In this article, I will compare two small, rugged outdoor speakers the UE Wonderboom and the Bose SoundLink Micro.
I was really excited when Bose released its smallest Bluetooth speaker since its bigger brother the SoundLink Mini 2 has been famed for its big sound despite its small size and fortunately the Micro also did not disappoint.
The Wonderboom is the latest ultraportable speaker of the UE and it can be considered as the successor of the popular UE Roll 2.
It’s a stylish, little party bomb promising surprisingly big sound in a tiny body.
However, the question is that which one to choose, which one is the better speaker?
- 115 feet
- 70% volume: 6 hours 40 minutes
- Maximum volume: 2 hours
- IPX7 certification
- It can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes
- Rugged, sturdy design
- Shockproof, IPX7 water protection
- Big sound with deep lows
- Good Bluetooth range
- Short battery life
- Uncontrolled, boosted bass
- No audio input port
- 50 feet
- 70% volume: 6 hours
- Maximum volume: 3 hours 40 minutes
- IPX7 certification
- It can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes
- Waterproof, rugged design
- Portable, useful strap
- Powerful music control, call handling
- Exceptional sound quality
- Weak battery life
- High price
UE Wonderboom vs Bose SoundLink Micro Full Comparison Video
Checking their price, the Wonderboom is the cheaper device; at the date of this article (03.04.2018), the Wondeboom can be bought around $60, while you can get the Bose Micro for around $100.
So the price difference is quite significant.
You can find the reviews of the speakers here:
In terms of size, the Wonderboom is around twice bigger.
While it is absolutely comfortable to carry the Bose Micro in your pocket or attach it to your belt for even a whole day, it is not the case by the Wonderboom.
It is twice as heavy and definitely not something you would carry in your pocket or in a slim notebook bag, however, it is still small enough to put it into your beach bag or backpack without any problem.
The Wonderboom got a cylindrical shape, it looks like a big apple whereas the Micro is shaped like a pebble.
I think both look great, the Wonderboom is intended to be a more youthful, stylish device, while the Micro got a sleek, subdued design.
This is also reflected in the color options; the Wonderboom is available in 11 different colors from purple to cashmere, by contrast, the Micro came in only three colors.
Both speakers are designed to withstand the elements and they look really durable devices.
Except the metal speaker grille at the back, the Bose Micro got a full rubber outer coating to hold up to dents and scratches; it feels well-made and solid.
The Wonderboom is built from solid materials and according to the manufacturer, it can even survive some accidental drops from up to 5 feet as well.
The outside of the speaker is covered by a nice, mesh fabric material, which looks durable and provides a good grip.
Regarding music control, the Bose Micro is more powerful, it provides a full music control capability, which means you can pause/play a song, jump to the next track or to the previous one.
With the Wonderboom you can only pause/play and skip a song, however, you cannot jump back.
The buttons are not perfect by either speaker; they are hard to press by the UE and not clicky enough by the Bose.
It’s an extra feature of the Micro over the Wonderboom that it got a built-in microphone, so it can be used as a speakerphone to answer phone calls or you can use it with the voice assistant of your phone.
Both speakers got IP7 water protection, so they are completely waterproof, they can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes.
On top of that, the Wonderboom is dust resistant and it also floats on the water, so you don’t have to worry if you accidentally drop it in.
One small benefit of the Micro that while by the UE a waterproof flap covers the charging port and you have to ensure that the flap seals correctly, by the Bose there is no flap, the water protection was ensured inside the port, so you don’t have to care with it.
The Wonderboom has a small hook on its top, which looks durable and can be useful if you have a carabiner but the attachment option of the Micro is definitely a more versatile solution.
It has a built-in elastic strap on the back, which can be used to attach the speaker to almost anything like to your bag or to the handlebars of your bike.
How to Setup
It was pretty easy to setup both speakers, however here I would give the edge to the Bose since it comes with a mobile app which really simplifies the pairing process and you can connect the speaker to your phone with only one click.
The app also contains a nice product tour and an exceptionally detailed user manual, so it is really easy to learn the usage of the speaker.
Beside this, it also provides some other handy features like you can rename the speaker, check the connected devices, disable the voice prompts and select its language.
The Wonderboom does not support the UE mobile app and surprisingly there is no user manual included in the box as well.
Which in my opinion would have been nice because the usage of its buttons is not self-explanatory at all.
Connectivity, Bluetooth range
Unfortunately, none of the speakers features an audio input port, so they can be connected only via Bluetooth.
In my outdoor test, I measured around 50 feet range by the Micro and around 115 feet range by the Wonderboom, so while both ranges are good and above the average, the range of the UE is almost twice longer.
By both speakers, it is possible to connect together two devices to amplify the sound, however, only the Bose supports stereo mode as well.
In my test, when I played various types of songs on the speakers at 70% volume I measured 6 hours play time by the Micro and 6 hours 40 minutes by the Wonderboom.
Repeating the same test at full volume, I got 3 hours 40 minutes by the Micro and only 2 hours by the Wonderboom.
So I would say the battery life of the Bose is slightly better but it’s worth to mention that both battery lives are quite short and below the average.
Usually, speakers can do around 10-15 hours at 70% volume in this category.
The Micro has a precise battery level indicator, it got a battery LED which shows the battery level in five steps and in addition, a voice prompt tells you the exact remaining battery percentage.
In contrast, the Wonderboom has a more basic battery indicator, it can only play three different tones indicating that the battery level is high, medium or low.
UE Wonderboom vs Bose SoundLink Micro Sound Test
Bose SoundLink Micro vs UE Wonderboom sound test video
The SoundLink Micro features a single mono transducer and a passive radiator.
Despite its small size, it has a surprisingly good sound.
Its sound is clear, balanced and which is rare in this size it has a good bass production.
I think currently this is the best sounding pocket-sized speaker, other similarly sized speakers simply sound flat compared to the Micro.
The Wonderboom has two drivers and two passive radiators shooting the sound out in different directions.
So the speaker has a 360° omnidirectional sound, you can put it in the middle of the room and you will get similar sound quality everywhere.
The Wonderboom is a bigger speaker and this is also reflected in its sound.
It has a higher maximum volume level and it has deeper lows than the Micro.
Its sound is also clear and distortion free; the only problem is that its bass is boosted too much and often it overpowers the other frequencies.
This uncontrolled bass can be really disturbing and can ruin some songs.
Overall, I liked both speakers, they are well built, durable devices with long Bluetooth range.
Their sturdy design and water protection make them great outdoor speakers.
However, they are not perfect, both have the same shortcoming which is the relatively short battery life.
Despite their size, they have a good, powerful sound, the Wonderboom is slightly louder and has a bigger sound with deeper lows, however, the Micro provides a nicer, more balanced sound.
Overall, the Micro is a more advanced speaker with some smaller extra features like the built-in microphone, precise battery level indicator, the mobile app or the stereo pairing.
These functions can come handy, however, the lack of them are mostly not a deal breaker.
If you are looking for a compact, very portable speaker to carry it around a whole day then I definitely suggest choosing the Bose SoundLink Micro.
If the portability is not so important factor for you or if you would rather use the speaker outside for example at the beach then I suggest saving the $40 price difference and choosing the Wonderboom, since it is louder and it even floats on the water.
If you want to know more about the speakers click here for the full reviews:
The JBL Flip 4 is a strong contender of both speakers.
It is also a bigger device with a solid, durable outer coating and with IPX7 water protection.
It has an audio input port, better battery life and a slightly better sound than the Micro and the Wonderboom.