UE BOOM 2 speaker boosts volume, range and ruggedness

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In a world where Bluetooth speakers are practically giveaway items, you have to do something special to command a $200 sticker, and Ultimate Ears believes it has the answer. The new UE BOOM 2 takes the cylindrical BOOM of 2013 and gives it a refresh, cranking up the volume by 25-percent while delivering a promised fifteen hours of wireless battery life.

UE BOOM 2 speaker boosts volume, range and ruggedness

Range is up over the old speaker, too, now at 100 feet versus the original’s roughly 50 feet. It’s still a stubby tube, made of fabric and sturdy rubber, and while there’s a ring on the bottom to attach it to a lanyard or similar, it’s also just the right size to slot into the bottle holder on a bike.

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Where the first BOOM was IPX4 rated, the new BOOM 2 steps that up to IPX7. That means it can handle not only splashes and sprays – as well as snow – but immersion in up to a meter of water for up to thirty minutes.

It’s also drop-proof, from up to five feet off the ground anyway.

As before, there’s control through the companion app for smartphones and tablets, with which a second UE speaker can be paired for louder sound. It needn’t be a second UE BOOM 2, either; if you have one of the recent UE ROLL speakers, for instance, that will work too.

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However, it’s also possible to control the basics without unlocking your phone. As well as the sizable volume buttons on the side, you can handle play/pause along with skipping to the next track: once you enable “tap controls” in the app, holding the speaker in one hand and tapping its top flips between play and pause. Double-tapping skips on in the playlist.

I’ve been listening to the BOOM 2 for the past few days, and it’s certainly a powerful little speaker. At maximum volume it’s more than sufficient for out in the garden; with the volume notched down lower, while it won’t replace a Sonos setup, the quality is solid, with a surprising degree of burbling bass at the bottom end.

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As before, Ultimate Ears has opted for color schemes that fall on the “striking” end of the scale. I might not personally go for the bright blue and green of this particular review unit were I buying it myself, but it certainly made it easy to spot when I knocked it into a bucket of water (all in the name of testing, of course).

You pay for the design and ruggedness, however. Ultimate Ears expects the UE BOOM 2 to be priced at $199.99 when it hits the US along with select European and Asian countries later this month.

(slashgear.com)

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