The UE Wonderboom is meant to be a better sounding version of the UE Roll 2, which is our top pick for portability. The Wonderboom certainly succeeds at being louder than the Roll 2, but the actual sound quality is no better. If you're looking for something very small and portable that can still produce a lot of sound, the Wonderboom is a good choice. However, if you don't see yourself cranking your speaker up to maximum volume too often, the Roll 2 is still a better portable option.
UE Wonderboom Review
Pros: Waterproof, fairly small, loud
Cons: Relatively poor clarity
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|Pros||Waterproof, fairly small, loud||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||Great Sound quality, water resistant, good battery life|
|Cons||Relatively poor clarity||Expensive, relatively large and heavy||Expensive, relatively heavy||Not the strongest bass, a bit pricey||Rubber coating sometimes hangs onto dust|
|Bottom Line||A small and convenient speaker that is surprisingly loud, but the sound quality is no better than the more portable Roll 2||Top notch sound quality and volume in a somewhat heavy package||The best portable speaker for audiophiles||A good mix of sound qaultiy/volume and durability||An almost perfect blend of sound quality, portability, and reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||UE Wonderboom||Bose Soundlink...||Bose SoundLink...||UE Boom 3||Bose SoundLink...|
|Sound Quality (40%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Specs||UE Wonderboom||Bose Soundlink...||Bose SoundLink...||UE Boom 3||Bose SoundLink...|
|Dimensions (in x in x in)||3.7" x 3.7" x 4"||4.1" x 4.1" x 7.3"||5.97" x 3.24" x 3.24"||2.9" x 2.9" x 7.25"||5.25" x 5" x 2.25"|
|Inputs||Micro USB port||Charging port, Micro-USB, 3.5mm auxillary input||3.5 mm auxiliary input, Micro USB port||Micro USB port||3.5 mm auxiliary input, Micro-B USB port|
|Reported Weight||15 oz||34 oz||24 oz||24 oz||19.2 oz|
|Measured Weight||15 oz||34 oz||24 oz||22 oz||19.8 oz|
|Wireless Range (feet)||108 feet||30 feet||30 feet||150 feet||30|
|Reported Battery Life (hours)||10||16||12||15||8|
|Measured Battery Life (hours)||10||24||18||24||13|
|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 Wonderboom is surprisingly loud considering its size. However, it doesn't offer any better sound quality than the UE Roll 2, which is still a better overall option if portability is at the top of your checklist.
The UE Wonderboom did fairly well in our overall scoring, as you can see in the table above. However, we didn't feel that it carved out a unique enough niche for itself to be an award winner. In the sections that follow we'll elaborate on that point, and how the Wonderboom performed in all of the tests we conducted.
This is where the Wonderboom sort of fell out of our graces. While it sounds fairly good, earning a 6 out of 10 in this metric, it is no better than its more portable sibling, the UE Roll 2. We were hoping that the Wonderboom would be like the Roll 2 with better bass, but alas it created the same sort of middle of the road sound that was well balanced but slightly thin. In the Roll 2 this slightly thin sound feels totally worth the gains you make in portability, but in the larger Wonderboom it is somewhat disappointing.
The Wonderboom is one of the more portable models we tested, and it earned an 8 out of 10 in this metric. It squeaks in at just under a pound, and has a short cylindrical that packs into a bag fairly well. It is also IPX7 waterproof, so it can survive complete submersion in water. It also has a small keeper loop that is just big enough to fit a carabiner. However, the UE Roll 2 handily outdoes the Wonderboom in this capacity, weighing just 11.2 ounces and sporting a flat profile that fits almost anywhere. While the Wonderboom is good, if you're looking for something super portable we would still go with the Roll 2.
This is the one place where the Wonderboom does stand out. It is quite loud, especially compared to other models of commensurate size. It earned an 8 out of 10 in this metric, putting it just behind the top scorers, which are all much larger than the Wonderboom. It had plenty of power to provide music for a big group of people in our testing apartment, and is loud enough that you could easily annoy the other beachgoers on a crowded summer day. If you're looking for something small yet loud, this is the one area where the Wonderboom shines.
The Wonderboom was quite impressive in our battery life testing, almost doubling its manufacturer claimed battery life when it lasted 19.5 hours. This put it towards the top of the battery life score sheet, bested only by the borderline unbelievable performances of the JBL Charge 3 and the Anker SoundCore 2.
At a list price of $100, the UE Wonderboom is a good value if you're looking for something very small that is also very loud. However, if you're looking for portability more than maximum volume, the UE Roll 2 is a much better value.
The UE Wonderboom produces the most volume per ounce of any of the models we tested, making it good if you want something loud yet tiny, but otherwise is just mediocre.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata