I was so excited to get to the beach last weekend that when I yanked my towel out of my backpack my speaker went flying straight into the sand. But it didn’t matter. Compact, durable, waterproof, and shock-proof, the new circular-shaped (picture your old portable CD player) UE Roll BlueTooth speaker is the newest in the Ultimate Ears lineup—and it’s their smallest and most rugged yet.
The military grade bungee cord means you can attach it to almost anything and it won’t fall off: bike, backpack, swimsuit, snorkel—or, if you like to sing in the shower, anywhere in your bathroom. The speaker’s waterproof and shockproof casing (IPX7 Certified) can withstand incidental exposure to water for up to 30 minutes—meaning you can technically surf and even snorkel with it (like the promotional photos suggest), but you would also need to have your phone or iPod (hopefully in a case) with you as well…so proceed with caution.
As for the audio, its 360-degree sound packs a punch. It feels full, loud and crisp. For the size, weight (12 ounces), nine hours of battery life, and a range of up to 65 feet, it really delivers. But there’s not a lot of bass to be found here, and listening to hip hop can sound tinny at times. But to be honest, that’s to be expected with a speaker this size. The audio EQ presets can be adjusted via the iOS and Android app, which also lets you update the speaker software as it becomes available. And you can pair two UE Rolls together for even more sound.
Put simply, if you like adventures—especially ones involving water—prefer to travel light, and don’t want to spend a ton of money, this a great option. The humongous volume buttons are kind of awesome, too.