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 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

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 in³ (1710 cm³)
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.

6.3
Active Features
App
App Name
Ultimate Ears
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The Ultimate Ears app is unremarkable. 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. While you can pair multiple BOOM speakers together to amplify your audio at a party, you can't link two speakers together to form a stereo pair.

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

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has good Bluetooth connectivity. Although you can only pair it with one device at a time, it has an incredible range, so it can receive audio input from a paired device even if it's far away. It has low Bluetooth latency with Android devices, but 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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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