Timing is everything (or so the saying goes), and it's surely no coincidence that the Ultimate Ears Epicboom portable speaker was unveiled at the same time as the official unveiling of the Sonos Move 2 (September 6).
While we'll need to hear both side-by-side, the Epicboom looks like a close rival for entry into the best Bluetooth speakers category and a top contender for the best outdoor speakers thanks to its IP67-rating that protects it from water splashes and short-time submersion.
Unlike the Move 2 though, the Epicboom is available to buy now direct from the Ultimate Ears website priced at $349 / £340 (around AU$550 based on today's exchange rates). That's a lot less than the Sonos Move 2 was announced at, which looks set to cost $449 / £449 / €499 / AU$799 when it arrives on sale on September 20. It's worth saying though, that the Epicboom doesn't have the Wi-Fi connectivity smarts that the Move 2 will have.
The Ultimate Ears Epicboom comes in two colorway options including cotton white/lipstick red, and charcoal black/lime.
Ultimate Ears Epicboom: More boom for less
The Epicboom is a stereo speaker using two 1.5-inch active mid-high frequency speaker drivers partnered to a single 4.6-inch woofer driver.
Along with the Boom app that can be used to tailor the sound to your liking via different preset EQs, the speaker's internal mic dynamically adjusts to balance the sound output depending on its surrounding and proximity to boundaries. Presets include Signature, Bass Boost, Game/Cinema, Podcast/Vocal, as well as an all-new Deep Relaxation mode.
As an all-new series in the Ultimate Ears lineup, the Epicboom bridges the gap between the company's Megaboom 3 and the Hyperboom models. Battery life for the Epicboom claims to deliver up to 17 hours of playtime, which actually sounds like a conservative figure based on the real-world playback times we've seen on other UE models versus what's claimed. Full recharges are said to take around 3 hours. There's an LED battery indicator and a USB-C port for recharges.
Other neat Epicboom features include one-touch NFC feature available for NFC-compatible smartphones with Android 8.0 or later, allowing users to simply power on, pair, connect, and play. PartyUp lets owners pair multiple Ultimate Ears speakers together, while Outdoor Boost cranks up the bass even further.
As one of the larger Bluetooth speakers we've seen introduced recently, it'll be interesting to see how its sound stacks up against the similarly-sized Sonos Move 2. Keep checking back for our reviews and face-offs on both models when they arrive.