UE BOOM 2 Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker Review – Is it worth your money?

Regular readers of TMAT, or even followers of RobsRibsMK or I on Twitter, will know that between us, we love our music.

I am a huge advocate of the Sonos Play:1, so much so that I convinced Rob to take the plunge; he now has enough Sonos speakers in his house to effectively host a Guns N Roses reunion tour (you may have seen his early review of the Sonos). Why am I sharing this? Because we love audio products here at Two Men About Town, particularly those that really gets away superior sound and strong beats to maximise great music*.

On the hunt for something portable and shower-proof, following a failed attempt with two cheap no-name bluetooth speakers that didn’t quite cut the mustard, I decided to take the plunge and ordered up the UE Boom 2. But how would it work out?

UE Boom 2 by Ultimate Ears Review

The portable audio market is, quite literally, booming; a quick squint on the likes of Amazon shows that there is no shortage of brands and portable bluetooth-enabled speakers available. Having seen the UE Boom 2 demoed on several occasions at parties and heard good things about the brand (notably from Twitter’s The Martini Chaser, who I note should be on commission), I took the plunge at £124.99. I was so excited that I sat by the door all morning waiting for my Amazon Prime delivery. Yes, my life is that exciting.

UE Boom 2


First inspection was promising.

I like the UE Boom 2; it’s purposeful, featuring a 360 degree tightly woven durable mesh fabric covering the speaker, covered with a hard-wearing rubber band housing the volume and power controls. I opted for steady sensible black (because, I’m not as young and reckless as I once was), but a whole plethora of wacky colours are available from lime green to bright orange if that’s more your bag. I imagine my good buddy RobsRibs would enjoy something sickeningly bright, to which he’d be well catered for.

UE Boom 2 bluetooth wireless speaker review

The whole unit feels solid and incredibly well made, the rubber seals around the charging and auxiliary ports in particular well-engineered to prevent water damage.

UE Boom 2 clip for portability

Waterproof? Only one way to find out…

UE Boom 2 waterproof speaker bluetooth review UK
Fully waterpoof UE Boom 2
I jumped in the shower with the UE Boom 2 to properly roadtest it. Lathering up (ooh err) and singing along to the very best of Take That (quite a sexy image, I admit), the UE Boom 2 took an absolute soaking and carried on regardless.

The guys at Ultimate Ears have designed the Boom 2 to withstand being fully submerged in water at a depth of a metre for up to thirty minutes, meaning that it’ll take a mild shower splashing in it’s stride. The Boom 2 really is a highly versatile product that will fit around whatever you’re up to, whether it be at home in the garden, shower or on-the-go. Impressive.

Features and Sound Quality

Having thrown everything from the likes of Tinie Tempah and Kings of Leon, through to Lionel Richie and Kenny Loggins (yeah, really…) at it, I can confirm the UE Boom 2 does a marvellous job at delivering high quality, room-filling 360-degree sound. The bass is punchy, the mid-tones are present and overall the sound quality is very good. Only at maximum volume did I find traces of distortion in Calvin Harris’ bass-rich Heatstroke, although most home-users would find this probably too loud in any event.

UE Boom 2 waterproof speaker review

One neat feature that Ultimate Ears have developed (PartyUp), delivered through an iOS and Android companion-app, is the ability to ‘daisy-chain’ up to fifty (yes, FIFTY) Boom 2 speakers together, creating full stereo sound. I imagine that this could be a good laugh at a party or across a running/cycling group.

In addition to the above, the companion app also gives audio geeks the chance to fine-tune the sound settings through equaliser functionality, although I found the out-the-box setup perfectly adequate for my everyday needs.

Battery life looks pretty spot on at 15 hours, recharged through a mains-adaptor or bathroom friendly shaver-plug; the speaker can still operate whilst on charge. Putting it far simpler, it’ll easily last a session out at the park or at the BBQ.

UE Boom 2 vs Sonos Play:1?

The UE Boom 2 is small but mighty; I was impressed at how easily it could fill a room with immersive sound. Given this, you could be forgiven for questioning whether it is worth considering the UE Boom 2 over the Sonos Play:1 for permanent home-usage; yes, you could in theory do this, however the Sonos Play:1 really is streets ahead in sound quality. There’s no comparison.

UE Boom 2 vs Sonos Play:1
UE Boom 2 vs Sonos Play:1
The Boom 2 is a portable speaker and ticks all the boxes as an all-rounder, but doesn’t hold a flame to the work that Sonos have done with the rich, vibrant and fantastic sound quality offered by the Play:1 wireless speaker. It’s simple; if you want portability, the UE Boom 2 is for you. If you don’t, it’s Sonos all the way.

UE Boom 2 Review Verdict

If you want a portable bluetooth speaker, the UE Boom 2 is the one for you. Simple.

The UE Boom 2 is highly versatile, rugged (like me), exceptionally well-built and has great sound quality; it’ll take a beating, you can drop it in a bucket of water (should you be so clumsy) and it’ll still blast out your favourite tunes for hours at great audible quality that even your granny will admire.

Okay, £124.99 is a lot of cash-monies but having tried a lot of alternatives before sending them all back and splashing (get it…?) out on the UE Boom 2, I can say it’s worth every penny. I am a very happy man and that’s a bold claim.

It’s a no brainer. UE Boom 2 all the way.

* at the top of this review, I talked about ‘great music’. Remind me to tell you about RobsRibs’ Spotify playlists one day.

4 thoughts on “UE BOOM 2 Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker Review – Is it worth your money?

  1. Great post buddy – although I find the characterisation of me as a neon bright colour-loving, cheese fest Spotify playlist devotee and master of the full on Sono’s experience entirely unrepresentative; I’m much worse than that.

    Liked by 1 person

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