Skip to main content

Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth speaker is a super summer sequel

Ultimate Ears has just announced the Wonderboom 2, its follow-up to the Wonderboom, which for the last two years has been one of the most affordable, portable, and rugged Bluetooth speakers on the market. The new model arrives at the same $99 starting price as its predecessor, and can be pre-ordered now with an expected shipping date of June 24.

Though it looks virtually identical to the original Wonderboom, Ultimate Ears claims there are indeed changes that make the new speaker worth the upgrade. Battery life, one of the biggest factors when choosing a wireless speaker, is now at 13 hours, a 30% increase. Sound is reportedly improved through greater volume levels, improved bass, and a new outdoor mode that can be engaged through a hidden button on the Wonderboom 2’s underside. UE has also made the Wonderboom 2 more rugged than its predecessor: The Wonderboom was rated as IPX7, giving it excellent levels of water resistance, but not much in the way of dust resistance. The sequel is IP67, granting it the ability to be completely unaffected by small particles like sand, while it retains all of the water resistance of the Wonderboom.

The new speaker also boasts some new smarts: Two Wonderboom 2 speakers can be set up as a wireless stereo pair, or you can stream from a Wonderboom 2 to the original Wonderboom for a boost in volume and coverage. Dual Bluetooth connections mean that you and a friend can both control what’s playing on the Wonderboom 2 from separate devices, though how you end up managing the inevitable conflict will no doubt be a test of the friendship.

For those with a taste for a speaker that better matches their style, the Wonderboom 2 gets some new clothes, with two-tone fabrics available in Radical Red, Deep Space (black), Crushed Ice (gray), Bermuda (blue), and Just Peach (pink-ish).

UE Bluetooth speakers have been topping our lists of the best Bluetooth speakers, and the best outdoor speakers for years. We really liked the original UE Wonderboom, praising it for its sound quality and ruggedness given its remarkably accessible price, though we weren’t wild about its control scheme. It looks like we’ll have the same reservations about the Wonderboom 2, but we’ll let you know as soon as we get our hands on a review model.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
UE refreshes its Wonderboom waterproof speaker with longer battery life, new colors
Two UE Wonderboom 3 speakers held side-by-side.

Ultimate Ears (UE) has just dropped a new version of its popular Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker, and while not much has changed, you know the old saying: if it ain't broke ...

The Wonderboom 3 keeps the $100 price intact, along with= size, shape, and its iconic, oversized volume buttons. It also keeps all of the other features that havemade it such a handy companion for the pool, beach, or patio, like its 360-degree sound pattern, IP67 water and dust resistance, and its ability to bob like a cork if you chuck it in the water.

Read more
Marshall readies its Woburn, Stanmore, and Acton speakers for the future of Bluetooth
A hand adjusts settings on the Marshall Stanmore III speaker.

LE Audio -- the next big thing in Bluetooth -- is rapidly approaching, and Marshall wants you to know that the latest versions of its full-size home Bluetooth speakers will be ready when it gets here. The Woburn III, Stanmore III, and Acton III are now compatible with the Marshall Bluetooth app, and as such will be able to receive software updates, including Bluetooth LE Audio compatibility as well as Marshall's own multispeaker system for pairing several of its speakers to a single phone.

With LE Audio, compatible speakers and phones should be able to deliver a lower-latency audio stream that's both higher quality and gentler on battery life.

Read more
Edifier MP230 Hands-on Review: The pint-sized, retro Bluetooth speaker brings a vintage vibe
An Edifier MP230 Bluetooth speaker is sitting on a mantle next to a plant and some decorative letters.

If you look too quickly, you might think the Edifier MP230 Bluetooth Speaker is actually a bedside radio from the ‘60s. While visually, that’s by design on Edifier’s part, the performance of this handsome little Bluetooth speaker is more than its surface-level aesthetics.

In general, Edifier has carved out a nice little space for itself in the market -- developing high-design speakers that punch reasonably well above their price point in terms of audio performance. While the brand is known for unique designs going as far back as 2014’s e25 Luna speakers that look like something out of a Jetsons episode, the MP230 is taking a page out of the old and trying to do something reasonably new.

Read more