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Ultimate Ears brings the Boom, will survive the wet too

By Leigh D. Stark | 4:31 pm 18/07/2013

Music is changing, and while that can include creatively blended genres, it also means the way we listen to these genres is changing with it. Proof of that can be found in a new speaker coming from Logitech and Ultimate Ears, which produces sound that you can take anywhere, even the beach or the shower.

If there’s one type of product we’re seeing more of lately, it’s the personal wireless speaker, with three of them in GadgetGuy’s reviewing labs right now.

We won’t say which are in our testing presence yet – you’ll see the reviews shortly – but another one has just popped up on our radar, as Ultimate Ears has launched the Boom, a wireless speaker with a 15 hour rechargeable battery.

One could even say they have brought the boom, although that might bring to mind mediocre movies.

In any case, the newest speaker from Ultimate Ears is the Boom, a cylindrical speaker that not only packs in two microphones for using it as a speakerphone, but also adopts a 360 degree speaker that sends the sound every which way no matter where you’re holding it.

The idea behind this is that music is shared with everyone, and thanks to some neat engineering skills, it can go with you in public, working in places where few speakers would normally survive in.

“The digital age has changed how we listen to our favourite songs and interact with music,” said Rory Dooley, General Manager of Ultimate Ears. “Today we’re always moving about, [and] the key to this speaker is a 360 degree sound [that] will follow you around.”

A wider soundscape is only one way audio will follow you around, though.

The Boom speaker was designed and inspired by a bottle of water, so naturally fits into bags and small pieces of hand luggage.

Moving past this, though, is the fabric used in its contraction, which is covered in a form of hydrophobic coating and as a result is water-resistant, stain-resistant and even coffee-resistant.

It’s not water-proof, though, as from our hands-on today, you can see the 3.5mm headset jack for plugging in wired lines into the speaker and microUSB charge port both sit on the bottom. To its credit, Ultimate Ears does include a water stopper piece of rubber that can protect it, but this really needs to be plugged in at the bottom before taking it in the drink.

Still, the main speaker section can survive an encounter with water being sprayed in its general direction, making the speaker semi-suitable for a party.

But that isn’t the Boom’s only trick.

Like most wireless portable speakers, the UE Boom relies on Bluetooth to make a connection with a host device, making it possible for music to be sent wirelessly to the speaker through an iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and even a desktop or laptop.

If you have two Boom speakers, however, you can create a connection between the two and turn them into wireless stereo devices, with the same sense of stereo separation one would normally get with a pair of stereo speakers.

This connection can be easily started with an app that has been made for Android and iOS devices, but the Boom speakers can also be linked up via button pushing, which means Windows Phone, Symbian, BlackBerry, and other devices aren’t being left out in the cold.

Initial impressions from the speaker are good, though. Test audio run from the device from both an Apple iPhone and HTC One reveal this to have a warm sound, even if it could do with a touch more bass.

We’ll let you know more when we write a full review, but you’ll be able to find the Ultimate Ears Boom in electronics stores now across the country now for $199.

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