(Pocket-lint) - Ultimate Ears has made a name for itself by producing portable speakers capable of big sound. From the Boom to the Megaboom, there was only one way to go: bigger, badder, bassier. That's exactly where the Hyperboom comes into the equation, acting as a totally different offering for Ultimate Ears.
Although the Hyperboom is technically portable, in that it has battery power capacity and a carry handle, its near 6kg weight and considerable dimensions - think six Boom 3 speakers strapped together to give a sense of scale - and you might instead set this speaker down in a permanent home instead.
It's worthy of having a dedicated spot, too, given the serious sound output and intuitive app control. It's not quite as smart as some speakers out there given its Bluetooth only control - although dual control, meaning seamless switch from one device to another, is one way it shows off - but with quality like this that other competitors often fail to match, this is one sonic boom that's hard to ignore.
- Dimensions: 190mm diameter (diamond), 364mm height / Weighs: 5.9kgs
- Connections: AUX, Optical, USB out, DC in, Bluetooth wireless (dual)
- One-touch music control panel, volume up/down buttons
- Battery power (from 3-24hrs)
- Integrated carry handle
- IPX4 weather sealed
Despite being a lot larger than previous Boom outings, the Hyperboom does stick to some of the hallmarks of the series. There are two dedicated volume control buttons up top - one large '-' and one '+' - that do exactly as you'd expect, enabling anyone to adjust the sound level.
Other aspects are a departue for the series though. The Hyperboom's diamond shape - or cuboid, really, depending on how you want to sell it - isn't cylindrical like many Boom products, so the sound output isn't a full 360-degree output. As such you need to think about where to position this speaker.
But that makes sense, as positioning towards a wall will help the bass to capture that cavity and give an even more pronounced output. If you end up with the Hyperboom in the middle of a room - certainly possible as once it's off the plug there's no wires trailing anywhere and the battery lasts a decent innings - then it still sounds mighty impressive anyway.
A lot of this comes down to the Ultimate Ears Boom app. Load this and it has an Adaptive EQ option, which you can toggle on or off, enabling to speaker to 'read' its surroundings and tweak the sound profile to be preferable to the space in which it's placed. It's all rather clever and effective.
You can also use the app to adjust the sound profile with a five-band equaliser (EQ). Thing is, it doesn't work like any normal EQ: boost the treble and is squashes the bass rather than actually boosting the treble. It's a nonsensical way of operating and we'd advise you leave it well alone.
In addition to the volume controls is a one-touch panel. The play/pause here does exactly what it says on the tin, while a long press will dive into a preset - say a specific album via Spotify - and kick things off rapidly. Some competitors' speakers are a lot slower and fiddlier to get back up and running each time, so this always available aspect of the Hyperboom is great.
It's also possible to connect two Bluetooth devices at once so you can hand over from one to another, party style. It's achieved seamlessly, which is impressive, even if the chances are you won't end up using this feature too often.
Otherwise connectivity is straightforward: there's that Bluetooth connection (twice over!) but no Wi-Fi and, therefore, no smart assistant integration (unless you connect a separate device to use, which is a fair way to dig into such functionality). Other speakers offer more integrated and wider-ranging solutions, but if all you're after is a decent Bluetooth speaker then the Hyperboom has you covered.
- Drivers: 2x 114mm woofers, 2x 25mm tweeters, 2x passive radiators
- Frequency response: 45Hz - 20,000Hz
- Ultimate Ears Boom app
- Adaptive EQ
We've touched on the app-based EQ adjustment and how that should be left well alone, but having used the Hyperboom for some days we're not sure you'd ever want to make any adjustments anyway. The default sound out of this speaker is properly in-your-face, no soft edges.
It's the bass that's especially keen, which is great from a speaker of this size - and the thing that lacks from so much of the competition all too often, even from larger-scale products. So if you want to hear that bassline sing, you'll hear it loud and clear here.
Having bass on tap isn't to the detriment of the overall sound profile though. There's volume in abundance - it goes really loud - and enough sparkle and impact from the high- and mid-level frequencies. While it doesn't distort by any means, the clarity isn't as pure as you might get from a more distinctive separates system. But as all-in-one box solutions go, it's got plenty of pop.
There are physical inputs, too, so if you want to sit the Hyperboom by a telly and connect the optical output, you can have a sort-of soundbar solution. And if you don't have a Bluetooth connection then a classic 3.5mm cable in will also suffice. The USB ports aren't there for inputs, rather the opposite - plug in your phone if you want to charge it up.
Although the Hyperboom isn't hyper when it comes to connectivity options - it's Bluetooth only in the wireless department - it is capable of delivering sonics on a massive scale.
No surprise, then, that it's the biggest Ultimate Ears speaker made to date. It's still battery powered and still (sorta kinda just about) portable, though, so it hasn't surrendered the features that make it a classic Boom speaker. Just much larger - too large for many, we suspect.
So if you want a personal party speaker with bags of bass, this Ultimate Ears speaker goes above and beyond its smaller-scale cousins. It'll leave a lot of the competition in the dust, too.
The most obvious portable and large-scale competitor is from Sonos. It's a little pricier, but very capable - and does a better job with smart potential thanks to Airplay 2, Wi-Fi and integrated voice assistants.