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Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Review

This durable little speaker packs plenty of volume into a waterproof package
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
Credit: Ultimate Ears
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Price:   $100 List | $94.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Loud, compact, durable
Cons:  Distortion at higher volume, not the longest battery life
Manufacturer:   Ultimate Ears
By Michelle Powell and Matt Bento  ⋅  Jul 15, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 12
  • Sound Quality - 40% 7
  • Portability - 25% 8
  • Volume - 20% 8
  • Battery Life - 15% 6

Our Verdict

Impact-resistant and water-resistant to a meter, The UE Wonderboom 2 is well equipped for outdoor use. Its sleek cylindrical shape provides a rich sound consistently in all directions, and an outdoor boost button can be engaged to increase the mids and cut through the chatter. There are lighter models out there and the Wonderboom 2 has an average battery life, so you'll want a model that can stay powered for longer for camping trips, but for around the house or an afternoon at the beach, this speaker is a durable (and loud) option.

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Pros Loud, compact, durableGood sound quality, waterproof, long battery lifeSuper-portable, waterproof, great battery lifePortable, great battery life, inexpensiveWaterproof, inexpensive
Cons Distortion at higher volume, not the longest battery lifeNot the strongest sounding bassSound quality diminishes significantly at higher volumesSub-par sound qualityWeak bass, not very loud
Bottom Line This durable little speaker packs plenty of volume into a waterproof packageAn affordable balance for those that want good sound quality and portability but don't want to pay a premium price for the absolute bestThis mega-portable, waterproof, and durable speaker is perfectly at home on hikes, bike rides, out on the lake, or in the showerA much less expensive, but still enjoyable, portable speaker option for those sticking to a tight budgetAn 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%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Portability (25%)
8.0
7.0
10.0
7.0
8.0
Volume (20%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
3.0
Battery Life (15%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
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
IP Rating IP67 IPX7 IP67 IPX7 IPX7
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.

Performance Comparison


This speaker is impact-resistant to 5 feet, so it's perfectly suited...
This speaker is impact-resistant to 5 feet, so it's perfectly suited for windowsills and slippery perches in the shower.
Credit: Laura Casner

Sound Quality


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 model has an Outdoor boost feature that cranks the mids a bit...
This model has an Outdoor boost feature that cranks the mids a bit for better projection in all directions. The effect sounds particularly good with acoustic music.
Credit: Laura Casner

Portability


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.

This speaker is surprisingly loud for its size. Though it's not the...
This speaker is surprisingly loud for its size. Though it's not the lightest model we tested, it still feels like it disappears into a backpack or messenger bag, and a small elastic loop makes it easy to clip to a branch outside or a fixture in the shower.
Credit: Jason Peters

Volume


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.

The control surfaces are very simple, with a power button, a pairing...
The control surfaces are very simple, with a power button, a pairing button, and a button that lets you play, pause, and skip tracks. The outdoor boost button is on the bottom, while the giant "+" and "-" buttons adjust the volume.
Credit: Jason Peters

Battery Life


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.

This model charges via a micro USB port. There's no aux cord...
This model charges via a micro USB port. There's no aux cord capability, though the Bluetooth 5.1 provides a fast, uninterrupted connection up to 100 feet.
Credit: Jason Peters

Value


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

With an IP67 rating, this dustproof water-resistant speaker can...
With an IP67 rating, this dustproof water-resistant speaker can crank out captivating podcasts or pulsing beats where ever you go.
Credit: Laura Casner

Conclusion


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