UE Boom 2
A fun and fresh speaker
Essentially a smaller version of the huge UE Mega Boom, the Boom 2 copies the design of its bigger brother and shrinks it down to produce speaker that’s a lot of fun and can easily slip into a backpack or tote to take with you on holiday or even to the beach. That mesh covering is really durable. You’ll need your smartphone on hand to control the tracks you listen to as there isn’t a skip forward or backward button. The large, friendly ‘+’ and ‘-’ volume buttons invite you to touch it, and it’s rugged too. Rated to IPX7 which is well beyond splashproof, it’ll pump out music for a solid 15 hours. Like many of UE’s speakers, the Boom 2 can be synced to a few identical speakers to boost the volume. Its strengths lie in how portable it is. A small hook on the underside, next to the charging port and 3.5mm-cable input flaps, means it can strapped to another object and really anchored down. This comes at the expense of fidelity, as the sound is a bit thin compared to other speakers of the same shape and size (sadly, you can’t beat physics), though there’s no distortion at maximum volume. That’s a small problem though, as the sound quality overall is fantastic, and it’s easy to be impressed if you haven’t heard it compared to other speakers. It looks like an oversized can of soft drink when all of the ports are closed and is very streamlined. You can turn the UE Boom 2 on and use it while the battery is recharging, but doing so means you’ll have to lie it down rather than standing it up, as the included micro USB cable juts out to topple it over - a small but niggling flaw.
Verdict: A brilliant waterproof speaker that’s lots of fun to look at and use, and fantastic for taking on holiday or even out for the afternoon.