At Pepcom 2015 in New York City, Ultimate Ears highlighted its two flagship speaker products for the upcoming holiday season: the UE Roll and the UE Boom 2, the second generation of the original UE Boom, both Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-compatible speakers.
The wireless, circular-shaped UE Roll is the more affordable of the two options at $99.99, but equally indestructable; the all-proof (read: waterproof and shockproof) speaker can brave the odds against spills, falls, and general wear-and-tear. Sporting 360-degree sound, the speaker has a 25-foot sound range and is portable enough to fit easily into a purse or other on-the-go bag. The UE Roll also comes with a free downloadable app for remote control, available for both Android and iOS.
An upgrade from the original UE Boom, the UE Boom 2 is an entirely different kettle of fish, containing all-new software. Features that differentiate it from its predecessor include an increased battery life at 20 hours, a 100-foot wireless range, as well as a waterproof design (the older model was only water-resistent), and a fabric weave exterior that caters to better sound quality. The UE Boom 2 also includes a tap activation feature: tapping the top of the speaker lets users play, skip, or pause songs. It weighs 1.2 pounds.
Like the UE Roll, a remote control app is available for download, with a complimentary upgrade that matches the hardware itself. The speaker is priced at $199.99.
According to one of the UE sales representatives at Pepcom, while speakers like these are heavily used during warmer seasons (i.e., outdoor activities like hanging by the swimming pool, the quintessential summer barbecue, and so forth, as the UE website itself suggests in its own marketing campaign), both speakers are also excellent for winter activities, like hanging at the local ski lodge.
While the UE Roll has been available since June for purchase, UE has upped the ante regarding the speaker's promotion for the holiday surge. In contrast, the UE Boom 2 is new to the scene, having only been announced on Sept. 15. Both are available to order now.