29 Oct 2015
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Hands-on review: UE Boom 2

By Sara Barker

If you like making sure you have a soundtrack for your summer travels, the UE Boom will make your plans a lot easier.

The UE Boom 2 is fun, colourful and waterproof up to one metre deep so it's perfect for pool parties, backyard BBQs and anywhere you want music to help bring your world to life.

When I showed the Boom 2 to a friend, they were thrilled. "Is that the UE Boom? You don't need to write a word because that thing sells itself!" With that feedback in mind, I figured the Boom brand had a good reputation. It was time for it to face the music.

My review Boom was the 'Tropical' edition, purple and orange with a bright yellow USB charger. The colours definitely remind me of a throwback to 1980s neon fashion and a time when boom boxes were popular.

Nowadays, all you need to do is connect the Boom to your mobile device (or devices) via Bluetooth, play your music through your device and enjoy the beats.

Controlling the speaker with gestures is quick: tap the top of the Boom 2 once to pause, tap once again to play and tap twice to skip a song.

The UE Boom app provides useful information about battery life, EQ settings, and can even set one of your songs as an alarm or as a loudspeaker for phone calls.

I tested the Boom across a few music genres and found that you'll get the best sound with pop, hip hop, dubstep and rap. If you have a varied playlist and want tailored sound, you might want to play around the app's preset and custom EQ settings.

Rock, classical and jazz might need a little more bass than pop music if you're a discerning listener, otherwise you can set your playlist and enjoy it.

I took the Boom along on an outdoors hike. Because it's quite light (528g) and waterproof (up to 1m deep for 30 minutes), I didn't have to worry too much about exposing it to the elements.

A great addition is the tripod mount base so you can stand it vertically - it's a small detail that can make UE Booms so much easier to manoeuvre into a sound setup that suits your environment. The battery lasts ages - 15 hours is long enough for most party situations.

A single UE Boom 2 is good for reasonably loud and clear sound. If you're having a huge outdoors event, you might need a few of them to really create a great speaker setup, or consider buying the Mega Boom instead.

With summer just around the corner, the UE Boom 2 might be a good choice of speaker when you're out and about this summer. Playing those songs from tinny phone speakers doesn't do the art of music justice. The UE Boom 2 can make sure the sound on your travels is so much better.

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