What It Is: A portable, sweet-sounding, water-resistant speaker that won’t break the bank.
Why We Like It: It seems like a new Bluetooth speaker comes out every week, and the truth is we’re getting a bit bored of them. But when the company behind our favorite of the bunch, the UE Boom, hits the market with a new release, we take notice. Thankfully, the Roll is more than just a smaller version of the beloved Boom. UE has broken the cylindrical speaker mold with a discus-shaped gadget that is a bit more than 5 inches in diameter. Sitting flat on a table, it seems a bit odd, but the shape makes tons of sense when you use the built-in bungee cord to attach to just about anything — a bike, a lamp, a backpack.
The sound is not quite as spectacular as the Boom, but at half the size (and half the price) you still get a very rich audio with a surprising amount of bass. It has the same solidly built construction and rubberized finish as the Boom, plus it’s waterproof and perfect for summer fun around the pool. (While the Roll doesn’t float, if you order it from UE’s website you get a small donut-shaped floatation device the speaker rests in so it can hang out in the water with you.) Add to that 9 hours of battery life, 65 feet of range, and the ability to daisy chain more than one speaker (including a Roll and a Boom), and UE has hit us with another Bluetooth speaker to get excited about — and just in the knick of time.
Nitpick: Tough to find any faults, but we suppose it would be cool if you could throw the Roll into a pool without UE’s little floatie.
[$99; ultimateears.com]Back to top