When music is a better travel buddy than a human, or you’d like to turn your human travel buddy on to your favorite music, it helps to have more than your phone on hand. Sure, you can turn the volume up, but what you really need is an excellent travel speaker.
And for that, I have my Ultimate Ears Wonderboom.
Weighing in at under a pound (425 grams, to be exact) and half the size of a Mission burrito, the compact travel speaker is easy to tuck into a suitcase or backpack. In fact, with a handy loop on top, you can hang it from your backpack and have some tunes on the trail.
Connect your device to the speaker via Bluetooth (you can connect up to two at the same time) and you’ll hear your tunes from the Wonderboom. The mobile range is 100 feet, and maximum sound level is 86 dBC (with a frequency range of 80 Hz – 20 kHz). You can even double up on Wonderbooms. If you like the sound of one, add a second and get even more sound.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery (micro USB included) can keep the speaker going for about 10 hours, and it takes just under three hours to get a full charge. The controls are simple. There’s a power on/off button, a Bluetooth synch button, and a play/pause/skip button—all on top. On the side, the volume up and down controls are two huge + and – buttons. And that’s it.
The Wonderboom is waterproof and can be immersed in liquid up to 3.2 feet (1 meter) for up to 30 minutes. So, bring it into the pool, river, lake, ocean, shower, or rain, and it will be fine. In fact, if it gets all dusty, just rinse it off. It also floats. It’s also been drop-proof tested from up to 5 feet, so it’s pretty burly. Perfect for a travel speaker.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom comes in a variety of colors (and some patterns): concrete, patches, avocado, unicorn, raspberry, fireball, lilac, phantom, subzero, cashmere, and stone. It lists for $69.99 or $99.99 (depending on which you choose) on the Ultimate Ears site.