Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 review: Once More With Feeling

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
  • Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
  • Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
  • Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Nicer design

Cons

  • Magic Button is limited by service
  • No major improvements

Bottom Line

Despite being one of the biggest names in the party speaker space, Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 still manages to meet expectations.

Would you buy this?

The Pitch

Chances are, if you own a portable speaker: it’s probably branded Ultimate Ears.

For almost as long as the current, Bluetooth-based, incarnation of the category has existed, the company have been a dominant force within it. This isn’t to say their products aren’t always perfect - but they’ve generally sat in the sweet spot when it comes to balancing portability and sound-quality.

And, if nothing else, the new Ultimates Ears Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 are an encore for those strengths. They don’t radically reimagine what this kind of product should look like. Then again, I doubt anyone expected them to.

Most just want something that’s easy to carry, sounds good and doesn’t cost them too much - and the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is all of those things.

Specs

Speaker type: 360-degree

Dimensions:  87 mm x 225 mm

Weight:  925g

Maximum Sound Level: 90dBA.

Frequency Range: 60Hz - 20kHz.

Drivers: Two 50mm (2 in), 4 ohm full range drivers and two 55mm x 86mm passive radiators.

Durability: IP67 rating

Battery Life: 20 hours

Ports: Micro USB

Connectivity:  Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi

Voice Assistant: N/A

Colors: Black, Red, Blue and Purple

Price:  $299

Design

If you’re working off the effervescent memories of the last time you used a party speaker, it’d be easy to mistake the new Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 for its predecessor. And when it comes to the broad strokes, it’s got the same look, same shape and same symmetrical silhouette.

If you’ve bought or looked at buying an Ultimate Ears speaker in the last few years, you’ve probably heard this song before. The Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is yet another rubberized cylindrical speaker covered in a high performance mesh fabric.

All that said, once you actually pick up the unit, you really can feel the difference. The mesh-wrapping used here is a fair bit finer than previous speakers. As a result, the final product feels a lot more premium. I wouldn’t say the material design involved is on the same level as something from Bang & Olufsen but it would say it feels noticeable nicer to hold and handle than both its predecessors and the recent Megablast.

It helps that the design of Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is littered with small touches that eventually add up. For example, there’s a new Magic Button located on the crown of the speaker. When set up using the Ultimate Ears app, you can turn the Bluetooth speaker on and start playing from a saved playlist. The idea here is that rather than go through the usual rigamarole, you can just jump right into the listening experience in a single tap.

Unfortunately, your mileage with this feature is going to be strictly limited by what music services you subscribe to. For now, new feature is only be available to Apple Music and Deezer Premium subscribers. Ultimate Ears say that compatibility between this new feature and additional music services will be added later down the line.

Performance

As with design, the conceit here is that the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is largely-similar from the previous Megaboom (there is no Megaboom 2) - but just that little bit nicer in a handful of ways. It delivers a really nice bassy sound signature and while the vocals on tracks like Tash Sultana’s “Notion” were sometimes a little overwhelmed, we still came away happy with the results for the most part.

Unlike the recent Megablast and Blast speakers, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 doesn’t come with any sort-of on-board smart assistant. That said, some tinkering is possible using the Ultimate Ears app. Once set-up, this allows you to customize the sound signature using a customised tuner and four presets.

Relative to its predecessors, the Megaboom 3 boasts an expanded Bluetooth range of up to 150 feet.  

For obvious reasons, the Megaboom 3 lacks the sheer volume and weight afforded to the previous Megablast. But if you’re after that outdoor-friendly, Bluetooth-powered party speaker experience, this is pretty much as good as it gets.

The Bottom Line

Realistically, if you’re acquainted with the brand already, then there’s not enough substantial improvements being here to justify the upgrade.

The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 are definitely better than their predecessors. But they don’t quite succeed in selling themselves as better enough to be worth looking at replacing them. At least, at full price.

On the other hand, if you’re late to the portable speaker party, the story couldn’t be more different. Again, tThe Ultimate Ears Boom and Megaboom 3 are pretty much as good as these things get. They’ve got solid sound and battery life, wrapped up in a great design. The competitive price is just the cherry on top.  

Despite being one of the biggest names in the party speaker space, Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 still manages to meet expectations.

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