Is the discus-shaped UE ROLL wireless speaker a flying saucer you can believe in? Read our review to find out…
When Unlimited Ears (UE) invited us to run a competition for a lucky reader to win one of their UE ROLL speakers, we liked the look of it so much we asked if we could try one out, and they kindly sent us a speaker with their funky ‘Piñata’ design to road-test for a couple of weeks.
The UE ROLL, which is small enough to fit in your palm, comes in range of bright colours and designs, with big old volume controls stitched on the cover. The back has a rubber finish, giving the speaker an IPX7 rating that means it can slip off your inflatable at a summer pool party and live to tell the tale (as long as you’re not at the deep end – it can only officially survive at a depth of a metre for up to half an hour!). There’s also a marine-grade bungee cord on the back, so you can attach it to your backpack on a mountainous trek, stick it on your bike’s handlebars, wrap it around a washing line post when you’re having a barbie – or put pretty much wherever, really!
So what about the all-important sound? Connecting it to an iPhone by Bluetooth couldn’t be easier – you simply have to turn on Bluetooth on your phone and find and connect to the switched-on speaker and you’re ready to, ahem, ROLL. The discus-shaped design means that it can throw 360-degree sound in every direction, making it perfect for everything from chilled-out background tunes as you watch the sun set on the beach in San Antonio to getting the party started in your villa as you gear up for another big night out.
Having tested the speaker out with a variety of tracks here at Student Blogger HQ, we’ve been impressed by the quality of the sound. As you’d expect from a speaker of this size and price range, it doesn’t deliver the kind of bass you’d find booming out of a Notting Hill Carnival sound system, but throw some pop or guitar-based tracks at it and and there’s plenty of punch and vocal clarity to enjoy.
The dedicated UE ROLL app allows you to make changes to the equalizer settings if you want to tinker with the presets, and also lets you ‘double up’ your speaker with another UE ROLL to really bolster the output, set an alarm or personalise settings like the name of your wireless speaker.
The lithium-ion battery lasts for up to nine hours, and takes around five and a half hours to fully charge using the micro USB cable supplied. And, rather helpfully, the speaker switches itself off after a period of inactivity, which helps to prolong its battery life between charges.
In terms of functionality, we love the UE ROLL’s simplicity, from the giant plus and minus volume controls on the top to the on/off switch and Bluetooth sync buttons hidden on the back. You also get funky sound alerts when a new device is connected or the speaker is turned on or off.
So, in summary, if you’re all about the bass, then you may want to check out the UE BOOM 2 or even the UE MEGABOOM, but if you’re looking for a pint-sized, good-value and rugged wireless speaker that you can take up a mountain or to the beach without worrying about it getting wet, then the UE ROLL is an excellent choice.
UE ROLL tech specs
- Diameter: 135mm
- Height: 149.5mm
- Weight: 330g
- UE ROLL can be immersed in liquid up to 1 metre deep for up to 30 minutes
- Maximum sound level: 85dBA
- Frequency range: 108Hz–20kHz
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to 9 hours of battery life between micro USB charges. (Actual battery use will vary with use, settings and environmental conditions.)
- Charge time: 5.5 hours
- Pair up to 8 Bluetooth enabled devices
- Connect up to two source devices at the same time
- Wirelessly stream to two UE ROLLS from one source
- Mobile range of play: 20 metres (65 feet)
- For audio playback, smartphones, tablets and other devices that support Bluetooth wireless audio profile or 3.5mm audio output