Nearly four years ago, I reviewed the first generation Boom Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears (Logitech). Here’s what I had to say:
Most Bluetooth speakers are, for want of a better word, lackluster. A balance must be struck between weight and battery capacity, and too often makers go for smaller, lighter, and therefore less powerful. You need some juice to power the kind of drivers that reproduce sound well. Which is why the UE Booms can double as (very stylish) doorstops.
But they’re doorstops that can produce room-filling sound with well-balanced bass, mid-, and high-ranges. They’re not just good bluetooth speakers, they’re good speakers.
Even better, they put our 360-degree sound, and with a special mobile app, you can sync multiple speakers up to fill bigger spaces, or even sync pairs up to put out L/R stereo sound. Nice!
But the best review I can give is that I gave one to each of my two teenage boys, and they’re hooked. These are the speakers they use exclusively to play music in their rooms, and they’re happy. ‘Nuff said.
Four years on now, and UE sent me a third-generation Boom (the Boom 3), and after all this time, all I can say is that the best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market are still the best, but more refined, with some added features, and – gasp – cheaper!
The basics are all the same – sound quality is some of the best you get on the market, and an excellent 15-hour play time between charges. It’s durable and waterproof, so it can be your shower music station, or survive by the pool (and even in it for short bursts) without problems. You can share the speaker with friends via app to hand off DJ duties. You can even partner up to 150 speakers to create massive audio setups!
There’s also now a control button on top that allows you to control the music coming from your phone with easy tap controls, and you can even start and control playlists that you assign via the Boom app. I also like that they moved the USB charging port from the bottom to the side, so you can keep it standing right side up while charging, or playing while plugged in (or pick up the special charging dock).
Best of all, while UE has consistently improved the Boom 3 over the years, they’ve brought the price down. This current model costs $50 less than that original Boom I reviewed four years ago. You can get one (or more) now at Amazon for just $150.
Note: UE sent me a review unit.