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Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Oct 11, 2023 at 12:34 pm
Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM Picture
7.4
Music
6.5
Videos/Movies
7.8
Podcasts
3.3
Voice Assistant
7.7
Outdoors
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The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a premium design. It's suitable for listening both inside and outside, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance to protect it against the elements. It's really customizable, too, with the more basic Outdoor Mode to enhance sound when you're listening in larger and more open spaces, as well as a graphic EQ and presets available in its companion app. Plus, its Adaptive EQ automatically optimizes the sound based on the unique acoustics of your room.

Our Verdict

7.4 Music

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is satisfactory for music. This speaker has an Adaptive EQ tool that optimizes the sound based on your room's unique acoustics. With it on, it reproduces a little extra warmth in the bass range and some extra sparkle in the treble, which is ideal for genres with lots of highs and lows, like rock and pop. Still, its graphic EQ and presets allow you to change its sound if you want something different. It also gets loud enough for most rooms, though there's some compression at max volume.

Pros
  • Lots of sound customization tools.
  • Room correction tool.
Cons
  • Some compression at max volume.
6.5 Videos/Movies

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM isn't designed for watching movies, but it's a fair pick if you just want to stream videos on a paired smartphone. Latency is low when paired to iOS devices over Bluetooth, and while it's a little higher on Android devices, you still don't notice lip-synching issues. The speaker reproduces clear dialogue, too, and it brings some punch to the bass. However, it's not as rumbling or as loud as more dedicated home theater speakers.

Pros
  • Lots of sound customization tools.
  • Relatively low latency.
Cons
  • Only 7.8-hour battery life.
  • Some compression at max volume.
7.8 Podcasts

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is very good for podcasts. This speaker offers a pretty balanced mid-range, so voices reproduce with clarity and accuracy. It gets loud enough to fill most rooms in your home with clear sound, and thanks to its built-in strap, you can move it with you from room to room during longer episodes. If you place it in the center of the room, you get consistent sound from all angles, too, thanks to its 360-degree design.

Pros
  • Portable design.
  • Lots of sound customization tools.
Cons
  • Only 7.8-hour battery life.
3.3 Voice Assistant

This speaker doesn't support voice assistants.

7.7 Outdoors

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is good for outdoor use. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, and the manufacturer says it can withstand some drops and falls without issue. This speaker has a solid and sturdy build, and while it's on the larger side, its built-in strap makes it easier to transport. You can even use its Outdoor Mode preset to enhance audio across larger and more open spaces like your backyard. Its battery life ranks on the lower side, though.

Pros
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Portable design.
  • Lots of sound customization tools.
Cons
  • Only 7.8-hour battery life.
  • 7.4 Music
  • 6.5 Videos/Movies
  • 7.8 Podcasts
  • 3.3 Voice Assistant
  • 7.7 Outdoors
  1. Updated Oct 11, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 04, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Sep 28, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Sep 27, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Sep 11, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is available in either Charcoal Black or Cotton White. We tested the Charcoal Black variant, and you can see the label here.

If you encounter another version of this speaker, let us know in the forums.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is a premium speaker positioned between the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM and the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 in size and sound quality. It comes with many of the same features as the HYPERBOOM, including an Adaptive EQ room calibration tool to optimize its sound to your room's unique acoustics. It doesn't get as loud, though, and there's more compression at max volume.

See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best Ultimate Ears speakers, and the best outdoor speakers.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is a more premium alternative to the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3. The EPICBOOM is a larger speaker, and it can bring a more extended low-bass. Also, it gets louder and has an Adaptive EQ room correction tool, which the MEGABOOM lacks. If you want a more portable device, you may prefer the MEGABOOM.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a more premium speaker than the Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM. The HYPERBOOM offers better sound quality, especially regarding dynamics, as it can get louder with less compression at max volume. Its battery life is longer-lasting, too, and it has lower latency over Bluetooth. It's larger than the EPICBOOM and not quite as well-suited to outdoor use.

JBL Boombox 3

The JBL Boombox 3 is a better choice for music than the Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM. The JBL reproduces a bit more low-bass, so you feel more thump and rumble in the mix. It doesn't get quite as loud but has less compression at max volume. Plus, its battery life lasts longer. The Ultimate Ears has some additional customization tools, like an Adaptive EQ room calibration tool and more preset modes.

Sony SRS-XG300

The Sony SRS-XG300 and the Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM each have different strengths. The Sony has a boombox-style design, and it lets you pair with voice assistants from your smartphone. Its battery life is longer-lasting, too. However, its sound quality isn't as good as the Ultimate Ears, which has a better soundstage. Plus, the Ultimate Ears has more sound customization tools, like a room correction feature called Adaptive EQ.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is a stylish speaker with a minimalist design. There are two large volume buttons on the front of the speaker, similar to the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3. It's sleek enough to blend in with your home decor and rugged enough to take outdoors.

8.9
Design
Portability
Volume
283 inยณ (4,635 cmยณ)
Weight
4.4 lbs (2.0 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM is pretty portable. It's between the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 and the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM in terms of size, but you can still carry it in one hand thanks to its built-in strap. However, the strap can fall out of your hands, especially if you have smaller hands.

9.0
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Proof (IP6x)
Impact Resistance
Yes (IK rating unspecified)
Floats In Water
Yes

The speaker's build quality is excellent. It's sturdy and well-built, with a well-knit mesh fabric wrapping that doesn't seem prone to rips or tears. It's also rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, so it can withstand some exposure to the elements. According to the manufacturer, the rubber base contributes to the speaker's ability to withstand drops of up to one meter. There's also a cover for the USB-C charging port with a tight seal, which is nice.

6.9
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Good
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The controls are clearly marked and easy to use. They offer good feedback, too, with audible cues when you turn the speaker on/off, activate Bluetooth pairing, and connect to a device. Plus, three LED lights about the volume button give a rough estimate of the battery level. There's feedback for max volume and when the speaker's battery is low. However, there's no audible feedback when you switch to Outdoor Mode, so you're limited to the LED light signals to keep track of that.

  • Magic button: Tap once to play/pause, twice to skip a track, or three times to go back to a previous track. Hold to play a preset playlist, which you can set up in the Ultimate Ears app.
  • Outdoor button: This tree-shaped button lets you activate Outdoor Mode, which offers a more expansive sound for when you're listening outdoors.
  • Bluetooth button: Press to enter Bluetooth pairing mode.

Design
In The Box

  • User manual
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable (108 cm / 3.54 ft)
  • Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM speaker

Sound
7.0
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.69
Std. Err.
3.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.1 kHz

This speaker has a decent stereo frequency response. It reproduces a little extra warmth in the high-bass, which slightly muddies voices and lead instruments as it carries into the mids. There's a little extra brightness in the treble, too. You can always switch up its sound with its graphic EQ and presets in the Ultimate Ears app, too.

This speaker has a room calibration tool called Adaptive EQ that automatically adjusts the speaker's sound based on the unique acoustics of your space. We tested the speaker with this feature turned on. We didn't turn on any of the preset EQ modes, though. If you want to see a comparison of the different presets, take a look at the graph here.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
9.0
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
1.91 dB
Stereo
Yes

This stereo speaker has an excellent soundstage. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it can reproduce consistent audio from all angles.

7.2
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.6 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.84 dB

This speaker gets loud, though not as loud as the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM. There's a little more compression when you push it to max volume, too, which impacts the clarity of audio reproduction.

Active Features
7.4
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
7.8 hrs
Charge Time
2.4 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C
Battery Powered
Yes

The manufacturer advertises a battery life of seventeen hours, though the speaker only lasted over seven hours in our tests. Battery life can vary depending on your usage habits, which may contribute to this discrepancy. The charge time isn't too long, and there's also a power-saving feature on hand to help conserve battery life.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Speakerphone
No
Siri
No
Voice Assistant
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone
7.9
Active Features
App
App Name
Ultimate Ears
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The Ultimate Ears app is a handy way to control the speaker from your phone. It lets you access lots of different features, like a graphic EQ and presets, which are available as long as you're in Indoor Mode. You can also set a preset playlist from compatible music apps like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Apple Music. Plus, you can set alarms and pair the speaker with other compatible devices from the manufacturer. The Sticky PartyUp feature even lets you group multiple speakers that automatically go into Party Mode when you turn them on, so you don't need to group them together each time you use them. You can see a video of the app here.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No
7.5
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Bluetooth iOS Latency
112 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
157 ms
Bluetooth Range
328.1 ft (100.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

This Bluetooth-compatible speaker is easy to pair with your devices. If you have an Android 8.0 device or higher, you can use NFC pairing to connect in no time at all. The manufacturer says you can pair it with up to two devices at a time, but during our tests, it disconnected the first device when we attempted to connect to a second one. Over iOS devices, latency falls within good limits, and while it's a little higher with Android devices, you still aren't likely to encounter lip-synching issues. Some apps compensate for latency differently, though.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi
No
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A