Last summer, we had no hesitation in crowning the Ultimate Ears Boom as our favorite portable Bluetooth speaker, but today it’s getting some competition from a bigger brother with the introduction of the $299 MegaBoom. A faithful enlargement of the Boom in all respects, the UE MegaBoom maintains the same cylindrical, waterproof design while delivering deeper bass and even louder sound. The Boom was already capable of filling a large room and the MegaBoom expands those dimensions to the point where it compares favorably against much less portable desktop speaker sets.
I’ve been using a MegaBoom for a week ahead of CES, and it’s been a great addition to my home office. It has completely replaced the integrated speakers on my 27-inch iMac, exposing their inadequacies with a much richer and more nuanced sound. That is, of course, to be expected, but the MegaBoom’s real value is in its versatility and instant connectivity. I can keep listening to this 360-degree speaker even when I’ve switched over to my Windows PC, Android phone, or MacBook laptop. Alternating between the different sound sources is seamless: the MegaBoom pauses iTunes on the Mac when I start playing music on my smartphone and then resumes it when I've finished.
Bigger volume means bigger volume
The difference from the original Boom is in the greater size and power: the MegaBoom’s a hardy thing that can be thrown around inside the home rather than a compact canister that's meant to go everywhere with you. Just like 10-inch tablets, which are light and portable but spend most of their time on coffee tables or bedside cabinets, the MegaBoom's serving an audience looking for what can be described as in-home portability. It succeeds in that respect, weighing less than 2 lbs and still being easy to tote around in one hand. Measuring 8.3 inches in length, the MegaBoom will also easily fit into most backpacks or messenger bags when you choose to take it on the move.
With pleasantly oversized volume buttons, a rich color palette, and a stupendously sturdy build, the MegaBoom is just a lot more of the same from Logitech — which in this case is a very good thing indeed. You can hook up two MegaBooms for stereo sound or, if you’re okay with the size mismatch, connect up with an original Boom as well. Starting with this new model, Logitech promises to begin delivering software updates to the speakers over the air. Though to get the most out of them, you’ll also want to download the mobile apps for iOS or Android, which add a remote power switch, alarm functionality, and sound customization options. The UE MegaBoom will be available in the US and select countries in Europe and Asia this month, at a suggested retail price of $299.99.