This review photo shows the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 waterproof bluetooth speaker outside near a river.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Review

This rugged Bluetooth wireless speaker floats!

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The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is an ultraportable waterproof and rugged Bluetooth speaker.

The Wonderboom 2 is good for anyone who wants a rugged outdoor speaker, but it’s particular great for outdoor day trips, boating, beach and camping enthusiasts.

After using and testing the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 while camping, rafting, and traveling, this is what we learned:

Wonderboom 2 Review: The Sound

First, how’s the sound? Surprisingly crisp and surprisingly loud. Despite being rugged and waterproof, the sound competes well against other Bluetooth speakers in its size range. In terms of sound emphasis, vocals seem to be the big winner here — which is typically what you want when you’re listening to songs outside in the great wide open.

This review photo shows the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 bluetooth speaker getting wet in a river.
The Wonderboom 2 is waterproof, rugged and surprisingly loud.

Of course, it’s important to keep your expectations realistic: When it comes to full, rich sound, bigger is usually better. That’s just physics and you can’t fight physics. The Wonderboom 2 is a relatively small speaker.

That said, I could leave the Wonderboom 2 on a picnic table at a campsite and blast tunes plenty loud for our group of nine as we cooked, roasted marshmallows, and basically hung out for a weekend camping trip.

Let’s put it this way: If you’re camping next to other campsites in a campground, you’re definitely not going to use the Wonderboom 2 at a high volume unless all the campsites around you also want to hear your rockin’ playlist.




Outdoor Boost Mode

The Wonderboom 2 features an “Outdoor Boost” mode that makes the audio seem louder and crisper when you’re listening to music outside in open spaces.

This photo shows the 'Outdoor Boost' mode button on the bottom of the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 portable wireless outdoor speaker.
Push the ‘Outdoor Boost’ button on the bottom for better outside sound.

You can enable Outdoor Boost by pushing a button with a tree icon on the bottom of the speaker. Does it work?

Yup. Ultimate Ears says the audio is then specially tuned for listening outside. What Outdoor Boost seems to do is give some preference to mid and high sound frequencies that do better for human ears in open environments.

To test this, use your speaker in a small bedroom. Push the Outdoor Boost mode. What you’ll likely notice is a slightly louder but definitely thinner sound with a loss of lows. You don’t want to use Outdoor Boost inside because it makes the audio less rich.

This photo shows the top of the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 bluetooth speaker.
Waterproof buttons for power, bluetooth connection, and pause/skip.

When you take the Wonderboom 2 outside, however, the Outdoor Boost transforms into a better experience. Your songs will seem to travel farther and make it to your ears better in the open space. Plus, the sound will seem to compete better with ambient noise — wind, waves, the sound of a river flowing by.

Last of all — and I find this to be a bit wild — the sound outside, with Outdoor Boost mode on, seems just as rich as it does inside with Outdoor Boost off. It’s almost magic.

Waterproofing

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 has an impressive IP67 waterproof, dust-proof rating. Plus, it floats. I took it on a fly fishing rafting trip, as well as some river floats with stand-up paddle boards, and I didn’t have to worry about the Wonderboom 2.

The Wonderboom 2 features a rugged carry loop, which you can use to clip or hang the speaker most anywhere.

The micro-USB charging port has a cover to protect it from moisture, sand and debris.

Connect Two Wonderboom 2 Speakers for Stereo

Here’s a cool feature that I haven’t tried out — but you might want it: You can connect two Wonderboom 2 speakers to deliver wireless stereo sound. Not only can you end up boosting the entire sound output, but you’ll get stereo, too.

That’s a pretty cool feature.

As for the Bluetooth distance, Ultimate Ears says it’ll stay connected up to 100 feet, but I’ve experienced distances past 100 feet while camping. This was with an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Indoors, the Bluetooth connection easily stays connected a few rooms away.

Pairing is also easy, and connections have been quick and painless.

It’s Rugged

Ultimate Ears says the Wonderboom 2 is drop-proof tested from 5 feet. I’ve dropped it on concrete from 4 feet up — accidentally — as well as kicked it out of the back of my pickup (also accidentally). And it’s bounced on a rocky river bank after sliding off of a white water raft.

It’s tough. Nothing has broken on the inside and it’s still going strong. I’ve been impressed.




Battery Life

Battery life is decent — Ultimate Ears says you can get up to 13 hours of battery life between charges. I tend to run the Wonderboom 2 at moderate volume and easily get 10 hours. For the size and power, I’m pleased with the battery life. Charging takes about two and half hours to refill it.

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Which Ultimate Ears Speaker Is Right for You?

This photo shows the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3.
Try the also rugged and waterproof Boom 3 for a richer, fuller sound.

If you’re looking for moderate sound suitable for small groups, the Wonderboom 2 does great. If you want more power or really want to party outside? Just size up.

The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 only costs a bit more than the Wonderboom 2 but has larger drivers and larger passive radiators. And get this, you can connect up to 150 Boom 3 speakers.

By the way, if you’re into customizing your gear, Ultimate Ears has an online customizer for the exterior fabric, end caps, loop and volume buttons.

Next, try the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3. It’s bigger and delivers richer sound.

The Verdict: An Outstanding Outdoor Speaker

All-in-all, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is an excellent ultraportable waterproof Bluetooth speaker. It pumps out thoroughly decent sound for its size. In fact, it’s surprisingly good for its size — and the Outdoor Mode works. Better yet, it is truly rugged — you can take it anywhere without fear. The Wonderboom 2 is one of the best outdoor speakers available today. Highly recommended.

Get the Gear:

Pros
IP67-rated waterproofing
Rugged
Ultraportable
Cons
No real cons in this portability and size range
4.7

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