(Pocket-lint) - Just over two years after one of our favourite portable Bluetooth speakers hit the market, the sequel has arrived: the Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2.
It's a reworked, revamped version of the original portable - although you might not think so to look at it. The UE Boom 2 is the very same cylindrical speaker shape and 180 x 65mm size.
Look extra close and you'll see external differences, though, including a new mesh material finish, utilised for its ability to take on printed designs better (likely to be offered as a future personalisation option, so keep your eyes peeled). It's also completely waterproofed, including the 3.5mm and mini-USB ports to the base (they don't need their flap/covers in tact to keep the water out; the flaps are still present to keep dust and other gunk at bay).
Where things really differ are internally. The UE Boom 2 has been completely redesigned, using entirely new components for a 25 per cent louder output than the original. And having listened to the UE Boom in a Red Bull Airstream at the IFA consumer electronics show we can safely say that it sounds even more awesome than the original (there was an older model on hand for comparison).
Haptic feedback has also been added, so firmly tapping the speaker while holding it can start and stop music playback. Double-tap and it's possible to skip to the next track. Quite a cool idea if a synched phone is sat on the other side of the room.
If you're looking for a shockproof, waterproof, colourful, clear and loud Bluetooth speaker then the Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2 is definitely worth a look in. The main downside, if it can be called that, is that the original can still be bough for under £100, whereas the follow-up will cost £170 when it launches. Its bigger brother, the UE Megaboom, which is larger, bassier and louder, can be found for around £190 now too. It's a question of what suits your needs best.
For a Bluetooth speaker at this scale the UE Boom 2 is still up there among the best. And if you want even more then you could buy two and pair them in stereo via the associated smartphone app. It's top notch stuff.