The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM continues UE’s trend of producing sturdy and sleek portable speakers.
It boasts very good 360° audio capabilities, an IP67 resistance rating meaning it’s protected against sand, dust, dirt and water, compatibility with PartyUp and it can even float while playing music.
While it doesn’t bring much innovation to the table, the EPICBOOM is easy to use, and sits nicely in the UE hierarchy.
If you’re looking for something a bit louder than the UE MEGABOOM 3 but don’t require something as loud as the HYPERBOOM or JBL BoomBox 3, the EPICBOOM is a great option. It’s portable, sturdy and produces good sounding audio.
- Sturdy, portable design
- Good sounding audio
- Easy to use
- Battery not as good as competitors
The EPICBOOM costs $600. That’s a reasonable price for a speaker in this size category. The JBL BoomBox 3 costs $669, and the Sony SRS-XG500 costs $560.
If you’ve ever used an Ultimate Ears (UE) portable speaker, you’ll be familiar with the look and feel of the EPICBOOM. It’s covered with the same mesh fabric – UE calls this the Acoustic Skin – found on other UE speakers like the WONDERBOOM 3. It has rubber material on the base to prevent it from sliding, a big plus and minus on the front for volume control, play/pause, skip track, Bluetooth, power and Outdoor Boost controls on top, and a hang loop built-in. It’s a simple, classy-looking portable speaker that’s functional and sturdy. It’s also compatible with NFC, which allows you to quickly pair Android devices running Android 8.0 or later to the device. It all works well.
The main differences here are the EPICBOOM is an oval shape and is bigger than most UE portable speakers. From smallest to biggest, the UE range looks like this: WONDERBOOM 3, BOOM 3, MEGABOOM 3, EPICBOOM, HYPERBOOM. It’s about twice the size of the MEGABOOM 3 but quite a bit smaller than the HYPERBOOM. It’s still easily portable, though, weighing 1.98kg and measuring 16(L) x 11.6(W) x 23.8cm(H).
The oval shape allows the EPICBOOM to deliver 360° directional sound. This means the audio will sound the same no matter where you place yourself around the speaker. It boasts an IP67 resistance rating, which means it’s protected against dirt, dust and sand and will survive being submerged in water for up to 60 minutes. Not to mention, the speaker can float and play music at the same time. It’s great for taking places like the beach, you won’t have to worry about it.
It comes in two colours, Charcoal Black and Cotton White. Our review device boasted the Cotton White colour scheme, which looks very nice.
The EPICBOOM delivers clear audio even at louder volumes. Inside the speaker are two 45mm mid to high-frequency transducers and a 120mm woofer. You shouldn’t expect bone-rattling bass from a speaker this size, but I was content with its capabilities.
When listening to a song like Somebody to Love – LIZOT Remix by Basstrologe, the bass frequencies were present in the mix, but lower subfrequencies weren’t as noticeable. This is to be expected, though, as you’ll need a much bigger speaker for impactful subs. Mid and high frequencies come through nicely. It’s easy to hear vocals in a song like It All Began With a Burst by Kishi Bashi, and the high-frequency sounds of Glass of Water by Coldplay also came through clearly.
The EPICBOOM boasts a max volume of 95dBC (decibels relative to the carrier). To put this into perspective, the MEGABOOM 3 has a maximum of 90dBC, and the HYPERBOOM has a max of 100dBC. It’s loud enough to be heard at a family picnic or small get-together; however, it probably needs to be louder for a large party.
To accommodate that, the EPICBOOM is compatible with UE’s PartyUp, where you can pair the speaker with over 150 other UE-compatible speakers. This is all done within the app and is very easy. It’s important to know it’s not compatible with the WONDERBOOM, BLAST & MEGABLAST speakers, though, which is disappointing.
If you’re outside, the EPICBOOM supports Outdoor Boost. This provides an extra dB of volume for hard-to-hear situations. This isn’t as groundbreaking as I would’ve liked, and I didn’t use it much.
The Epicboom has a neutral soundstage out of the box, but you can personalise the audio to your preference using the in-app equaliser. There are several presets like Bass Boost and Game, and you can also create your own. It also supports adaptive EQ, in which the speaker automatically adjusts the sound depending on its surroundings. I found this didn’t have much impact on the audio and had it turned off most of the time.
You can connect two devices to the speaker simultaneously, and there’s also a new feature called OneTouch playlist in which you can connect the speaker to your Spotify and or Amazon Prime Music account. From here, you can save your playlists to the speaker and play them directly from the physical controls. It’s easy, and it works well.
UE claims the Epicboom will last up to 17 hours when used at its default volume of 45%. We found this to be accurate.
This isn’t great. It’s less than the 24-hour capabilities of the JBL BoomBox 3 and the 30 hours of the Sony SRS-XG500.
To charge the speaker from zero to 100%, it takes just under three hours via the USB-C port.
The Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM doesn’t introduce much innovation. It’s very similar to other UE portable speakers in its design and functionality; however, it’s bigger than most of the speakers in the UE range, and in the world of portable speakers, bigger usually means better.
The EPICBOOMS’ larger dimensions allow for bigger internal components to produce louder and better-sounding audio. And in this regard, the EPICBOOM doesn’t disappoint. It produces clear, crisp sound at loud volumes, it has a sleek and sturdy design, you can pair it with other UE speakers, and you can even listen to music while it floats in the water.
If you’re looking for something a bit louder than the $230 MEGABOOM 3 but don’t require something quite as loud as the UE HYPERBOOM, the EPICBOOM sits nicely in between. It’s functional, easily portable and, most importantly, delivers good-sounding audio for its size.