CNET First Look
UE Boom 2: Top Bluetooth speaker gets improved sound, full waterproofingThe Boom 2 looks almost identical to its predecessor but has some key changes on the inside that make it an even better speaker.
Hi, 'Im David Carnoy from cnet.com and on my left I have the original UE Boom portable blue tooth speaker. And on my right I have the new UE Boom 2, which like the original, carries a list price of $200. As you can see they look almost identical on the outside, but there are some cosmetic changes. A new model has a tighter weave on the fabric cover, making it more durable. Also, the flap that covers the ports is now more integrated into the unit with a groove in the top of the speaker that makes everything flush. The original was water resistant, but this model is fully water proof, and UE says that even if you forget to close that little flap that covers the USB charging port. in audio input you don't have to worry about any water getting inside the speaker. All the other changes are in the inside. UE has completely redesigned the driver so the speaker not only sounds better than the original, but also plays 25% louder at its top volume. That said, like all these compact bluetooth speakers, it sill distorts a bit at higher volumes with certain tracks. But most people will be very impressed with how loud the speaker plays for its size. And it's able to deliver as full sound as it does. While the drivers heavier in the new model, UE took out a hidden weight that helped the original Boom balance itself when lying down in the horizontal position. With that weight gone the new BOOM weighs just about the same as the old BOOM at 548 grams or 19.3 ounces. UE's also added gesture controls. You tap the top Tap the speaker to pause your music and double-tap to skip a track forward. And you'll now be able to update the speaker's firmware over the air via UE's new BOOM 2 app instead of having to connect the speaker to a computer. Via the app, you can also pair a BOOM 2 with another UE speaker. And in the future, you'll be able to join up to ten UE speakers. As for battery life, it's rated at 15 hours at moderate volume levels. And the speaker does offer extended Bluetooth range when paired with many new smartphones. While the Boom II is a little pricey at $200, like the original model, it remains one of our top picks in the portable Bluetooth speaker category. Is a great choice, particularly if you're looking for a rugged wireless speaker you plan on using outdoors a lot. That's the UE Boom two, thanks for watching.