Ultimate Ears boasts an impressive record with its line of Bluetooth speakers since the release of the original UE Boom in 2013, which it followed up with the smaller UE Mini Boom and the larger UE Megaboom. All of these speakers pack big sound, loud colors and a portable form factor. Ultimate Ears’ latest and most compact speaker, the UE Roll, launched just in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer and we dive in to see how it hangs, dunks, floats, and sounds.
Although the UE Roll is perfectly comfortable playing music inside, it’s been designed to withstand the rigors of the outdoors. Those familiar with the Ultimate Ears Boom or Megaboom speakers will find the same plasma-coated acoustic skin on the Roll. Combined with the tough silicone body, which also protects and covers the auxiliary and USB ports, the UE Roll is IPX7 waterproof for splashing, dunking, and immersing (not to exceed 3.3 ft (1 m) for more than 30 minutes). Even the auxiliary and micro USB connectors are waterproof for those rare instances when liquid does sneak its way in a bit. In addition to the unique shape, the UE Roll features a marine-grade bungee cord. It doesn’t matter that this speaker can’t stand up on end like the rest of them, since users can hook or hang the UE Roll in so many more imaginative ways. Umbrella poles, bicycle handlebars, backpacks, and shoulder straps suddenly become mounts for your speaker. The only real limiting factor towards creative placement is the depth of the attachment point. Objects that are too thick won’t let the bungee reach around and stay clasped. Too thin, and all it takes is a light bump to unintentionally unlatch the bungee cord.
Overall the Ultimate Ears Roll proves that it’s possible for a pint-sized portable speakers to feature an original design with a well-rounded sound signature. While some similarly-sized speakers may have “better” audio output, they tend to be more expensive and the kind intended to stay indoors away from dirt, concrete, and water. Those who want to adventure outside will appreciate the UE Roll’s tough, waterproof exterior and go-everywhere attitude. The extended Bluetooth range and marine-grade bungee cord also lets the UE Roll be carried further and in more ways than your standard wireless speaker.
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