The last few years we have had maybe a million (or what seems like a million) bluetooth speakers came out. There are a few that stand out from the rest. Earlier this year tat CES 2015, Ultimate Ears officially announced the UE Megaboom wireless speaker. While I never fully reviewed Ultimate Ears AKA UE Boom, I spent a good amount of time with one and I recommended it for a few holidays last year. There was nothing you couldn’t admire about it. The build, sound quality, and portability were great. Now that they have come bigger with the UE Megaboom wireless speaker, is it better? Is it worth it?
If you’ve seen the original UE Boom wireless speaker, you will recognize the UE Megaboom. It looks the the UE Boom, but twice the size and better build to be honest. The waterproof (IPX7) speaker has a rugged build, with the its thick clothe grille, covered 3.5mm jacks and charging ports for better protection against water and shock. The rubber strip going down one side has the volume up and down buttons (super big buttons). The top part of the cylindrical speaker has the power button, and bluetooth pairing button. The bottom has the 3.5mm jack and charging port, covered of course. It’s a lot bigger than other cylindrical speakers out there, so I expect bigger sound.
The UE Megaboom comes in the same cylindrical packaging as the UE Boom.It has a nice picture on the outside of the package, and the Megaboom is tucked nicely inside a chest-like encasing. However it doesn’t bring a carrying case. At the price, it should bring a mesh bag or something to carry it around. Even though the speaker is huge, it weighs just under 2 pounds still making it portable.
UE made a name for the Boom speakers with the previous models. As expected with the Megaboom, you should get big (bigger) sound. At mid-volume the Megaboom is already incredibly loud and balanced. When cranking it up to 75% volume, bass response is still good and sound is not distorted.
Let’s not forget that because of the cylindrical shape, you get sound coming out all around. There seems to be stereo separation, which is pretty cool coming from a single speaker (and not officially advertised by UE). The speaker is so loud, that unless you’re at a party you won’t be pumping it at max volume for long.
The amount of bass pumping with balanced sound is incredible, even on loud levels. But on some tracks you will have to stay under 90% volume to avoid distortion or flattening sound.
The UE Megaboom didn’t only improve on the outside, it has improved in function as well. There is a dedicated UE Megaboom app. When I downloaded it, it had me update the speaker. The app seems bug-free. I am not entirely sure if there were any issues before the app update. It was cool to be able to do it wirelessly. The UE app allows you to do a variety of things. You can use it to pair two speakers, control the EQ (works with stored music, not with streaming apps).
The Smart Bluetooth allows you to be far from the speaker, not only for listening to music, but to turn it on from your phone. WIN. UE also claims you can go up to 100 feet away from the speaker and be able to control it.I wasn’t able to get so far from it as 100 feet, but I still got significantly far (more than the usual 15 feet) and control it without a problem.
The UE Megaboom charges through microUSB (another win). Depending on how loud you blast the music, the Megaboom can last you days or even a week without needing a charge. If you blast the music upward 70% volume for the most part you do get 8 – 12 hours of playback time. Not bad at all.
Pricing and Availabilty
The UE Megaboom will run at $299. So you really have to enjoy the sound and build. It is available in four colors. Electric blue, Charcoal Black, Lava Red, and Plum. Sometimes UE does collaborations with other companies for artwork, but nothing yet for the Megaboom.
You can buy it from the Ultimate Ears website or Amazon.com
UE Megaboom Overall
At $299 you have to be in the market for dedicated wireless speaker. I don’t think it looks very fancy for the price, but it does give a hell of a performance for it. Most consumers wouldn’t be able to buy 2 speakers to pair, so most would have to be satisfied with the sound of one.
Even though it’s quite an investment, you will be satisfied with the overall sound and performance. The fact that you can play it nearly everywhere (even near water), control it from a distance, and it lasts for a long time it’s a definite win.