Choosing the right speaker requires a little more effort than composing the perfect playlist. However, the next innovation from Ultimate Ears (UE Boom 3) could just be the music to your ears you’ve been waited for. Whilst the Ultimate Ears Boom 2 was not our favourite speaker for sound quality, the UE Boom 3 delivers a much improved overall experience. The price point remains similar and key features across the board have also been upgraded.
In this comprehensive UE Boom 3 review, we’re getting down and dirty with one of the leading portable speakers available. For those of you seeking mid-range speaker quality at an affordable price, this could just be the perfect product for you.
Does the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 hit all the good notes? Or do we have it another bright creation that’s inferior to its competitors already making noise in the over-crowded marketplace?
Read on to find out more!
Time short? – Click here to skip to our UE Boom 3 review summary.
The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is a lightweight and more durable upgrade from the Boom 2. Boasting incredible IP67 technology to waterproof your speaker, you can literally take the Boom 3 anywhere. Whilst the official website claims you can submerge the speaker in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes without damage, our lack of bravery wouldn’t allow us to go the full distance. That said, we’ve definitely floated the speaker in the swimming pool without a hitch and we recommend you do the same. You know, just in case.
Retaining the sleek speaker design we have all grown to love, the UE Boom 3 is built to survive life’s adventures. The cylindrical, yet compact, design offers 360 degree spatial sound which is just as amazing as the phrase itself. Sitting at 18cm tall with a slender 7cm diameter, it’s perfect for almost any packing situation – even if you plan on just storing at home.
One of the more stylish changes for the Boom 3 is the two-tone design. Whilst the Boom 2 had choice, the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 offers a lot more when it comes to the look of your speaker. With primary colours including Night Black, Lagoon Blue and Sunset Red, the wider range of options available at most retailers almost have an acid wash feel. This certainly captures the attention of by-passers (even when muted!).
A drawback with the upgraded design is that the volume control is now on the front of the speaker. This can become troublesome when changing volume in wetter conditions. However, the design itself is much more aesthetically pleasing. and the IP67 waterproof fabric wrapping is certainly tough and grippy.
A huge quality of life improvement over the previous version is moving the charging port location. On earlier models, the charging port was built into the bottom of the Boom. This made it annoying to charge and to listen to at the same time. Well, this has thankfully been fixed by moving the port to the side of the device.
Whilst relatively unchanged from the UE Boom 2, the Boom 3 gets a slight boost to lower-end frequencies. However, it’s not dramatic without playing around with the settings via the app and this can become a little frustrating. Beyond playing to yourself, there is definitely more boom to the UE 3 overall. An upgraded passive radiator allows for improved bass and just like all UE Boom products, you’ll definitely want to crack it up.
The problem with loudness is that it always comes with quality compromises. Take the Apple Airpods 2 or budget wireless earbuds; for example. They actually sound better when played quieter. This leads us to sound sharpness of which the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 does lack some if we are going to be supercritical. When you get down to the lower ranges, this is particularly noticeable and it’s quite apparent that these speakers are supposed to be played loudly. That said, the UE Boom 3 is ultimately more impressive than the predecessor for sound quality and if you’re not classically trained like most of us, you’re going to love them.
Overall, the UE Boom 3 is a step up from the UE Boom 2 and 99% of you are going to absolutely love what they deliver. Don’t forget to try out the app if you do purchase these!
UE Boom 3 Bad Features:
As with any product on the market, the UE Boom 3 has its good and bad features. First, let us elaborate on the features that didn’t quite hit the mark.
Confusing Charging Notifications.
The Boom 3, like most Bluetooth speakers, delivers voice notifications so you can keep on top of battery life. Notifying you at 10% power interval levels, meaning if your Boom 3 is at 10%, the voice notifications do not change until your device hits 20%. At first, this caused some confusion, as we wasn’t sure whether it was charging properly. This made monitoring the charge rate a little more difficult than it has to be, especially if you are as impatient as we are.
The Boom 3 is on the higher end of the market for what the speakers deliver for sound quality. We found the price to be relative for the budget we were willing to spend, however, anything north of $150 could easily sway you towards entry-level bluetooth speakers. For the more dollar conscious consumer, there may be cheaper alternatives that can satisfy your needs. You’re definitely paying a little more for the brand name in this instance.
UE Boom 3 Best Features:
For all that we could nitpick about what’s not so good with the Boom 3, Ultimate Ears have absolutely nailed a lot of key features with this speaker. The majority of these features are the reason why we opted to trial the new models and we’re confident they are what will sway you to purchase.
Aesthetics & Durability.
The aesthetics and durability of the UE Boom 3 are worth another mention. As highlighted, the two-tone colour is incredibly pleasing on the eye and UE have nailed the art of portability. The Boom 3 is lightweight, highly portable and the cylindrical design makes for a perfect companion on the road. We absolutely loved being able to grab the Boom 3 and take it anywhere.
It fits comfortably into one hand and is super secure with advanced wrapping. Some might say that the Bose Soundlink Revolve is the best looking portable speaker. But we would go as far as saying that it doesn’t get much better than the UE Boom 3.
It’s Loud. Really, Really Loud.
If you’re looking for a portable speaker that’s going to drown out your friends, the UE Boom is true to it’s name. With much more boom than it’s predecessor, you cannot help but know when one is coming down the road. We tested our Boom 3 out at a house party recently and it offered some serious performance with volume. Offering a top level of 90 decibels, the Boom 3 is enough speaker for even the loudest house party. Combined with the ease of transport and durability, this speaker is perfect for any occasion.
This has been a feature since the first Boom, but it’s worth mentioning that two Boom 3s connected together does a great job at delivering stereo sound. In fact, it is possible to connect up to 150 Booms together…for…something…loud!
What could be worse than belted out the highest of notes at a party for the music to skip? One thing we hate about some Bluetooth speakers is that they do sometimes lose connection. It doesn’t seem like many companies are having too many issues with Bluetooth connectivity in recent years, at least when it comes to staying connected. Wireless audio quality is a different story, though. Fortunately, the UE Boom 3 doesn’t seem to have any issues with dropped connections or stutters. As long as you stay within ~50 feet there’s nothing to worry about. It even gets the job done at around 100 feet with no walls in the way.
The magic button can not only pause, play and skip tracks, it can also connect to a limited number of playlists from select music streaming platforms. As of now, UE Boom 3 connects to Apple Music and Deezer Premium. Hopefully, we will see Spotify and other popular streaming platforms added to this list in the near future.
It’s also worth mentioning that the magic button can only retrieve a maximum of 4 playlists from these services, so don’t expect to have full access to everything.
UE Boom 3 Charging Dock
This is a very cool addition to the UE Boom 3. The wireless charging dock creates a much cleaner charging experience. The disappointing thing is that this is sold separately. However, it isn’t overly expensive and can be found on Amazon for around A$40 (with free shipping!).
The UE Boom 3 sits on top of the charging dock and connects through three pins. It really is a seamless experience and allows you to “grab-and-go” with a fully charged speaker. The charging dock also comes with an adapter for older devices. For me, this makes it a great pick up for anyone with a suitable device.
UE Boom 3 Specifications
|Sound:||Spatial 360-Degree Sound|
|Weight:||608 Grams (Less Than 1KG)|
|Pairing:||Pair Up To 8 Bluetooth-Enabled Devices.|
|Pairing:||Two Simultaneous Connections.|
|Bluetooth Range:||45 Meters (150FT)|
|Battery Life:||Up To 15 Hours|
|Charge Time:||Approx 2.75 hours|
|Drivers:||Two 38mm (1.5-inch) Full-Range (4 ohm)|
|Passive Radiators:||Two 40x80mm|
|Max Sound Level:||90 dB|
|Water & Dust Proof:||Yes - IP67 Rated|
|Flotation||Floats On Water|
Price and Value
The Boom 3 is offered at distinct price points, the latest models and colours are available direct from Ultimate Ears for $199.95 AUD. Alternatively, you can pick yourself up one from Amazon for around $150. If you are looking for a wider range of the two-tone colour pallet, electronics retailers are offering the Boom 3 for $149 AUD. At $149, the Boom 3 is good value for the performance and specs of the speaker, however, we wouldn’t be inclined to spend much more. If you need a little more bass or prefer longer battery life, for an additional $100 AUD you can upgrade to the MEGA Boom 3.
UE Boom 3 Review Summary
If like us, you are a music lover who wants to be able to take your favourite artists everywhere you go, then the Boom 3 is a great entry-level speaker. The sound and volume are good without being great, but the durability and mobility of the speaker are second to none. Add in some unique design features in terms of the look and feel, and you end up with a dynamic little speaker that is perfect for the dance-around-the-house consumer. Overall, we really enjoyed using this product. For the musical ear, you may become slightly frustrated at the speaker’s lack of clarity at times, but for most; it’s brilliant.
Boom 3 FAQS
Absolutely yes, the Boom 3 is definitely worth it. It is an excellent wireless Bluetooth speaker offering great sound quality, durability and portability.
Yes, Boom 3 has a very highly rated IP67 waterproof rating. This means that you can fully submerge your Boom 3 for half an hour without any damage.
Only with the Power Up charging dock (sold separately). The Boom 3 cannot be used while being charged with the standard USB charging cable.
The Boom 3 takes approximately 2 hours 45 minutes to reach 100% from 0%.
UE Boom 3 Review
A much better boom from a similar speaker. The UE Boom 3 is everything you loved about the cult classic with slightly improved sound quality. If you’re looking for a mid-range speaker which is cheaper than most, the UE Boom 3 is the perfect choice.
- Good Volume Range.
- Floats In Water.
- Wireless Charging Available.
- App Download Required.
- Wireless Charging Dock Separate.
Content Disclaimer: Our ‘UE Boom 3 Review’ is totally independent and has not been commissioned by the company in any capacity. Mr Gadget has not received any endorsements for this writing including financial reimbursement, free advertising or the Ultimate Ears: Boom 3 by way of gift. If you purchase this item via an affiliate link on our website, we may receive a small commission from the seller. We hope you enjoyed!