UE Boom 2 – Audio Gadget of the Year 2016

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Wait, our number two speaker from our Top Tens is our number one speaker of the year? That’s right folks, and here’s why. Not only is the UE Boom 2 cheaper than JBL’s Xtreme, it’s smaller and more portable, too.

And thanks to a recent software update, it supports Siri and Google Voice Assistant (albeit at the press of a button, rather than via well-articulated voice commands), which makes it the closest thing to an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker we in sunny South Africa can currently lay our hands and ears on.

Get a second Boom 2 (or an additional 49, in fact) and you can connect them all together wirelessly for a multi-speaker dance party the likes of which your neighbourhood — and local police force — have never heard.

Add waterproofing, ruggedness, portability, solid battery life, and excellent audio fidelity to the mix, and you’ve got one incredible piece of portable sound gear that sounds as good indoors as out.

From R2,600 | Takelot.co.za

It wasn’t all that long ago that we didn’t have access to Ultimate Ears at all

Shortlisted
JBL Xtreme

Weatherproofing and a shoulder strap makes this a picnic favourite, even if the other picnickers hate your music.

B&O BeoPlay A1

Sure it’s very pricey, but with 24-hour playback, impressive 360-degree sound, and reassuring heft, it’s a beauty.

Braven 705

Offering value in the Bluetooth speaker segment, Braven’s 705 delivers big sound for something so small.

Marshall Stanmore

Retro styling with connectivity and outstanding sound quality. What’s not to like? Nothing, that’s what.

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