Ultimate Ears (UE for short), has been killing it lately when it comes to Bluetooth speaker design. With a deft hand at mixing serious performance and durable design to create water/sand/impact-resistant bombers like the Mega Boom, the company has helped redefine expectations for the genre. UE’s latest project, the Roll, takes “everything-proofing” even further, designed to hook onto your swimsuit, belt, or backpack and blast 360-degree sound wherever you go.
The speaker is made from similar materials to the Boom and Mega Boom, securing an IPX7 dirt, dust, and water-resistance rating that allows it to take a roll through the mud, and even a dive in with you at your favorite swimming hole. But the Roll also adds a marine-grade bungee cord to strap it onto your suit, and water-resistant connection points, so even if the “weather door” that covers the ports comes open underwater, it’ll keep dry inside.
The speaker comes with a 9-hour battery, and offers a claimed 65-foot wireless range — about twice what most Bluetooth speakers offer. Other features include compatibility with UE’s custom app which allows you to use the speaker as an alarm clock, turn it on remotely, and pair it with another Roll for stereo sound. UE also claims new updates may be released to expand the speaker’s features in the future.
As for performance UE says the Roll “carries the essence” of the company’s first hit speaker, the original Boom, meaning the speaker offers a similar sound signature to the Boom’s clear treble, and hefty bass blasting in a 360 degree configuration. In truth, it’s a bit less than 360 degrees, as the back of the speaker has no drivers we can see. Still, if the Roll can offer sound quality similar to the Boom as promised, that’ll be an impressive achievement.
But here’s the real kicker: The speaker is only $100. That’s a serious bargain when you consider all this speaker can do. And, in keeping with UE’s quest to stand out from the pack, the Roll kicks off its launch today in a wealth of zany colors — six in all — with names like Sugar Plum, Volcano, and Atmosphere.
Fun colors are … fun, but we’re mostly excited about the speaker’s aim for a blend of performance, durability, and value. The Roll packs a feature set that would be unthinkable at its price point a year or two ago, and we have to say, if it can live up to its potential, you’ll likely have a hard time finding a better value on the market right now.
UE’s Roll is available from the company’s website starting today.