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

I compared it to the JBL FLip 4, which retails for the same price. The Wonderboom plays bigger and sounds fuller overall. That said, I thought the Flip 4 was a little stronger in the midrange (the Wonderboom has a touch of sibilance there) and with certain tracks the JBL was the more likable speaker.

However, the Wonderboom outperformed it on most bass-heavy tracks and given the choice between the two speakers -- for sound anyway -- I'd take the Wonderboom. As with all these small speakers, their performance varies from track to track and you'll go from saying to yourself, "Wow, that's sounds good for such a small speaker," to cringing a little and saying, "Well, that's a little rough."

The speaker is fully submersible and can be washed out if it it gets dirty.

Sarah Tew/CNET

That unevenness is par for the mini Bluetooth speaker course, but to its credit, the Wonderboom sounds consistently better than many of its competitors, and its bass is arguably better than the UE Boom 2's. That speaker sounds a little more natural in the midrange -- and has superior battery life -- but the Wonderboom may be the better value.

Hopefully, the Wonderboom will come down in price a bit because the UE Boom 2 is being discounted and is an appealing option. Ultimate Ears says that the slimmer and more travel-friendly Roll 2, meanwhile, will stay in the lineup, and is already being discounted for almost half off.

With the pricing still shaking out, it's hard to tell you exactly which UE speaker to buy, but the Wonderboom is certainly a strong new addition to the line.

Key specs

  • IPX7-rated water resistance (can be immersed in water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes) and able to float on its own
  • 10 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels
  • Connect two Wonderboom speakers together to augment the sound
  • UE button on the top of the speaker lets you play, pause and skip your music.
  • Drop-tested to 5 feet
  • Up to 100-foot wireless range
  • Height: 102mm
  • Diameter: 93.5mm
  • Weight: 15 ounces (425 grams)
  • Two-year limited hardware warranty