"The UE Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 get more durable and now float"
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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
The UE Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 get more durable and now float
Ultimate ears boom speakers have been among the most popular portable Bluetooth speakers and these are the next generation Boom 3, and Megaboom 3. Yeah so the same cylindrical shape but they have been redesigned mostly for the better.
The new fabric wrap is supposed to be more durable and the speaker is rated to withstand drops of up to a meter.
It's also fully water-proof and even floats if you happen to drop it into a body of water.
The oversized plus, minus volume controls and their midly religious overtones are back.
What's new is the big button on top of the The spekaer.
At first, you might think that it's the power button, but no, the power button is the one flanking it along with a dedicated Bluetooth connection button.
The new big button is called a Magic button, because it pauses and plays your music and can be linked to up to four playlists from Apple's music streaming service or Deezer, if you're an Android user.
A short press start your music even when the speaker's off.
And a long press advances to the next playlist you stored in memory of the updated ultimate ears app.
Eventually you might see spotify playlists get in on the magic action, but for now it's just Apple and [UNKNOWN].
The app allows you to link up multiple boom speakers in party mode and adjust bass and treble levels to your liking.
Previous boom speakers had a threaded tri-pod mount and came with a metal loop that screwed into the mount.
The threaded tri-pod mount and metal loop are gone.
Replaced by an integrated canvas loop toward the top of the speaker.
On the bottom of the speakers you'll find a charging contact that makes the speakers compatible with UE's charging dock accessory that costs an additional $40.
You don't need the charging dock to charge the speaker.
You can use the included micro USB cable, and I do like how UA moved the charging port to an easier to access location, on the side of the speaker toward the bottom.
Battery life is quite good.
It's rated at 15 hours for the Boom and 20 hours for the Megaboom 3, which is pretty similar to what you'd get from earlier Boom and Megaboom speakers.
From the sound standpoint I don't think the Boom 3 is much of an upgrade over the Boom 2, which sounded very good for this type of speaker.
Particularly for outdoor use thanks to its 360% sound dispersion.
The Megaboom 3 does offer enhanced bass over its predecessor and not only plays louder but clearly has fuller sound.
Unfortunately neither of these new bluetooth speakers links to UE's Blast or Megablast wifi portable speakers which are Alexa voice enabled.
The Boom 3 and MegaBoom 3 retail for $150 and $200 respectively.
That's less than what earlier Boom and MegaBoom speakers cost when they launched.
I think that's a good move by UE because of how competitive the portable Bluetooth speaker landscape is these days.
While they still aren't cheap, they'll certainly by worth looking at if you're in the market for a more premium model.
I'm David Cornor from CNET.
Thanks for watching.
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