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UE Roll Review

Logitech has a new addition to their Ultimate Ears line of portable Bluetooth speakers. Coming after the UE Boom and UE Megaboom, the new UE Roll is the smallest of the lot and is shaped differently. It still boasts powerful 360° sound and it’s also waterproof, so feel free to take it to a pool party and dunk it in the water.

UE Roll

 

It many ways, the UE Roll is like a sibling or cousin to the UE Megaboom that I had reviewed earlier this year. The shape may be totally different, but they share a similar design style.

In a nutshell, the UE Roll is a fun, colourful, ruggedised disc-shaped speaker that measures 135 mm in diameter, and 40 mm at the thickest point. It weighs 330 g. Sound is delivered through the top surface of the UE Roll, using one 2″ driver and two 3/4″ tweeters. The maximum sound level is rated to be 85 dBA, just a little short of the UE Megaboom.

UE Roll

An integrated marine-grade bungee cord on the back of the UE Roll can be used to hang the speaker from whatever you want to. It’s rugged, and it’s waterproof, so you can hang it on your shower head if you so desire. The downside about hanging the UE Roll is that music is no longer blasted out in 360°, which is one of the touted features of the speaker.

A built-in Lithium-Ion battery powers the UE Roll for up to 9 hours, and charges back to full via a Micro-USB power in 5.5 hours. That Micro-USB power is tucked under a flap on the back of the UE Roll. The flap is quite a hassle to lift up though, because it’s quite stiff, and then to figure out which way the Micro-USB port goes in. There’s also a 3.5 mm audio input jack in there, in case you wish to listen to a corded audio source. It’s a tight squeeze in there especially if your plugs are clunky.

UE Roll

I worry if the flap would stay closed and secured after many repeated use. On the other hand, Logitech says it’s alright even if the flap isn’t properly closed, the UE Roll remains waterproof.

The main use of the UE Roll, of course, is as a Bluetooth speaker. To that end, the UE Roll’s Bluetooth capabilities are pretty good. t pairs with up to eight Bluetooth devices, and can connect to up to two of them simultaneously. The Bluetooth range is up to 20 m, which is a little farther than the average Bluetooth speaker.

You can also stream from one source device to two UE Rolls. You’ll need to set this up from the UE Roll smartphone app, available on both Android and iOS platforms. You start with one UE Roll paired and connected with the smartphone, then going to the second UE Roll to power on and pressing the Bluetooth button twice. You have the option of configuring two UE Rolls in stereo mode to get really nice immersive sound.

UE Roll Android App

The UE Roll app allows you to customise equaliser settings, set an alarm, and configure other settings. You can turn off the UE Roll from the app, and thanks to Bluetooth SMART, you can even turn it back on! (It may take a second try though, in my testing, before the UE Roll actually powers up.)

In terms of sonic performance, the UE Roll is really good. So small, yet so powerful. Now, it won’t rock a noisy beach party for sure, but it is plenty loud indoors, and perhaps quite sufficient for pool-side use or a garden BBQ. It doesn’t quite pack as much punch, especially at lower end frequencies, when compared with the UE Megaboom, but this is quite expected from a smaller-sized speaker. You need size to get the bass punch, but that usually means sacrificing portability. If portability is something important, then I’d say the UE Roll sounds good enough.

The UE Roll is IPX7 certified, and thus waterproof. Of course, this is something I had to try, and so I took it to a pool for some testing. The speaker doesn’t actually float in the water, and you can’t expect to hear sound outside the water when the UE Roll is submerged anyway. The UE Roll passed the test.

UE Roll

Now, if you’re wondering, the UE Roll is purely a speaker, not a speakerphone. It doesn’t have a microphone, so you can’t use it to take calls on your smartphone.

The UE Roll retails for S$149.

Conclusions

The UE Roll is Logitech’s latest addition to their line of portable Bluetooth speaker. It is rugged, waterproof, handy to carry around, and delivers music with a punch.

Pros:

  • Smallish, nice design
  • Rugged and waterproof
  • Loud
  • Stream to second UE Roll for more loudness or stereo music

Cons:

  • Flap design to cover ports could be improved

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