Portable Bluetooth speakers line the virtual shelves of tech shops up and down the internet, each with an almost identical feature set and very little to help recommend itself over another. There are two choices to manufacturers hoping to enter such a crowded product category. One is get lazy, knock out a product with your brand on it and sit back, comfortable in the knowledge that people with probably by some, just through the sheer volume of numbers.
Fortunately Logitech have taken the road less travelled with the Ulimate Ears Boom. The UE Boom is a can-shaped 360º speaker with a lovely textured design and sounds as good as it looks.
The speaker packs dual performance drivers and dual passive radiators and is impressively loud and clear across all frequencies, albeit with some loss in the low end. For something so dinky (it reminded me of a beer can) it’s impressive how it can really fill a room – without distorting. Another cool feature that I was fully onboard with is the ability to pair with another Boom for wireless stereo sound – although this isn’t a cheap device so the idea of buying two just for this unlikely. If however you and a friend share the same device it’s nice to be able to join forces.
The Boom has a wonderful textured feel and great, clear cut design – I was a big fan of the huge volume control buttons that adorn the side. The look of a speaker isn’t normally crucial, but seeing as it’s designed to be popped in the middle of the room it really helps that it’s easy on the eye. The little hook at the top that enables you to dangle the speaker was also useful – significantly widening your placement options. You can also unscrew the hook and attach the Boom to a tripod – if you have a Gorrilla Pod you can then hook the Boom up to a beam or tree branch and have crazy overhead sound fun – especially if you’ve made a wireless stereo pair.
Again combining form with function, the colourful acoustic skin has a plasma coating that makes it water and stain resistant. And with 15 hours of battery life it’s more than ready for all but the longest of park jams. The lack of buttons, power, pair and volume makes it easy to use, especially when you’re at ease and don’t feel like fiddling.
Available now for £169 from ultimateears or Apple.