Review | UE Boom Speaker

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The UE Boom Speakers have been on the market for months now, and after nagging from a friend, I decided to give one a try. I was immediately impressed, the out of box – or cylinder in this case – the experience is fantastic. The Boom ships in a sexy little package, with clever little compartments for power, cables, and manual. The manual, thankfully, is not needed. In a few seconds I was able to pair the device to my phones and computers with a satisfying ‘ba-doonk’.

The speaker itself feels great in the hand, a nice solid, weighty little thing. The UE comes in a number of funky colours, mine wrapped in a bright red mesh. While I’ve only had the speaker for two weeks, it feels damn durable, like you could easily throw it around. It’s reassuringly chunky. The UE website claims the speaker is water resistant, but I was too scared to test this feature.

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In my testing, battery life was fantastic – we threw the Boom in the backseat of our car and drove around all day listening to tunes – the relatively small cylinder producing better sound than our in built car stereo…

But How Does It Sound?

Pretty bloody good.

I’d read the UE Boom was loud. Holy mother of God is it loud. Much to the annoyance of my workmates, I was blasting tunes 3 floors down as I tested the little guy. The speaker comes with four preset equaliser settings, Beats style way-too-much-bass, Vocals, Out Loud (ridiculously loud), and Intimate. I kept the speakers on the Intimate, and was very pleased with the sound produced, from hip hop through to Pavement.

The UE Boom comes with an iOS and Android app to manage the speaker – here you can adjust the equaliser presets, link two speakers for stereo sound, or set an alarm. The apps are minimal, but get the job done.

Office Space

While the UE advertising features pretty young things having fun at the beach and foam parties I could never attend, I found a decidedly less sexy use case.

In my workplace, we’ve been sharing audio to an old Airport Express connected to some speakers. This is not ideal.

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If we were to try to connect the Airport Express to our corporate network purely for music streaming, we’d need to submit a change order that would immediately be rejected by our network, comms, and security teams. Instead, we’ve created an Ad-hoc network with no internet available. This means when we’re connected to the Airport Express to play tunes, that machine cannot be connected to the internet. As the UE Boom uses Bluetooth rather than wifi, this is not an issue.

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Switching Bluetooth pairing on the UE Boom is fast and simple, and the UE can support up to 8 devices paired to it, so it’s been a much better solution for our office.

At $199 RRP, the UE Boom is not exactly cheap – but I’ve seen them on sale for around $138. At around the $150 mark, I think they’re a great little buy, especially as you can use one to replace an old car stereo, or as a shareable speaker in a locked down office environment. Or, you know, if you’re a pretty young thing going to foam parties.

 

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