Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Ultimate Ears bluetooth speaker: Roll with it
Posted on 25-Aug-2015 17:20 by Bill Bennett. | Tags Filed under: News.


It hasn’t taken Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand to carve out a niche as maker of stylish, rugged Bluetooth speakers. It helps that the speakers in the UE range look good and perform well yet sell at affordable prices.

At the time of writing the most affordable model in the range for New Zealanders is the distinctive-looking UE Roll. You can find it on sale for a shade under NZ$150.

We’ve had one at home for over a month and it has become the go-to casual speaker when playing music from computers, tablets and phones.

Strange looking, in a good way

The UE Roll is a curvy, flying saucer-shaped disc. The speaker sits under a fabric cover with large embroidered plus and minus symbols. These symbols tell you where to find the volume controls. As you’d expect the plus sign cranks up the sound, the minus sign reduces it.

My UE Roll is mainly grey with fluro pink embroidered symbols. There’s a bungy-type cord on the back in the same shade of shocking pink. There are plenty of other colour combinations to choose from.

The UE Roll has a diameter of around 135mm and is 35mm thick. If youíve got big pockets it will just fit. It also fits comfortably in my hand, although that might not apply to everyone.

Versatile

The elastic cord on the back hooks on†a rubber lug most of the time. You can use it to attach the speaker to, say, the handlebars on a bike or to a belt. I use the cord to hook the speaker on the car sun shade while driving.

Physically the UE Roll portable and tough enough to carry to a picnic or to the beach. It can take a little punishment, so it would be ideal for raucous children. Logitech says the speaker is waterproof, Iíve used it in an Auckland rain storm, which didnít do it any harm.

Why we like the UE Roll

The UE Roll ticks all the important boxes. It looks good, is dead simple to use and has decent sound, enough to fill a room. We also like the fact that itís robust, that it doesnít cost much and that it uses rechargeable batteries. Our previous portable speaker chewed through the Ever Readys.

The sound is good enough for casual listening. Hi Fi fans wouldnít want to place a comfy chair in front of the UE Roll and settle back for the Brandenburg Concerto or a Miles Davies album. On the other hand it is great for playing rock music or reggae while chopping vegetables in the kitchen.

Where it misses out is the low, rumbling bass sounds. Everything else is lovely and clear. Hi-hats chink away, the top end sparkles. Thereís enough here for your ears to notice the difference between MP3 tracks recorded at 160kpbs and 320kbps ó thatís not something I can hear on my computerís built-in speakers.

If youíre not happy with the pre-set sound range, thereís an app for tweaking the equaliser settings.

Audio cues

My favourite feature is the audio cues you get. Hit the plus and minus symbols at the same time and a voice tells you how much power is left. Connect or disconnect the speaker to hear an on-off click.

One of the most impressive features is the Bluetooth range. We run Logitechís Z600 speakers at home. They struggle when driven by the MacBook in the study, itís five or six metres away and separated by two walls. The UE Roll handles it perfectly. Indeed, most devices can punch out Bluetooth sound to the UE Roll from anywhere in the house without interference.

Battery life is respectable. We get about eight hours from a single charge. There may be a connection between the Bluetooth range, the speaker loudness and the drain on the power supply, although itís not something weíve noticed in practice.

Whatís not good?

Thereís little to dislike here. The weak spot is the bass sound quality, but for the price, less than NZ$150, the sound is more than good enough.

Some people might not be happy that the UE Roll canít double as a speaker phone ó thereís no built-in microphone. Others might whinge about the lack of controls to step through a playlist. You can find devices with both these feature, but youíll pay a lot more.

And thatís the key to the UE Roll, you get a great deal for the asking price. We like it so much weíre going to buy some more to give away as presents.


Filed under: Review Tagged: hardware, logitech, music



comments powered by Disqus




Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

2Degress are introducing a credit card fee
Created by reven, last reply by JayADee on 24-Jan-2017 21:31 (63 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Good riddance to Obama and his drones. Pakistani villagers will be saying the same.
Created by amiga500, last reply by DarthKermit on 24-Jan-2017 14:01 (126 replies)
Pages... 7 8 9


Who's Liable for The Excess?
Created by networkn, last reply by mdooher on 23-Jan-2017 19:33 (27 replies)
Pages... 2


The President Of The USA: Donald Trump
Created by TimA, last reply by Fred99 on 24-Jan-2017 22:13 (2056 replies)
Pages... 136 137 138


Home security options
Created by SomePostman, last reply by pedrogarcia on 24-Jan-2017 21:03 (19 replies)
Pages... 2


Mortgage repayments - what's your comfort level?
Created by nofam, last reply by empacher48 on 24-Jan-2017 19:21 (18 replies)
Pages... 2


Anker Battery Case through Youshop - Prohibited Item?
Created by stocksp, last reply by coffeebaron on 24-Jan-2017 22:08 (17 replies)
Pages... 2


Car data logging.
Created by TimA, last reply by RUKI on 24-Jan-2017 15:11 (28 replies)
Pages... 2