When I was first told about the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom, I thought it was just going to be another version of a Bluetooth speaker. You know, sweet sounds, good battery life, and not a whole lot else going on.
When a giant box arrived to my office and we struggled to lift it, I realised I had made a slight misjudgement.
In many ways, the Hyperboom is the culmination of what Ultimate Ears is capable of. This isn’t a little speaker that you take into the shower, or bring along to the office on a quiet day. This is the Big Daddy, the goddam Colossus of speakers, and it came here to PARTY.
Hyper is right
The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom weighs about as much as a small child, although admittedly it’s probably cheaper than one. And I’m gonna say it now, it’s not for everyone. But there are certain use cases that make it an absolute necessity for certain people. What people? Well, I’ll get to that.
Because oh boy does it have power. The battery life took me a solid week to wear down. Ultimate Ears says that the battery will last about 24 hours of continuous play but, as a human, I wasn’t going to do that. But I did use the Hyperboom for a few hours a day, and honestly I was surprised when it said the battery was getting low because I just wasn’t used to hearing it. In my week of solid use I have charged the Hyperboom a grand total of once, and I have no doubt that it would survive at least 24 hours of continuous play. So, if you’ve got an inexplicable day-long winter beach party coming up, here you go.
I’ve said before that the Ultimate Ears series have exquisite sound quality. They can pack so much into such a tiny little package that it just blows me away. Now, quadruple that, and you’ve got the Hyperboom. It was at about 20% when I brought it home, and I was genuinely afraid to turn it up any higher. The thing was pounding out sounds at such high quality that you would think you’re at a concert full stop, and I’m in an apartment where I don’t hate my neighbours, so I’m not gonna do that to them. This is the first real use case for the Hyperboom; if you are going somewhere where you need loud, high-quality music but don’t have access to a power source, this is the speaker for you.
This is not your everyday portable speaker; this is a miniature concert coming with you. To be honest, while the Hyperboom is touted as being a portable speaker, it’s about as portable as a leather sofa. Sure, you could bring an armchair to the beach if you want it too, but why would you? It makes no sense with easier options available, with about the same payoff.
And that’s where we come to the Hyperboom. This speaker, for all its wonders, weighs so much and is so bulky as to be damn near impossible to bring anywhere without dedicated transport. As someone who doesn’t drive and therefore relies on public transport, this would be catastrophic for me. Even getting it home from the office was an absolute mission, requiring a suitcase and that little luggage rack at the front of a bus.
Good thing I had the suitcase, really.
Boom boom boom boom, it’s too big for my room
Being able to pair multiple phones to the speaker at once it is a good idea, and I tried it out. I can imagine at an actual party it’d be a bit of a tug of war between some people who decide to play an absolute banger halfway through your favourite ballad. I don’t know if your friends are calmer than mine, but I doubt it’d go ok here.
The drawbacks of the Hyperboom are mostly related to its size, weight, and cost. With the Boom 3 and the Megablast I’ve reviewed previously, I’ve never felt the need for anything larger than that within my home; as I said, I don’t hate my neighbours, nor do I want my neighbours to hate me. Sure I’ve got a party flat across the road who insist on screaming The Cranberries at 2 a.m., but that’s only on Saturdays and that’s (relatively) fine.
But I’m more of a ‘listen to Viking metal while doing the washing up’ kind of guy, or even a ‘listen to Viking metal while having a shower’ kind of guy. This means that the smaller Ultimate Ears speakers are much more suited to my own personal needs.
Also, you can’t bring the Hyperboom into the shower… Well, I suppose you could, but you really shouldn’t. It’s not as waterproof as the other speakers, being touted as water and splash resistant rather than waterproof. You’d probably ruin it. But whatever. I’m a reviewer, not a cop.
Hullabalooza here we come
The Hyperboom is also quite expensive, and while I feel it’s definitely worth the price if you’re going to be using it for its intended purpose of Day-Long-Forest-Party 2K20, if you aren’t then there is no real reason to buy this over a smaller, more portable, and frankly more versatile speaker.
The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is what it is; a phenomenally powerful, long-lasting speaker that can be transported if you need it to be. If you’re more social than I am, and don’t fear the outdoors quite so much, you and this thing are a match made in acoustic heaven. However, for the everyday user, I don’t think this will be for you.