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Ultimate Ears Boom review

Kat Orphanides
25 Dec 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

A robust portable speaker that might not sound fantastic, but won't fizzle out in the rain

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The Ultimate Ears Boom, made by the prestigious audio company bought out by Logitech a couple of years ago, is a consumer-friendly portable speaker that's made to go with you wherever you want to take your tunes.

Ultimate Ears Boom

Built from a combination of shock-absorbent plastic and water-resistant armour, the cylindrical Boom is made to take some punishment. It's able to withstand a drop from several feet onto hard concrete, keep playing in a downpour and even shrug off mud or spilt drinks thanks to a stain-resistant treatment, all of which means it could be the ideal portable speaker for taking to a festival. The built-in karabiner clip lets you hook the speaker to your rucksack, or it will just as easily fit in a car cup holder or bicycle bottle holder.

Inside, there are two 2in drivers and two passive radiators that point outwards at different directions to surround you with sound. The speaker works well outside and when there are no walls for audio to bounce off, especially compared to more traditional directional speakers. The Boom produces impressively loud audio, which has a reasonably clear mid-range but a slight lack of bass. We've seen similarly-sized speakers with more rumble than this.

Ultimate Ears Boom

The mesh material covering the speaker drivers is acoustically transparent, so it doesn't muffle the sound, but we would have liked a crisper high end; some of the detail gets lost during hectic electronic and rock songs. The speaker uses the SBC Bluetooth codec, which is lossier than the higher-quality aptX codec, although the difference is rarely perceptible in small portable speakers. There's no analogue input for non-Bluetooth sources.

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