Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand has released UE Roll ($100), a new disc-shaped Bluetooth speaker. The speaker is iPX7 waterproof, with a stain-resistant, waterproof, dirt-proof cover. A “marine-grade” bungee cord can be found on the back of the speaker, along with a notch to keep said cord in place. UE Roll boasts a 65-foot Bluetooth range, and Ultimate Ears claims the speaker gets up to 9 hours of battery life. An upcoming UE Roll app will allow users to connect UE Roll to another Ultimate Ears speaker, or set a wake up alarm with music. UE Roll comes in six different color patterns.
UE Roll is a circular disc speaker, bulging a bit in the middle. It’s about 5.3” in diameter, and doesn’t get any thicker than 1.6”. It’s light, weighing about 0.74 pounds. Inside is one 2” driver and two 3/4” tweeters. There’s not much to the external design, though it is tough and attractive. Two big volume buttons are prominently featured on the front of the speaker, which has a knit design that reminds us of the Wii game Kirby’s Epic Yarn. On the rubber back of the speaker is the bungee cord, a small notch to keep the cord in place when not in use, power and Bluetooth buttons, and a flap that houses an audio-in port and micro-USB port for charging —a flat micro-USB cable is included. UE claims it takes 5 1/2 hours to recharge UE Roll.
UE Roll’s unique look is waterproof enough to be “immersed in liquid up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes,” which gives users some extra peace of mind. But most importantly, UE Roll offers surprisingly strong sound for its size. We were impressed with how loud UE Roll gets — it pumps out serious sound for a small disc. At its loudest levels, there is a bit of distortion, but we’re guessing most listeners won’t venture into that range too often. UE Roll does best in the midrange; though it has some detectable bass, there’s not much power to it. But the mids are clear, with vocals coming to the forefront.
There are many reasons to appreciate UE Roll. It’s sturdy, with an eye-catching look that may belie its toughness. Its sound is also better than you might expect from such a disc — it holds its own against other top performing speakers in the $100 range — and its mid-June release positions it perfectly as a fun, affordable summer speaker. UE Roll earns our high recommendation.
Company and Price
Company: Ultimate Ears
Model: UE Roll
Compatible: Bluetooth-enabled iPads, iPhones, iPods