Ultimate Ears’ biggest speaker is also one of its best, delivering superb sound at frighteningly loud volumes
- Sounds great
- Goes very loud
- Impressive battery life
- Large and heavy
- Lacks smart functionality
Ultimate Ears has released some wonderful Bluetooth speakers over the past few years and the Hyperboom is its biggest and bassiest yet. It dwarfs its stablemates the Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 in both stature and sound, delivering first-rate audio quality at ear-shatteringly loud volumes.
Although it lacks the smart functionality of some of its competitors and its sheer size means it’s not as portable as other entries in the Boom series, it’s an excellent addition to the American manufacturer’s speaker lineup.
Ultimate Ears Hyperboom review: What do you get for the money?
The UE Hyperboom will set you back £359 and, like most Bluetooth speakers, comes with little in the way of accessories. Aside from the speaker, all you get in the box is the AC adapter and a choice of European (two-pin) or UK (three-pin) connection cables.
You do, however, get a lot of speaker for your money. The Hyperboom measures 190 x 190 x 364mm (WDH) and weighs 5.9kg. Despite that heft, it’s portable thanks to a pull-out carrying strap on the side and is also IPX4 water-resistant, meaning it’s splashproof and capable of withstanding a spilt drink or light rain.
Bluetooth is your only option when it comes to wireless connectivity – you can’t hook the Hyperboom up to your Wi-Fi network – and there’s no voice assistant compatibility but there are AUX-in and optical ports for physically connecting external devices. There’s also a USB-A port for charging phones and tablets when you’re out and about.
Battery life is stated at up to 24 hours at around half volume – your mileage will of course vary depending on how loud you like to listen to your music. When you’re out of juice, the Hyperboom takes under three hours to recharge and you can continue to enjoy whatever you’re listening to while the speaker is plugged into the mains.
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Ultimate Ears Hyperboom review: What’s the design like?
Compared with other members of the Ultimate Ears speaker family, the Hyperboom is rather understated in appearance. It’s only available in black, unlike the Boom and Megaboom, which come in a range of eye-catching colours. That’s no bad thing though, as personally, I’d find a hulking great “ultraviolet purple” speaker rather garish.
The unit itself is cuboid in shape, roughly twice as high as it is wide and deep, and has a flat, square top and base with gently rounded corners. The majority of its exterior is covered by a two-tone fabric, which leaves very little plastic visible and helps lend the Hyperboom a monolithic majesty. As mentioned above, there’s an Ultimate Ears branded carrying strap which lies flat along one of the long vertical corners when not in use.
Just below the strap, you’ll find what UE cutely describes as a “weather door”. Essentially, this is just a rubberised flap that keeps the speaker’s ports protected from water. And on the top of the speaker are all the controls. There’s a large power button in one corner, a five-way D-pad opposite it – used for switching sources and pausing/playing – while a pair of huge, touch-sensitive volume buttons sit in the middle. The layout is pleasingly simple and I’m a big fan of being able to switch between sources so easily.
You can also use the Boom app to control the Hyperboom from your smartphone, and the app includes the ability to power on the speaker, which I found a particularly welcome inclusion.
Ultimate Ears Hyperboom review: How does it sound?
The Hyperboom uses a combination of two 114mm woofers, a pair of 25mm tweeters and two 89mm x 190mm passive radiators to deliver audio and the results are top-notch. There’s great balance across the frequency range, oodles of rich bass and coherent mids and treble.
The default EQ doesn’t need much tinkering but there is the option to adjust it if you need to via the app. Here, you’ll find a five-band EQ slider and you can save your own presets, too.
There are also three factory preset modes to choose from: bass boost, game/cinema and podcast. Bass boost is self-explanatory but it’s worth mentioning just how potent the low-end is when it’s engaged. The speaker’s default profile is far from lacking in bass response but when the bass is boosted, it delivers audio that will really get your room shaking. Game/cinema mode enhances both bass and treble, while and podcast reduces the bass response while elevating frequencies in the mid-range. All three work well, although I was perfectly happy with the default profile in most situations.
In addition to the various user-controlled EQ options, the Hyperboom offers Adaptive EQ. This uses a microphone positioned on the top of the speaker to analyse the acoustics of your room and adjusts the bass, mids and treble response to balance out the sound. It can be toggled on and off but you’ll want to keep it on as it does a top job. No matter where I positioned the speaker, I found the audio well balanced and engaging.
As you’d expect from a speaker of its size, the Hyperboom is capable of pumping out some serious noise. Ultimate Ears hasn’t revealed a total power output but, at higher volumes, it’s guaranteed to annoy the neighbours and, impressively, sound quality doesn’t dip as you push the volume up. I experienced no distortion from the Hyperboom, even when blasting out tracks at maximum volume.
Should you require even more audio muscle, you can “Party Up” the Hyperboom with other speakers in the Boom ecosystem. You can pair up to 50 Boom speakers together via the app, at which point you’d probably want to consider setting up your own music festival.
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Ultimate Ears Hyperboom review: What could be improved?
One of the downsides to the Hyperboom is its weight. Carrying it using the handle is fine for short strolls but if you’re heading further afield, you’ll probably want to do that in the car or on public transport. At nearly 6kg it’s a bit of a beast.
There are a couple of things that could be feasibly added to enhance the overall experience, too. The incorporation of voice assistant compatibility, which you do get with the UE Megablast and Blast speakers (although it’s limited to Amazon Alexa), would be welcome, as would the ability to take calls through the speaker. Wi-Fi connectivity would be nice, too, although this isn’t a big deal if your primary usage will be in outdoor environments.
Finally, I’d also have liked to see the volume buttons on top of the speaker illuminated. Both the power and source buttons have small LEDs that help you locate them in the dark but there’s no such assistance when it comes to volume.
Ultimate Ears Hyperboom review: Should you buy it?
In the two areas integral to the success of a party-focused speaker – sound quality and volume – the Hyperboom knocks it out of the park.
It sounds great no matter what you’re listening to and possesses the power to fill rooms and open spaces with ease. The EQ options give you plenty of room for customisation, too, although the Adaptive EQ is so good that you’ll probably not need them.
If you can live without your voice assistant and all you want is a speaker to bring the party with you wherever you go, the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is a great choice.