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Ultimate Ears UE Roll 2 review

Richard Easton
21 Jun 2016
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
UE Roll teaser
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
80
inc VAT

The UE Roll 2 updates the original with more volume, better range and a flotation device

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The UE Roll was one of the most eye-catching and memorable portable Bluetooth speakers when it first launched. Shaped like a flying saucer, you would be forgiven for not knowing it was a speaker at first glance. The unorthodox shape helped make the UE Roll very convenient to carry around, as it was so low-profile and compact.

The newer UE Roll 2 actually looks identical to its predecessor, so all of the same aspects that made the original great are back, including the fact it weighs on 350g. Coupled with a convenient bungee cable built into its back, you can easily strap the UE Roll 2 to a rucksack.

The bungee cable proved useful in other ways, as it isn’t taking up precious space inside a bag when you’re out for the day. Instead, you can dangle the speaker outside with no need to hide it away if it started to rain. If you’re wandering around a more isolated location you could even have music playing to entertain yourself and any companions, which could be great for hiking or climbing.

The UE Roll 2 is also IPX7 waterproof, surviving submersion into 1m of water for up to 30 minutes, making it perfect for a beach holiday or, conversely, a torrential downpour. The newer UE Roll 2 even now includes a Floatie flotation device, so your UE Roll 2 can float alongside you in the pool, ensuring the music doesn't have to stop. Improved Bluetooth range performance also augments the UE Roll 2's capabilities.

UE Roll front

It’s designed to lie flat when in use, which means there’s less directionality to the sound, making it perfect for a group to crowd around without anyone having a less enjoyable audio experience. The UE Roll 2 can reach decent volume levels, too, having had its drivers upgraded over the original UE Roll – admittedly still not as loud as the much larger UE Megaboom, but still loud enough to be heard outdoors.

It might not be the most bass-heavy speaker out there, but you certainly won’t find it lacking, and for such a low-profile speaker it was a pleasant surprise quite how much the UE Roll could output. It does sound as though it has been intentionally tuned towards higher frequencies, which helps the sound carry outdoors.

UE Roll back

Like the UE Boom and Megaboom, the Roll 2 can be paired with a second speaker for even more volume. It’s also happily cross-compatible with other models. You’ll just need to use the iOS or Android app to pair two speakers. The UE Roll also has Bluetooth Smart, so you can remotely turn it on and off through the app.

The app will also let you set an alarm so that you can be woken up by your favourite playlist. Fortunately, if the UE Roll’s battery is dead the alarm will still come out of your smartphone. Battery life is rated at 9 hours and this was accurate. You’ll get a verbal critical battery warning to let you know when it’s time to charge.

The UE Roll 2 is a great choice if you’re after a speaker that you want to take out on the road. It's a great upgrade over the original model as all of the great original features return with additional smart upgrades on top. It's also a fraction cheaper, which is an added bonus. Its bungee cable is such a simple inclusion but one that makes it easy to grab as a tag-along music companion especially if you are outdoor-inclined and the Floatie makes it great for the pool. It has a fun design and sound quality didn’t disappoint. If you’re after a speaker for more indoor use, the Cambridge Audio G2 is the better-sounding speaker - at the sacrifice of such eminent portability and ruggedness. Buy the UE Roll 2 now from Ultimate Ears

Hardware
Speakers3
RMS power outputNot disclosed
Audio inputs3.5mm stereo
Audio outputsNone
Dock connectorNone
WirelessBluetooth (A2DP)
NFCNo
App supportiOS, Android
Battery capacityNot disclosed
Dimensions135x135x40mm
Weight330g

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