Compact tunes

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

Best Boom yet

Ultimate Ears Boom 3

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom is a lot of fun in a little package. It has excellent sound for being so small, with little distortion at high volumes. There are quite a few awesome colors to choose from, but $100 is quite expensive for some of them.

$55 - $100 at Amazon

Pros

  • Great sound for its size.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Fun color options.

Cons

  • Lacks bass.
  • Some colors are expensive ($100).

The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is easily one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy, especially in the $150 price range (it's cheaper than its predecessor was at launch). It has powerful bass for its size, gets more than loud enough, and is great-looking to boot.

$150 at Ultimate Ears

Pros

  • Excellent, well-rounded sound.
  • Long battery life.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Customizable EQ.

Cons

  • App is lackluster in appearance.

The Wonderboom and Boom 3 are really just different classes of a speaker from Ultimate Ears. The Wonderboom is better suited to being taken on the road, on hikes, or anywhere where a smaller speaker is best (like the shower). The Boom 3 is for all-the-time listening anywhere, with better sound and more volume to enjoy in larger spaces.

Breakdown

There isn't much, aside from driver size and physical size, that separates these two Ultimate Ears speakers.

Wonderboom Boom 3
Bluetooth range 30 meters 45 meters
Battery life 10 hours 15 hours
Speaker pairing Connect 2 Wonderbooms Connect over 150 Booms and Megabooms
Frequency 80Hz - 20kHz 90Hz - 20kHz
# of color options 11 4
IP rating IPX7 IP67

Between the Wonderboom and Boom 3, the choice really comes down to whether you want an extremely portable speaker and don't mind sacrificing a little sound for price and convenience (Wonderboom), or you want an amazing-sounding Bluetooth speaker that's still portable and water-resistant, with a customizable EQ, and you don't mind spending $150 to get it.

The Boom 3's excellent sound is worth the price alone.

I'm incredibly frugal, but I also believe in "you pay for what you get." The Boom 3 is definitely worth $150. I personally wouldn't pay $100 just to get a specific Wonderboom color — I'd go for whichever color is the least expensive.

In terms of water resistance, both speakers are roughly on par with one another. The Wonderboom's IPX7 rating means its dust ingress protection (X) is unrated, while its water ingress protection (7) is rated for 1 meter (3 feet) of submersion for up to 30 minutes. The Boom 3 has an IP67 rating, which means it's fully protected against dust and can survive submersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

While the Boom 3 has considerably more features than the Wonderboom — the ability to connect over 150 Boom and Megaboom speakers together, customizable EQ in the Boom app, power and playback control in the Boom app, and the Magic Button — the improved sound is worth the price alone. Go with the Boom 3.

Small but fierce

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

Small, fierce, but not worth $100.

At the $55 price point, the Wonderboom is more than worth, with an impressively well-rounded sound for its size. I just wouldn't shell out $100 for the better colors.

Best Boom

Ultimate Ears Boom 3

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

The Boom 3 is the best Boom speaker Ultimate Ears has made, with a warm, present low end; outstanding volume; great control options; and a sleek, sexy design. $150 is kind of expensive, but if you're picky about sound, it's worth it.

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