UE Boom 2 Review
Pros: Good Sound quality, great volume, waterproof
Cons: Lacks a bit of bass, expensive
Manufacturer: Ultimate Ears
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|Pros||Good Sound quality, great volume, waterproof||Excellent sound quality, very loud, long battery life||Excellent sound quality, water resistant, great battery life||Good overall sound, great volume, great battery life, waterproof||Good sound quality, waterproof, long battery life|
|Cons||Lacks a bit of bass, expensive||Expensive, relatively large and heavy||Expensive, relatively heavy||Not the strongest bass, a bit pricey||Not the best sounding nor most portable|
|Bottom Line||A good mix of portability and sound quality, the Boom 2 is bigger but sounds better than the Roll 2||The exceptional sound quality, high volume, and somewhat heavy weight make this perfect for backyard parties||Top notch sound from a relatively small and durable package||A solid choice for those that want a bit of power in a fairly portable and waterproof package||A good mid point for those that want good sound quality and portability, but don't want to pay a premium price for the absolute best|
|Rating Categories||UE Boom 2||Bose Soundlink...||Bose SoundLink...||UE Boom 3||JBL Flip 5|
|Sound Quality (40%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Specs||UE Boom 2||Bose Soundlink...||Bose SoundLink...||UE Boom 3||JBL Flip 5|
|Dimensions (in x in x in)||2.75" x 7.1" x 2.75"||4.1" x 4.1" x 7.3"||5.97" x 3.24" x 3.24"||2.9" x 2.9" x 7.25"||3.64" x 3.6" x 8.5"|
|Inputs||3.5 mm auxiliary input, Micro-USB port||Charging port, Micro-USB, 3.5mm auxillary input||3.5 mm auxiliary input, Micro USB port||Micro USB port||Charging port|
|Reported Weight||19.2 oz||34 oz||24 oz||24 oz||19.04 oz|
|Measured Weight||19.4 oz||34 oz||24 oz||22 oz||19 oz|
|Wireless Range (feet)||100||30 feet||30 feet||150 feet||Not Listed|
|Reported Battery Life (hours)||15||16||12||15||12|
|Measured Battery Life (hours)||12||24||18||24||27|
|Warranty||2 year limited||1 year limited||1 year limited||2 year limited||1 year limited|
|Receive Phone Calls||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The UE Boom 2 offers the peace of mind of a completely waterproof IPX7 rating in a package that delivers a good amount of sound quality and volume. It's a great choice for those that want a durable speaker that can handle the elements, but don't mind sacrificing a bit of portability for some extra power.
The UE Boom 2 was a solid overall performer in our testing. In the following sections we discuss how well the Boom 2 fared in all of the individual tests that make up our overall score.
The Boom 2 was a slightly above average performer in our sound quality testing, earning a 7 out of 10 in a metric with scores ranging from 3 to 10. It provides decent bass, but it is decidedly lacking in that aspect when compared to our top scoring speakers. It was still able to create a well-rounded sound that didn't feel too thin, but it definitely could have been improved with a bit more bass. The clarity was quite good with plucked guitar notes sounding crisp and well defined. Overall this was the best sounding of the completely waterproof speakers that we tested (the Bose SoundLink Revolve sounds much better, but is only splashproof).
The Boom 2 earned a solid score of 7 out of 10 in our portability testing, putting it above the average in a metric where score fell between 2 and 10. We weighed the Boom 2 at 19.4 ounces, which was fairly standard for the speakers that try to balance portability with good sound quality. The cylindrical shape was fairly easy to slide into a backpack full of towels and snacks. With the fully waterproof IPX7 rating we didn't even have to worry about whether those towels were wet or not. We tested the Boom 2's waterproofness with multiple dunking and trips into the surf, and it's still going strong.
The Boom 2 was one of the louder speakers we tested, earning an 8 out of 10 in our volume testing. This put it towards the top of a metric where scores ranged from 4 to 9. It retained its sound quality even at high volumes, and filled our testing apartment with powerful sound. It can't quite match the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 and JBL Charge 3 in terms of volume. Both of those models have a bit more punch, but the Boom 2 is close.
The UE Boom 2 lasted 12 hours in our battery life test. This was slightly short of its claimed 15-hour battery life, but still plenty of power for most situations. It fell well short of our top performers, however, so it only scored 5 out of 10.
The UE Boom 2 has a list price of $200, though at the time of this writing it can often be found for as much as $50 less. If you're looking for a high quality, fully waterproof speaker, then this is a great value. If you don't mind making some sacrifices in volume and sound quality you'll get a better bang for your buck from the UE Roll 2.
The UE Boom 2 is the highest quality of the fully waterproof speakers we tested. It is a great choice if you want extreme ruggedness, but also want to make as few sacrifices in sound quality as possible.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata