Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: still the best cheap Bluetooth speaker

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 has surprisingly big sound for something so small

T3 Platinum Award
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: people sat on a rock by the beach with a speaker and skateboard
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is a portable speaker that you can use just about anywhere. It's completely waterproof, dustproof and it weighs less than 500g. You can expect powerful sound inside and even outside. It is pretty basic, but what it does well, it does very well.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    13 hours of battery

  • +

    Great sound quality

  • +

    Small, lightweight and waterproof

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Basic features, no manual EQ

  • -

    Uses Micro-USB not USB-C

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Hunting for a budget Bluetooth speaker? This Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review is exactly where you need to be. Consider your search over!

Launched way back in 2019, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 has proven itself to be extremely popular and even three years later still manages to hold its spot as one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy. Why? Primarily because of its price, but also thanks to its sound quality and portability. 

If you’re looking to buy a portable speaker as a gift or you want one for yourself without spending over the odds then it doesn’t get much better than Ultimate Ear’s smallest, cheapest device. 

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: price and what’s new 

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 will only set you back about $80 in the US, £60 in the UK and AU$100 in Australia. Take a look at the widgets on this page to see the best deals on it from across the web right now. 

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 improves on the first generation in a few different ways. It’s a little lighter, the sound has more bass, the battery life has been upgraded from 10 hours to 13 hours, and it takes slightly less time to charge. It’s also now dustproof as well as waterproof so you can use it in more settings and it features an ‘outdoor mode’ to boost the sound which it didn’t before. 

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: design and setup 

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: holding a speaker up with blue nails

(Image credit: Future)

What’s really great about the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is its design because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Shaped like a ball with a flat top and bottom, the speaker comes in blue, grey, red and peach as well as a more standard black. 

The very obvious volume controls plaster the front of the device with a contrasting colour to the body, matching the little strap on the top. I liked the elasticated strap a lot, it’s a good size for slipping your finger through to carry the speaker and it encouraged me to take it everywhere I went, whether that was in between rooms or out of the house. 

Also, it's very small, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 only weighs about 420g and it’s only 104mm tall so you won’t have any problems chucking it in your bag. I easily slipped it into a tote with everything else I needed when I went to the park.

A rugged and durable little device, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is IP67 water and dustproof so not only will it survive heavy rain or a dunk in a body of water but it’ll also be just fine in a dusty forest or on a sandy beach. It even floats so if you do drop it in a pool you won’t need to dive down to retrieve it. It’s the perfect holiday speaker, and you can even use it in the shower!

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: speaker from the bottom

(Image credit: Future)

Packing about 13 hours of battery life, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 might not last you a whole week away but it’ll be more than enough for a day at the park or even a weekend out of town. When you do go to charge it back up again using the included Micro-USB cable, it’ll only take about 2.5 hours to go from flat to full.

As I have already mentioned, there are huge volume controls on the front of the speaker, but you’ll also find a power button, a Bluetooth button and the multifunction button on the top panel. Then on the underside of the device is the button to activate the outdoor sound mode. While I would say the buttons are easy to use, because they’re integrated into the rubber panels they can feel a little stiff.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: performance and features 

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: holding a speaker and showing the top

(Image credit: Future)

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 sounds great. You wouldn’t expect such a compact piece of kit to produce such loud, punchy sound but it does. I was certainly able to start annoying the neighbours with it.

Well suited to a more upbeat mood, this is a portable party speaker that can easily fill the room with music, whatever genre you're into. But as well as that, I thought that the audio was detailed enough to listen to podcasts and even classical music. 

What's more, is that there's an 'Outdoor Boost'  which carries the audio better outside, giving it even more power but reducing the bass and making it sound a little more shrill. It wasn't better than the standard listening mode but it definitely helped my tracks to cut through better outside. 

Thanks to its rounded design, I found the Wonderboom 2 sounds the same wherever you stand in relation to it. The audio is pushed out from every angle, something that again makes this a great choice for listening to music in bigger groups of people. 

Stripped back in terms of features, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is admittedly a very basic speaker. There’s no app, no speakerphone functionality, no manual equaliser settings and no smart features like access to a voice assistant. But you can pair two of them together to boost the sound in stereo mode. If you pair it with a first-generation device, you can only pair them in mono mode. Given how affordable and popular this speaker is, that’s a feature that will actually come in handy because lots of people do actually own this. 

If your phone start running low on battery, you can also charge your phone from the Wonderboom 2, as long as you have a Micro-USB cable that is. 

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: verdict 

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: blue speaker on white background

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

Whether you’re on a small budget, you’re looking for a speaker to give as a gift or you need something super portable to take out and about with you, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is an excellent choice. It’s the best cheap Bluetooth speaker you can buy, even though it’s now a few years old. 

This is a basic music-focused speaker but I don't have a problem with that. It’s not as feature-packed as the best Bose Bluetooth speakers nor does it sound as good as the best Sonos Bluetooth speakers but it is fantastic value for money because it sounds great, and you can use it anywhere and everywhere. 

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review: also consider  

Another compact portable Bluetooth speaker to consider is the JBL Flip 6, it’s a bit bigger, a bit more powerful and so a bit more expensive than the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2. You do get manual equaliser settings in the app which gives you a lot more control over the sound. 

If you’re on an even tighter budget than this or you want something even smaller, then perhaps take a look at another of the best JBL Bluetooth speakers, the JBL Go 3. It’s so tiny it will even fit into bigger pockets. The sound quality won’t blow you away but it’s still impressive considering just how small this speaker is. 

All of our tests are done in a real-world environment – not in a lab. You can find out more about how we test at T3 here.

Yasmine Crossland
Freelance Tech Expert

Yasmine is the former Reviews Writer for T3, so she's been knee-deep in the latest tech products for reviewing and curating into the best buying guides since she started in 2019. She keeps a finger on the pulse when it comes to the most exciting and innovative tech and is happy to tell you exactly what she thinks about it too. In her free time, you'll catch her travelling the globe – the perks of being a freelance tech expert – tending to her plants when at home and, but of course, planning her next big trip.