Pop into any music or consumer electronics retailer and you’ll find a plethora of wireless speakers clamouring for your cash. Now there’s another player to consider in the form of Ultimate Ears, the California-based audio hardware company that made its name making custom, in-ear monitors for musicians, starting with the band Van Halen. The company was eventually acquired by Logitech in 2008, but which operates as a standalone subsidiary.
Ultimate Ears is launching three of its speakers in South Africa, the UFO-like UE Roll, the mid-range UE Boom 2 and the top-end UE Megaboom. The devices are priced at R2,500, R3,500 and R5,000 respectively, are all waterproof (IPX7), drop-proof, available in a range of colours, and each of which offers 360º sound.
The Roll offers up to 9-hour battery life and includes a bungee cable for attaching it to anything from a belt loop to a surf board. The Boom 2 offers 15 hours of battery life, weighs 548g and includes a 3.5mm audio jack for using devices that don’t include Bluetooth. The top of the range Megaboom weighs in at 877g, is rated for up to 20-hours or playback and also includes a 3.5mm jack.
All three speakers can be operated using the accompanying Android or iOS UE Boom app, which also allows for multiple speakers to be connected to one another. The app offers a feature called Block Party, that lets up to three devices connect to a speaker simultaneously so that people can take turns picking and playing tunes. All three speakers can also receive over-the-air updates from the app.
Incredible Connection will be the only retailer stocking the devices at launch and will have them in 26 of its stores.