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Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Sep 22, 2022 at 09:53 am
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 Picture
6.8
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
7.9
Podcasts
3.2
Voice Assistant
7.9
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is the next generation of the brand's budget speaker, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, and the manufacturer advertises it to be made with recycled plastic. It has an identical design to the WONDERBOOM 2, with Ultimate Ears' iconic oversized volume buttons on its front. It's incredibly portable with a built-in loop to help you transport it, and it's remarkably well-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. This speaker is designed to be taken outdoors and to withstand small bumps and scrapes. It's even advertised to float in water, making it a great poolside companion.

Our Verdict

6.8 Music

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is alright for music. It has a balanced sound profile, making it great for listening to a wide variety of music genres. Its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, like most speakers its size, it doesn't get incredibly loud, and it lacks a thumpy low-bass, so it's better suited for listening in a bedroom instead of in a big backyard. It has little compression at max volume, so your favorite songs sound clean and clear when you blast the speaker. This stereo speaker also offers a wide and spacious-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design. Unfortunately, there's no graphic EQ to customize its sound to your liking.

Pros
  • Little compression at max volume.
  • Wide and immersive soundstage.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Lacks low-bass.
6.2 Videos/Movies

While it isn't specifically designed for this, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is fair for watching videos and movies. It has fairly low Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices, so the visuals you see on the screen and the audio you hear remain synchronized, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your real-world experience may differ. This stereo speaker's 360-degree design also means it offers a wide and spacious-sounding soundstage. That said, like most speakers its size, it doesn't get incredibly loud, so it's better suited for listening in a small to medium-sized bedroom instead of a larger living room. It also lacks low-bass, so you don't feel any thump that's typically present in action-packed scenes and videos.

Pros
  • Low Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices.
  • Wide and immersive soundstage.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.9 Podcasts

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is good for podcasts. It has a balanced sound profile with a balanced mid-range that ensures voices and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, making it great for dialogue-centric audio content like audiobooks and podcasts. Its 360-degree design means you can hear your audio clearly from most angles, and there's little compression at max volume, so your audio remains clean and clear-sounding when you max out the speaker's volume. Also, it's incredibly portable design makes it easy to move your favorite podcasts and audiobooks with you from room to room or take them outdoors with you.

Pros
  • Little compression at max volume.
  • Wide and immersive soundstage.
  • Incredibly portable.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
3.2 Voice Assistant

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 doesn't support voice assistants.

7.9 Outdoors

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is great for outdoor use. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it's fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can take it outside without worrying about getting it wet. It's even advertised to float in water, so you can float your music around with you while you relax in the pool. The manufacturer advises rinsing the speaker with fresh water whenever you expose it to salty or chlorinated water. It's incredibly portable with a built-in hook you can use to attach it to your bags when you're on the go. Also, while it doesn't get incredibly loud, there isn't much compression at max volume, so your favorite songs sound clean and clear when you blast the speaker. Its long-lasting battery life of over 22 hours makes it great for long listening sessions spent outdoors.

Pros
  • IP67 rating.
  • Floats in water.
  • Over 22 hours of playtime.
  • Incredibly portable.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • 6.8 Music
  • 6.2 Videos/Movies
  • 7.9 Podcasts
  • 3.2 Voice Assistant
  • 7.9 Outdoors
  1. Updated Sep 22, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Sep 16, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is a small portable speaker with a nearly identical design to its predecessor, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. It sports Ultimate Ears' iconic oversized volume buttons and comes with a small, stretchy, built-in strap you can use to hang the speaker from a hook or attach it to your backpack when you're on the go. This review represents the test results for the 'Joyous Bright' variant, but it also comes in three other colors, 'Active Black', 'Performance Blue', and 'Hyper Pink', so you can choose one that suits your style.

9.3
Design
Portability
Volume
58 inยณ (944 cmยณ)
Weight
0.9 lbs (0.4 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The speaker is remarkably portable. It's just as lightweight and small as the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, so you can easily hold it in one hand and bring it with you when you're out and about. It also comes with a similar, small, built-in strap to suspend it from a hook or to attach it t your bag.

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

This speaker has a fantastic build quality that feels robust overall. It's mostly made of solid plastic and is wrapped tightly in fabric. There's also a stretchy built-in hook to help you transport it that doesn't feel as if it would easily rip, which is good. It's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning it's certified to be fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. The manufacturer even advertises that it floats in water, making it a great poolside companion. They also advise rinsing the speaker with fresh water after exposing it to pool or beach water.

6.6
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
Forward Only (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 has a simple selection of easy-to-use controls. You can press the largest button atop the speaker to play/pause your audio and double-press it to skip track. You can also press and hold it to connect it to another WONDERBOOM 3 and toggle between mono and stereo modes while paired. You can't connect it to its predecessor, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. You can also press its volume buttons simultaneously to check your speaker's battery level. It causes the speaker to emit an audible tone to let you know if your battery's low, medium or full.

Design
In The Box

  • Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 speaker
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Quick User Guide

Sound
6.2
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.76
Std. Err.
2.71 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
88.5 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
16.0 kHz

Out-of-the-box, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3's frequency response accuracy isn't bad. Like the WONDERBOOM 2, its sound profile is mostly balanced, and vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content, from your favorite songs to podcasts and audiobooks. That said, like most speakers its size, it lacks a thumpy low-bass. While it can produce as deep a bass, and as high treble as its predecessor, its sound profile is a touch brighter overall, and it sounds subtly fuller. Also, like the WONDERBOOM 2, it doesn't come with a graphic EQ to customize its sound to your liking, and there's an 'Outdoor' mode button underneath the speaker that makes audio sound a bit crisper for when you're outdoors.

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

This speaker has a fantastic soundstage performance. It has excellent directivity thanks to its 360-degree design since it projects audio from all around the speaker. Instruments and sound effects in your audio sound the same no matter what angle you're listening from, and you'll perceive the soundstage as open and spacious-sounding.

It plays stereo content without downmixing it to mono, so instruments and sound effects in your audio are localized to either the left or the right sides of the speaker. If you play a song that normally has the keyboard on the left and the guitar on the right, for instance, the WONDERBOOM 3 plays the keyboard sounds from the left side of the speaker, and the guitar sounds from its right, which makes its soundstage more immersive. That said, due to the speaker's small and spherical design, it's hard to notice these distinctions when you listen passively listening to your music. Still, this adds to the immersiveness of its soundstage.

7.3
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
86.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.14 dB

This speaker has decent dynamics. While it doesn't get loud enough to fill a large crowded space with sound, it still gets loud enough to fill smaller areas like your bedroom with sound. It also has little compression present at max volume, so your favorite songs sound clean and clear when you blast the speaker, and audio quality doesn't degrade much as you bump up the volume.

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

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 has a fantastic battery performance. While it's advertised to last around 14 hours from a single charge, an hour more than the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, it ended up outshining its predecessor, lasting over 22 hours from a single charge during our tests. That said, battery life varies depending on your usage habits and chosen volume levels. There's also a power-saving feature that the speaker off when it's left idle for 15 minutes.

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
0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No
Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

This speaker doesn't have any wired inputs aside from its micro-USB charging port.

8.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
Unspecified
Bluetooth iOS Latency
117 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
155 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 has great Bluetooth connectivity. Like the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, you can connect up to two devices to the speaker at once, so you and a friend can control the music without needing to disconnect and reconnect your audio sources. It has a much larger range than the WONDERBOOM 2, so your paired devices remain connected to the speaker from further away. It also has lower latency with iOS and Android devices, so the audio you hear stays in sync with the visuals you see on your screen when you use the speaker to watch movies and videos.

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

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 comes in four color variants that are expected to perform similarly: 'Active Black', 'Performance Blue', 'Hyper Pink', and 'Joyous Bright'. This review represents the test results for the 'Joyous Bright' variant, you can find its label here.

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

Compared To Other Speakers

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is the next generation of the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. It has a nearly identical design to its predecessor and still sports a Micro-USB port. Also, unlike other Ultimate Ears speakers like the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3, it isn't compatible with the Ultimate Ears app and doesn't come with sound customization features like a graphic EQ to tweak its sound, which is disappointing. That said, its sound profile sounded a touch fuller and brighter than the WONDERBOOM 2 in our tests, though not by much. On the other hand, it has a fantastic battery life of over 22 hours from a single charge, making it much better suited for longer listening sessions.

Check out our recommendations for the best portable Bluetooth speakers, the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers under $100.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is slightly better than the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, but not by much. The WONDERBOOM 3's battery life lasted significantly longer in our tests, lasting over 22 hours from a single charge. That said, battery life can vary depending on your usage habits, volume level, and chosen settings. Its sound profile also sounds a touch brighter and fuller overall. Otherwise, the two speakers are almost identical. If you already own a WONDERBOOM 2, it isn't worth the upgrade. If you're looking for a new, small, portable Ultimate Ears speaker, go for the WONDERBOOM 3 instead.

JBL GO 3

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL GO 3. The Ultimate Ears can produce a more extended low-bass and can get louder. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage overall. Its battery life outlasts that of the JBL by around 17 hours. It's also better built, and the manufacturer advertises it to float in water. That said, the JBL is smaller, making it more portable.

JBL Flip 6

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Flip 6, though they have different strengths. The Ultimate Ears is a stereo speaker that offers a much wider and more immersive soundstage performance. It gets about as loud as the JBL but with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio quality when you blast your favorite songs. Its battery life of over 22 hours makes it better suited for longer listening sessions. If you like having more control over your speaker's sound profile, go for the JBL. It has a graphic EQ to customize its sound profile to your liking. It also produces a bass that's a touch deeper than the WONDERBOOM 3, but not by much.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3. The WONDERBOOM 3 is more compact and is easier to bring along with you on the go. Its sound profile is more balanced overall and can produce a slightly more extended low-bass. Its battery life lasted much longer in our tests, lasting over 22 hours from a single charge. That said, the BOOM 3 is compatible with the Ultimate Ears app, which gives you access to a graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound to your liking. It also has lower latency with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a slightly better speaker than the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3. The MEGABOOM 3 offers a boomy sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than the WONDERBOOM 3. It's also compatible with the Ultimate Ears app, which features a graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound profile to your liking. The WONDERBOOM 3 is smaller, making it more portable. Its battery lasted longer in our test, lasting over 22 hours, though this can vary depending on your chosen settings and volume levels.

JBL Clip 4

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Clip 4 overall. The Ultimate Ears can get louder with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner when you blast the speaker. It has a more balanced sound profile that can produce slightly deeper bass. It also has a long-lasting battery life of over 22 hours from a single charge, unlike the JBL's 5.5 hours. The JBL is smaller and has a built-in carabiner hook, making it easier to transport. It also has lower Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices.

Sony SRS-XB13

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB13 overall. The Ultimate Ears is better-built, gets louder than the Sony, and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage. Its sound profile is more balanced overall. Its 22-hour battery life is also around twice as long, though this varies depending on your usage habits and chosen volume levels. The Sony is smaller and has lower Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone.

Bose SoundLink Flex

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Flex, though they have different strengths. The Ultimate Ears offers a wider and more spacious sounding soundstage. It also plays stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. It has less compression at max volume, so your audio quality sounds cleaner when you blast the speaker. It also has a significantly longer-lasting battery life of over 22 hours from a single charge. The Bose SoundLink Flex can produce a more extended low-bass and supports voice assistants through your smartphone.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is better than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 overall. The Ultimate Ears is better built and has a significantly longer battery life of over 22 hours from a single charge. It gets a touch louder with much less compression present at max volume. It's also smaller and more portable. If you like having control over your speaker's sound profile, the Flare 2 comes with a graphic EQ and presets to tweak its sound to your liking. Since it's larger, it also produces a deeper bass. It even supports voice assistants through your smartphone.

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