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The UE Roll 2 (Check on Amazon.com) is a wireless speaker that rejects the usual preconceptions in design. Rather than having the shape of a brick, it is a real cordless disk: round, but rather thin.
It is waterproof, very loud, and at its current selling price, it offers a good quality/price ratio. However, since the UE Roll 2 does not adopt the tricks of other small Bluetooth speakers, its bass is undertone compared to the other ranges.
- UE Roll 2
- Floating device
- USB charging cable
Design and build quality
The first time you set eyes on the Roll 2 you might think, “where did I see this before?”
9 times out of 10, the subsequent iteration of a product resembles the previous one, but, in the case of UE Roll 2, the similarity with its predecessor is disturbing. This is the same shell that Ultimate Ears released with its first Roll iteration. The only thing that changes is the wider range of colors.
The commands are creatively simple. On the front you will find the classic huge buttons to raise and lower the volume. On the back, you will find buttons for Bluetooth sync and the on/off switch, and a sealed compartment for the microUSB port and the 3.5mm jack.
UE covers the tweeters with a fabric mesh which also acts as a protective grid. Flip it and the speaker makes a smooth transition from fabric to matte rubber.
The attention to detail is commendable, with the UE that even includes an elastic strap that allows you to hang it in your shower or tie it to the included float device when you are ready to go to the pool.
The UE Roll 2 battery provides an average life of about nine hours of playback but may vary depending on the volume and genre of the music played. Overall, the speaker is surprisingly light (330g – 0.72lb) and small (13,5x4cm – 5.31×1.57in). That said, the UE Roll 2 is surprisingly robust.
Similar to the original Roll and the UE Mini Boom (Check on Amazon.com), the experience with the Roll 2 has been improved with the companion app for Android and iOS. You can turn the speaker on or off remotely, the equalizer can be adjusted to your liking, and if you have another UE speaker, you can pair the two for stereo audio. None of these features make this device a must buy, but every extra bit is always welcomed.
Finally, the Roll 2 is IPX7 certified, which means it can survive one meter (3.28ft) underwater for half an hour.
While the outer shell of the Roll 2 remains substantially unchanged from its predecessor, the Ultimate Ears team has completely reworked the internal components.
The Roll 2 is a surprisingly turbulent speaker. It’s not as loud as my favorite one, the Wonderboom (Check on Amazon.com), but it has enough volume to fill a mid-sized room without any problems. Unfortunately, though, it’s not as complete as I would like.
Read more: UE Wonderboom Review
While Roll 2 has exceptionally sharp mids and highs, the low range is rather muddy, probably partly due to the waterproofing process. Most songs sound good, but not great.
You will never have problems with the voice track, but on the other hand, most often the bass is lost in the general noise.
If Ultimate Ears had opted to include aptX, the experience would certainly be different, but its absence is something that potential buyers will have to live with.
If an IPX7 certification is not a necessity, there are many other speakers that sound better at about the same price. If waterproofing is key, however, the Roll 2 is the best you can buy at this size and price.
If you don’t necessarily need such a compact speaker, the UE Roll 2 has a bolder older brother, the UE Boom 2 (Check on Amazon.com), which we prefer.
Read more: UE Boom 2 Review
That said, its elastic cord makes it a product that can cling to places where other speakers can’t reach. In addition, the IPX7 certification means that it has no problem taking a quick dunk if someone accidentally drops it in the water. And the companion app offers many additional features, some of which are really useful.
Without a doubt, there are other options out there but if you want a speaker with a truly compact design, exceptional clarity in the mid and high-range, unbeatable wireless connectivity and IPX7 certification, the UE Roll 2 (Check on Amazon.com) is the product to buy.