Ultimate Ears Wonderboom review
For £90, you would expect alot, but it does practically everything right. It looks stylish, comes in various colours and, most importantly, sounds fantastic, with clarity and volume in equal measure.
The Wonderboom’s IPX7 rating means that it can able to survive at least 30 minutes of submersion in a metre of water, but is effectively waterproof if you leave it floating on the surface. If you’re looking for the perfect Bluetooth speaker for the beach, or your bathroom, you've found it.
Price and competition
At £90, the Wonderboom isn’t the cheapest Bluetooth speaker around. The £40 SoundPEATS Bluetooth Speaker P4 and the £39 Sumvision Monic both provide sensational sound for under less than half the price, but aren’t as portable, waterproof or stylish.
Build quality and design
The UE Wonderboom a short, rounded design. Rubberised top and bottom edges prevent it from slipping on surfaces, and stylish-looking material wraps around the sides. At 430g, it’s not too heavy to carry around every day, and as it only measures 10cm tall and 9cm wide. The speaker comes in range of gorgeous colours to cater for all tastes.
The standout feature of the UE Wonderboom is the IPX7 rating, it has the wonderful ability to float. That’s right, you’ll be able to take it into the swimming pool, or on the beach without worrying about a thing.
To protect it from water damage, its micro-USB charging port is protected by a small flap, found at the bottom of the speaker. It’s a shame that there’s no 3.5mm auxiliary jack, though – the quoted ten-hour battery life (at 75% volume) is decent.
The speaker is extremely simple to operate; holding down the button at the front turns on the device and enables it to be paired with a Bluetooth device. By tapping once on the logo, it pauses your music, double tapping skips to the following song, and pressing the large plus and minus buttons increases and decreases the
volume of the speaker. But I couldn't find a back button for the tracks which seemed like a glaring ommission.
The speaker’s Bluetooth range is impressive, stretching over 20m through walls without any interference. The only minor disappointment is that there’s no aptX codec support, which means the Wonderboom won’t be able to playback CD quality tracks over Bluetooth.
If you have another Wonderboom, you can play them at the same time by holding down the UE button to pair it with more speakers. Disappointingly, you can’t pair it with other UE devices, such as the Boom 2.
The volume this little speaker can deliver is impressive, it doesn’t distort at maximum volume and easily fills a large room.
The overall sound quality punches well above its weight, and it also does a great job of spreading sound far and wide, music still sounds good from all angles.
Vocal tracks sounded fantastic through the Wonderboom, with clear, sparkly highs and a rich, detailed mid-range. There’s plenty of mid-bass thump, and there’s even the impression of deeper sub-bass too, which is hugely impressive considering the size.
The UE Wonderboom is immensely impressive. Producing superb sound quality for a portable, with great looks and waterproofing, it will be a winner. This is one of the best sub-£100 speakers around and comes in a great choice of colours too.