Sound Speaker

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH - By Nidhi SiN­gal

if

you are look­ing for a por­ta­ble Blue­tooth speaker, you will find aplenty. But not all of them live up to the prom­ise of an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence. The re­cently launched Ul­ti­mate Ears Won­derboom Freestyle is a great out­door speaker – com­pact, rounded (102 mm tall and 93.2 mm wide), weigh­ing 425g and with a loop on the top that makes it easy to hang al­most any­where with­out wor­ry­ing about the speaker get­ting dam­aged. The IP67 rat­ing makes it wa­ter­proof and dust­proof, which means it can with­stand up to 1m deep wa­ter for up to 30 min­utes. I tested it dur­ing my re­cent va­ca­tion where it was pour­ing and kept it next to me on the beach. When it got a lit­tle dirty, I gave it a quick wash un­der the tap and it be­came squeaky clean. But while do­ing so, I made sure that the charg­ing port was not ex­posed to wa­ter and the flap was tightly locked.

An­other thing I liked about the Won­derboom speaker is its de­sign that in­cor­po­rates var­i­ous con­trols. Even when my smart­phone was not around, I was able to pause the mu­sic, skip tracks and con­trol vol­ume right from the speaker. The top houses the power but­ton and the Blue­tooth but­ton for pair­ing

while the UE brand­ing in the mid­dle can be used for play­ing/paus­ing the mu­sic. The ‘+’ and the ‘-’ key in white on the rasp­berry-hued speaker helped con­trol the vol­ume. The in­nards pack two 40 mm ac­tive drivers and two 46.1 mm x 65.2 mm pas­sive ra­di­a­tors for 360-de­gree im­mer­sive sound.

The speaker per­formed well across dif­fer­ent gen­res. When I played in­stru­men­tal mu­sic, it pro­duced clear and bal­anced lows and mids. Even at higher vol­umes, there was no dis­tor­tion and the vo­cals were well pro­nounced. How­ever, there was a slight hiss­ing sound at higher fre­quen­cies. The sound out­put is great for the com­pact size and is good enough for a small in­door or out­door gath­er­ing. But un­like the Me­gaBoom speaker, there is no com­pat­i­ble app with pre­set equalis­ers for the re­cently launched Won­de­room Freestyle.

The big­gest short­com­ing of this speaker is the lack of speak­er­phone ca­pa­bil­ity. When paired with a smart­phone, nei­ther does it no­tify an in­com­ing call, nor can it be used to an­swer one.

An­other must for out­door speak­ers is a good bat­tery backup and the Won­derboom did not fail in that depart­ment. Although UE did not men­tion the bat­tery size that goes into the speaker, it took close to three hours to get a full charge, which lasted me a lit­tle over 10 hours of mu­sic play­back at medium vol­ume.

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