UE Roll 2 review: A small speaker that packs a big punch

In a flooded market it can be hard to stand out, but Ultimate Ears (UE), a sub-brand of Logitech, does a pretty great job with its speakers. Speakers range in price from as low as $10 to over $200, and the differences can be hard to spot at times. Ultimate Ears has been around for a while, making a variety of Bluetooth speakers, headsets and more. In that time, the company has dialed in on some great designs that offer lots of benefits.

With some speakers being available for a decent amount less, you may be wondering if the UE Roll 2 is worth the $100 price tag. Well, let's take a look at the design, quality and more to see if this may be the speaker that keeps your guests entertained at your next barbecue.

Overall Design

At first glance the UE Roll 2 may not be immediately recognized as a speaker. Its rounded design offers a rather unique look for a speaker and makes it easy to pack up and bring along with you. It isn't overly thick or heavy either, which is great. When you first look at the speaker, it is easy to be confused as to how you turn it on or off as well as how to adjust the volume because most of the buttons are quite hidden.

On the back, you've got a slightly sunk in button that acts as the power button, and directly beneath that is the Bluetooth pairing button. On the front of the speaker, you will notice some stitched shapes, one as a plus sign and the other is a long thin line. These are actually your volume buttons, and the middle of each can be pressed to adjust how loud the speaker is playing without reaching for your phone.

There are only two ports on the speaker, which are both hidden behind a rubber flap to help keep it waterproof. The ports are a Micro-USB and a 3.5mm line-in. At times the flap can be a little hard to get fully closed, as it wants to keep popping up. It is important that it remains closed when in contact with any water so that none can work its way inside.

Sound Quality

Arguably the most important thing to consider when purchasing a speaker is how it will sound while playing your music. The UE Roll 2 packs a rather impressive sound in the small package, with a solid range of sound. Depending on what genre of music you listen to, you may find the results to vary a little more.

If your music collection is more on the bass heavy end, you may notice that the speaker sounds a bit distorted. The bass is definitely not as deep as it could be, but that isn't all that surprising given how small of a package we are talking about here.

The UE Roll 2 can get rather loud, so if you are looking to spread music through a large space you should have no problem. In addition, you can easily pair two of them together for stereo sound, which is a pretty sweet option. Sure, it won't replace your home entertainment system, but it will keep the party going outside or out on the boat.

Battery Life

No one wants a speaker that can barely play two albums without needing to be recharged, right? Well, the UE Roll 2 boasts a 9-hour battery life per charge, which should be enough to keep your party going and the music flowing. Of course, the more you turn it on and off, or adjust the volume and what is playing could all have an impact on how long it lasts for you, but not in a huge way.

The app

Ultimate Ears offers a companion app for the speaker called UE ROLL. The app is pretty simple, and not something that you will find yourself using on a daily basis. With it, you can pair two speakers together, adjust some of the EQ levels as well as set alarms. That's right, you can set the speaker to begin playing as your alarm clock in the morning if you wish.

You'll also be able to adjust some settings, like naming the speaker and changing the language. You can also quickly view the battery level of your speaker right from the app. Odds are that once you pair the speaker with your phone's Bluetooth, you won't need to use this much unless you need to pair or un-pair speakers.

Should you buy it

UE Roll 2 hanging in tree

This speaker isn't one that everyone will see value in, especially given its $100 price tag. That said, if you are an outdoorsy person, someone who spends time kayaking, fishing, swimming, camping or anything else like that, this speaker is what you want. Being light and portable you can carry it around with ease, and the up to 9 hours of playback time is great to keep the music flowing.

The UE Roll 2 is available at a variety of retailers and in a number of different color options. If you own one be sure to share your opinions of the speaker in the comments!

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Jared DiPane
Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.