Earfun UBoom L: Two-minute review
EarFun isn't the best-known company in the audio world, but it is steadily creeping up onto our radar with some competitively-priced speakers and earbuds. The EarFun UBoom L speaker is the latest of these entries and it focuses on the continual need for top waterproof speakers that can withstand a raucous pool party while still sounding just as good indoors.
Like some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market, the EarFun UBoom L Speaker specifically targets both arenas by having indoor and outdoor modes, although we lean towards it being more fun to use outside.
Created in collaboration with Austrian music producer, Olaf Lubanski, this a fairly well designed speaker. It might look rather ordinary on the surface but underneath, it packs a decent punch offering an appealing soundstage that is further boosted if you pair it up with a second speaker.
The shape has robustness written all over it. You can place it horizontally or vertically and it'll rest fairly well on everything but the most uneven of outdoor surfaces (such as our lawn).
Setup is the breeze we expected, with clearly laid out buttons on the top dictating volume control, power, Bluetooth, and which sound mode you want to use. On the back is the 3.5mm aux input and a USB-C port for charging – both of which can be hidden when you want to use the speaker in the pool.
While the bass could be a little deeper and punchier, the EarFun UBoom L audio experience is still pretty good – and while there are no light shows, it'd certainly work as a decent party speaker. It offers a wide soundstage that is further improved when you pair up two for stereo sound. Vocals, too, sound clear and well defined with no muddiness to note.
It's highly likely that if you're enjoying the great outdoors, you won't need the richest and most detailed of audio performances, but the EarFun UBoom L speaker still does a good job of sounding smooth with no graininess or harshness.
For the nominal price of $99/£99 and already seeing hefty discounts, the EarFun UBoom L Speaker is a bargain, offering a robust design without skimping on good sound quality.
Earfun UBoom L: Price and release date
- Released on July 11, 2022
- Officially priced $99 / £99 but already seeing discounts
The EarFun UBoom L speaker is available now in both the USA and UK. It's only available in the one color scheme – black – but its price has already started to fall.
With a standard price of $99/£99 (which is around AU$173), at the time of writing we've seen the EarFun UBoom L Speaker available for $79.99/£79.99 despite only recently launching.
That makes it truly affordable compared to competitors such as the Sonos Roam, JBL Flip 6 or Ultimate Ears Boom 3. Yes, that's likely because EarFun is a lesser known name, but that doesn't mean it's unworthy now, does it?
Earfun UBoom L: Design and features
- IP67 dustproof and waterproof
- Up to 16 hours of playtime
- Bluetooth 5.0
The EarFun UBoom L speaker measures 210 x 78 x 72mm and weighs 2.1 pounds which means that, even with small hands, it's reasonably easy to grip with one hand. It has a black woven fabric covering and a rubbery coating over its plastic frame that also gives you some added grip when you hold on to it.
OK, it looks like (almost) every other Bluetooth speaker out there, which is both a good and bad thing. Unlike other party speakers, the EarFun UBoom L isn't going to put on a show visually – don't expect light shows or spotlights here.
On the top of it are tactile buttons representing volume, power, Bluetooth, play/pause, and the choice of sound modes. Indoor and outdoor modes are your options here, with the latter boosting bass and improving performance in a noisier outdoor setting.
On the back is a rubber cover that protects the 3.5mm aux input and USB-C port from the elements. There's no charging plug included but you do get a USB-C cable. The EarFun UBoom L is waterproof so you don't have to worry about it getting wet while hiking in poor conditions or even at the pool.
It's possible to stereo pair two of the speakers, which makes a big difference if you want to spread the sound out, but we'll get into sound quality shortly.
Designed to sit horizontally, the EarFun UBoom L can also be placed vertically on most surfaces although sound wise, it's best left horizontal.
Up to 16 hours of battery life is promised and here, the EarFun UBoom L speaker delivers. The 5,200 mAh battery will see you partying away all day long without a problem. That's no doubt assisted by Bluetooth 5.0, which also meant we didn't see our connection drop at any point.
- Features score: 4/5
Earfun UBoom L: Sound quality
- 2 x 55mm drivers
- Wide soundstage
- Bass boosted when you pair two speakers in stereo
The EarFun UBoom L boasts two 55mm drivers and two passive bass radiators. Combined, you get a fairly strong audio experience. Bass could be a little deeper and punchier but it's a relatively small quibble given the price point. We only really noticed it when listening to particularly bassy tracks such as Fleetwood Mac's The Chain and Foo Fighters' All My Life.
Elsewhere, there's the benefit of a wide soundstage even with just one speaker. Add a second speaker and the bass becomes stronger and the soundstage even wider, but one will still do a good job of making you feel wrapped up in the music.
Using the Indoor mode leads to some detailed mids and crisp trebles. There's no harshness here, with the likes of David Bowie's Under Pressure sounding rich and clear. Listening to classical music brings about the same result, while Childish Gambino's Feels Like Summer sounds appropriately exciting.
Nothing about the EarFun UBoom L speaker's sound quality is boring. The only issue is this: if you want a thumping bass, you'll need to look elsewhere – but again, this is often the case with smaller, portable Bluetooth propositions.
Switch to Outdoors mode and the bass is boosted somewhat, so you can opt to do that when needed. There's still clarity in each note at least, because this particular mode is designed to ensure you can hear it above background noise. There's no app to tweak the equalizer here, so a change of modes is your best option for customizing your sonic experience.
- Sound quality score: 4/5
Earfun UBoom L: Value
- Highly competitive price
- Worth buying two
- Incredible sound-per-pound value
There's no two ways about it: the EarFun UBoom L speaker is fantastic value. At its regular price of $99/£99 it's already worth it, but the best bit is that it's already being discounted.
In fact, in some cases (and we're taking the cost of living crisis into account here) it's probably worth buying two so you can pair them up for stereo sound while still paying less than you would for one product from a better known brand.
However we look at it, for solid sound-per-pound value, you can't go wrong with Earfun's UBoom L.
- Value score: 5/5
Earfun UBoom L: Should I buy it?
|Features and design||Hardly a conversation-starter, but it's a rock-solid build||4/5|
|Sound quality||Wide soundstage with detailed mids and crisp trebles – just a tad lightweight through the bass||4/5|
|Value||A stonking sound-per-pound bargain||5/5|
Buy it if…
You want good audio quality for less
The EarFun UBoom L speaker offers a great level of quality without breaking the bank. Outside of bass, it sounds rich, clear, and energetic.
You want a robust speaker
We didn't have a pool to toss the EarFun UBoom L into, but it definitely floats, which is sure to be useful to those of us who do…
You want something that's simple to use
The EarFun UBoom L speaker has no app or complex controls, but that means you can get straight to using it and enjoying it!
Don't buy it if…
You want an exciting speaker
Some speakers look as exciting as the party they want to be at. The EarFun UBoom L just isn't that kind of product, so while you can count on the sound quality, don't count on using it as an ice-breaker.
You love a thumping bassline
The EarFun UBoom L has decent bass, but it's not exactly bass-heavy and some people may want more.
You prefer extra features
The EarFun UBoom L isn't a smart speaker and it doesn't have an app (so no EQ tweaks) which may be essential for you.
JBL Flip 6
The colorful JBL Flip 6 keeps features simple but offers a warm listening experience, even if its battery life is weaker than the EarFun UBoom L speaker.
Anker Soundcore Flare 2
A little more fun to look at than this one, the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 has great sound quality, but it can't float.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
It's getting on a bit (having launched in 2019) but the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is still a great speaker that is waterproof and can float. It's just a shame about its somewhat restrictive soundstage…
- First reviewed: July 2022
- How we test: explore TechRadar's review guarantee