Ultimate Ears has taken the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach to its new UE Boom 2, keeping the exterior bright and vibrant - whilst giving the insides an overhaul. We don’t think many people complained that the first UE Boom wasn’t loud enough, but regardless of that, its successor is some 25 percent louder - meaning your parties will be less conversational than ever before.
Ultimate Ears has stuck with the vertical design that got it so many prestigious design awards following the release of the first UE Boom, as well as its 360-degree sound dispersion, allowing you to place the speaker anywhere without worrying which direction it's facing. The company has also stuck with an almost identical price tag, with each speaker costing US$200. They’ve already started shipping.
That’s not to say it’s the same speaker, far from it in fact. Ultimate Ears has introduced clever mobility-centric features, like doubling the Bluetooth range to 30m, adding gesture controls and making the speaker fully waterproof (including internally). And then there's its new app too.
By gesture controls, we don’t mean you’re going to be waving around Wii Sports style trying to raise the volume. Instead there's a sensor on the top that allows you to control your music with taps. When that Coldplay song that somehow crept its way onto your phone starts playing, you can either tap once to pause – or twice to skip the song entirely. Just know that these gestures work best with the speaker in your hand - it won't register if you have it sat on a surface.
The app is a helpful addition to the UE Boom 2, allowing you to remotely turn your speaker on or off, change the volume or even wake up to your favourite music. It also has a simple interface that allows you to connect more than one Boom speaker in sync, to really listen to music how you’re meant to – loud and clear. If you really want to play DJ, then you can check out the equalizer feature on the app, which allows you to alter the specifics of individual speakers – even letting you decide different volumes for each speaker. It also has regular updates, meaning your speaker is now futureproof, as it won’t need any replacing as soon as the new model comes out.
The UE Megaboom is still the most powerful speaker in the Ultimate Ears portfolio, but the difference compared to the UE Boom 2 is now significantly smaller. The UE Boom 2 will last you for 152 plays of Bohemian Rhapsody (aka 15 hours). Ultimate Ears looks to have produced another product that will undoubtedly perform just as well globally as its first Boom speaker did, so stay tuned for a full review.