As technology continues to give us the freedom to experience everything we love in almost any environment, we've seen countless portable speaker designs pass by our eyes—and ears. While some pack substantial power, and others boast the ability to withstand a drop or two, none seem to combine both under an aesthetically pleasing façade. Enter the UE Boom from Ultimate Ears. Boasting impressive sound and, thanks to a comprehensive plasma coating, a "life proof" tagline, the small water bottle-shaped speaker is entirely dirt, dust, grime and water proof—and we're talking drop-me-in-the-pool-proof.
While this isn't the first foray into portable speakers for Logitech (Ultimate Ear's parent company), the UE Boom is the first under the Ultimate Ear brand. With this in mind, audiofile loyalists to UE's custom-molded earphones, who've come to expect nothing but the finest quality, will be pleased with the hand-held speaker's power and sound.
The cylindrical design allows for 360-degrees of sound, meaning no matter where you are in relation to the UE Boom, it'll sound the same—whether the speaker is laid on its side or standing upright. And the "acoustic skin" keeps noise to a minimum, while still being pleasant to the touch. This comes in handy both when the music is turned to 10 and when the speaker is being used or conference calling—little to no distortion means cleaner acoustics regardless of the environment. All of this is wireless, thanks to the latest Bluetooth 3.0 tech, which allows for a play range of up to 50 feet while requiring less battery power.
As for sound, the UE Boom is really impressive at low and high volumes due to two 1.5" full-range drivers and two 2" passive radiators. The speakers have up to 15 hours of battery life and the ability to connect two UE Booms for stereo-to-stereo or traditional left/right stereo mode. And for a final nod to the constantly moving target audience, one end of the UE Boom features a removable D-ring clip for attaching to bags or belt loops or any traditional tripod mount. For $200, we have yet to see a wireless speaker come close to the capability of the UE Boom. Visit Ultimate Ears directly for more information.
Images by Graham Hiemstra