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Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Mar 16, 2021 at 10:09 am
Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Picture
6.9
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
7.6
Podcasts
3.2
Voice Assistant
7.8
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a portable Bluetooth speaker. It's well-suited for outdoor use, with an outstandingly long battery life and an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Its sound profile is boomy overall, though it struggles to produce low-bass. However, you can use the graphic EQ in its companion app to customize the sound profile to your liking. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has a remarkable soundstage that's perceived as wide and spacious from all angles. Unfortunately, it doesn't have voice assistant support.

Our Verdict

6.9 Music

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Bluetooth speaker is alright for music. It has a boomy sound profile, but it still struggles to produce a thumpy low-bass. However, it has a fairly balanced mid-range, so vocals and instruments are reproduced accurately. The treble range is underemphasized, though, so the higher frequencies of these same instruments may sound dark. Thankfully, there is a graphic EQ in its companion app that lets you customize the sound to your liking. Also, its soundstage is perceived as very open and spacious due to its 360-degree design.

Pros
  • Wide and spacious soundstage.
  • Graphic EQ in its companion app.
  • Remarkably long battery life.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Some compression present at max volume.
6.2 Videos/Movies

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is passable for videos and movies. Though its sound profile is boomy overall, it has a fairly balanced mid-range, so dialogue sounds clear and present in the mix. However, it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed movie scenes. Its low latency with Android devices is suitable for watching videos, however, it doesn't perform as well with iOS devices. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently. Thankfully, it has a spacious soundstage that immerses you in the audio.

Pros
  • Wide and spacious soundstage.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • High Bluetooth latency with iOS devices.
  • Some compression present at max volume.
7.6 Podcasts

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is good for podcasts. While it has a boomy sound profile, it has a balanced mid-range, so dialogue is reproduced accurately. However, its treble range is underemphasized, so sibilants like S and T sounds may be perceived as dark. You can use it on-the-go without worrying about charging it too often since its battery lasts close to eighteen hours. Unfortunately, you can only pair one device at a time over Bluetooth, which may be annoying if you like to frequently switch your audio source.

Pros
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Remarkably long battery life.
Cons
  • Doesn't support multi-device pairing.
3.2 Voice Assistant

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 doesn't have voice assistant support.

7.8 Outdoors

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is very good for outdoor use. It comes with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It has an incredibly sturdy build, and it's lightweight and portable. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has an open and spacious soundstage that sounds clear from all angles. Its 17.7-hour battery life lets you use it all day without having to charge it. Unfortunately, it doesn't get especially loud, and there's some compression present at max volume.

Pros
  • IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.
  • Incredibly portable.
  • Wide and spacious soundstage.
  • Remarkably long battery life.
Cons
  • Some compression present at max volume.
  • 6.9 Music
  • 6.2 Videos/Movies
  • 7.6 Podcasts
  • 3.2 Voice Assistant
  • 7.8 Outdoors
  1. Updated Aug 19, 2021: We've updated the results for 'Stereo Pair Mode' from 'No' to 'Yes'.
  2. Updated Jun 18, 2021: We updated the review to provide more information regarding this speaker's stereo pairing and multi-device pairing capabilities.
  3. Updated Mar 16, 2021: Review published.
  4. Updated Mar 12, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a small, cylindrical speaker that looks quite similar to the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST. It's meant to sit vertically, and it has two large volume buttons on its front face. It comes in many different color variants, so you can find a look that fits your style. There's also a small built-in hook on the top edge that lets you attach it to your bag.

9.1
Design
Portability
Volume
104 inยณ (1,710 cmยณ)
Weight
2.0 lbs (0.9 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is remarkably portable. It's a bit bigger than the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3, but it's still quite small and lightweight, so you can carry it with one hand. Since it's battery-powered, you can use it out and about without having to plug it into an outlet.

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 Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has an outstanding build quality. The speaker is wrapped in a tight fabric that feels durable, and it has a rubber top and bottom base. It has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. While it doesn't have an advertised rating for impact resistance, the manufacturer claims it's drop-proof from a height of three feet, but we also don't test for this. There's a small built-in hook on the top edge, which lets you attach it to your bag.

5.8
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Good
Feedback
Good
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has sub-par controls. It has a few buttons on the top and sides that are all texturized and easy to press. The volume buttons on the sides of the speaker are very large, although you need to press the middle of the button for it to register your command. On top, there's a Bluetooth button and a "Magic" button, which you can press once to play/pause your audio, twice to skip forward a track, or long-press to launch a playlist set in the Ultimate Ears app. Unfortunately, no button lets you go to a previous track. You can press both volume buttons together to get audio feedback on the speaker's battery level. It also chimes when turning on and off. Although the speaker chimes when it reaches max volume, there's no indicator for the volume level otherwise.

Design
In The Box

  • Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • User Manual
  • Power supply

Sound
6.3
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-1.13
Std. Err.
4.07 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
72.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.2 kHz

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has passable frequency response accuracy. When using the 'Standard' preset EQ in its companion app, it has a boomy sound profile overall, though it struggles to reproduce a thumpy, rumbling low-bass. The mid-range is fairly well-balanced, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, the higher frequencies of these instruments may sound dark due to the underemphasized treble range. Fortunately, the Ultimate Ears app has a full graphic EQ and presets, letting you customize its sound profile to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
9.1
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
1.74 dB
Stereo
Yes

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has a fantastic soundstage performance. It can play stereo content, and it has amazing directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, so the soundstage is perceived as large and spacious from all angles.

6.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
89.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.91 dB

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has a fair dynamics performance. It can get fairly loud, but there's some compression present when you use it at max volume.

Active Features
9.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
17.7 hrs
Charge Time
2.5 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
Micro-USB

This speaker has an outstanding battery performance. It's advertised to last for 20 hours on a single charge, and while it lasted for just under eighteen hours in our tests, that's still incredible. Battery life can vary based on usage, so your real-world experience may vary. It also saves power by shutting off automatically after fifteen minutes without audio input.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 doesn't have voice assistant support.

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

Update 08/19/2021: We previously stated that this speaker doesn't have a Stereo pairing feature. However, we found that it does in fact support this feature after retesting this unit, and we've updated the results for 'Stereo Pair Mode' from 'No' to 'Yes'. We've also updated the text to provide more information regarding this feature.

The Ultimate Ears app is very good. It's compatible with both iOS and Android devices, and it has a graphic EQ and presets so you can customize the speaker's sound profile to your liking. You can also pair two speakers together to create a stereo pair, via its 'Party Up' feature. That said, it's important to note that no more than two speakers of the same model can be paired to each other simultaneously, meaning you can only enable its Party Mode and Stereo Pair Mode by pairing this speaker to another MEGABOOM 3.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 can't be used wired. It comes with a micro-USB cable, but that's just for charging the speaker.

7.6
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
Unspecified
Bluetooth iOS Latency
181 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
71 ms
Bluetooth Range
282.2 ft (86.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

Update 06/18/2021: After retesting the speaker, we confirmed that it doesn't support multi-device pairing, and can only be paired to one device at a time over a Bluetooth connection. We've updated the text and added a note to provide more information regarding this speaker's multi-device pairing capabilities.

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has good Bluetooth connectivity. It has an incredible range, so it can receive audio input from a paired device even if it's far away. However, while it has low Bluetooth latency with Android devices, its Bluetooth latency with iOS devices is high, so it may not be suitable for watching videos on paired iOS devices. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

Note: We were unable to pair two mobile devices to this speaker at the same time during our testing process, as the speaker disconnects one device upon connecting the second.

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

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 isn't Wi-Fi compatible.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 comes in seven color variants: 'Night Black, 'Blue', 'Purple', 'Sunset Red', 'Dusk', 'Jungle Grey', and 'Moon'. We tested the 'Blue' variant, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. We expect all these variants to perform similarly in tests.

If you come across a variant not listed here, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that's designed for outdoor use. It has an IP67 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this, and there's a small hook on the top edge that lets you hang it on your bag. As its name suggests, it has a boomy sound profile, although like many small speakers it struggles to produce a thumpy, rumbling low-bass. It has a longer battery life than the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST, though it doesn't get as loud. Like many Ultimate Ears speakers, it has a 360-degree design, which results in a soundstage that's perceived as wide and spacious.

See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers for bass.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3. The MEGABOOM has a more balanced sound profile, though the extra boom in the high-bass may be overwhelming for some listeners. Also, it has a better build quality and a longer battery life. While they're both remarkably portable speakers, the BOOM is smaller, which some users may prefer. It also has lower Bluetooth latency with iOS devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently.

JBL Charge 5

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall. The Ultimate Ears can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and has an outstanding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design. Its companion app features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. The JBL has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. You can also connect it to two devices at once, which can come in handy when you need to switch between two audio sources quickly.

Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST

The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is a better speaker than the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3. The MEGABLAST has a fairly neutral sound profile, whereas the MEGABOOM's is boomy. It can also get louder, which is nice for playing music outdoors. Also, only the MEGABLAST has voice assistant support and Wi-Fi compatibility. However, the MEGABOOM has a much longer battery life, lasting close to eighteen hours. It also has a hook on its top edge, letting you attach it to your bag.

JBL Charge 4

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 4. The Ultimate Ears has a more balanced sound profile and has a full graphic EQ in its companion app. It also has a much wider soundstage and can play stereo content, unlike the JBL. It's a better-built speaker with a slightly longer battery life. However, the JBL has lower Bluetooth latency with iOS devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently.

Sonos Roam

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Sonos Roam. The Ultimate Ears is better-built, and it gets louder and has longer battery life. Also, its soundstage performance is better. While the Sonos comes with bass and treble adjustments, the Ultimate Ears has a graphic EQ for sound customization. That said, only the Sonos supports voice assistants.

JBL Xtreme 2

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Xtreme 2. The Ultimate Ears has a wider and more spacious soundstage, thanks to its 360-degree design. It also has an EQ in its companion app, unlike the JBL. Only the Ultimate Ears has a rating for dust resistance, and the manufacturer even claims that it's drop-proof from a height of three feet. However, only the JBL has voice assistant support, though it uses the voice assistant from your paired smartphone.

JBL Flip 5

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Flip 5. The Ultimate Ears is a better-built speaker and its soundstage is perceived as more open and spacious. Also, it can get louder and has much longer battery life. Although its sound profile is a bit less neutral than the JBL's, there's a graphic EQ and presets in the Ultimate Ears app that lets you customize its sound to your liking. However, some users may prefer the JBL's smaller, more portable design.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. The MEGABOOM 3 is compatible with the Ultimate Ears app, which features a graphic EQ and presets, so you can tweak the speaker's sound to suit your preferences. You can also use it to connect multiple compatible speakers when you want your audio to fill a large room without increasing the volume. That said, the WONDERBOOM 2 is smaller and more portable than the MEGABOOM 3, and you can pair it to two devices at a time, which can come in handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources. 

JBL Xtreme 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Xtreme 3. Thanks to its 360-degree design, The Ultimate Ears has amazing directivity, meaning you can hear your audio clearly from all angles. It also comes with a graphic EQ and presets so you can customize its sound to your liking. That said, out-of-the-box, the JBL can produce a more extended low-bass than the Ultimate Ears. It can also be paired to two devices at once, which can come in handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker than the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 overall. The HYPERBOOM has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a deeper bass than that of the MEGABOOM 3. It can also get much louder with significantly fewer compression artifacts at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. Additionally, it has a longer battery life, lasting just under 24 hours from a single charge, though this can depend on your usage. That said, the MEGABOOM 3 is smaller and more portable than the HYPERBOOM. It also offers a wider-sounding soundstage, thanks to its 360-degree design.

Sony SRS-XB43

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB43 overall. The Ultimate Ears has much better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. It's also more portable and is better built than the Sony. That said, the Sony can pair to up to two devices at once, which can come in handy if you need to switch between audio sources quickly. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't very good.

Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the Anker Soundcore Motion+ overall. The Ultimate Ears has an amazingly wide and spacious-sounding soundstage, thanks to its 360-degree design. It's also better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. That said, the Anker has a better-balanced sound profile with its BassUp feature enabled and can produce deeper bass than the Ultimate Ears. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't very good.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II. The Ultimate Ears is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app. It can also get louder than the Bose with fewer compression artifacts at max volume and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. That said, the Bose has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't great.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 overall. The Sonos can get louder and has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box that can produce a deeper low-bass than the Ultimate Ears. It also offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can understand your commands from far and in noisy environments. The Ultimate Ears can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono which is more immersive. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it also has a more natural-sounding soundstage.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB33. The Ultimate Ears offers a more natural-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design. It can also get louder with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner during louder listening sessions. That said, the Sony supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't great. It can also be paired to two devices at once, which can come in handy if you need to switch between audio sources.

JBL Boombox 2

The JBL Boombox 2 is a slightly better speaker than the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3. The JBL can produce much deeper bass than the Ultimate Ears. It can also get louder and can last up to almost 24 hours from a single charge, though this can depend on your usage, and your experience may differ. That said, the Ultimate Ears has fantastic directivity, so your audio sounds clear from most angles. This small speaker is also more customizable, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose Portable Smart Speaker or the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3. The Bose can produce a more extended low-bass than the Ultimate Ears and offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. That said, the Ultimate Ears can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage. It's also better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

Bose SoundLink Revolve II

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve II, though they have different strengths. The Ultimate Ears can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage performance. It can get louder than the Bose, with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds clean during louder listening sessions. It's also more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app. That said, the Bose supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far and in noisy environments.

Anker Soundcore Motion Boom

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom overall, though they have different strengths. The Ultimate Ears is better built and has better directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, so its soundstage is perceived as wider and more spacious-sounding. That said, the Anker has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage, and your experience may vary. With BassUp enabled, it can also produce a more extended low-bass.

Marshall Emberton

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Marshall Emberton overall. The Ultimate Ears can get louder with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner during louder listening sessions. You can customize its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. It's also better built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. That said, the Marshall has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, that can produce a slightly more extended low-bass.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the Bang & Olufsen Beosound explore overall. The Ultimate Ears can produce a more extended low-bass and comes with a graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage. That said, the Bang & Olufsen is a bit smaller, making it more portable. It can also be paired to two devices at once, which is handy when you quickly need to switch between audio sources.

Bose SoundLink Color II

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Color II overall. Thanks to its 360-degree design, the Ultimate Ears has better directivity, resulting in a more natural-sounding soundstage. It can produce a more extended low-bass, and you can customize its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. That said, the Bose is a little bit smaller, making it more portable. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, and can understand you from far and in noisy settings.

Alpine Corporation Solar Bluetooth Rock Speaker

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Alpine Corporation Solar Bluetooth Rock Speaker overall. The Ultimate Ears can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. It has amazing directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, resulting in a wider and more open-sounding soundstage. You can also tweak its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets in its companion app. That said, some listeners may prefer the Alpine Corporation's outdoor-friendly, rock-like design with a built-in solar panel.

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