Loud for its size with neutral bass, the UE Wonderboom is a super rugged little ball of music.
Hey everyone, Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom. UE, or Ultimate Ears, finally has a new small speaker to compete. I’m happy to see them offer something in between the UE Roll and the UE Boom. As always being transparent, Ultimate Ears sent me this speaker to test under embargo, so I had this for awhile, to see just what this is all about.
Looking at the competitor’s, they’re looking squarely in the eyes of the new JBL Flip 4. I’ll have a dedicated and detailed comparison on that very shortly, and last, I’ll place my Amazon affiliate links above, click on my links and they’ll give you the most updated prices in real time. You never know when these things might go on sale.
So, without further ado, my website is here to help you make a purchase decision. Welcome everyone, to another review.
Going over the physical features first, the Wonderboom is quite compact. The design gives it a nice, soft look. But in regards to how it’s made, identically to the other UE products, these things are built like tanks. It’s dust, mud, and stain resistant. It’s drop resistant from up to 5 feet which I’ve tested. And last, it’s IPX7 certified meaning this can go underwater up to 1 meter and for up to 30 minutes. One of the biggest benefits compared to the UE Roll 2 or the newly released JBL Flip 4, this speaker floats on its own. Peace of mind while you’re at the lake. – perfect by the pool if you have kids.
Taking a closer look, you have power and pairing up top. The UE logo also works as a way to control your music with one tap to pause and play. A double tap will skip your song forward, but no controls to go back, unfortunately – a triple tap would have been perfect. Last with the same UE Logo, you can Double UP with another UE Wonderboom and have two of these speakers playing audio. There wasn’t an option to allow for audio separation, simply Left and Right audio channels, but the two speakers playing at the same time does fill a room much more than obviously just one. Pairing the two together is very easy and unlike the previous UE products, no app is needed, hold the logo down at the same time, and they pair instantly with each other.
Moving on, volume up and down are located on the front. Pressing both at the same time gives you somewhat of a battery indicator. It plays a certain tone, to indicate either full, medium or low. This was one of the biggest gripes I had, simply having the speaker speak the percentage would have been great. Even 5 white LED’s would have been more intuitive. It’s not a deal breaker, but something simpler and more precise I think any consumer would appreciate. Lastly, all the buttons are very responsive.
BATTERY LIFE & BLUETOOTH
Rotating to the rear is a port for the micro-USB cable to charge the speaker. No auxiliary port is offered for physical connections, so just a heads up on that. UE is claiming battery life to be up to 10 hours of life. With my testing at 50% volume that I do on all my speakers, I was able to get 10 hours and 20 minutes. I did a second test just in case, going on full blast, and was able to achieve 2 hours and 50 minutes to be exact – almost three hours.
Regarding Bluetooth signal strength, UE pulls through, claiming up to 100 feet in signal strength. Within my house, the signal went through several walls and my first-floor ceiling, and the signal never cut out on me.
360-DEGREE AUDIO & SOUND PERFORMANCE
And lastly, before I give you my sound review – one of the biggest selling features with the Boom products – they do provide 360-audio output. No matter which side of the speaker you stand on, you’re going to experience direct audio.
Alright, so going into the audio – it’s very loud for such a small speaker. It’s perfect for small rooms and for sure loud enough for medium-sized rooms. When I spoke with UE, they did disclose they went for a more balanced sound signature. It’s not a bassy Bluetooth speaker, it doesn’t sound bass-boosted and that’s fine for those who prefer that that type of listening. Those who are familiar with the Boom 2 and Megaboom, they’ll find the audio characteristics similar to the Wonderboom here. For the majority of the time, I did enjoy this speaker, as a casual speaker as most genres performed well. There are a few select songs where there is slight raspiness or distortion between the upper bass frequencies and lower-end of the mid-range, more noticeable at higher volumes. Same with the mid-range, it’s somewhat forward which I personally like, but at times, the high frequencies do get sharp and take away from the experience. As with most Bluetooth speakers, there’s no audio separation or an open soundstage. Overall, the characteristics are very much similar to the other UE Boom speakers, where it is loud, where it provides a more neutral bass signature compared to some of its competitors. The biggest selling point and why you would choose the Wonderboom over some others, it’s not necessarily its audio performance, but the fact it’s compact, it floats in water and the biggest reason, it’s built rugged as hell – complete peace of mind.
So that’s it for this review. Be sure to add me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram: @JimmyLuongOfficial is my personal motivational account, @JimsReviewRoom is where you’ll find all my tech and behind the scenes stuff. As always my website is here to help you make a purchase decision. You guys take care and I’ll see you on the next one.