Ultimate Ears, a Logitech subsidiary, reached well-reviewed success previously with the UE BOOM – a speaker column offering 360-degree sound. The company is again finding success with their latest release, the UE ROLL.
The first thing you notice about the UE ROLL is the build quality. The flying saucer-shaped speaker feels durable and solid. It also comes with a 2-year limited hardware warranty. The speaker includes an attached marine-grade bungee cord which allows for very flexible usage. The UE ROLL is IPX7 waterproof rated meaning it can be in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. To promote this feature, some retailers are including a small “floatie” for the UE ROLL that is just a small inner tube with a gap in the center to secure with the bungee cord.
Given the waterproof build of the UE ROLL, the buttons are rubberized and work well enough to provide power and Bluetooth pairing on the back with volume increase and decrease on the front under the plus and minus signs. The speaker is rechargeable with a 9 hour battery life through a micro USB port under a rubber flap on the back where a 3.5 mm auxiliary input is also located.
In my experience with the UE ROLL, it provided a significant improvement to the audio experience of a smartphone. With a Samsung Galaxy S 3 as my daily-use device, it provides rear-facing audio that maxes out its speaker and sounds tinny before even getting to full volume. Using the Bluetooth pairing between my phone and the UE ROLL, I was able to listen comfortably to room-filling audio that still had room to increase (right up to 11).
The Bluetooth connection gives it a 65 foot range. This did result in greater battery usage from my phone, the same as when I pair a wireless headset, but this should also be improved on newer devices with more recent Bluetooth connections. As long as your device supports A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) on its Bluetooth connection, it’s compatible with the UE ROLL. I tested NPR One and Amazon Music, both worked flawlessly as you would expect with any Bluetooth-paired device.
The UE ROLL also has its own app for iOS and Android. It allows you to view the battery status, set an alarm, update the UE ROLL with over-the-air updates, rename your speaker, or even pair a second UE ROLL for dual streaming. The UE ROLL can be remember up to 8 Bluetooth devices for easy pairing.
The UE ROLL came out in mid-June and is available at $99.99 on Amazon.com, Best Buy, and other retailers. It is available in five different color schemes including Volcano, Sugarplum, Sriracha, Pinata, and Atmosphere.
A review unit of the UE Roll was provided by Logitech to 404 Tech Support for the purpose of this review.