The biggest selling point of a wireless Bluetooth speaker is that it can be used anywhere, with 2019's Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 taking that to the extreme with full waterproofing and even the ability to float when dunked. As tiny speakers without smart assistants go, the UE Wonderboom 2 is one of our favorites, but there’s always room in our hearts for more, which is what the new Wonderboom 3 delivers.
Our biggest critique with the Wonderboom 2 was its use of an “Athleisure” fabric wrap we deemed “a little too trendy.” There’s less to complain about with the Wonderboom 3, which now uses 100% recycled polyester fabric for its outer wrap, which is available in four colors. These are Joyous Bright (which is what Ultimate Ears calls gray, for some reason), Hyper Pink, Performance Blue, and Active Black. The rest of the speaker also uses “a minimum of certified 31% post-consumer recycled plastic” which is a step in the right direction, and a reason to feel slightly less guilty about upgrading from the previous version—slightly.
The UE Wonderboom 3 still boasts an IP67 rating, which means it’s completely dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 1 meter. But since it also floats, you’ll have to work extra hard to even get it that deep. The battery life jump between the original Wonderboom and the Wonderboom 2 went from 10 hours to 13 hours, while the Wonderboom 3 extends that an additional hour to 14, which is dependent on where you’re using it and how loud you’re pumping the jams.
The Wonderboom 3 also gets a boost in its wireless Bluetooth range to 40 meters, whereas its predecessor could muster 30. So, you’d be improving the speaker’s portability and its ability to connect to source devices indoors through multiple walls by upgrading. It’s not a complete redesign of the already excellent wireless speaker, which is why version 3 carries over version 2's same $100 price tag.
Is it a must-have upgrade for existing users? Probably not, but for those looking for their first wireless speaker that’s compatible with a more active lifestyle, the Wonderboom 3 will survive a lot of adventures outside your living room.