Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Ultimate Ears recently launched the Boom 3 (Check on Amazon.com) [along with its older sibling the Megaboom 3 (Check on Amazon.com)]: it is the third embodiment of the iconic cylindrical speaker that has won the trust of the fans over the years, and now returns with a slightly revised design and various improvements.
Read more: UE Megaboom Review
From a construction point of view, the UE Boom 3 is truly flawless: it is a solid cylinder covered in waterproof fabric, with the two ends lined with a rubberized coating that absorbs any blows. On the front we find the two large + and — buttons to control the volume; the Boom 2 (Check on Amazon.com) had a rubber band that housed the keys, while now the two buttons protrude directly from the body: they are easier to press compared to the past, they allow for true 360° audio, and even look better.
Read more: UE Boom 2 Review
On the top we find three more buttons: On/Off, Bluetooth and the so-called Magic button.
On the bottom, we find a magnetic connector for the charging dock [sold separately at (Check on Amazon.com)], while the normal MicroUSB charging port is hidden behind a well-coated flap on the back. Small note: there is no audio jack and the only way to connect the speaker to a PC or smartphone is via Bluetooth.
The UE Boom 3 is designed to withstand extreme conditions: it has an IP67 certification, the fabric is especially durable, and the speaker can withstand falls without a problem.
Functions and audio quality
The sound quality is very similar to that of the good old Boom 2. The audio is very pleasant and well balanced: you can enjoy all the frequencies, from the lowest to the highest.
The bass is well-groomed, but they are not as deep as those of the Megaboom 3. The mid-range is also good but the highs are above all else and sound incredibly crystal clear for a speaker of this size.
The aspect that amazed me most about the sound quality is the ease with which you can listen to the individual instruments, which are displayed without overlapping each other. In addition, the 360° audio makes this small cylindrical speaker perfect to be placed in the center of a room and fill it with music.
The sound quality, which I have praised so far, is further enhanced by a good equalizer that you can find in the Ultimate Ears app, which has 4 pre-set profiles and one customizable. It is also here that you can take advantage of the Magic Button: its function is the possibility to Immediately launch a playlist by holding down the button for 2 seconds, or switch to the next one. It’s an interesting feature, but it’s a shame that it’s not compatible with Spotify but only with Deezer and Apple Music. If you are subscribed to one of these two services (or have a lot of music purchased via iTunes) you will love the convenience of the Magic Button, otherwise, you will never use it.
Also from the app, you can pair multiple Boom speakers with each other (up to 150!) for Party mode, while Play DJ mode lets more people connect to the speaker (as long as they have the app installed) and select the music. The Boom 3 remembers up to 8 previously paired Bluetooth devices and can connect to two of them simultaneously.
There is no support for aptX codecs and, as mentioned above, it is not possible to connect the speaker via audio jack: this, in theory, could lead to audio latency problems (particularly annoying when watching movies or TV shows), but during our tests, it never happened.
Unfortunately, there is no way to activate the voice assistant, but you can answer calls.
Finally, autonomy is not bad with 15 hours on a single charge.
The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 costs (Check on Amazon.com) – this is an undoubtedly high price. Mind you: Boom 3 is an excellent speaker but the competition is very high and in this price range, there are many valid alternatives [including the “old” Boom 2, with similar sound quality and now discounted at (Check on Amazon.com)].
The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is a practically flawless speaker: the build quality is excellent, it can resist shocks, liquids, and sand, has a dedicated app and an enviable sound quality. The only real drawback is the cost, but if you decide to spend (Check on Amazon.com), you will not regret it.