TechnologyUltimate Ears Wonderboom 3 improves on a good thing, ignores a bad...

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 improves on a good thing, ignores a bad thing

Ultimate Ears just announced the Wonderboom 3, the latest iteration of its beloved entry-level portable speaker that promises high-quality 360-degree audio and up to 14 hours of battery life in an adorably compact package that still floats on water.

Strangely, the Microboom 3 still uses a Micro USB connection in our good year of 2022. It feels a little…well, lazy to carry over the same unfriendly port from the Wonderboom 2 when USB-C is available and mandated on portable speakers in Europe starting in 2024.

The third-generation Wonderboom does offer a few improvements over the Wonderboom 2 while keeping the price unchanged at $99.99. Bluetooth range is now 131 feet (up from the 100-foot range on the Wonderboom 2), and listed battery life has been improved by an hour. Like before, two of the speakers can be paired together for true stereo separation, only now, the extended range and battery life can help your audio to cover more ground at parties. Ultimate Ears has also breathed more sustainability into the speaker, claiming they’re made from a minimum of 31 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.

If you were a fan of the fact that both of these older models can float in water, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the Wonderboom 3 will continue that tradition, featuring an IP67 rating for water, dirt, and dust resistance. That rating also means it’ll resist jets of water if you want to listen to tunes in the shower — it’s also “drop proof” if things get slippy.

While a few design changes were made between the original Wonderboom and the Wonderboom 2, this latest model looks visually identical to its predecessor, featuring two-tone fabric and a flat bungee cord loop.

The Wonderboom 3 speaker will be available in four different colors at launch: gray, pink, blue, and black, each with a contrasting strap and iconic control buttons to help them stand out against the body. Ultimate Ears says the speaker will come in these colors “initially,” which suggests we could see more colorways hitting the market in the future if you need more choices.

A selection of Wonderboom speakers lined up against a vintage Volkwagon campervan.

The Wonderboom 3 looks to be a modest upgrade to the previous generation, but hey, if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it — especially if you’re releasing a successor to one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market. It’s set to arrive in both the US and UK on August 31st for $99.99 / £89.

Update August 17th, 6:39AM ET: Added mention of Micro USB charging.

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