At first glance, the new speaker hardly differs from its predecessor. Small, round, like a coffee cup that’s a bit too big with a small carrying strap, available in different colours. The question is: What does Ultimate Ears Wonderboom want to have done differently to lure customers to the new model, which is available for just under 100 Euros – while the predecessor is already available for less than half the price?
Among the new features is an improved battery life, 13 instead of 10 hours, according to Logitech. I was able to do this so roughly in my test, but not at full speed. Charging was done in less than 3 hours. Nevertheless, such a battery capacity is of course great for extended days, which one likes to spend outside at the lake. And you can even take the loudspeaker into the water, because it is IP67-certified and therefore protected, just like its predecessor. I couldn’t try the whole thing at the lake, but in the paddling pool and under the shower. Conclusion: The speaker floats and still plays flawlessly.
According to the manufacturer, the bass has been improved. It’s called a 30% figure and although I know its predecessor and have heard a lot, I can’t understand whether this statement is true. But it sounds rounder than the first generation and this probably has something to do with the bass. You’re actually surprised what comes out of the small speaker solution, both in sound and volume.
In spite of its pleasant handling and construction, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is not necessarily an outdoor loudspeaker, although it is predestined for it. I spent an entire day pairing my computer in the study with the Wonderboom 2 and came to the conclusion that you could live with it in an emergency, at least in part, if the sound system were to wear out. That might have been even better if you had more than one loudspeaker – stereo coupling is possible, which I couldn’t understand now – because I only have the one Wonderboom 2.
A detail of the new model can be found on the underside: There is an outdoor booster. The loudspeaker seems to take a bit of the width and warmth out of the sound, which one perceives when using it nearby – it seems louder with much more focus on highs.
When it comes to haptics, I give the loudspeaker good marks; it’s not only comfortable to hold, but also feels great and robust – important for outdoor use. What I didn’t like, however, is the use of microUSB for charging. Come on – is it so difficult with USB-C? The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is a modern, upbeat loudspeaker – you might be allowed to go ahead in a modern way.
I still think the Wonderboom 2 control is very well done. In the front you have the large speaker buttons and the central button at the top lets you jump back and forth between tracks. You know it from other loudspeakers. Click once: Play / Pause, click twice, skips and a three-click does….nothing at all. What a pity, I would have hoped to jump back. Otherwise you can also query the battery using the volume keys, if you press both, you will be notified of the status by sound. Unfortunately only by Düttdüttdüütdüüt – not by announcement.
A short conclusion: The Wonderboom 2 delivers a surprisingly rich and loud sound. But: In the end, the predecessor often costs only half as much. And here I am quite honest: No matter if “a little” more bass and longer running time: I hit the cheaper loudspeaker, because it is something I at least don’t have to use daily and permanently. Generation 1 is sufficient for occasional excursions. Otherwise: Very successful successor!