REVIEW – I’ve been eyeing the new Ultimate Ears (UE) Wonderboom 2 for a little while now. I’ve tried the UE Megaboom 3 and really enjoy using it, but I’ve been wanting something smaller and a little more portable. I’ve tried the smaller UE Boom 2 but was not particularly enamored with it. Could the Wonderboom 2 be what I was looking for? I got the opportunity to try it out and wow, am I glad I did! It sounds fabulous for such a small speaker, is more portable than the Megaboom 3, and I was able to play it for about 30 hours on one full charge when the volume was moderately low. Higher volume levels would decrease the playing time, which the UE website states is about 13 hours. You might want to take note that it’s missing an AUX audio port and calling features.
What is it?
The Wonderboom 2 is the second version of the original Wonderboom. It is a tough durable small portable Bluetooth speaker that provides 360-degree sound and is IP67 rated which means it can be immersed in 1 meter or 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
- Maximum sound level: 86 dBC (standard mode) and 87 dBC (OUTDOOR BOOST mode)
- Frequency range: 75 Hz – 20 kHz
- Drivers: Two 40 mm active drivers and two 46.1 mm x 65.2 mm passive radiators
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to 13 hours of battery life between micro-USB charges
- Charge time: 2.6 hours (with BC1.2 compliant adapter)
- Connect up to 2 source devices simultaneously, wirelessly play (stream) music from either one
- Wirelessly play (stream) to 2 WONDERBOOMs from one source
- Mobile range – 100 ft (30 m)
WATER AND DUST-PROOF
- IP67 rated which means it can be immersed in 1 meter or 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes
- For audio playback: smartphones, tablets, and other devices that support Bluetooth® [Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)]
- Height: 4″ (104 mm), Diameter: 3.75″ (95.3 mm), Weight: 15 oz. (420 g) (speaker only)
- 2-YEAR Limited Hardware warranty
What’s in the box?
- Wonderboom 2 speaker
- Micro-USB cable
- “Want to double the fun?” card (how to create a stereo pair with another Wonderboom)
- Important Information documentation: Safety, Compliance, and Warranty information
Design and features
The top of the speaker has the following buttons (starting from the top): the Bluetooth Pairing button (the tiny circle which flashes white when in pairing mode), a center button for controls (the large center circle), and the Power On/Off button (the button that looks like a dash – it shines white when the speaker is on).
Like the original Wonderboom, the Wonderboom 2 has the large silicone “+” (Volume Up) and “-” (Volume Down) buttons on the front.
I really like the two-toned mesh fabric covering the majority of the speaker. And attached at the top of the speaker is a handy stretchy orange loop that has a small silicone wrap around it for easier grip.
The bottom of the speaker has the Outdoor Mode button (the tree in the center of the bottom of the speaker). This is supposed to boost loudness and clarity when you are outside. When Outdoor Mode is on, the tree will shine white.
Also at the bottom of the speaker is a micro-USB port that has a silicone cover to protect the port from water and the elements.
The best “user guide” that I have found for the Wonderboom 2 is actually the inside lid of the box that it came packaged in as shown in the photo above.
And interestingly, you don’t use an app with the Wonderboom 2 as you do with some of the other UE portable speakers.
Bluetooth Pairing: To pair the Wonderboom 2 speaker with your mobile device (Android and iOS), first make sure that you turn on your device’s Bluetooth. If your speaker is new, then when it is powered on (long-press the Power button to turn it on), it will already be in pairing mode.
However, if you want to pair it to another device, then power up the speaker then put it in pairing mode by pressing and holding the Bluetooth button for about three seconds until you hear a series of ascending tones. The Bluetooth button will rapidly flash white when the speaker is in pairing mode. Finally, in your device’s Bluetooth settings, tap on the “Wonderboom 2” in the list of discovered devices. You’ll hear pairing tones when the speaker is paired.
Size: The Wonderboom 2 is a very nice small size. It measures 4″ in height (104 mm) and 3.75″ in diameter (95.3 mm) and weighs 15 oz. (420 g).
It’s a bit more portable than the Megaboom 3 as shown in the photo above.
Charging Time: The UE website states that it takes about 2.6 hours to fully charge the Wonderboom 2. I found that I was able to charge the speaker in about 2.5 hours using a micro USB cable.
Determining the amount of charge left in the speaker is a little difficult to pinpoint. Like other UE portable speakers, you must simultaneously press the big “+” (Volume Up) and “-” (Volume Down) buttons on the speaker. But with the Wonderboom 2, you hear some ascending tones when the battery level is high, one tone when it has a moderate amount of battery left, and some descending tones when the battery level is low.
Playing Time: The UE website states that the Wonderboom 2 speaker will play music for about 13 hours on one full charge of the battery. I was able to play music on the speaker at a low volume level for about 30 hours before the speaker shut off. That’s really impressive. I used the speaker to provide background music during the day so the playing time seemed to last forever. If you use it at a mid-volume level or higher, you’re likely to get a lot less playing time.
Auto Shutoff: If the Wonderboom 2 is powered on and has been idle for about 15 minutes, it will automatically shut off.
Center button controls: The Wonderboom 2 has a center button that you use for music controls. A single press will pause/play the music and a double press will skip tracks. I didn’t have any problems with using it.
Pairing speakers together: You can connect the Wonderboom 2 to another Wonderboom 2 or a Wonderboom. However, it doesn’t connect with the Boom, Megaboom, Blast, or Megablast speakers.
According to the UE website FAQ, “To pair WONDERBOOM 2 with another WONDERBOOM or WONDERBOOM 2, PRESS AND HOLD the center button on both speakers at the same time until you hear a pairing tone. You will hear another tone to confirm pairing is successful.” Unfortunately, I don’t have a Wonderboom or another Wonderboom 2 to try this out.
Bluetooth Connectivity and Range: When testing connectivity, I found that the speaker maintained Bluetooth connectivity with my Pixel 2 XL through four walls. I was even able to leave my phone in one room in the far corner of our single-story 2400 square foot house and walk all over without any drops in connectivity.
Waterproof feature: The Wonderboom 2 is IP67 rated and is thus can be immersed in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It also floats!
Drop-tested: According to the UE website, the Wonderboom 2 has been drop-tested at 5 ft. / 1.5 m. Good news for a klutz like me! I’m not going to purposely test it, but I’m sure I will accidentally at some point.
Frequency Range: The specifications indicate that the speaker has a frequency range of 75 Hz – 20 kHz. That’s awesome! The lower bass response is probably why I like this little speaker better than the Boom 2 which only went down to 90 Hz.
Audio Quality: The audio quality of the Wonderboom 2 is impressive for a speaker this size (it is to my untrained non-audiophile ears). I thought that all frequencies were clean, clear, and relatively well-balanced when listening to all genres of music. It misses deeper basses in some electronica/techno music, but it is impressive the amount of bass it does pick up.
Need a speaker you can hear outdoors? The Wonderboom 2 is a great portable choice for you. It gets VERY loud when at maximum volume.
The only thing that I can think of that the Wonderboom 2 is missing is an AUX audio port to physically connect a mobile device to play music and there are no calling features.
What I like
- The audio quality is impressive for such a small speaker
- It’s small and very portable
- It plays for a long time (~30 hours) on low volume
- It can get VERY loud and can be easily heard outdoors
- It’s very rugged and has been drop-tested from 5 ft. / 1.5 m
- It’s waterproof (IP67 rated) and floats in water
- Bluetooth connectivity was maintained throughout my house without drops
- The center button on the top of the speaker allows you to play, pause, and skip tracks and pair another Wonderboom/Wonderboom 2
What I’d change
- It’s missing an AUX audio port and calling features
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is an awesome portable speaker. The audio quality is impressive in a speaker this small. The audio is crisp and clear when listening to all genres of music. The speaker is also durable (dropped tested by UE from 5 ft. / 1.5 m) and waterproof too (IP67 rating).
There are a couple of things to consider before you purchase the Wonderboom 2 – it doesn’t have calling features and lacks an AUX audio port. If that doesn’t matter much to you (like me) then I think you will really enjoy the Wonderboom 2 as I do!