Over the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to the current-generation of Ultimate Ears’ Bluetooth Speaker lineup; the UE Megaboom, UE Boom2, and UE Roll. This comes after owning the original UE Boom for about two years, and listening to is almost daily in my car, at home, in my office, and in parking lots while putting on ski gear. That’s to say, I have a lot of experience with the Boom, and know how it sounds. This review focuses on the big daddy of the lineup – the UE Megaboom.
What It Is
The UE Megaboom is the latest generation of Ultimate Ears’ popular portable, rugged bluetooth speakers. It’s the largest, beefiest, loudest, and most robust speaker in the lineup, and still sports the awesome ruggedness, waterproofness, and class-leading sound quality and features of the rest of the UE lineup.
“UE MEGABOOM is the 360-degree wireless Bluetooth speaker on steroids that blasts freakishly amazing sound to every corner of the party.”
Find official specs here: http://www.ultimateears.com/en-us/uemegaboom
Who It’s For
This is the largest UE speaker, but it’s still waterproof, rugged, and portable. This speaker is for the more discerning listener who wants the highest quality sound from a portable bluetooth speaker. It’s for the rich kid who wants to totally rock his medium-sized house party. It’s for the weekend warrior who is setting up at the campsite and making lots of noise. It’s for the home listener who has a hip and new kitchen or living room and wants simple, high quality sound throughout without fuss. The Megaboom is sleek and cylindrical, and comes in a variety of nice colors – so it’s easy to fit in with your decor, it sits flat on a surface, and it has no weird shapes that stick out, get in the way, or call too much attention. The one place it’s not best for is for the permanent, integrated home or office audio solution. Sure, it can be mounted on a tripod or similar, and can be charged and powered at the same time, and connected to aux-input. However, the general design makes it not the best. If you’re looking to wire your house for permanent sound, go with something else. But if you’re looking for rockingly loud, high quality, portable, rugged speaker that can rock your kitchen as well as it can rock your picnic, and you have the cash and discerning ear to want the best you can get, this is the one.
If you’re looking for something smaller and less pricey, and want more casual listening or background music, get the Boom2. If you’re on a budget, want to listen to mainly podcasts, want to give it to your kids, or want to backpack it out to the campsite, get the UE Roll.
I tested the UE Megaboom in my home, in my office, and while traveling up and down to the Colorado ski mountains over the course of about a month. I listened to music on Spotify from my iPhone AND an android phone, locally stored FLAC tracks from my computer, podcasts from the iOS podcast app, audio cast from the Chromecast Audio and connected to the aux port, and took a bunch of conference calls on it.
I owned the OG UE Boom for two years and loved it. I tested the UE Boom2 and UE Roll, and they were both great. But after 2 minutes of turning on the Megaboom, I’m blown away – this thing is awesome. For the modest increase in size and weight, this speaker rocks so much harder than any of the others, and is still easy to pick up and drag around. The battery came 30% charged, and it didn’t quit throughout my entire hours-long first listening session. Awesome.
- The Megaboom has mega sound quality. It’s definitely a step up from Boom2 in both loudness, clarity, and range. The bass of the Megaboom is deep and present, and doesn’t sound overly processed. It’s obvious that the larger physical size of the Megaboom allows it to produce genuinely deeper, clearer, louder bass. The highs are still crisp and clear, like they’ve been on the other UE speakers. But the bass here really shines.
- The pairing process of the Megaboom is a breeze. Additionally, it pairs quickly with my iPhone when I turn it on, and confirms power, pairing, and power with nice sounds and voice feedback.
- The volume of the Megaboom is controlled directly from my iPhone. This is a small detail, but important. When I click the volume buttons on my phone, the actual volume of the Megaboom changes. This is in contrast with the other, less-good method of volume control, where I change the volume on my phone, giving the speaker a “hotter” output, but the actual volume setting of the device is independently controlled on the device. With the Megaboom, these two volumes are the same, which I like a lot.
- I love squeezing the Megaboom and hearing it tell me how much battery I have left.
- For its size, the Megaboom gets LOUD! Like, really loud! It can easily rock a good size room of people, and can fill a living room with loud, clear music for a whole party. The battery life is great – it plays all night.
- I kinda hate that the power and audio ports are on the bottom, and the power on the top. I know it’s meant to be picked up and handled and dragged around – but it would be cool if it was a bit easier to keep plugged in while using etc. I know I can just turn it over, but I like having the bass drivers at the bottom of the speaker.
- The motion activated functions – tap tap for track skipping etc – I don’t care. I never used these except to test that they work. And even when I was using the speaker in a more “dynamic” environment.. with friends rocking out in a parking lot before skiing – my phone was never so far away that I felt I needed to pick up the speaker to change the track. It just seems like an unnecessary feature.
- That’s about it that I don’t like – everything about this speaker is pretty amazing.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a great quality bluetooth speaker that can rock your house, house party, backyard etc, and you have the budget to buy the best, this is the one you should get. Of course it’s not as portable as the other smaller speakers. But it’s still small enough to throw into a picnic bag, or weekend bag. I really don’t think that a more portable speaker is necessary. Do you really really really need a speaker small and light enough to backpack with deep into the woods, or carry in your luggage as you travel the world? I dont think so – take a break, enjoy nature. Leave the rocking out for when you can rock out with the best bluetooth speaker – the UE Megaboom.
Find It Here
Of all the bluetooth speakers I’ve reviewed, this is the one that sticks around as the offices daily listening speaker. Sure I’ve tested a bunch of others and listened to them for a while – but this the one I actually use on a daily basis when not evaluating for a review. Get it.