Our favorite beach speaker has become even more robust and more convenient to use.
- Pro – Is now dustproof and fluid. Can be induced. Longer range. Convenient multifunction button.
- Contra – The AUX input has disappeared.
Three years ago we tested the updated Boom 2 and its new big brother Megaboom . They have since been references in our tests of portable speakers. That’s because they combine a convenient format, good battery life and excellent sound. We also appreciated that the speakers over the years are updated free of charge with new features, which is not used to small speakers. But everything was not perfect, so now, UE Boom 3 and UE Megaboom 3 have been released.
Building quality and handling
At first glance, they feel very familiar with their round shape and size, the persuasive volume buttons and the daring colors. They are launched in metallic red, black, blue and purple, but they will, as predecessors, come in all sorts of color combinations and patterns. Looking closer, they actually have a new, closer cover, a material used in motorcycle jackets and fire equipment. The new speakers are dustproof and more resistant to wear. New is also that they float if they were to lose them in the pool.
Looking closely, you notice that the wide strip on the back where the volume buttons set have now become significantly narrower. It allows for more radiant sound. The volume buttons have instead been moved to the front, which looks both better and is a more sensible location. On top, there has been a new “magic button” so you can finally start and pause music or switch tracks. The button can also be used to access your favorite playlists in the music services. Today’s offer is a bit scarce, but it is promised to support more. Given the button’s naming, UE is likely to add more features to it in the future.
Installation and use
As with most Bluetooth speakers, just hold down the pairing button and select the speaker from the mobile phone’s available Bluetooth devices. The loudspeaker can control eight sources, where two can be active at the same time. Furthermore, the UE Megaboom 3 has a range of up to 45 meters, so the music does not pause if you go to get something to drink at the pool. As before, you can connect up to 150 (!) Speakers for a proper party mode. This is done from the redesigned app. Unfortunately, it was unavailable at the time of testing, so we can not comment on any new features there.
The old Megaboom was loaded behind a hatch in the bottom, where the AUX input was also set. It was a little hard to get to and you had to put speakers down. The cargo port is now in place behind a hatch on the back, which is significantly more smooth. But boring, the 3.5 mm input has disappeared. As the bottom is now available, UE has introduced inductive charge support, which requires a charging station that is optional. If you often have the speaker in one place, it can be a good way to make sure it is always charged and easy to bring.
According to Ultimate Ears, they have worked with the sound to get an even deeper bass. However, according to the specifications, it only implies an additional 5 Hz, which is barely audible. 60 Hz is not particularly deep, meaning that the killer bass walk in James Blake’s Limit to Your Love disappears completely. With more normal music, such as electronic dance music, it’s fine, and it really has a good bass performance for a small speaker. In fact significantly better than the Denon Envaya Mini that won the year’s test of travel speakers. Above all, it’s good control, so the bass never gets buzzing or the speaker shakes, some cheaper speakers often have trouble.
UE also promises a better clarity in the rendering. After switching back and forth between the new and old speakers, we are inclined to agree. But there are not so dramatic differences that you can immediately identify them by a blind test. Having said that, the bottom level is high, we already famous the old speaker for a clear mid-range with good details. It still has a really big sound image with a rich sound, and it’s dynamic so it holds.
The old Megaboom was one of our favorites with its excellent sound. The new Megaboom 3 has got a marginally better sound, but it is also the handling and features that are the main content. The charging port is better positioned and the speaker can now be charged wirelessly. It has become even more robust and also floats in water. The wireless connection lasts longer, which is an advantage if you want to connect a number in the party mode. We also like the new multifunction button, which means you do not have to have the phone to swap a song. It’s the perfect speaker at the pool with its radiant sound and water resistance.
- Sound pressure: 90 dB
- Connections: Bluetooth aptX, NFC
- Battery: 20 hours
- Features: parking, floats
- Robustness: IP67 dustproof, resistant to water, shockproof
- Dimensions / Weight: 23 x 9 cm / 925 grams
- Web: logitech.com