Are you looking for a portable speaker that not only sounds great but that is also waterproof? Well, since 1993, UE, aka Ultimate Ears, has been producing some of the best portable speakers available.
Today, we bring you this in-depth UE MEGABOOM 3 Review, the newest generation of speakers from Ultimate Ears. This tube-shaped speaker might not seem like much at first glance, but you would be wrong.
It is easy to distinguish an Ultimate Ears speaker from the competition because of its cylindrical shape. The Megaboom 3 keeps with this tradition, measuring 8.85-inches long with a 3.42-inch diameter.
While the Megaboom 3 won’t fit in your pocket, you can still easily carry it around in one hand. It is also fairly light, coming in at only two pounds. Therefore it’s one of the best lightweight portable speakers around.
The Megaboom 3 we have in front of us today is their Night Black version. As you look at this speaker, you notice that it has a subtle two-toned color.
A lot of rubber…
Covering most of the speaker is a black woven mesh fabric. This tightly woven mesh covers the majority of the speaker’s circumference and aids in water and dust resistance.
Right off the bat, you will notice large rubber volume buttons that protrude out from the speaker’s body. As you rotate the speaker around in your hand, you find a small carry loop. Running along the back of the speaker, there is a black rubber strip with a watertight flap. This flap covers the micro USB charging port.
On each end of the speaker, you will find a hard rubber that adds shock protection. Ultimate Ears has tested the Megaboom 3 to withstand drops from three feet high. They say the speaker is drop-proof, but you can never be too careful. That said, it’s one of the most durable portable speakers you will find.
The top of the speaker contains the power button and a pairing button. In the middle of those two buttons is what Ultimate Ears calls the Magic Button. At the bottom of the speaker, you will find a small metal cone-shaped indentation that allows for wireless charging.
The Megaboom 3 is right at home by the pool or out at the beach since it is IP67 rated. This essentially means that it is dustproof and that it can survive three feet underwater for up to 30 minutes.
Therefore, it’s one of the best waterproof wireless speakers on the market. Plus, you won’t need to worry about the Megaboom 3 sinking to the bottom. This speaker floats!
It features Bluetooth 5.0 technology. You can pair it with up to eight different devices. Two of which can be paired simultaneously from up to 150 feet away. The Bluetooth connection is very stable for the most part.
You will notice some issues if the speaker isn’t kept within line of sight of the device, though. If the speaker is underwater, your Bluetooth connection will drop as well. Move the speaker a little closer to the Bluetooth device or out of the water. Give it a few seconds, and it will reconnect automatically.
Once paired and connected, you can expect a playback time of about 20-hours. As a result, it is one of the best long battery life wireless speakers available. This is thanks to the large integrated 3,400mAh battery.
Additionally, you can check the remaining battery life by pressing the volume up and down buttons at the same time. The speaker will then give you a voice prompt of the remaining battery life.
Once your battery falls below ten percent, the power button’s LED will turn red and stay solid. A voice prompt will notify you to charge the speaker immediately.
When it comes to recharging the Megaboom 3, you can use the included micro-USB cable and adapter. For it to recharge from empty, you can expect to wait for just over five hours.
As we mentioned earlier, you can recharge this speaker wirelessly. Unfortunately, you will need to purchase the Ultimate Ears Power Up charging dock to do so.
We would have liked to have seen USB-C charging or some sort of quick charge technology available. Given the long battery life, you can leave the charger at home on most occasions, nonetheless.
With a name like Megaboom, we expected this speaker to be very loud. Simply put, it is, thanks to its cylindrical design. Integrated into this speaker are two 50mm 4ohm speaker drivers as well as a pair of 55mm and 86mm passive radiators.
The cylindrical shape allows for a 360-degree spatial sound profile that is a bit heavy on the low-end. It produces a good thump, but at max volume, the bass sounds a bit muffled.
As you turn the volume up, the highs and mids are still clear and balanced. We were pleasantly surprised at just how well the speaker sounds right out of the box, no matter where it is facing.
Of course, there’s an app…
You can further adjust the speaker’s sound profile by downloading the Boom app for iOS and Android. This app gives you access to a 5-band equalizer and a few preset choices like Voices, Cramped Spaces, Bass Jump, and The Standard.
The Voices setting sounds great when listening to podcasts. Set the equalizer to Cramped Spaces, and everything comes across with more detail when at low volumes.
If you aren’t within reach of the volume controls on the speaker’s side, don’t fret. You can also increase or decrease the volume through the app. At max, this speaker outputs about 90 decibels.
If that isn’t loud enough…
You can hook up multiple Ultimate Ears speakers together through the Boom app as well. At the bottom right of the Boom app main menu, you will notice a small icon with two speakers.
This gives you access to a sharing feature called Party Up. Party Up mode allows you to simultaneously connect to over 100 speakers and stream music to all of them. This is limited to their Boom and Megaboom line of speakers only, though.
While the Megaboom 3 works wonderfully on its own, the Boom app takes everything to the next level. You might recall us mentioning the Magic Button earlier. The Magic Button is the large circular button on the top of the speaker surrounded by an LED ring.
First and foremost, this Magic Button acts as a multi-function button. It will let you play/pause and skip tracks depending on how many times you tap it.
The magical part…
With the Megaboom 3 turned off, hold down the Magic Button for two seconds. it will automatically turn the speaker on and connect to your device. From there, it will begin to automatically play music.
When you first opened up the Boom app, you will have seen “One Touch To Your Playlist.” Once you tap on this selection, choose your preferred streaming services like Amazon, Deezer, or Spotify. On iOS devices, you will also see Apple Music.
The Boom app will then connect to the streaming service and show you a list of presets. For this example, we will choose Spotify. Click on preset 1, 2, 3, or 4, and Spotify will open. From there, choose a playlist and press play.
Even more magic…
Go back to the Boom app, and you notice that the playlist is set as a preset. By holding down the Magic Button, you can then skip through the preset playlists listed in the Boom app.
This allows you to listen to your favorite music without your Bluetooth device within arm’s reach. Other portable speaker manufacturers like JBL have similar features. Still, they just don’t compare to what Ultimate Ears is doing.
A little care is needed…
While the Megaboom 3 might feel indestructible, you can still damage it if you don’t take care of it. The IP67 rating offers you reassurance when the speaker is near the water, but you should never test its limits.
If you get the Megaboom 3 wet, we would recommend rinsing it off afterward. Salt and dust can still stick to the mesh fabric and cause it to deteriorate over time. Make sure that you dry it off completely as well. The metal wireless charging connection on the bottom of the speaker could corrode if left wet.
UE MEGABOOM 3 Review – Pros and Cons
- Great, fun sound.
- Simple to use “magic button.”
- Super durable IP-67 rating.
- Quite an expensive option, but quality comes at a cost.
- Can distort a little at higher volumes.
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UE MEGABOOM 3 Review – Final Thoughts
When it comes to portable, water-resistant Bluetooth speakers, Ultimate Ears is at the top of their game. This is especially true with their Megaboom 3.
Sound quality is great no matter the genre of music you are listening to. By using the 5-band equalizer or simple presets, you will have an enjoyable room-filling sound no matter where you are. And thanks to the IP67 rating, you can take your favorite tracks poolside or to the beach.
Oh, and don’t forget that Magic Button. One-touch control of your favorite playlists directly from the speaker is awesome. You will wonder how you ever lived without it.
Until next time, happy listening.