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Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Review updated Sep 01, 2023 at 08:51 am
Latest change: Writing modified Sep 01, 2023 at 08:51 am
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 Picture
6.8
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
7.9
Podcasts
3.2
Voice Assistant
7.9
Outdoors

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is the next generation of the brand's budget speaker, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. It has an identical design to the WONDERBOOM 2, with the same oversized volume buttons on the side, but offers a much longer 22-hour battery life. This small speaker has a stretchy strap to carry or hang it up with. Also, its IP67 rating for dust and water resistance means it can withstand dust and water exposure. Its design is well-suited for its intended purpose as a portable speaker, but it lacks sound customization features and support for voice assistants, like most speakers in its price range.

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. 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. It 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 adequate 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. Its 360-degree design helps it offer 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 smaller or medium-sized rooms.

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 neutral 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. It supports multi-device pairing, so it's easy to switch audio sources. However, it doesn't get extremely loud, like most small speakers, so it's better for listening in smaller areas.

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

This speaker doesn't support voice assistants.

7.9 Outdoors

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is good for outdoor use. It has a very sturdy build and an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. It floats in water, so you don't have to worry about dropping it in the pool. Its 360 design helps you hear audio clearly from every angle, and it's incredibly portable, with a lightweight design and built-in carrying hook. Also, while it doesn't get that loud, there isn't much compression at max volume, so your favorite songs sound clean and clear when the volume's all the way up. An 'Outdoor Mode' also makes elements like voices louder and easier to hear. Its continuous battery life of 22 hours makes it great for long days at the beach.

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 01, 2023: Made minor edits to bring the text up to date.
  2. Updated Sep 22, 2022: Review published.
  3. Updated Sep 16, 2022: Early access published.
  4. Updated Sep 13, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  5. Updated Sep 07, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  6. Updated Aug 24, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This speaker comes in four color variants expected to perform similarly: 'Active Black', 'Performance Blue', 'Hyper Pink', 'Joyous Bright', Spruce Green', and 'Digital Lavender'. This review represents the test results for the 'Joyous Bright' variant; you can find its label here.

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

Compared To Other Speakers

This small Bluetooth speaker is the next generation of the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. It sports a nearly identical design to its predecessor and still sports a Micro-USB port for charging. It doesn't work with the Ultimate Ears app, unlike bigger, pricier Ultimate Ears speakers like the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3, and doesn't come with sound customization features like an EQ. That said, its sound profile sounded a touch fuller and brighter than the WONDERBOOM 2. It also offers a much longer, 22-hour continuous battery life, 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.

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 on 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 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 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 a 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.

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.

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 on 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 on 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.

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.

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.

Bushnell Wingman Mini

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is better for music than the Bushnell Wingman Mini. The Ultimate Ears has a longer battery life and can get louder than the Bushnell. Plus, unlike the Bushnell, it can playback stereo content without downmixing it to mono. Its default sound is more neutral, too, which some users may prefer. However, the Bushnell is designed with golfers in mind, and its golf-centric companion app may be worth it for those who like to listen to music out on the course.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

It's a small portable speaker with a nearly identical design to its predecessor, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. It has the same barrel shape, Ultimate Ears' distinctive oversized volume buttons, and a small, stretchy, built-in strap so you can hang the speaker from a hook or attach it to your backpack when you're on the go. We tested it in 'Joyous Bright', but it also comes in five other colors, 'Active Black', 'Performance Blue', 'Hyper Pink', Spruce Green', and 'Digital Lavender', 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 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 attach it to 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

It has a fantastic build quality. The speaker feels very solid and robust. The fabric wrap is tight, and the stretchy carrying strap doesn't feel like it'll rip easily. 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. It also floats in water. The manufacturer advises 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

It has a simple selection of controls that are easy to use. You can access basic audio controls with the big center button on top and the oversized +/-buttons on the speaker's side. When adjusting the volume, the audio fades momentarily to indicate when you've reached the maximum. The power button lights up when the speaker is on, and you'll also hear chimes when it powers on and enters pairing mode. However, it would be nice to be able to skip the track backward instead of just forward. You can't connect the speaker to its predecessor, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2.

Centre button:

  • Single press: Play/pause audio
  • Double-press: Skip forward
  • Press and hold: Connect with another WONDERBOOM 3 speaker and switch between stereo and mono modes.

Bluetooth button:

  • Press and hold: Enter pairing mode

+/- buttons:

  • Single press + button: Volume up
  • Single press - button: Volume down
  • Press both at once: Check battery status. The speaker emits an audible tone to let you know if the battery is 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, its frequency response accuracy isn't bad. Like the WONDERBOOM 2, the 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. Voices seem louder, and the bass is reduced.

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 a 360-degree design, and the audio sounds the same from every angle, so if you set it in the middle of a room or table, everyone can hear clearly.

It plays stereo content, so instruments and sound effects in your audio are localized to either the speaker's left or right sides. You can also pair it with another WONDERBOOM 3 for stereo content, although it doesn't work with the previous model, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2.

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
Battery Powered
Yes

It 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, we measured a battery life that outshines its predecessor, 22 hours off a single charge. Battery life varies depending on your usage habits and chosen volume levels. The speaker also has a power-saving feature that switches it off after 15 minutes of inactivity.

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
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 only works via Bluetooth and doesn't have any wired inputs besides its micro-USB charging port, so you can't use it by plugging it into a computer's audio jack, for example.

8.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Yes
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

It 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 disconnecting and reconnecting 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
Wi-Fi
No
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A