UE Boom Red Bull Racing edition hands-on: The best Bluetooth speaker you'll never own
Ultimate Ears, the refined audio brand from Logitech, has signed a partnership with current F1 champion Red Bull Racing that has resulted in one of the coolest Bluetooth speakers we've ever seen: a special edition Red Bull Racing UE Boom.
It is acoustically identical to the conventional UE Boom, which Pocket-lint gave five stars to in our review last July, but comes in the Red Bull Racing blue (the grille does anyway) and has a couple of excellent flourishes that made us, as F1 fanboys, giggle with glee. In our eyes (and ears) this could well be the best Bluetooth speaker made to date.
However, we are unlikely to ever own one as they are not for sale. Instead, Red Bull and sister racing team Torro Rosso will be giving one to each of its VIP guests who join them on race days.
So if you are lucky enough to be a guest of either team in future, you can expect a splendid treat awaiting you before you head home (let alone the fact that you have been wined and dined well before and during a superbly thrilling race day). Indeed, Red Bull started to hand them out at Monaco a few weeks ago, so some already have them.
Pocket-lint was invited to Red Bull's F1 factory in Milton Keynes to check out the special edition speaker ourselves and we have to say right now that even if you can't get hold of a Red Bull version, you should seriously consider the UE Boom (available in multiple other colour schemes) anyway. Its audio quality belies its price point of £169.
The 360-degree audio not only fills a small room, but just one of the speakers happily filled a moderately large space in the factory, without distortion. It offers a throaty, deep bass that doesn't overblow any lighter notes and we are very impressed for such a small and portable device.
For more on its sound quality, you should really check out our former review, but needless to say that we were equally impressed this time around.
Since that review, more features have been added to the iPhone and Android applications and firmware for the speaker itself. Not only can you pair two UE Booms together these days, but the app will remember to do it automatically each time now. Also, there are equaliser settings you can choose from for different audio situations, such as podcasts and tracks that require heavier bass response.
There's also an alarm setting now, so you can have the system wake you up in the morning (in combination with tunes on your smartphone).
Apart from the colour, the Red Bull edition has dedicated audio responses for start-up and pairing. While the original UE Boom plays the bongos for both tasks, the Red Bull Racing UE Boom starts with an engine roar and when pairing makes the sound of wheel nuts being tightened or removed. If you're a racing fan like us, that's pretty darn cool.
We reiterate though that in all other aspects, the Red Bull Racing UE Boom is just like the one you can buy from ultimateears.com. And if you've never heard one before, we suggest you at least find somewhere to check one out.