Stay splashy: Ultimate summer speaker gets an upgrade

UE Roll 2 waterproof
The UE Roll 2 is ready to rock you through your splashy summer.
Photo: Ultimate Ears

The UE Roll, a UFO-shaped Bluetooth speaker that’s built to withstand the rigors of your super-splashy summer, is getting a welcome upgrade. Much like this year’s refreshed MacBook line, the UE Roll 2 packs performance enhancements (and a new paint job) into a product we already know and love.

With its “lifeproof” design, and a beefy bungee cord built right in, it’s the ultimate “take your tunes anywhere” speaker. Only now it’s a wee bit better.

UE Boom 2 brings the jams anywhere, anytime

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With the UE Boom 2, Ultimate Ears makes a great speaker even better.
With the UE Boom 2, Ultimate Ears makes a great speaker even better.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Lust List: UE Boom 2 by Ultimate Ears

We loved the original UE Boom and the new 2.0 version is even better. The UE Boom 2 is stain-resistant, stylish, shock-resistant and completely waterproof. We’re not sure who is trying to listen to their tunes underwater, but if that’s your jam … you are good to go.

UE Boom 2 gets Block Party mode so you can blast friends’ tunes

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The UE Boom 2's new Block Party feature makes it easier than ever to share music with friends.
The UE Boom 2's new Block Party feature makes it easier than ever to share music with friends.
Photo: Ultimate Ears

SAN FRANCISCO — A slick new feature coming to Ultimate Ears’ Bluetooth speakers will let you stream your friends’ music from the palm of your hand.

Called Block Party, it lets up to three friends connect to the same UE speaker. Then the self-appointed DJ can pick and choose from each person’s tunes, pulled from streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. The DJ can skip songs and jump from playlist to playlist, and it’s all shockingly smooth and simple.

UE Boom 2 speaker brings more of everything (except for screws)

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The UE Boom 2 is pretty on the inside, too.
The UE Boom 2 is pretty on the inside, too.
Photo: Ultimate Ears

SAN FRANCISCO — Ultimate Ears could have borrowed the iPhone 6s tag line to market its new UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speakers.

Like Apple’s latest smartphones, which Cupertino hypes with the clever catchphrase “the only thing that’s changed is everything,” UE’s second-generation Bluetooth speaker is almost indistinguishable from its tubular predecessor — at least on the outside. But upgraded specs and a few pleasant surprises give the Boom 2 a welcome boost.

“There’s something magic about this design,” said Diego Gabathuler, head of brand and global marketing for Ultimate Ears, as he showed off the Boom 2 during a demo at the Cult of Mac offices. “It would have been a shame to take that magic away.”

With its little life preserver, UE Roll is the perfect summer speaker

The UE Roll didn't float, so  it comes with an itsy-bitsy life preserver (if you order direct).
The waterproof UE Roll doesn't float, so it comes with an itsy-bitsy life preserver (if you order direct).
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Not content to conquer the Bluetooth speaker market with tubes and bigger tubes, Ultimate Ears made its latest portable audio device look like a lily pad. They made it waterproof, too. The only problem was, the UE Roll sank like a stone.

“As life would have it, it doesn’t float,” said Rory Dooley, Ultimate Ears’ senior vice president, during a visit to the Cult of Mac headquarters.

The solution? Create a tiny life preserver for the UE Roll, and give it away to anybody who orders the hottest speaker of the summer directly from UE’s website (while supplies last).