We can carry our entire music collections with us these days thanks to our phones, but that music only sounds as good as the speakers we use to listen to it. Anyone who has tried listening to music through their phone speakers knows how tinny and low quality the sound is, so a good portable speaker is a must-own for anyone who likes to take their music on the go, which is why I decided to test out the Wonderboom: a new Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears.
The Wonderboom is a lightweight Bluetooth speaker that packs incredible sound into its small size. Available in six colors, the speakers can also be linked together for even more intense sound. The battery life and Bluetooth range are both very impressive, I can easily get several days of heavy usage between charges and walk in and out of rooms with my phone without causing interference to the music, but the sound quality is the biggest selling point here and it is phenomenal.
Having used cheap Bluetooth speakers for several years now, I wasn’t anticipating just how much better sound through the Wonderboom would be. There is a lot of bass here (possibly even too much in a few cases – my husband’s bass-heavy rock music occasionally suffers from distortion if he turns the volume up too high) which makes for a powerful listening experience – and the Wonderboom produces 360- degree sound so your music sounds great no matter where in the room you are in relation to the speaker.
One of the biggest selling points for the Wonderboom is that it is waterproof down to a depth of one meter and for up to 30 minutes. Indeed, commercials for the speaker show it being tossed casually into a swimming pool at a party attended by many beautiful young people. Now, I can’t recall the last time I attended such an event – I suspect never – but I did want a speaker that I could take into the shower so this was an important factor for me.
After several weeks using the Wonderboom inside a shower cubicle, it was showing no signs at all of disliking the water. As a final test, I filled the sink with water and dropped the Wonderboom in with no adverse effect, although naturally, you wouldn’t want to use it like that unless you like your music distorted by water. The speaker floats in water too so you can be assured that if it fell off a boat or into a pool, it will be easy to retrieve and unlikely to her harmed by its adventure. This is a speaker designed to handle being taken out into the world.
The Wonderboom includes controls on the speaker itself which means I can adjust the volume and skip tracks with wet hands in the shower – a feature I really wanted after years of listening to a cheap speaker on the windowsill. The location of the skip button is not marked and not at all intuitive (I had to look up where it was online – it’s where the Ultimate Ears logo is etched into the top) and there is no back button which is something I would like to see included in future models.
The Wonderboom also features a small stretchy loop intended to allow you to hang it from things but I found it too small to be of much use by itself so I keep a carabiner attached to it which allows me to easily hang it out of the way.
At $80 (£70 in the UK) this isn’t the cheapest Bluetooth speaker on the market, but having used cheap speakers for the last few years the improvement in sound quality from the Wonderboom is off the charts and well worth the extra money. I know I won’t be buying cheaply again when I’m next in the market for a Bluetooth speaker. This is an ideal gift for any music fan, especially those who rely mostly on steaming and those who travel a lot. I recommend picking one up for yourself while you’re at it, you won’t regret it.
GeekMom received this item for review purposes.