UE Wonderboom review: Although it be but little, it is fierce

Ultimate Ears makes wonderful, portable, and water-resistant Bluetooth speakers. They're perfect for the beach, the shower, and hanging around the pool. While they range in size and price, the UE Wonderboom is probably the best bang for your buck.

It's a wee little jellybean of a speaker, but it packs solid sound and vibrant, fun colors. As a bit of a Bluetooth speaker connoisseur, I welcomed the opportunity to review UE's little speaker that could. Here's what I found.

The Good

  • Sounds great for the price
  • Controls are minimalist and simple
  • Great color options

The bad

  • 360 design makes placement an issue
  • Lacking bass

What UE does best

UE Wonderboom What I like

iMore Recommended Award

Really with the Wonderboom, what's not to like? Depending on the color you want, you can pick one up for as little as $60 (down from $100 over the last year), and it's as simple as turning the thing on, pairing with your phone, and going your own way.

If you're expecting mind-blowing audio, meter those expectations because speaker size will always be a limitation when it comes to providing a warm low end. That being said, The Wonderboom makes up for its lack of bass by still providing a very well-rounded audio profile for its size. The sound is indeed room-filling, and there is little to no distortion when you crank it. All in all, pretty impressive.

This speaker is absolutely perfect for any type of outdoor activity, whether you're hiking or sitting fishing on a river bank. It really doesn't take up much room in a bag, and its battery life is superb. I used it in the shower and only had to charge it roughly once a month.

Can go anywhere, but doesn't sound great everywhere

UE Wonderboom What I don't like

Because of its 360-degree design, the Wonderboom requires open placement to sound truly great. I had it in my shower on a corner shelf, and because the shower is enclosed, I had to turn the Wonderboom just right so that certain tones didn't vibrate the shower walls and my eardrums.

The problem with that is you then lose some low end, so if you're getting this strictly as a shower speaker, it's best if you hang it off the shower head or a shower caddy (which I ended up doing later). In open spaces, it sounds quite good.

As mentioned, however, the Wonderboom distinctly lacks a "boom". The low end isn't outright abysmal, but if you'd used any of UE's larger Boom speakers, you may initially turn on the Wonderboom and be disappointed. That being said, after listening to a few songs, you won't even notice.

UE Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker

If it's portability, affordability, and fun that you're after, the UE Wonderboom should be your first choice in Bluetooth speakers. It's nigh-waterproof (can survive submersion), compact as all get-out, and sounds a lot better than other speakers in its price range and form factor.

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Mick Symons

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.