Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Review
Pros: Loud, compact, durable
Cons: Distortion at higher volume, not the longest battery life
Manufacturer: Ultimate Ears
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Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
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|Pros||Loud, compact, durable||Good sound quality, waterproof, long battery life||Super-portable, waterproof, great battery life||Portable, great battery life, inexpensive||Waterproof, inexpensive|
|Cons||Distortion at higher volume, not the longest battery life||Not the strongest sounding bass||Sound quality diminishes significantly at higher volumes||Sub-par sound quality||Weak bass, not very loud|
|Bottom Line||This durable little speaker packs plenty of volume into a waterproof package||An affordable balance for those that want good sound quality and portability but don't want to pay a premium price for the absolute best||This mega-portable, waterproof, and durable speaker is perfectly at home on hikes, bike rides, out on the lake, or in the shower||A much less expensive, but still enjoyable, portable speaker option for those sticking to a tight budget||An inexpensive speaker that is totally waterproof and sounds better than built-in phone speakers|
|Rating Categories||Ultimate Ears Wonde...||JBL Flip 5||JBL Clip 4||Anker Soundcore 3||Tribit XSound Go|
|Sound Quality (40%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Specs||Ultimate Ears Wonde...||JBL Flip 5||JBL Clip 4||Anker Soundcore 3||Tribit XSound Go|
|Dimensions (in x in x in)||3.68" x 3.68" x 4.02"||3.64" x 3.6" x 8.5"||1.8" x 3.4" x 5.3"||6.9" x 2.4" x 2.2"||6.7" x 2.3" x 2.2"|
|Inputs and Charging Ports||Micro USB port||Micro USB port||USB-C port||USB-C port||Charging port, Micro-USB, 3.5mm auxillary input|
|Reported Weight (ounces)||15.04 oz||19.04 oz||8.48 oz||13.12 oz||13.4 oz|
|Measured Weight||14.9 oz||19 oz||8.13 oz||17.8 oz||13.4 oz|
|Wireless Range (feet)||100||Not Listed||Not Listed||66||66|
|Reported Battery Life (hours)||13||12||10||24||24|
|Measured Battery Life (hours)||13||27||27||16.75||18.5|
Our Analysis and Test Results
In addition to the slick aesthetic (which we love), the Wonderboom 2 is designed to churn out some serious beats and take a serious beating. It's waterproof, impact-resistant, and is exceptionally loud considering its portable size.
The Wonderboom 2 produces pleasant sounds at medium volumes, offering a relatively flat response. Compared to higher scoring models from Bose, this speaker doesn't sound as full, but the Wonderboom 2 is much easier to cart around than its better-sounding competitors. For discerning audiophiles, this speaker won't cut it, as it quickly loses clarity at higher volumes, especially in the low end. Folks who prioritize cutting the rug wherever they go over impeccable audio quality aren't likely to be bothered. The latest iteration of the Wonderboom has an "Outdoor boost" button that adds a hefty mid boost, effectively enhancing its projection so it can cut through ambient noise and conversation. Combined with its cylindrical shape, the outdoor boost is a great addition, making this speaker more audible in all directions.
This rough and tumble model can take just about anything you can throw at it. It has an IP67 rating, meaning it's dustproof and water-resistant to a meter of submersion. Should the revelry get too out of hand and you and your speaker end up in the water, the Wonderboom floats along with you. It has an elastic loop so you can clip it to a belt or backpack with a carabiner, and you can pair two together for a stereo experience.
The aptly named Wonderboom 2 produces bone-rattling volume despite its small size (3.68" x 3.68" x 4.02", cylinder-shaped). It has consistent projection, losing only 2 decibels over a listening range of 30 feet. It also cranks out the jams louder than most portable speakers we've tested, with a max volume of 89 decibels. Once this speaker is running hot, it distorts and loses much of its clarity, making for a poor listening experience over 75% of its maximum volume.
UE states that the Wonderboom 2 can play music for 13 hours on a full charge, and our independent testing confirms 13 hours of life while playing music at 75% volume, no more, no less. Against the competition, this is the low end of battery life, with the top scorers blasting beats for more than 30 hours.
The water and impact resistance built into this little sonic bomb up the value factor quite a bit. It's a great choice for the beach or camping and for kids who are generally hard on their stuff. For the price, there are models out there that offer better quality audio, but few pack as much punch, or take as many punches, as the Wonderboom 2
If you're about to embark on a road trip, move into a dorm room, or head to the beach, the Wonderboom 2 is well-equipped to handle the rigors of the road and the hazards of a spontaneous life of the go. For those who have more to spend or are hunting for excellent audio quality, it would be prudent to look elsewhere.
— Michelle Powell and Matt Bento