Bluetooth speaker tech has remained largely unchanged for a while now and, like with tablets, it’s becoming harder to convince users to upgrade unless you’re offering some real value. All the Ultimate Ears speakers sound pretty good and compete directly with strong brands such as JBL in the mid-tier price range.
UE claims 15 hours of battery life, which should take your beach party well into the wee hours.
With its funky colour schemes, serious waterproofing and properly hard-wearing fabric finish, the BOOM is targeting music fans with an active, outdoorsy lifestyle, while not having a problem with looking very stylish on a kitchen countertop. The volume controls are the oversized plus and minus symbols on the sides, which are a bit less practical than top mounted buttons, which can be easily pressed with a single grubby fingertip while cooking, for example.
Sound quality and volume? Roughly what we would expect for its size and price, and slightly lacking in the mid-range for delicate vocals. The companion app lets you choose from a few sound profile presets, or lets you tweak the highs and lows to your satisfaction.
2× drivers, 2× passive bass radiators, IP67 waterproof, R3 000
This speaker is built tough, and looks and sounds great, but in this price range, there are some other strong brands worth checking out.