Audio is important to my life. I only listen to music like all day. And I’ve been on a podcast kick lately. Hence, I’m a headphone and speaker collector. I don’t mean to be, it just happens. I’m always on the lookout for the best audio tech. Stuff like the UE Boom 2 portable Bluetooth speaker. Actually I’m convinced anything made by UE at the moment might as well come off the line with a big stamp that says “The Best.” That’s how much I like these products (and no, this is not a paid placement — I’m really just gushing).
I’ve previously tested the UE MegaBoom — that’d be the big brother of the Boom 2 — and I loved it. But the Boom 2 was calling my name saying, “Chris, check me out.” And I’m glad I did. In many ways, I almost prefer it to the larger MegaBoom.
Of course, the bigger the speaker the better, more thunderous the sound. Duh. But I’m going to go out on a limb and call the Boom 2 the best portable Bluetooth speaker you can buy right now. Why?
The Boom 2 is the perfect size for the average person. It fits right into your hand. It’s so satisfying. And it fits easier into your backpack (or whatever bag you carry with you). And it’s less noticeable when it’s hanging out on your shelf, counter, desk or hanging from a biner off your messenger.
Now don’t get me wrong: the MegaBoom is insanely awesome. But it’s significantly bigger. It’s portable, yes, but it takes up more room in your bag. If you’re like me, you need every square inch (ya, I carry a lot of gear with me places: for writing, vlogging, and more). So I’d call the MegaBoom an upgrade — but still for the average person, I’d totally recommend the Boom 2 first.
That’s because on top of the size, the sound is still incredible. It gets LOUD. And it sounds GOOD. If you want something more concrete than that, the highs and mids are clear and the lows are decent (but hey, you can only get so much bass from something this size — take that into account). All-in-all, it’s what I’d want from a portable Bluetooth speaker. I’m in no way disappointed with it’s audio performance.
UE has nailed the art of simplicity with these speakers. They are EASY to use. There are exactly 4 buttons (although you almost wouldn’t even know that as they meld into the design so nicely). There’s a power button and a Bluetooth button on top and large volume up and down buttons on the side. And thanks to the perfect size of the speaker (once again) each button is super easy to click.
On the bottom of the speaker you’ll find a metal half-circle where you can attach a carabiner or loop for carrying the speaker on the outside of a bag (which folds flat when not in use). There’s also a standard headphone jack and a mini-USB charging port.
If everything I’ve mentioned so far isn’t enough to get you hyped about this speaker, how about this: it’s waterproof, and rugged, and that’s not just a gimmick. I’ve soaked these speakers from head to toe with high-powered jets of water and they come out totally fine. Again, that’s waterPROOF not water resistant.
And they’re tough. They’re made for adventure. They’re made for getting crazy. So often with gadgets we have to worry about them. Will my phone screen break. Did I get any dust in there? Better not spill my drink on my keyboard. Don’t drop it! None of that matters here. Yes, if you try to destroy this speaker, you can. But for everyday use — and beyond ordinary everyday use — this speaker will hold up. It’s made to take some punishment.
And that is one more reason why I say this is the perfect default portable Bluetooth speaker for anyone. But I’m not done yet.
The Boom 2 has a 100ft wireless range and a 15 hour battery life (that’s 3 hours longer than the Beats Pill+ if you’re keeping track). Awesome. It’s also able to connect with another UE speaker (Boom 2 or MegaBoom) to play in concert (and the app that makes that possible is as well-designed and easy to use as the speaker itself).
The solid black and solid white color options are my personal favorite. The white speaker in person is like DANG! I’ve got a blue MegaBoom and that’s cool too, and there are several other bright, eye-popping color options to choose from as well.
At $199 (that’s $30 cheaper than the Beats Pill+), I think the Boom 2 is a steal. I highly recommend this speaker. It is, at the moment, my all-time favorite portable Bluetooth speaker.