Categories
Technology

​[[{“value”:”

Every wild experience needs some ambiance. 

The Ultimate Ears Epicboom speaker ($349.99) is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can provide the music for even your most rough-and-tumble outdoor adventures. Featuring a bass-heavy woofer, two high-frequency transductors, and a 360-degree design, the speaker is deceptively powerful, clear, and loud for its size and portability.

With a 55-meter range, long battery life, and optional Outdoor Boost, it’s also really thoughtfully designed for outdoor use. Not to mention, it’s waterproof, drop-proof, dust-resistant, and it floats.

Here are my thoughts after testing the speaker (although unfortunately, considering I was very pregnant and it was peak winter during my testing period, it didn’t involve any grand adventures).

Setup and connectivity

The Epicboom had by far the easiest, most straightforward setup process of any Bluetooth audio player I’ve ever used — speakers, Echo devices, earbuds, you name it. 

After unboxing and downloading the app, I was streaming music on the speaker in about 60 seconds. I was able to connect directly to Spotify from the app and there are options to connect to other apps like Amazon Music and Apple Music as well.

Testing the UE Epicboom’s controls

The controls on the speaker are also really straightforward. The top control panel features the power, Bluetooth, play/pause, and Outdoor Boost controls. (Outdoor Boost increases the sound by one decibel, increasing the volume and helping it to project further when outside.)

You can’t miss the volume buttons on this bad boy.
Credit: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

And while the speaker itself looks like something you might see hanging on stage at your local megachurch, the “cross” is actually two oversized volume buttons: up (+) and down (-). 

You can also control all aspects of the speaker directly from the app, including power and Outdoor Boost, so you don’t have to physically walk over to the speaker every time you want to tweak something. The app features additional sound settings, too, including access to a full equalizer if you want to really customize your sound. I kept the Adaptive EQ setting enabled and everything sounded fine to my ears. 

The little tree button on the speaker turns Outdoor Boost on and off.
Credit: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

Sound that’s, well, epic

Before we get into this section, I want to confess that I am not an audiophile. However, I have tested and reviewed several different audio devices before, so I’m developing a decent ear.

This speaker produces a truly impressive sound. I hate to be cliche, but it’s buttery smooth. The bass really reverberates, especially when you have Outdoor Boost activated. It’s also a very clear sound — even outside. With its 360-degree design, you also get the same sound quality wherever you are in relation to the speaker.

If you’re used to listening to music on your phone, giving your favorite songs a listen on this speaker will be almost like listening to them for the first time again. Listening to music on this speaker was truly a pleasure. 

I also listened to some podcasts and audiobooks using the speaker. I really appreciate just how loud it can get. During evening chores, my phone is quickly drowned out by our roaring dishwasher, along with all the sounds that happen naturally in a home with young children. Unfortunately, tuning them out with headphones isn’t an option.

However, this speaker allowed me to listen comfortably without needing to wait to start the dishwasher until right before bed. Maybe I need a new dishwasher. In the meantime, this speaker is a good solution.

Built with durability in mind

According to Ultimate Ears, this speaker is TOUGH. It’s waterproof (and it even floats!) and it’s been drop-tested from one meter with no damage.

I wasn’t brave enough to toss mine in the bathtub or push it off of my dining table, but I will say that it’s really well-made. It’s heavy for its size, and you can tell it’s made from high-quality materials. Nothing about this device says “cheap.”

The strap is also really thick and securely placed. I would absolutely feel comfortable hanging this speaker at a campsite or on a boat.

The carrying strap is durable and secure.
Credit: SaVanna Shoemaker / Mashable

It also has a 17-hour battery life according to the Ultimate Ears website, so it can DJ through a full day (or more) of adventures without needing a recharge.

Is the Ultimate Ears Epicboom speaker worth it?

This speaker is a great investment… for the right person. If you spend a lot of time outdoors — camping, boating, or even just hanging out in your backyard — and you want a speaker that will hold up well while providing the oomph you want from your music, this is your speaker.

However, at $349.99, it is a pretty hefty investment. That price puts it in range with Sonos products and well above the cost of portable speakers from Bose, Sony, and JBL. If your main purpose for a Bluetooth speaker isn’t outdoor activities where it might get dropped, covered in dirt, or submerged in water, you can certainly find something less expensive with still-decent sound quality. Or look for the Epicboom on sale — we’ve seen it drop to $299.99 at Amazon.

As for me, the Ultimate Ears Epicboom Speaker will definitely be accompanying me on my next camping trip.

“}]]  

Leave a Reply