One of my absolute favorite Bluetooth speakers got a huge update today. The UE Boom 2 is an upgraded version of the iconic portable Bluetooth speaker from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears division. Originally released in 2013, the Boom set a new standard for Portable Bluetooth speakers with its “cupholder friendly” and colorful design, great acoustics, and iOS/Android apps.

In recent months UE has released a much bigger, more expensive MegaBoom and a much smaller, cheaper UE Roll. Both are waterproof and extremely rugged and if you’d had to have guessed, you’d be right in assuming the Boom would get these same features.

And it has. IPX 7 waterproofing means you can not only take it with you into the shower but you can drop the Boom 2 in the pool or bathtub without damage. It is also more powerful with a 100-foot wireless range, 15 hour battery life, and 25% louder and better sound than its predecessor. The UE Boom 2 also now includes a new tap control that allows you to start, pause and skip songs, without needing to have your phone in-hand.

I’ve been using the UE Boom 2 for the past week and I think this speaker is a big deal…

UE Boom 2, Key Details:

  • 25 percent louder, better sound
  • Longer wireless range ~100-feet
  • Waterproof (IPX 7) design
  • 10-15 hour battery life
  • Size/shape of a water bottle, so stick it in your bike’s water bottle holder or clip it to your bag
  • tap control that allows you to start, pause and skip songs, without needing to have your phone in-hand
  • $199 shipped starting later this month, pre-order here

The Boom 2 comes in the same type of case as the MegaBoom which opens to reveal a “same as the previous Boom” package with a florescent yellow AC power adapter and MicroUSB cable.

Most of my gripes around the UE Boom 2 are around this cable and connection. It is square at the tip so it is a little easier to pop in than a generic MicroUSB cable which is a pain in the ass. When it is charging however, you can’t stand the Boom 2 in its default upright position. There is also an AUX port on the bottom which also foils attempts to have the speaker sit upright. The keychain lock also sits on the bottom.  If any of these things are used, the speaker must be on its side and boy does it roll. Oh, and you can’t keep your phone charged with this MicroUSB outlet like you can with some other speakers.

UE-Boom-2-bottom

That’s pretty much the beginning and end of the gripes, however. The package is much improved over the previous edition, which was a great piece of equipment.  I can verify that the sound is noticeably improved over the original UE Boom and more into the Bose Soundlink Mini 2 territory. The bass wasn’t all the way there but it is as close as you’ll get in a speaker of this size and weight.

There are many intangibles besides its incredible sound that make this something to consider.  The Boom 2 is both waterproof after a few dips in pools and sinks and rugged after surviving a few falls from 4-5 feet. Its wireless range is far improved but nowhere near the 100 feet advertised. I would lose connection at around 50 feet with both an iPhone 6 and a Moto X. Like almost all Bluetooth speaker manufacturers, they’ve also embellished on the battery capacity a little bit. I’d give this about 10 hours of loud play – which is still extremely solid. I didn’t play too much with the tap control feature but it worked in limited reps I gave it.

I love the Logitech UE Boom app which still allows you to see battery indicator, set music alarms, and pair multiple speakers in better than stereo but not quite as robust as Sonos type configurations.

Bose-UE-Boom

Compare to competition? 

To recap, the improvements to the UE Boom 2 are the following

  • Is 25 percent louder and better sound
  • Has a longer wireless range of 100-feet
  • Has a completely waterproof (IPX 7) design
  • Has a 15-hour all-day, all-night battery life
  • Is the size of a water bottle, so stick it in your bike’s water bottle holder or clip it to your bag
  • Plus, it features a new and innovative tap control that allows you to start, pause and skip songs, without needing to have your phone in-hand

To me, this puts the Boom at the top of the pack except for certain scenarios:

The $200 price tag is significant. If you want to spend less and get almost as great of product, grab a JBL Charge 2 for $100-$150 or a UE Roll for $100.

If you want the absolute best sound, I still like the bass in the Bose Soundlink Mini 2 which is a fine Bluetooth speaker but isn’t rugged or really built for the outdoors. On the other hand, it looks much more sophisticated than the Cherrybomb, Yeti, Phantom, GreenMachine, Tropical and BrainFreeze colors of the UE Boom.

You can grab a Boom at UE’s website now for $199.

Ultimate Ears Ups the Ante with UE BOOM 2

UE Introduces New Anywhere-You-Go-Proof Mobile Speaker

NEWARK, Calif. — Sept. 15, 2015 — Today Ultimate Ears once again dares you to take the party anywhere by adding UE BOOM 2 to its colorful lineup of beach-, snow- and anywhere-you-go-proof wireless mobile speakers. Starting first with UE BOOM and now turning things up again with UE BOOM 2, Ultimate Ears is continuing to transform the way people experience music, together, out in the world by completely redefining the Bluetooth® speaker category.

Designed to get wet, muddy and beat up, UE BOOM 2 blasts insanely great sound in every direction. Using the same high-quality materials you have come to expect from Ultimate Ears, UE BOOM 2 is waterproof (IPX 7), drop-proof (from up to five feet high), disruptive and bold, plus a whole lot of fun. It’s the size of a water bottle, so stick it in your bike’s water bottle holder or clip it to your bag, turn up life and add dimension to any moment.

Building from the award-winning UE BOOM 360-degree speaker that Ultimate Ears introduced in 2013, UE BOOM 2 is 25 percent louder with a longer wireless range of 100-feet and a completely waterproof design, so your music can be shared no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It has a 15-hour all-day, all-night battery life, plus, new and innovative tap control that allows you to skip songs, without needing to have your phone in-hand.

“Music is about making good moments great moments,” said Rory Dooley, general manager of Ultimate Ears. “And by taking your music with you, those great moments are now shareable, anywhere. That’s why every speaker Ultimate Ears designs is durable and adventure-proof with 360-degree sound, including UE BOOM 2. We’ve been leading the category in a new direction, and we’re breaking the mold yet again with UE BOOM 2.”

Plus, UE BOOM 2 gets better with time. Using the UE BOOM 2 app for iOS® and Android™, you can double the sound by pairing UE BOOM 2 with any other Ultimate Ears speaker, remotely turn the speaker on from your phone and even wake up to your favorite music. New updates are sent to UE speakers wirelessly through the app, so you can easily continue to expand features, making each speaker future-proof and even more awesome over time.

UE BOOM 2 comes in six new vibrant color variations: Cherrybomb, Yeti, Phantom, GreenMachine, Tropical and BrainFreeze.

Pricing and Availability

UE BOOM 2 is expected to be available in the U.S. and in select countries in Europe and Asia in September 2015, for a suggested retail price of $199.99. For more information, please visit www.ultimateears.com.

About Ultimate Ears

Ultimate Ears is transforming the way people experience music, together, out in the world. UE first revolutionized the way artists interact with their concert audiences by reinventing the on-stage monitor, turning it into a custom-fitted earphone. Today, Ultimate Ears continues stronger than ever with its award-winning family of wireless speakers that are designed for people, their friends and wherever life takes them. And with new features and experiences regularly released through free software updates, UE speakers just keep getting better. For more information, please visit www.ultimateears.com. #MakeMusicSocial

TECH SPECS

DIMENSIONS

  • Diameter: 67mm or 2 3/4 inches
  • Height: 180mm or 7 1/8 inches
  • Weight: 548g or 1.2lbs

WATERPROOF

  • IPX7 rated: UE BOOM 2 can be immersed in liquid up to 1m for up to 30 minutes.

AUDIO

  • 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 of play is up to 33m (100 ft).
  • NFC (passive) enabled – (works with active NFC enabled source devices * Android Jellybean and higher).

COMPATIBILITY

  • For Audio Playback – Smartphones, tablets and other devices that support Bluetooth® wireless audio profile [Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)] or 3.5 mm audio output.
  • Phone Calls: Phones that support Bluetooth® Hands-Free Profile (HFP1.5)

APP CONFIGURABLE

The UE BOOM 2 Apple iOS APP Android app on Google Play

2-YEAR LIMITED HARDWARE WARRANTY

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About the Author

Seth Weintraub's favorite gear