Everyone's got something great to say about the UE Boom. Splash-proof and durable, people say that its volume and sound quality can match even bigger portable speakers out there. Could this be true? I decided to head down to a big shopping mall to check it out.
It's the size and shape of a small water bottle, and it feels quite premium in my hands. It actually has a 15 hour battery life, much longer than even the Creative Sound Blaster Roar's 10 hours, but falling short of B&W's T7 portable's 18 hours. It's got a super easy to use button scheme. Huge volume controls dominate the side. Very handy, only that it's pretty stiff and a bit hard to press, but luckily I do finger push-ups everyday. If you want a challenge, when you press both buttons it will give you the remaining battery life. (One button is already so hard to press but Logitech wants me to press two at the same time. Win liao lor.)
This very durable speaker is designed to take a real beating. I wanted to rip it off its stand and beat it up to make a point that I'm the Alpha-male, but that mutual level of respect kinda kept me back. You could enjoy it while it's standing up on when it's lying flat on its side (Pun not intended). It comes in 5 different flavors: black, white, red, blue and a sort of purple/pink hybrid.
One cool feature is the UE App that one can download from the App Store (Google Play for Android). It's a sleek-looking command center that lets you manipulate the EQ, set an alarm to play from your music playlist, pair your speaker up with another UE Boom to make it stereo/dual mono, and much more. Very very handy UE, salutes! Also comes with speakerphone function.
It's looking to be a fantastic portable so far, but could Logitech be misleading us about the sound quality?
I played my standard "Have a good time" by the Brand New Heavies. The UE Boom has this fantastic all rounded clarity to the music, even at high volumes! The bass guitar sounded very meaty and solid but it has less bass extension than other well performing speakers like the Bose SoundLink Mini. Still, its dual passive radiators are really laying the smackdown! "Baby it's Cold Outside" shone through with great vocal clarity and a distinct separation of the double-bass, piano and the 2 singers. Due to how the speaker is arrayed, there is no spaciousness to speak of, but it's no problem considering the powerful sound radiating from this tube. The overall texture of the sound can come across as slightly on the bright side, and may even sound a little thin, but I was enjoying my music. This beast can truly can match the volume and performance of larger portables out there.
There are several things about the speaker that I'm not happy about though. The fact that the rechargeable battery cannot be replaced means that the speaker technically has a lifespan of 500+ charging cycles. Beyond that, the battery life will deplete faster and faster until... HONG KAN, must spend $299 buy new speaker already... Also, their marketing may have been smoking us by saying that the speaker provides 360 degrees of sound dispersion, because I actually found a blind spot. If you face the side band with the volume controls toward you, you will notice that the sound is firing away from you rather than toward you. At most, 270 degrees dispersion, not 360.
In all, this is a wonderful speaker and worthy of its fame. The combination of great sound quality, durability and rugged, design makes this one a top bluetooth speaker. Picking this speaker up makes me feel so young and hip that I wanna bring it to the beach and swim 10 laps, although I hate swimming. The $299 price tag is totally justified there, and I definitely want to take it with me on my next batam trip.
LP verdict this time is very simple: "mai tuu liao! Buy it!!!"