Review: Ultimate Ears' UE Roll 2 Features Louder Sound and Longer Range

by

Ultimate Ears today added to its speaker lineup with the launch of the UE Roll 2, a successor to the original UE Roll. The UE Roll 2 looks like the current version of the UE Roll, but it has been upgraded with a longer Bluetooth range and louder sound.


I own an original UE Roll, so Ultimate Ears sent me a UE Roll 2 for a comparison review ahead of the new speaker's rollout. When it comes to design, the palm-sized UE Roll 2 is physically identical to the original UE Roll. It features the same flat, circular design with a bungee cord in the back and a flap to cover both a microUSB port used for charging and a 3.5mm audio-in jack.

Original UE Roll on left, UE Roll 2 on right

The UE Roll 2 isn't the most portable speaker out there due to its size (it's not going to go in a pocket), but because it's flat, it fits well in a purse or a backpack. It weighs about a half pound, so it's not going to add a lot of weight if you need to travel with it, and with the stretchy bungee cord, you can attach it just about anywhere.

Original UE Roll on left, UE Roll 2 on right

The UE Roll 2, like the original UE Roll, comes in a range of bright colors and it features a "life-resistant" shell that's waterproof and dust proof. It has an IPX7 rating, so it's waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a depth of one meter. The UE Roll 2 successfully survived being submerged for an extended period of time and it also made it through several shower trips. Since the UE Roll 2 is essentially weatherproof and impact resistant, it's ideal for backpacking, hiking trips, the beach, and other outdoor activities.


The UE Roll 2's build quality is the same as the first UE Roll, and I can vouch for its durability. I've had my original UE Roll for about six months and it's been in the shower most of those days with no ill effect. The UE Roll 2 even ships with a little floatie device in the package, which can be used to float the UE Roll 2 in a pool or a bathtub.


According to Ultimate Ears, the round shape of the UE Roll 2 offers 360-degree sound with deep bass, and it's definitely loud enough to fill a room or entertain a group of people at a pool or beach party. The UE Roll 2 is supposed to be 15 percent louder than the original UE Roll and I can confirm that there's a definite difference in loudness. I don't have a way to measure decibels, but the max volume of the UE Roll 2 far exceeds the max volume of the UE Roll.

As for sound quality, I prefer the UE Roll 2 (and the original UE Roll) to all of the other similarly priced (and similarly sized) speakers I've owned like the Jawbone Jambox and mini Jambox, the Boombot Rex, and the Oontz Angle. The sound projection is better, it sounds clear and crisp, and there's little distortion even at max volume.


The UE Roll 2 has a longer Bluetooth range than the UE Roll, so it doesn't need to be as close to an iPhone or iPad. While the original UE Roll had a range of 65 feet, the new one has a range of 100 feet. The battery life in the UE Roll 2 is unchanged -- it'll last for nine hours on a full charge which is long enough for a full day's use or multiple days with occasional use.

Connecting the UE Roll 2 to an iPhone is a simple process that takes just a few seconds, done through the Bluetooth menu in the iPhone's settings app. Once connected, it'll play whatever's playing through the iPhone, and there's also a UE Roll app that goes along with it.


The UE Roll app is nifty because it allows you to link two UE Roll 2 speakers together with both streaming from the same source (Double Up) or set it up so it'll play songs from multiple iPhones, so everyone at a party can choose the music (Block Party).

There's also an option to adjust the equalizer and a feature for using the UE Roll 2 as an alarm clock to play music from an iPhone. The UE Roll app is also used for firmware updates, monitoring battery life, controlling volume, and turning the speaker on and off.

ueroll2app
There are few negatives to the UE Roll 2, but it's worth noting that it doesn't include speakerphone functionality, and unlike the UE Boom 2, there are no built-in features for pausing music or skipping to the next song.

Bottom Line

As someone who uses a UE Roll on a daily basis, I can recommend the UE Roll 2 to anyone looking for a colorful waterproof speaker that also puts out a lot of sound. I've used mine in the shower for several months now and it's still as good as new.

The UE Roll 2 is ideal for the shower, the pool, or the beach, but it puts out good sound even if you don't want to take advantage of its water resistance, and in my opinion, it's a good looking little speaker.


The UE Roll 2 is noticeably louder than the UE Roll, but given that it's identical to the first version, anyone happy with the original UE Roll probably won't need to upgrade. For new buyers looking for a waterproof speaker or original UE Roll owners looking for a second speaker to take advantage of the linking function in the app, the UE Roll 2 is worth the price tag.

How to Buy

The UE Roll 2 can be purchased from the Ultimate Ears website for $99.99 starting today.

Note: Ultimate Ears provided a UE Roll 2 to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. The original UE Roll was purchased by the author. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
54 months ago

Must get a few of these for the pews in the local church. They would fit in very nicely indeed. Useful for the hard of hearing to listen to their sermon I guess

And with a crucifix up front and center on the top of this thing, you're all set.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago

Macrumors or paid reviews?

Whatever it is, that's one good looking piece of speaker right there! I love the design.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Officially Obsoletes First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display

Wednesday July 1, 2020 3:40 am PDT by
As expected, Apple's first MacBook Pro with a Retina display is now officially classed as "obsolete" worldwide, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with "no exceptions." This means that any mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15-inch models still out there that require a battery or other...

New Mac Ransomware Found in Pirated Mac Apps

Tuesday June 30, 2020 11:44 am PDT by
There's a new 'EvilQuest' Mac ransomware variant that's spreading through pirated Mac apps, according to a new report shared today by Malwarebytes. The new ransomware was found in pirated download for the Little Snitch app found on a Russian forum. Right from the point of download, it was clear that something was wrong with the illicit version of Little Snitch, as it had a generic installer...

Unreleased iMac With 10-Core Comet Lake-S Chip and Radeon Pro 5300 GPU Shows Up in Geekbench

Wednesday July 1, 2020 10:48 am PDT by
Benchmarks for an unreleased iMac equipped with a 10th-generation Core i9 Intel Comet Lake-S chip and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics card have surfaced, giving us an idea of what we can expect from a refreshed 2020 iMac. The Geekbench benchmarks, which appear to be legit, were found on Twitter and shared this morning by Tom's Hardware. The iMac in the benchmarks would be a successor to the...

Leaker: Future iPhone Models to Come in 'Exquisite' Thinner Box

Wednesday July 1, 2020 1:57 am PDT by
Leaker L0vetodream this morning posted a tweet corroborating recent rumors that Apple's "iPhone 12" lineup won't come with EarPods or a charger in the box, adding that this will also eventually apply to the existing second-generation iPhone SE. L0vetodream also claims that future iPhone packaging will be "thinner" and "exquisite," which would make sense if Apple's handsets are set to come in ...

Apple's A12Z Under Rosetta Outperforms Microsoft's Native Arm-Based Surface Pro X

Monday June 29, 2020 10:31 am PDT by
Apple's Developer Transition Kit equipped with an A12Z iPad Pro chip began arriving in the hands of developers this morning to help them get their apps ready for Macs running Apple Silicon, and though forbidden, the first thing some developers did was benchmark the machine. Multiple Geekbench results have indicated that the Developer Transition Kit, which is a Mac mini with an iPad Pro chip, ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Models Won't Include Charger in Box, 20W Power Adapter Will Be Sold Separately

Sunday June 28, 2020 7:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. This lines up with a prediction shared by analysts at Barclays earlier this week. Kuo said that Apple will instead release a new 20W power adapter as an optional accessory for iPhones and end production of its existing 5W and 18W power adapters...

Rosetta 2 Benchmarks Surface From Mac Mini With A12Z Chip

Monday June 29, 2020 7:48 am PDT by
While the terms and conditions for Apple's new "Developer Transition Kit" forbid developers from running benchmarks on the modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip, it appears that results are beginning to surface anyhow. Image Credit: Radek Pietruszewski Geekbench results uploaded so far suggest that the A12Z-based Mac mini has average single-core and multi-core scores of 811 and 2,781...

Display Analyst Once Again Says No 120Hz ProMotion Display Coming to iPhone 12 Pro

Wednesday July 1, 2020 11:29 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 models will not feature an upgraded 120Hz ProMotion display, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young previously said that Apple would not implement ProMotion technology until it adopted low-power LTPO display technology, a move Apple is not expected to make until 2021. In a tweet shared this morning, Young said that the none of his contacts have been able to...

Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS and iPadOS 13.6 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday June 30, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates to developers, three weeks after seeding the second betas and over a month after releasing iOS/iPadOS 13.5 with Exposure Notification API, Face ID updates, Group FaceTime changes, and more. iOS and iPadOS 13.6 can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over the air once the proper developer profile has been...

The New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership and Pulls All Articles

Monday June 29, 2020 11:17 am PDT by
The New York Times today announced that it is pulling out of Apple News, as the service does not "align with its strategy of building direct relationships with paying readers." Starting today, articles from The New York Times will no longer show up in the Apple News app. The news site says that Apple has given it "little in the way of direct relationships with readers" and "little control...