It’s been over two years since Ultimate Ears announced the Wonderboom, the company’s $99 entry-level speaker. Now, it’s back with a sequel, the Wonderboom 2, which offers better sound, a longer battery life, and true stereo pairing.
At first glance, the two speakers may look similar, but the Wonderboom 2 adds a few neat upgrades. The battery life has been increased, with a promised 13 hours of music playback (up from 10 hours). Ultimate Ears has also improved the Double Up feature that allows you to pair two Wonderboom 2 speakers. Now, instead of just doubling the output, paired Wonderboom 2s will have the option to play back in real stereo separation. Lastly, there’s a new Outdoor Boost mode button on the bottom of the device, which activates a preset EQ mode that is designed specifically for use outdoors where there are fewer surfaces off of which bass can bounce.
The new speaker is roughly the same size as the old Wonderboom. The biggest changes are two-tone fabrics (similar in style to last year’s Boom 3), a more prominent center button for play / pause and pairing (also similar to the Boom 3), and a new flatter bungee cord loop (which, you guessed it, is similar to the Boom 3). The brand’s signature oversized plus / minus buttons for volume are also slightly larger now.
As is typical for an Ultimate Ears speaker, the Wonderboom 2 is rated IP67 against dust and water. (And like the original Wonderboom, it still floats in water.)
The fact that the Wonderboom 2 is a more subtle upgrade is a good thing. The original Wonderboom was a pretty great Bluetooth speaker for the size and price, so it’s good to see that Ultimate Ears isn’t messing with the formula too much. The $99.99 price tag and stereo pairing offer an interesting value proposition: you can either get a $199.99 Megaboom 3, or two less powerful Wonderboom 2s with true stereo separation for the same price, depending on what your priorities for music playback are.
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 will hit stores in the US starting on June 25th for $99.99 (the same price as the old Wonderboom) in blue, red, pink, gray, and black color options.
Photography by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge