The Ultimate Ears Megaboom is a high-end Bluetooth speaker with a lot going for it. It’s waterproof, built tough and features 360 degree sound. Ultimate Ears (formerly known as UE) have also packed in 20-hours of battery life into the large speaker. You get all this for $174 USD ($249 AUD, £128). Could the Ultimate Ears Megaboom be the best wireless speaker under $200?
Who is the Ultimate Ears Megaboom for?
The Megaboom is the largest wireless speaker in the Ultimate Ears line-up. It weighs 877gm and the measurements are 8.3cm (3.3”) diameter and 22.6 cm (8.9”) height. As a result it’s best suited as a home speaker rather than a portable device. The IPX7 waterproofing and tough build means it’s perfect for taking out by the pool or at a barbeque.
Punchy but balanced audio
Ultimate Ears did an excellent job tuning the Megaboom wireless speaker. It’s definitely a ‘fun’ sound, with a boosted bass response. But they haven’t gone overboard, so the speaker retains a balanced profile overall. The basslines, drums and vocals are all pushed forward noticeably, although the mid layers aren’t lost in the mix. As a result the speaker can perform well on rock, EDM, hip hop, pop and pretty much any other style. Looking at the technical side, the Megaboom has a frequency response of 65Hz – 20kHz, which is provided by dual 2” drivers and dual 2” x 4” passive radiators.
The Ultimate Ears Megaboom is a pretty big speaker and can easily fill a large room like an open plan kitchen/lounge. It pumps out enough volume to provide the tunes for a party in such a space. The 360 degree audio also helps it fill up the space easier. The speaker can play at a max volume of 90dBA with very little distortion, which is pretty rare. If you have two Megabooms you can link them together to provide an even bigger sound.
Water proof, drop resistant
Ultimate Ears claim the Megaboom is virtually indestructible. In the video test below, I dropped the speaker several times from a maximum height of 1m. I also dropped it into water from a height, and it brushed off all this mistreatment while still pumping out music.
The IPX7 waterproof rating means the speaker can be immersed to a depth of 1m for 30 minutes. As you can see in the video it has no troubles being immersed in water. It also returns to float on the surface even after being forced beneath the surface. This is a handy feature, as the Bose Soundlink speakers I recently reviewed are waterproof/resistant but they’ll drop like a stone in water
Ultimate Ears Megaboom app provides EQ
The Megaboom has its own app, which allows you to link two of the speakers together, set alarms and use a six-band EQ. The EQ has three presets: Bass Jump, Cramped Spaces and Voices. The six-band EQ is a handy inclusion. I can imagine rock fans might want to bring the bass down a little for some material, while chart music listeners could pump even more bass out of the speaker on demand.
Accessories and interface
The Megaboom’s accessories include a 4ft tangle-proof charging cable, matching wallpack and a removable D-ring. When installed, the ring can be used to tie the speaker to something and when taken out, it reveals a universal mount, enabling use with a tripod. Also integrated into the speaker are volume controls and a 3.5mm auxiliary in.
The best wireless speaker on the market?
The Ultimate Ears Megaboom is a great wireless speaker, which is really quite hard to fault. It’s superbly suited for use around the home and garden and sounds great on a range of styles. The waterproofing and tough build means you can throw a bit of punishment its way without shelling out for a new speaker. At $174 its certainly not cheap, but given the quality, the price is definitely justified. It’s undoubtedly one of the best wireless speakers in the sub-$200 market.