Ultimate Ears Megaboom review: Ideal accessory for an artificially intelligent Amazon Echo Dot
Good things do come in small packages. The Ultimate Ears Megaboom speaker is not much larger than a tall can of beer (or maybe a thermos, if that is more familiar), and measures 8-inches in height. The cylindrical design is quite familiar with Ultimate Ears speakers, but the modern touches such as the large yet non-intrusive control keys keep it up to date. The Ultimate Ears Megaboom is priced at Rs16,495 on Amazon.in.
This isn’t the smallest Bluetooth speaker you will find in stores but is still quite compact. The Megaboom tips the scales at 877 grams, which means this isn’t the lightest speaker, but audio products are usually better when they have a bit of heft about them. The Megaboom’s highlight is the ruggedness aspect, specifically the waterproofing capabilities—this has the IPX7 rating, which means it can remain immersed in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes and it’ll be as if nothing ever happened.
As it turns out, the Megaboom’s biggest advantage is the 360-degree audio that it offers. What you get is powerful sound that fills the room with absolute ease. This speaker was able to handle every possible music genre we threw its way, without ever sacrificing the detailing of the instruments in the sound-stage of any song or the clarity of vocals. Interesting enough, the bass response was significantly better if we kept the speaker close to a corner where the walls or two pieces of furniture join at a 90-degree angle. Even when the volumes are pushed to the higher limits, there is no distortion that is audible, and neither do the vocals become too sharp. If you buy two of these, or even have the predecessor called Boom, you can pair the two speakers together in a stereo audio setup.
There will be the inevitable comparisons against the Bose SoundLink Mini speaker II (around Rs16,200; boseindia.com) and while the Bose sound signature is more relaxed and offers a bit more bass out of the box, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom does come rather close overall—which is quite creditable for Megaboom. For some music genres which are dynamic and tend to have multiple elements in the sound, we did notice the depth and detailing was slightly better in the SoundLink Mini speaker II though.
In terms of battery life, this powerful speaker does not disappoint at all, and lasts close to 20 hours of music playback before you need to reach for the charger again.
While buyers don’t always look for a lot of features when buying a simple bluetooth speaker, Ultimate Ears have not taken any chances. You get to set up the speaker using the Megaboom by Ultimate Ears app (free for Android and iOS) which lets you tweak sound settings, set up two compatible speakers in stereo mode and even remotely turn the Megaboom on or off (no need to get up and tap the power button on the speaker itself).
What the Megaboom misses out on though is the AptX streaming codec—though it doesn’t make that much of an audible difference, having this feature would have just made this more versatile for the future as music streaming quality is constantly improving and smartphones are now packing in high quality audio processing hardware as well.
In a nutshell, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom impressed on what matters most, the sound. The rest of the specifications and features fall well in place too, which makes this a genuinely interesting rival to the Bose SoundLink Mini speaker II.
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