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Dave's Take: Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM Speaker


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UE Hyperboom - 11.jpeg

The Biggest of the BOOMs

“Apex predator” was the phrase that came to mind when I first saw the ads for the new UE HYPERBOOM speaker. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, here is a quick dictionary.com assist:

In the natural sciences, an apex predator is a predator that exists at the very top of the food chain. Unlike some other predators, it’s never preyed upon itself. Examples include polar bears, lions, crocodiles, and orcas.

Granted, that is a strange thought to think about a speaker. The thing is though, the UE HYPERBOOM really seemed like an apex speaker. It’s the biggest of the big. If it was part of a nesting doll set, the HYPERBOOM is the outer, all encompassing doll. It's the Jupiter of planets. In the spirit of our current online education systems, here is a little online quiz.

Which fish in the image below represents the UE HYPERBOOM?

big-fish-eat-little-fish-vector-5835281.jpg

Have I hammered on the large theme enough? Actually, I think that there are multiple largenesses that need to be explored. Sure, the profile is one point to ponder, but the second is the sound. For the past few years, Ultimate Ears engineers have bent the rules of reality by packing big sound into small speaker spaces. The question now becomes, what can they do with a large space?

My What Big Woofers You Have

UE HYPERBOOM Speakers.png

I wanted to start with the cutaway diagram of the UE HYPERBOOM, because honestly, it’s madness in there! I mentioned above how the UE engineers consistently put big sound in small spaces. Well, they have basically done it again, fitting the wide into the wee. To give you some reference for my awe, let me tell you a bit of a story.

My first car was a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Sure, it was twenty years old at the time, but that was actually an advantage in my mind as it meant that anything that I did to the car was an upgrade. Switch to one-piece windows? Upgrade! Add a stinger exhaust? Upgrade! Build a custom stereo system to blast Eric B and Rakim? BIG UPGRADE!

Though the components were low quality, I was able to install a pair of dome tweeters in the doors, two 4.5” round speakers in the back seat area, and dual 10” woofers in the back. Add some crossovers, an amp, and a terrible cassette deck, and you had all you needed to give your neighbors more bass than they bargained for. That bug rattled both back and front trunks.

So why talk about that car? Basically, the UE HYPERBOOM has nearly the same speaker set up as my old VW. If you tone down the woofers, the car stereo speakers and the UE HYPERBOOM speakers are close cousins.

Maybe now you see the source of my space amazement. Once again, the UE engineers have gone total Tardis on the speaker, fitting much more inside than it seems possible.

Sound Check (ish)

UE Hyperboom - 15.jpeg

One of the frustrating things about doing these speaker reviews is not to be able to give you quantifiable performance data. I know that all reviews of anything have a level of subjectivity to them, but it would be nice to mix in some objective data here and there.

To this task, I fired up my decibel reader app. My plan was to compare the myBOOM 3 and MEGABOOM 3, with the UE HYPERBOOM sound outputs. After some random scrolling through my audio library, I selected The Cult’s Love Removal Machine as the test song. Here’s a refresher (or introduction):

https://youtu.be/k6PgftKbQnQ

Basically, I recorded the dB output at the same part of the big guitar solo using all three of the speakers, each turned up to maximum volume. Here’s the data I collected:

Hyperboom Comparing dB.jpg

“Hey Dave, aren’t all of those nearly the same loudness?”

As it turns out, the speakers all have a decibel limit. According to the UE website, the speakers should max at 90 dB for the myBOOM 3 and MEGABOOM 3, with the UE HYPERBOOM topping out at 100dB. As you can see from the data, there was not much difference in loudness.

However, there was a huge difference in sound. It was amazing to compare them one right after another. The obvious, and not unexpected improvement in the BOOM->MEGABOOM->HYPERBOOM progression was with the bass. BOOM->MEGABOOM bass increase is a known entity to me. The larger speaker has deeper bottom end tones. Still though, the HYPERBOOM’s bass rock express was a surprise when I fired it up.

My daughter and I discussed what should be the first song out of the HYPERBOOM. While Kesha’s Woman was a strong contender, we went with Scream and Shout by will.i.am and Britney (bitch). Lots of different sound textures in that song, and the bass is huge.

Where the MEGABOOM 3 brings enough bass that you can hear it, the UE HYPERBOOM brings the bass so you can feel it. As I said, I was ill prepared for the boom of the HYPERBOOM. It has that old huge dual-tape boom box bass, perhaps the bass is even closer to car stereo bass. I suppose the speaker arrangement should have clued me into this, but there was no portent for the pounding.

Naturally, big bass beats are not the choice of all. Thankfully, you can fire up the UE BOOM app on your phone and adjust the levels to fit your preferences. On the topic of EQ, the HYPERBOOM also features a new adaptive EQ. It uses the microphone to change the EQ levels based upon the space, automatically adjusting to fit an indoor room, or outdoor patio. Again, this kind of feature is tough to quantify, but the change in sound as you move from place to place happens. So far, I have never questioned the mix that the HYPERBOOM dials in.

Not For The Golfs?

UE Hyperboom - 18.jpeg

Ideally, Dave’s Takes are all about sharing my thoughts on products that golfers would be interested in using. Some of these products may be more golf lifestyle products, rather than products to use on the course. Because of its size, I had fully assumed that the UE HYPERBOOM would fit in the golf lifestyle category, but I took it to the course for a fitting regardless.

As you can see in the photo above, it’s not going to fit in a cupholder, let alone the water bottle holder in your bag like the BOOM 3 can. However, check this shot out...

UE Hyperboom - 17.jpeg

The UE HYPERBOOM will fit in the basket of the power cart. What you do with that information is up to your judgement and conscience. In a casual scramble setting, this speaker could deliver substantial round revelry. Should you be surrounded by anti-music golfers, this one could raise some ire, probably with a three to four hole radius. Basically, you need to remember just how much sound the HYPERBOOM delivers.

How Hype is the HYPERBOOM?

So how much love do I have for the HYPERBOOM. While my affection is significant, there is one thing that in certain situations could steer me to another audio option. Before I get to that, let’s look at a few other interesting HYPERBOOM features.

Simple To Use

UE Hyperboom - 12.jpeg

As soon as you turn on the HYPERBOOM, the speaker is immediately in pairing mode. A short trip to Bluetooth settings on your phone and you are good to go. A new feature with the HYPERBOOM is a second Bluetooth channel that can pair with a different device. No more speaker fighting sessions, or randomly switching to a different user when they use their phone.

UE Hyperboom - 13.jpeg

All of the control buttons are on the top and operation is super simple. Use the plus and minus symbols for volume, and then the standard one touch control to pause and skip. If you are using the other UE speakers, this will all be automatic.

Great Connectivity

UE Hyperboom - 14.jpeg

The HYPERBOOMs ports are all tucked away under a little rubber flap. Once you lift it, you will see the charging port and other inputs. The HYPERBOOM does not charge by simple USB like the other speakers, likely due to the size of the plays for 24-hours battery. The USB port is not for charging the speaker but rather to charge another device. One needs a charged phone and a charged speaker for the music thing to work. There is also an aux cable input as well as an optical port in case you want to hook this up to a component system.

Portability

UE Hyperboom - 16.jpg

The UE HYPERBOOM has a nifty hidden handle that allows you to carry the speaker. It seems to work fine for this, but I’m a little gun shy about carrying the heavy speaker this way. Though these are touted as drop proof, I’d rather not drop it.

Portability is really the one thing that I don’t glow about with the HYPERBOOM, and it’s not the speaker’s fault. This is a large speaker, that while you can take it from place to place, you are probably doing so by car, or just leaving the HYPERBOOM in the same spot most of the time.

UE Hyperboom - 7.jpeg

Again this is not a fault, but rather a perception incompatibility for me with UE speakers. I can’t count the number of times that I have tossed a BOOM, ROLL, WONDERBOOM, or MEGABOOM into my golf bag, kayak, backpack, ice chest, or basket on my bike. In my mind, UE speakers are the apex predators in portable audio, and the HYPERBOOM is not that portable. It has the best sound by a wide margin, with the bass being otherworldly, but it’s not a toss and go speaker. I feel like I'm getting mad at the speaker for something that it is not designed for, and that's not really fair. The UE HYPERBOOM just challenges my UE brand perception I suppose.

Dave’s Take on the UE HYPERBOOM: Sounds Like a Winner

UE Hyperboom - 3.jpeg

The UE HYPERBOOM does come with a big sticker price of $399.99, making this the most expensive speaker in the UE line-up. When I played the speakers in sequence, there was no question that the sound of the HYPERBOOM was impressive and well beyond that of its diminutive kin. Like I said, this speaker can rumble a room. I think that someone looking for a home stereo replacement will love this speaker. Though it’s a portable audio product, the emphasis of the HYPERBOOM is really on audio over portability. When you hear the sound, I bet that you will feel OK about the HYPERBOOM being a bit more cumbersome.

My plan for the HYPERBOOM is to have it anchor my UE audio experience. Though the UE app, I'll pair my speakers together.  Then I will drop the HYPERBOOM at a central location in the house or yard, and place BOOMS and MEGABOOMS where needed to supplement. It still blows my mind that you can run all of these speakers, with nearly endless audio content, from a single pocket-sized phone. Viva the golden age of wireless.

BONUS BUDGET CONTENT

I know that a $400 speaker is not in everyone’s budget. Well, I have a great find that will allow you to experience the UE audio and portability for a lot less. Costco frequently has a deal on WonderBooms where you can get two of them for $99. Here’s the link to the product page. Check your local store and check back online if they are sold out. They do restock. The WonderBoom is a solid, dare I say Most Wanted speaker.

BONUS BIGNESS CONTENT: How Big is the Hyperboom?

I thought that it would be fun to compare the size of the UE HYPERBOOM to some other things just so you can get a real feel for the size of it. First, here are the BOOM 3, MEGABOOM 3, and HYPERBOOM speakers side by side.

UE Hyperboom - 1.jpeg

Here are the BOOM and MEGABOOM sitting on the HYPERBOOM.

UE Hyperboom - 2.jpeg

The HYPERBOOM compared to a golfball

UE Hyperboom - 10.jpeg

The HYPERBOOM vs. a delicious 12 oz. beverage bottle

UE Hyperboom - 8.jpeg

And the only thing that put up a fight, the 1.75 l Kirkland French Vodka bottle

UE Hyperboom - 9.jpeg

If you've ever bought that vodka, and you should since it's excellent, then you can now relate to the HYPERBOOM's monolithic majesty. Neither are really portable, but both are delicious in their own right.

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Great giant speaker for a pool party, I guess?

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Grip it and rip it my friends. 

 

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2 minutes ago, xOldBenKenobiX said:

Great giant speaker for a pool party, I guess?

Would be excellent for that!

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Just now, GolfSpy Dave said:

Would be excellent for that!

That is very nice, May I borrow those, before winter settles in, here in Michigan?

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Drivers :titelist-small:  - TS2 10.5*, :cobra-small: Cobra SpeedZone Xtreme 10.5, UST helium 5

Woods :titelist-small: TS2 3HL. :honma:TR21 4 Wood, Vizard 20-60 shaft.

Hybrid   :titelist-small:  - T-MB 716 3 Iron, Hybrid   :titelist-small:  - T-MB 718 4 Iron, Irons:   :titelist-small:  - AP1 714 5 to PW, Wedges  

:vokey-small: SM4 48*, Oil Can 52*, SM5 56* and SM6 58*, Putter   :titelist-small: Deadcenter SP-209, Ball   :titelist-small:  ProV1, :Arccos: Smart Sensors

Shoes:a couple :footjoy-small: A couple of:nike-small: A couple of Adidas ,   Yeah I have a shoe addiction.

Right Handed, Southeast Michigan

Honk If you see these plates around. 

20200728_121856.jpg.9cf8a7d26ca1096e8d390a8c2f59b6c2.jpg

I'm always driving around Michigan. 

The Ohio and Pennsylvania's turnpike as well as around Baltimore, Maryland. 

Grip it and rip it my friends. 

 

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10 hours ago, xOldBenKenobiX said:

Great giant speaker for a pool party, I guess?

Or to make sure that ball sitting on the edge of the cup makes it into the hole? TURN UP THAT BASS

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  • 2 weeks later...

the smaller ones at Costco aren't available right now, but I think I'll pass on the big one...

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