Ultimate Ears Boom 3 vs Bose SoundLink Mini 2: Which should you buy?
The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is a highly portable Bluetooth speaker that exceeds expectations for a speaker its size. It combines great features with excellent sound to deliver the gold standard for portable, water-resistant speakers.
- Longer battery life
- IP67 water resistance
- Customizable EQ
- No 3.5mm jack
- Less bass
Fantastic sound quality
Bose has always been able to impress me with its sound quality, especially its ability to produce impactful and full low-end tones that aren't muddy at all. The Bose SoundLink Mini II is a perfect speaker for placing on a shelf and filling your room with sound.
- Great bass
- AUX port
- Included charging cradle
- No water-resistance
- No EQ customization
When comparing these speakers, it really comes down to what you're looking for in a Bluetooth speaker, because while both speakers are similar sizes and prices, they have pretty clear differences that make them better for different uses.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Boom 3||Bose SoundLink Mini II|
|Battery life||15 hours||10 hours|
|Bluetooth range||45 meters||30 meters|
|Weight||608 grams||680 grams|
|Charging cradle||Extra accessory||Included|
Just by looking at these two speakers, you can already tell where each company sees its device excelling.
The Boom 3 carries the torch and leads the way when it comes to the portability aspect of a speaker this small. The rugged, but stylish design keeps the Boom 3 safe from harm, easy to hold in your hand, and the IP67 rating ensures you can get it wet without compromising its functionality. This is the speaker you bring to your friend's pool party to blast your favorite tunes from breakfast to supper, and still have enough battery power to enjoy music around the fire in the evening. Its 15-hour battery life is a whole five hours longer than the SoundLink Mini 2, and its Bluetooth range is greater, meaning for more situations the Boom 3 is the better pick.
While the Bose SoundLink Mini II is clearly not as portable as the Boom 3 — from the design, the lack of IP rating, and the shorter battery life — it has a better overall sound quality and the included AUX port means you can enjoy better audio fidelity through a wired connection.
This is the kind of speaker you put in your living room. Let it sit in the same place and enjoy the amazing and powerful sound that something as small as the SoundLink Mini II really shouldn't be able to produce. It's the amazing bass sound quality that really takes the cake, and the dual passive radiators do a fantastic job of making the bass warm and clear, so it never muddies the sound. Plus, the included charging cradle (the Boom 3 has one, but it costs an extra $40) ensures that regardless of where you put the speaker, the SoundLink Mini II will always be charged at ready to go.
So which should you choose? It all comes down to how loud you want to use your speaker and where. If you're looking for something that's truly portable, sounds great, and has the added features of a companion app, then the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is the way to go.
If you're the type of person looking for a speaker that sounds absolutely incredible, and you don't plan to carry it around from place to place too often, the Bose SoundLink Mini II is the way to go.
Rugged and ready for anything
The Boom 3 has a well-rounded sound, little to no distortion at high volumes, looks gorgeous, and the customizable EQ is the icing on the cake. Its rugged design and IP water-resistance rating make it a perfect companion for traveling anywhere
Compact speaker with room-filling sound
Bose's sound quality is superb and the Bose SoundLink Mini II sounds better and more powerful than a speaker its size should. Its included AUX port and charging cradle makes it one of the best Bluetooth speakers to stay a permanent fixture in your home.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
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By Daryl Baxter