The UE Wonderboom isn’t a new player in the Bluetooth speaker category, it’s been there from a while and like most Logitech speakers, it’s got a great build and design. What’s new with the Wonderboom Freestyle speaker is its funky new design, that adds up to the style quotient to make it a “fashion accessory” (as Logitech calls it) to carry around.
Also, the UE Wonderboom Freestyle carries all the top features like IPX7 certification, multipoint pairing and 360-degree sound from the original Wonderboom. Which means, you can submerge the speaker up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes, where it floats conveniently on top.
Moreover, UE has fixed the bass issue from the UE Roll 2 to get a better sounding bass on this one. Since the bass problem is covered, we are pretty confident to say that the company has created one of the best sounding waterproof Bluetooth speakers you can buy.
The UE Wonderboom shares its build and design with the original model—the same stubby soda can shape. While many say that the saucer shape of the UE Roll is easier to carry in a bag, we believe that UE has made the right move by going with a cylindrical design.
The biggest and most obvious reason is the sound projection. While UE Roll punches the sound upwards, the Wonderboom Freestyle covers a 360-degree area. While many Bluetooth speakers claim to have 360-degree sound, most of them are not. But that’s not the case with the Wonderboom Freestyle.
The speaker is waterproof. That said, all of its controls are sealed by a rubberized membrane, which withstands rain almost every abuse that falls under company’s claims. It’s void of visible clutter of buttons, where UE puts the power, pairing and playback keys on top of the speaker. UE took a smart design move to integrate the playback control button into the UE logo at the top, which might not be easy for many to understand initially.
Like most UE speakers, there’s a fabric mesh surrounding the speaker with huge ‘+’ and ‘-’ buttons to control the volume. The freestyle edition comes in three five variants—Concrete, Avocado, Patches, Raspberry and Unicorn. While we got the solid looking Concrete variant, our favourite is Patches. It has a cool blue denim like finish with multicoloured fun-looking prints on top. It really stands out.
It has just one port—a microUSB port covered with a waterproof rubber flap located at the bottom. While microUSB is a standard on most Bluetooth speakers, it would have been a huge plus for UE to incorporate a USB Type-C port, especially because of the speedy adoption rate of the tech. But again, that’s not a deal breaker if you consider the audio output.
The only downside of the design is its super-small bungee cord/loop. In most cases, you won’t end up using it to hang the speaker to your bag or anywhere else. The most I did was to put my finger in the loop and spin it when I was bored. But honestly, it can’t be used to hang it from a shower head or a nail on your wall.
As we’ve stressed in the review earlier, the UE Wonderboom Freestyle isn’t an upgrade to the original Wonderboom, which means excellent sound output is assured. The sound is warm, favoring mids and mid-bass. Highs sounded good as well, but were slightly uncontrolled at higher volumes, resulting in some sibilance.
Bass is also good, but not class-leading. Bass-heads looking for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker should look no further than the JBL Charge 3. That’s not to say the bass isn’t good on the UE Wonderboom, though. For casual listening by (or in) the pool, the UE Wonderboom sounds excellent.
In terms of sound, we found the UE Wonderboom fared well against more expensive counterparts like the Bose SoundLink Color II and JBL Charge 3: The Charge 3 sounds the best of the group, but there’s a huge difference in the price too. If price is not an issue, you can go for either the Bose SoundLink Color II, which sounds slightly better than the Wonderboom when it comes to vocals, but isn’t completely waterproof.
The Wonderboom Freestyle is priced at mere Rs 6,490 in comparison to the other two. Which means, it’s the best option if you’re interested in saving some cash on your speaker.
Battery life is about average, lasting about 10 hours at moderate listening levels.
The JBL Charge 3 is priced higher, sounds better, but it’s also twice the size of the Wonderboom. The Color II sounds slightly better with vocals but isn’t fully waterproof, requires directional sound and last two hours less than the Wonderboom.
Want the best balance of sound, battery life and waterproofing?
Wonderboom is the winner.
The UE Wonderboom Freestyle really shines is in its value. At Rs 6,490, it offers a ton of features and performance for its price. It sounds great, it’s fully waterproof, can pair more devices simultaneously and works with virtual assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. If that’s not enough, it promises a solid 8-hour plus battery life and up to 100 feet wireless range.
- If you are looking to explore more options, head over to the best Bluetooth speakers available in India 2018