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Cart Tunes with the UE BOOM -- REVIEW


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#1 GolfSpy Dave

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 03:19 PM

Ultimate Ears Boom Wireless Speaker -- REVIEW

By Dave Wolfe

 

UE_Boom-1.jpg

 

Music on the Course is Here To Stay

The last time that I reviewed a Bluetooth audio product, I opened the discussion about playing music on the golf course. Not all are in favor of it, but many of you reported that you enjoy listening to music while playing.

 

After a summer of observation, I now firmly believe that music on the course is here to stay.

 

Some of you will bemoan this deviation from the purity of the game, but really, that “purity” is a sliding scale anyway (see persimmon woods). The game changes, and the new rapidly becomes the new norm.

 

Audio tech devices (i.e. your phones) are so prevalent, and inexpensive that their presence as a part of the golf experience in inevitable.  That’s not a bad thing though. Golf course music spreading is not like a nasty flu virus pandemic. It’s spreading because we, the majority of the golf-for-fun population, like to play golf with a bit of background music, and we want the music.

 

So the question now becomes not if music will be on the course, but rather, what are the best products for playing music on the course?

 

Ultimate Ears BOOM

UE_BOOM_sbs.jpg

 

I’m going to get right out in front of this one and say that the Ultimate Ears BOOM (UE BOOM for short) may in fact be the best speaker that I have ever used.

 

End of review.

 

Go buy one now.

 

I’m being a little flippant here, but I am so confident that you will be amazed by this little speaker, that sending you off to buy one without any more info is not really a credibility risk. It’s that good.

 

I’ve got lots more info about the UE BOOM for you, and actually a couple of minor critiques, but it you stop reading now and click this LINK to buy one, I’ll understand.

 

What makes the UE BOOM stand out?

So you are still here? Not yet convinced to part with your hard earned coin? I get that. We all like to have as much information as possible before we buy stuff. I’m going to hit the key elements for me that separates the UE BOOM from other wireless audio devices.

 

Simplicity

Though most devices are pretty simple to pair with our phones these days, the UE BOOM seemed simpler than most. The first time you turn it on, it searches for devices to pair with automatically, finding my iPhone in about 1 second. If you need to pair it with another device, hold the Bluetooth button on the top for three seconds and it will be ready to pair again.

 

UE_Boom-3.jpg

 

This is where the UE BOOM starts to pull away from the other speakers I have used. The UE BOOM can pair with up to eight devices. That means you can pair your phone and your tablet. For my other speakers that is an or operation. Phone or tablet. My son sometimes borrows my other speaker, and I always need to re-pair it after. Not so with the UE BOOM. It remembers.

 

Cool Story Bro Time:

This summer my brother and I were hiking in Tahoe and we both paired to the UE BOOM. This allowed us to swap in and out of DJ duty. The UE BOOM played music from the first phone, and when that one stopped, it would play from the second without any additional setting changes or prompting.

 

On the course, your whole foursome could pair with the speaker, taking turns playing music. I imagine that this could quickly become part of the foursome’s house rules. Make a birdie, pick the next playlist.

 

Control-wise, you have four total buttons on the UE BOOM: On-Off, Bluetooth, Vol (+), and Vol (-). That’s it. When you press power, it comes on and pairs, saying hello and playing a tone to let you know that the speaker is connected.

 

The +/- volume buttons are huge and easy to press. If you press them both, it will tell you how much battery life have left. Mine really seems to be stuck at “100% Charge”. More on the battery life in a bit.

 

UE_Boom App1.jpg

 

There is also an app that lets you enhance the UE BOOM experience even more. You can set the EQ, rename the speaker, pair two UE BOOM speakers together, and even turn on the speaker from the app.

 

That was my favorite discovery. Just hit power on button in the app and the speaker turns on. I don’t know why this is so cool to me, but I smile and feel like a wizard every time I make the speaker come alive without touching it.

 

Sound Quality

So here is where the rubber hits the road with the UE BOOM. The sound out of this small speaker is amazing. The bass is deeper than any other small speaker I have used. Somehow they have packed deep bass into a unit the size of a tall beer can. That’s 16oz, not 24oz.

 

The sound quality is impressive, rich, and can be quite loud. Surprisingly loud for a little speaker. Most importantly, it does loud well, distorting only slightly when you max it out.

 

It can keep up with your deep bass needs on the course. It may not vibrate the cart, but it does pretty well. Running The Chemical Brothers through the UE BOOM did not phase it at all.

 

On The Course

UE_Boom-7.jpg

 

There are a couple of key elements that make the UE BOOM a great music-on-the-course choice.

 

Size

This speaker is compact. It fits easily into the pockets of your golf bag for transport to and from the course. It’s the perfect size to fit into the cup holder in your pushcart or your power cart.

 

Battery Life

The battery lasts for 15 hours of play between charges. 15 hours. If you left it in your bag between rounds, that’s three rounds of muni-speed golf. You’ll be bummed about the 5-hour rounds, but the UE BOOM will keep going. Total charge via USB takes about three and a half hours.

UE_Boom-5.jpg

 

Water Resistant

The UE BOOM is IPX4 rated, meaning that you can get it wet and it’s still going to work. Don’t let it sit in the pool, but a little rain or splash of adult soda is not a unit killer.

 

There are a couple of crazy dudes on youtube that have run the speaker under the faucet to show this. Here’s one of the videos:

 

Cool Colors

So this doesn’t matter, right? You are all playing stock black grips and bags... I won’t give you any grief if you like the fact that you can find a color of UE BOOM to match your golf gear. That’s how I roll too. The one in the photos is the Skrillex limited edition design. It’s wacky and I dig it. Don’t worry, there are more conservative colors too.

 

The Box

UE_Boom-2.jpg

 

The box/tube that the UE BOOM comes in is actually very cool too. The unit slides out of the outer packaging, opening like a clamshell. Above and below the speakers are small puck-like containers that hold the USB cord and enough plug options to find electricity for your BOOM wherever you are in the world.

 

UE_BOOM_plugs.jpg

 

Yes, it’s just the box, but I really felt like I was opening up a well-designed product when I opened it, and I was not disappointed.

 

Not Quite Perfect

As much as I rave about the UE BOOM, there are a couple of things that I found myself wishing for when I used it.

 

Track Advance on the Unit

If you want to skip a song, you need to do so from your phone or whatever is supplying the music. The UE BOOM buttons won’t do it. It was not a big deal, but it was something I expected to be able to do after using other speakers.

 

With the app control though, I rarely even touch the BOOM after putting it wherever I want it to play from. Maybe the on-unit track control will come in a future firmware update.

 

Volume Limit

This is a bit of a weird criticism, especially after I just previously told you how loud the speaker gets. In the spirit of total honesty though, there were times when I wished it was a bit louder. I wanted the Caddyshack dance moment. The man’s a menace!

 

Volume was 90% of the time sufficient. I guess that there were just a few times when I wanted to run it up to 11. Enter my UE Mega-BOOM curiosity...

 

BOOM the BOOM

UE_Boom-6.jpg

 

Over the years reviewing stuff for mygolfspy, there have been a couple of must have products that have come across my desk. The Ultimate Ears BOOM is definitely one of them. If you want to add music to your casual golf rounds, this is the speaker to get.

 

The speaker is not cheap, listing at $199 on the UE BOOM site, but they also have a “Thrift Shop” where you can get refurbished speakers for $149 that still have a 2-year warranty. There are cheaper speakers out there, but I have yet to find one that can compete with the UE BOOM. You get what you pay for is the usual line. The BOOM quality is going to cost you a bit more. You are all Google savvy though. There may even be better deals to be had.

 

I think that the UE BOOM is the Ultimate Ears model that is going to fit most of our golfing audio needs. Most, but not all. I mentioned that there are times when I want a little more volume. There are also some of you out there who only carry your clubs, thus lacking a cup holder to put a speaker into. Don’t worry, we are going to cover those bases as well. In the near future, I am going to bring you my take on the fairway-house-party potential of the UE MEGABOOM, as well as the shoulder-slingers friend, the UE ROLL.

 

Music on the course is here to stay, and the UE BOOM and cohort will make sure we like the sound of it.

 

UE_Boom-4.jpg

----------------------------------------

Tech Specs: Ultimate Ears BOOM Wireless Speaker

WIRELESS CAPABILITIES:

·      Pair up to 8 Bluetooth® enabled source devices - Connect up to two source devices at the same time.

·      Wirelessly play (stream) to 2 UE BOOMs from one Source.

·      Mobile range of play is up to 15m (50 ft).

·      NFC (passive) enabled - (works with active NFC enabled source devices * Android Jellybean and higher).

AUDIO:

·      Maximum Sound Level: 88dBA

·      Frequency Range: 90Hz - 20kHz

·      Drivers: Two 1.5", 4 Ohm Drivers; Two 2" Passive Radiators

POWER:

·      Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery for up to 15 hours of battery life between Micro USB charges.

o   Actual battery life will vary with use, settings and environmental conditions.

o   Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles.

·      Charge time: 3.4 hours

APP CONFIGURABLE (iOS AND ANDROID)

2-YEAR LIMITED HARDWARE WARRANTY

DIMENSIONS

·      Diameter: 6.5cm (2.6”)

·      Height: 18 cm (7.1”)

·      Weight: 538g (speaker only) 19oz

COMPATIBILITY:

·      For Audio Playback:

o                 Smartphones, tablets and other devices that support Bluetooth® wireless audio profile [Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)] or 3.5 mm audio output.

·      For Phone Calls:

o                 Phones that support Bluetooth® Hands-Free Profile (HFP1.5)

·      IPX4 RATED:

§  Ingress Protection Rating – Liquid – Level 4: Water Resistant Acoustic Skin

 

 


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#2 apprenti23

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 03:44 PM

Pretty cool stuff- I don't bring music on the course, but if I did you better believe I'd have a sweet little gadget like that!
I agree with you that music on the course is definitely here to stay. People who have their own carts have been adding stereos and speakers for years. Now, you don't even need that with a system like this. Even my father, who is well into his sixties, brings a little Bluetooth speaker with him.

Nice review!

#3 GolfSpy Dave

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 03:55 PM

Pretty cool stuff- I don't bring music on the course, but if I did you better believe I'd have a sweet little gadget like that!
I agree with you that music on the course is definitely here to stay. People who have their own carts have been adding stereos and speakers for years. Now, you don't even need that with a system like this. Even my father, who is well into his sixties, brings a little Bluetooth speaker with him.

Nice review!

Thanks. I'm sure that there is still a lot of discussion to take place about the proper etiquette for playing music, but it will be played.


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#4 apprenti23

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 04:03 PM

As long as your group is the only one to hear it- it's fine by me- at least that's the approach I've always had in the past.

#5 PlaidJacket

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 04:04 PM

I think the best products for "music on the course" are ear buds. That way you can have all the music you desire as loud as you want without disturbing anyone. Not to mention that you can play any genre you prefer without forcing others having to endure it.  I don't want to be forced to listen to your music just because you want to listen to it. Seems to me ear buds solves the issue for everyone while respecting everyone.


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My  :wilson_staff_small:  bag currently includes:    TWGT 771CSI 4i - PW and TWGT PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               TM SLDR 14° D, TWGT 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

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#6 PlaidJacket

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 04:04 PM

I think the best products for "music on the course" are ear buds. That way you can have all the music you desire as loud as you want without disturbing anyone. Not to mention that you can play any genre you prefer without forcing others having to endure it.  I don't want to be forced to listen to your music just because you want to listen to it. Seems to me ear buds solves the issue for everyone while respecting everyone.


My  :wilson_staff_small:  bag currently includes:    TWGT 771CSI 4i - PW and TWGT PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               TM SLDR 14° D, TWGT 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                Edel Willimette w/SuperStroke Slim

 

 

 

 

 

 


#7 Hula Rock

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 04:21 PM

Nice review, almost picked one up until I heard the Bose Sound link.  That is what I rock on the golf course.......


Driver:   :taylormade-small: M3 Tensei CK Pro Blue
3-Metal:: :callaway-small: GBB EPIC, FujiKura Pro Green

5-Metal:  :cobra-small: F-7, FujiKura Pro

Irons:   :mizuno-small: MP-18 SC, KBS Tour 120

Wedges:  :cleveland-small:   RTX-3  52 - 56 - 60
Putter:  EVN-Roll ER-5

Ball :  :bridgestone-small: Tour B XS

Range Finder:  Busnnell Tour-X,  Garmin S20 

 

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#8 Kenny B

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 05:51 PM

As stated in another thread, I am not a fan of music on the course unless it's played through earbuds.  My wife uses them (as her "spousal filter".    :P

 

So... what happens when a foursome is playing together and each has one of these with their own music and no earbuds... besides chaos?



#9 GolfSpy Meyer

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 06:49 PM

So... what happens when a foursome is playing together and each has one of these with their own music and no earbuds... besides chaos?


Three carts with built in speakers and the 4th with a big Jambox. This is my regular foursome. Chaos, but lots of fun.

Driver: :taylormade-small:  SLDR 430 10.5° set to 11° Diamana D+ 62 stiff
Hybrid: Adams Super LS 15°, 17°, 22°, 25° all Kuro Kage Black 80 HY stiff
Irons: :taylormade-small: Speedblades 6-9 KBS C-Taper S+
Wedges: Scor 45°, 50°, 54° & 58° C-Taper S+
Putter: Evnroll ER5


#10 Hula Rock

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 01:59 PM

Three carts with built in speakers and the 4th with a big Jambox. This is my regular foursome. Chaos, but lots of fun.

 

Mosh pit ?????  rock it on out brother.....


Driver:   :taylormade-small: M3 Tensei CK Pro Blue
3-Metal:: :callaway-small: GBB EPIC, FujiKura Pro Green

5-Metal:  :cobra-small: F-7, FujiKura Pro

Irons:   :mizuno-small: MP-18 SC, KBS Tour 120

Wedges:  :cleveland-small:   RTX-3  52 - 56 - 60
Putter:  EVN-Roll ER-5

Ball :  :bridgestone-small: Tour B XS

Range Finder:  Busnnell Tour-X,  Garmin S20 

 

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#11 fozcycle

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 02:14 PM

Nice review Dave........


Driver: Wilson Staff Triton with Aldila Rogue regular shaft. Fairway: Cobra F6 3-4 & F6 Baffler 4-5 with Matrix Red Tie Regular shaft  Hybrids: Cobra Bio Cell 2-3 Hybrid with Bio Cell Regular shaft  Irons: Cobra F6 4 - SW w/Matrix Ozik regular graphite shaft Putter: EVNROLL E6 33" with Winn grip Bag: University of Kentucky Bucket Cooler Cart Bag from Team Effort Balls: Snell MTB, Wilson Duo. Glove: Bionic GPS: Garmin G6 Laser: MG Golf  Backup irons:  Ben Hogan Ptx 21*/25*/29*/33*/37*/41*/45* with Recoil 660 graphite shafts. Wedges: Ben Hogan TK15 /49*/53*/57* with Recoil 660 graphite shafts Backup Putter: Bellum-Winmore 707 33" w/Pure Grip

 

All clubs in bag have the Arccoss 360 tracking system installed.


#12 Dave

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 11:24 AM

Myself and a  few of the guys that I play with have been doing this for a few years now. Best score on the hole picks the next playlist. Just something else to rag on each other about.


I have a revolving WITB policy.

#13 RookieBlue7

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 06:39 PM

I've gotten a few creative ways to deter those that have been playing music on the course to stop.... If I don't hear it (which is way out of the norm because people don't realize how sound actually does travel and don't care). But I've done 3 things in the last couple months that were sheer entertainment for me.

First, I got a guy DQ'd from a weekend event. How? Music is a violation of the rules. And you can't make a local rule to overrule a rule of golf. He hit his tee ball, I made sure the course pro knew the rule because I had it printed and handed it to him. He DQ'd him before he got to 1 green. His music was overbearingly loud and annoying as well.

Second time, guy was on an adjacent hole. We heard his music riding up the fairway. We get to my ball and he's putting. Right as he starts his through stroke I called out to my buddy across the fairway to tell him his ball was there. Dude shanks the putt and says "did you have to yell in my backswing, that was for birdie" I told him no but they couldn't hear me over his music. They turned it down before finishing out on that green.

Last time was the most recent. An older foursome pulls up to the first tee blaring their music. Old school country. I'm on the nearby putting green. I also had one ear bud in listening to some tunes. I'd done this at home and in our car and wanted to see if it worked with them. Sure enough, their speaker was in pair still... A Bose soundlink.... I paired and cranked some NWA "One Less B!5#$" up for them. The starter told them it had to go as they were practically in a run to go get it turned off bewildered at what happened.

I have a twisted sense of humor I suppose. But I don't want your crappy music coming through a speaker in the cup holder (because music is meant to be listened to on quality devices) ruining my walk through the wilderness chasing a little white ball and listening to Mother Nature. If you want music on the course, put in some earbuds, it's not all about you contrary to your own opinion of yourself.

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.


#14 Hula Rock

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 07:56 PM

.................still trying to come up with a way to mount my Bose 901's to a golf cart.   :ph34r:


Driver:   :taylormade-small: M3 Tensei CK Pro Blue
3-Metal:: :callaway-small: GBB EPIC, FujiKura Pro Green

5-Metal:  :cobra-small: F-7, FujiKura Pro

Irons:   :mizuno-small: MP-18 SC, KBS Tour 120

Wedges:  :cleveland-small:   RTX-3  52 - 56 - 60
Putter:  EVN-Roll ER-5

Ball :  :bridgestone-small: Tour B XS

Range Finder:  Busnnell Tour-X,  Garmin S20 

 

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#15 Dave

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 02:51 AM

How is music a violation of the rules?

 

Edit// Don't worry, I looked it up, tournament rounds I can understand. Casual rounds, who cares.


I have a revolving WITB policy.




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