We reviewed every scrap of information published so far about the recently released UE Wonderboom. We were crazy curious about this speaker, as other speakers from Logitech's UE have frequently been our favorites. The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom is quite new, so the verdict is not in yet from world consumer testing organizations, but plenty of other critics have dutifully given it a listen. This is a roundup of the opinions of the more reputable audiophiles and tech site writers.
Compared to other meta-reviews we do on this site, there is a striking uniformity of opinions among tech reviewers and audiophiles covering the UE Wonderboom — this is particularly surprising since sound experience can be so subjective.
Here's how this wisdom generally shakes out.
Positives of the UE Wonderboom
Overall, reviewers have so far rated this as one of the top-sounding small Bluetooth speakers on the market.
- 360-degree sound: The Wonderboom is one of the few speakers that delivers 360-degree sound; that is, it sounds about the same no matter which side of it you are standing on. This feat is accomplished by just a few other speakers out there, notably the UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom. One reviewer even felt that the Wonderboom exceeded these speakers in terms of 360-degree sound production, but all felt that it delivered great clarity and volume from any angle. This is particularly useful if you plan to have the speaker in the center of the action, say, at a beach party.
- Strong bass performance: The UE Wonderboom delivers particularly strong bass. Some also see this as a negative; saying the speaker has a "tendency to favor lows and mids over everything else". The bass is further improved if the speaker is placed on a large, solid surface.
- Loud: The UE Wonderboom is surprisingly loud for its size, and one of the louder speakers on the market.
- Survives drops: A few reviewers have put UE's "drop proof" claim to the test, and found that the speaker does indeed seem to survive abuse without any noticeable dammage at all.
- Waterproof: The UE Wonderboom is rated IPX7, which is a specific standard meaning that the unit can withstand a dunking of up to 30 minutes. It also floats, but is not intended to play music while floating (for actual in-pool use, you want the excellent UE Roll 2, which comes with an attachable floater).
- Pairs with a second unit: Like other UE speakers, the Wonderboom can be paired with a second unit of the same brand if you want to kick out even more sound; unlike the others this is done without a dedicated app.
- Long-lasting battery: Reviewers generally back up UE's claim that the Wonderboom lasts for 10 hours on a charge at 75% volume.
Negatives of the UE Wonderboom
- Not the best sound quality on the market: While they were impressed by the speaker's audio performance given its size and price, critics have taken the Wonderboom to task for having a bit of distortion when pushed to its highest volumes. There were also reports of some clipping at this level. And compared to more refined speakers like the Bose Soundlink Mini II and the UE Boom 2, the Wonderboom can lack a bit of definition, particularly in the high and mid-frequencies, meaning that in a busy soundscape you may not make out instruments at this level as well as you might like.
- No speakerphone or aux-in jack: A few critics complained about the lack of a line in jack and of a speakerphone function. But we should note that in the many years that we've been using Bluetooth speakers that have these features, we've almost never made use of them. Bluetooth speakers have, well, Bluetooth, and smartphones have speakerphone functionality. So we find this critique rather irrelevant.
- No dedicated app: Unlike other UE speakers, there is no dedicated app for controlling the UE Wonderboom, which means no equalizer controls.
To summarize, in spite of this great new addition, we think most people will be happier with our main recommendation for Bluetooth speaker, the slightly taller and narrower UE Boom 2, which has been coming down in price and is close to the UE Wonderboom.
But for those who want an emphasized bass end in a slightly cheaper and still very rugged package, the UE Wonderboom is a great choice.
|Speaker||Weight (g)||Weight (oz.)||Notes||Length (cm)||Length (in.)||Width (cm)||Width (in.)||Waterproof?|
|425||15.0||• 10-hour battery at 75 % volume|
• More bass emphasis than other UE speakers
• Reported to survive drops well
• Can pair with a second unit
|10.2||4.0||9.4||3.7||Yes (IPX 7)|