Tech Review: UE Wonderboom Portable Speaker: Party on your belt

I might be too old for portable speakers. The market is aimed rather squarely at beautiful young 20-somethings that do things like beach trips or Sunday sessions and require tunes 24/7. I am not this market. But I am a writer who moves from spot-to-spot in the house throughout the day and I do like being able to take a little speaker with me as I go. In this, the UE Wonderboom is a great success.
The Wonderboom is no bigger than a large coffee mug, a little drum. Its controls are extremely clear — there’s a power button on the top and two giant + and – buttons on the side for volume up and down. The rear of the device features a small hatch with a microUSB port for power, and the Wonderboom runs on an internal battery for portability.

In terms of sound, the Wonderboom is a bit of a surprise. Its not often you can wring solid sound out of a portable speaker — the design considerations are often prohibitive. It must be small, it needs an internal battery, it needs to be light-ish weight and have a cool, attractive design. Also, it should be waterproof so it can survive a dunk in the pool when your drunk mate knocks it over. That’s great! But where do you put all the audio hardware after that?

But the Wonderboom stacks up. Boom by name and boom by nature, the Wonderboom is purporse built for play outdoors. It specialises in the kind of volume and bass combo that allow it to be heard just as easily over a noisy house party as in a backyard where sound melts into the open air. There’s also a fabric loop on the outside of the drum which means you can hang the device up, or attach it to your belt if you can’t bear to part with it.

This is a great little speaker that sounds out in a market sector not known for producing anything but strange homunculi. Worth a look if this is the kind of kit you need.

Score: 8.5 out of 10
Highlights: Big sound; Good look; Long charge
Lowlights: Sound can still blow out a bit at high volume
Manufacturer: Logitech/Ultimate Ears
Price: $129.95 AUD