it weighs only half a kilo), but it is certainly rugged. Just handling it reinforces the idea that it is tough. It’s obvious that the device will survive a good knock or ten, and probably dozens, if not hundreds more. Hell, it can even sit in a small body of water comfortably (for a little while at least) and live to tell the tale.

UE BOOM 2 sound

Packing a Punch

Despite it screaming to be taken out into the wild, I put the UE BOOM 2 through its paces right in the comfort of my own home. Pairing it with my phone took less than 30 seconds, and I was playing music in no time at all.

Looks can be deceiving, I’ll have you know. The UE BOOM 2, while feeling solid and rugged, looked like it would be disappointing in the sound department. I mean, surely something can’t be that small and sturdy without sacrificing some sort of musical performance, right? Wrong! The UE BOOM 2 packs an incredibly punch. Putting it on maximum volume fills a room, and those neighbouring for that matter, with some phenomenal oomph.

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Generally, something that size playing anything at maximum volume yields unwanted distortion. I’m happy to report that I got no such rubbish from this device. It plays loud, and crystal clear. The bass isn’t perfect by any means, but it generated enough boom to keep me happy.

UE BOOM 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker SPLASH

So on the surface, the UE BOOM 2 really ticks all the right boxes, but a peaceful home isn’t where it’s meant to live. Granted, if you want it to be a home device, portable and perfect for carrying around from room to room, and can do just that. It really is capable of a whole lot more though, and deserves to be taken outside.

I’m not just talking outside to the pool mind you, I mean in general. Just take a look at any of the images accompanying this review, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The culture the UE BOOM 2 is looking to encourage is one of no-restrictions, no limitations, and complete freedom. This little speaker is looking for adventure.

And adventure is exactly where I took it. As luck would have it, during my review time with the device, I was invited for a weekend away from my normal Johannesburg dwelling, to the middle of the bush.

UE BOOM 2

You know how comfortable I was with the sturdiness of the UE Boom 2? Enough that I was willing to show it to everybody, and leave it, completely unsupervised for the majority of the weekend. To put this into context, remember, this is a review device. I do not get to keep it, and before accepting it for the duration of my review, I had to sign a document which held me solely responsible for its well being. If anything went wrong with it, or if it got damaged, lost, or broke in my possession, well, let’s just say I’d be in a lot of trouble.

The fact that I was comfortable leaving it with a group of people I didn’t know too well really should speak volumes about the device. Honestly, not once did it cross my mind that it would meet a sticky end, and not once did I stress about anything going wrong.

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We all made use of the UE BOOM 2 for the duration of the weekend. It followed the group I was away with out to the pool (and into it too, because why not?), to the braai area, to the kitchen, and back outside again. The whole weekend was filled with non-stop playlists from a variety of people’s phones, and I only had to charge the device once for the entire duration.

UE BOOM 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker water

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 67mm (diameter) x 180mm (height)
  • Weight: 548g
  • IPX7 rated: UE BOOM 2 can be immersed in water up to 1m for up to 30 minutes.
  • Maximum Sound Level: 90dBA Frequency
  • Range: 90Hz – 20kHz
  • Drivers: two 45mm (1 3/4″) active drivers and two 45mm x 80mm (1 3/4″ x 3″) passive radiators.
  • Power: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery for up to 15 hours of battery life between Micro USB charges. Actual battery life will vary with use, settings and environmental conditions.
  • Charge time: 2.5 hours
  • Wireless Capabilities: Pair up to 8 Bluetooth ® enabled devices – Connect up to two source devices at the same time. Wirelessly play (stream) to 2 UE BOOM 2s from one source.
  • Mobile Range: up to 33m
  • Compatibility: Pair up to 8 Bluetooth ® enabled devices – Connect up to two source devices at the same time. Wirelessly play (stream) to 2 UE BOOM 2s from one source
  • RRP: R3500

UE BOOM 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

The only sore point I have with the UE BOOM 2 really, is its price point. Look, I love its performance and ruggedness to bits, but I do feel that paying R3500 for a Bluetooth speaker is a bit over the top. For that kind of money, I could buy a whole sound system!

That being said, if you have that sort of cash lying around, the UE BOOM 2 certainly provides bang for buck. I was honestly very sad when it was collected. I’ve never ever felt the need to own a Bluetooth speaker, but if I had the UE BOOM 2 in my possession, I’d be very, very happy.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: February 1, 2016

Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Summary
A portable, durable Bluetooth speaker that packs some serious boom in its compact, rugged innards. The price point of the device however, is a bit steep, and may discourage some from taking the plunge.
9

Matthew Figueira

Defence of the Ancients? More like Defence of the cabbages! Have you seen my head? I look like a Merino Sheep on pole. NO SHANGE only SHAPPIES! :D

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I don’t understand what those people are doing in all those photos.

    • Hammersteyn

      Selfie orgy?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I don’t know. Can they do that outside, where other people can see?

        • Let me google that and get back to you.

        • Hammersteyn
          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            BWAAAHAAAHAAA!!!

          • Hammersteyn

            The story goes he was standing to close to the train. There are pieces of metal that would have hit him instead. So the conductor tried to get him to move and seeing how he has those damn earphones in, a boot to the head seemed like a good idea. Also he didn’t kick him he just stuck his foot out.

          • I heard he was doing this on purpose trying to get as close to the train as possible and the conductor (who was sued) was teaching him what close was hahah

          • Hammersteyn
          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            The only real lesson from it is that when taking a picture/video of yourself, stand clear of moving objects, including but not limited to trains, buses, donkeys, warthogs, chipmunks and sloths…

            People do stupid things hey, I’ve personally seen someone land under a train, not in circumstances like this, but still, not good, to make matters worse, that was not the only time…

          • Hammersteyn

            all aboard the pain train

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            And don’t wear freaking headphones with the volume turned up so loud you can’t hear the world around you.

          • What did you say?!

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            or “HAAAAAAH!!??”

          • Hammersteyn

            Or do and leave the rest to Darwin

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Exactly!! It’s like the classic “Hey Martha, I’m taking a selfie with a bear Urrgh”…

          • Hammersteyn

            Is that how Leo almost died?

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            THAT scene!!! I cringed all the way through… had it been a hippo, it’d been quick, but that…

          • Hammersteyn

            The bear was like, oh bother

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Hahaha! Yes! I think Leo forgot his honey in that scene, would’ve saved him a lot of trouble…

          • He deserves that.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Perfect

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            We were talking about this yesterday, selfies aren’t dangerous, idiots are…
            http://www.enca.com/life/selfie-taking-indian-teen-killed-train

          • Hammersteyn

            Wow, genius

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Next topic would be the lotto, right? Seeing as we have predictive topics, let’s make it about how we win the UK one?

          • Hammersteyn

            Sell our souls to Satan?

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            To become the next Robert Johnson?

          • Hammersteyn

            I’m pass 27 already :/

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Me too… But doesn’t that create a loophole in the deal then?

          • Hammersteyn

            Sssssh he might hear you

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            XD

    • Mossel

      I think it’s called fun. Read that somewhere.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        But they’re outside, where the sun is.

        • Mossel

          haha! Fair enough. Luckily my skin isn’t too pale, so I love the outdoors just as much as gaming.

          • You go too far!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I don’t believe him. Can’t do both. That’s just crazy talk.

          • Agreed. I don’t even understand what he said.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            He’s delirious from sun stroke.

          • What is a ‘sun’?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            It’s what they call the big bedroom light outside.

          • Ohhh! The ‘it’s gone so now time to play Dead Space’ alarm?

          • Hammersteyn

            And why does it rhyme with skin cancer?

          • Hammersteyn

            *Fixed

          • Mossel
          • Hammersteyn

            Does it count when you are in the sun on the way to the pub?

          • Mossel

            Of course, that’s borderline exercise if you ask me!

  • Hammersteyn

    I never have that much fun, that’s why I call in a noise complaint when I see people that do.

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      Agreed. Most of the time people who buys overpriced things like this, have totally crappy taste in music

      • Mossel

        Most of those wireless speakers in the same price range. The fact that this one is waterproof is pretty cool!

    • Damn skippy.

  • What the actual? So the speakers are more than likely made with some form of radioactive material that melts your fucking brain thus leading to episodes of utter madness seen in the above images? They can quite literally stay in the sea/river/molten lava.

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      *carbonite

    • Hammersteyn

      The girl in the first pic on the right has maracas? Did they raid a prop room from the 90s?

      • Probably props from Two Broke Girls (find a cup).

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        It’s been so long since I’ve seen those I first thought they were apples.

        • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

          I too thought that these crazy kids are eating apples on sticks

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Imagine running around with pink and or orange hair!

      • I know someone who does that 0_O

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Oh right, where is Umar anyway?

          • Hammersteyn

            In the sun?

          • HAHAHAA 0_O

  • DragonSpirit009

    If the sound is good why do they even take it into the water? O.o

    • Think of the fish!

      • DragonSpirit009

        But they forget things… really fast.

        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

          Sorry, what?

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Maybe they felt the call of duty?

          • Hammersteyn

            It certainly explains their AI

    • Hammersteyn

      Because people told them to GITS

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      What fascinates me about it is if they put it into the water and it drifts away… Oh, crap there goes R3500….

      • DragonSpirit009

        Exactly! It’s a horror story waiting to happen.

    • hairyknees

      BECAUSE WE CAN! 😛

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