UE Wonderboom review: A waterproof mini Bluetooth speaker that packs a punch

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The Good The Wonderboom is compact, fully waterproof, plays very loud for its size with a good amount of bass for its small size. It also floats in water, is shock resistant and has decent battery life. You can pair two Wonderbooms together to augment the sound.

The Bad No speakerphone capabilities. It's slightly too bulky for travel use.

The Bottom Line For its size, the affordable and durable UE Wonderboom is one of the fullest sounding mini Bluetooth speakers you can buy.

8.3 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 8

Update, June 4, 2019: Ultimate Ears has announced a sequel to this product. The UE Wonderboom 2 is slightly larger, adds longer battery life and offers stereo pairing. 

Meet the Wonderboom, the newest family member in Ultimate Ears' line of popular portable Bluetooth speakers. Available in six colors, the Wonderboom looks like the UE Boom 2's shorter, fatter sibling -- and like that model, it's also water-resistant. It carries a list price of $100, £80 or AU$130.

The idea behind this product was to create a compact speaker that produced big sound with a good amount of bass. That's what a lot of small speakers promise, but the Wonderboom really does sound great for its size. It's also got some nice heft to it, weighing a little under a pound (425 grams), and overall it feels solid and well built.

The Wonderboom comes in six color options.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Alas, while it floats, it's not designed to play music while hanging out in your pool (the identically priced UE Roll 2 comes with an accessory blow-up floatie), but at least it won't sink if it falls into the water. And if it gets dirty, you can rinse it off. It also has an integrated loop that allows you to attach the speaker to anything the loop can fit around -- perhaps a hook in your shower. Sadly, no carabiner is included but you could pick one up for a few bucks.

As for buttons, the UE button on the top of the speaker lets you play, pause, skip tracks and double up with a second Wonderboom speaker to augment the sound. You can't, however, turn two speakers into left/right stereo pairs. There's also no integrated microphone -- so no speakerphone capabilities -- nor is there an auxiliary input option for a wired connection.

Battery life is rated at 10 hours, which is decent for a speaker this size. The Wonderboom is shock resistant. It can be dropped from up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) and has an extended wireless range of up to 100 feet (30 meters) under the right conditions. I accidentally dropped it on a carpeted floor from about about 4 feet on a couple of occasions and it survived without a problem.

While the speaker does have its sound limitations -- for example, it does distort with certain bass frequencies at higher volumes -- it is one of the better sounding micro Bluetooth speakers you'll come across.