Ultimate Ears  - Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

Ultimate Ears

UE Megaboom 3: a remarkable sound evolution

Aprox. 114€

See specifications

Building on the success of the Boom in 2013, UE launched the Megaboom, an XXL twin in portable format, two years later. During its passage on our test bench, we celebrated its almost impeccable ergonomics while noting a lack of mastery of bass, distortion and frequency balance. The Megaboom 3, baptized in this way to keep the range consistent, promises to redress the audio wrongs of its predecessor, and reveals a new "magic button".

Positive points

Construction (materials, design, assembly).

Completeness of orders.

Usable during recharging.

Ability to access Apple Music (iOS) or Deezer (Android) playlists.

Balance the frequency response (in front of the speakers).

Relatively balanced distortion.

Beautiful stereophony.

Bad points


Lack of mini-jack input and charging port.

Directive rendering.

No hands-free kit.

Our review


With its 22 cm high and 8.5 cm in diameter, the Megaboom 3 displays a template if not identical, in any case extremely close to that of its predecessor. The design, on the other hand, if it looks similar from afar, gradually reveals many rethought details.

For starters, the wide strip of soft touch material which ran vertically through the front enclosure with the hollow volume controls gives way to the + and - symbols in relief, directly on the transonorous and hydrophobic fabric. On this subject, note that the enclosure is now certified IP67 (resistant to dust and waterproof) and does not fear salt water, unlike the first of the name which was only waterproof. What's more, to prevent it from touching the bottom of the pool in its little navy sweater (or red, black, or purple, depending on the color chosen), the Megaboom 3 ... floats.

Above, the central power button is now off-center, giving way to the famous magic button - or more simply "multifunction". Indeed, said button allows you to put the music in play / pause, to navigate between the songs (double click for the next track, triple to go back to the beginning of the one listening or the previous one), but also and above all to use the user's playlists via the dedicated application: a long press will trigger one of the four playlists saved in the application, and another long press will go to the next. For streaming services, the user is entitled to Deezer on Android, or Music (Apple Music + music library stored locally) on iPhone ... but no Spotify on the horizon. The functionality being offered in addition to the usual services offered by a speaker of this type, we can not count this lack of direct access to the most popular music streaming services as a defect of the Megaboom 3 - but we must admit that this impossibility proves to be frustrating in use.

The application offers several equalizations (5-band EQ and presets), 9 languages, activation / deactivation of notification signals (detectable, successful pairing, switching on / off, maximum / minimum volume reached). There is of course the famous "Party Up" mode allowing you to broadcast your music on more Ultimate Ears speakers than you will ever have, in multi-mono or stereo.

It is no longer below the enclosure - very impractical, you suspected - but at the back, under a waterproof hatch, that is the connection, well deserving its article in the singular: neither God nor master, neither mini-jack nor auxiliary port for charging smartphones, the Megaboom 3 only has a micro-USB port to power its battery, thank you good evening. During our tests, the autonomy amounted to just under 19 hours, at 75% of the maximum volume. In addition, the speaker is now usable during charging, and a white charging base called Power Up is available on the Ultimate Ears website, at a price of € 39.99.

The absence of analog input, or at least wired, is all the more problematic as the latency induced by the Bluetooth connection tutoie on this model the 200 milliseconds, that is to say a value translating a sensitive shift between the image and the sound. If on smartphone some applications take this offset into account (like Netflix or YouTube), it will be advisable on a computer to go through software (like VLC) allowing to delay the image track compared to the sound track.

To close this part devoted to ergonomics, we would like to point out that, contrary to what you can read here and there on various reseller sites, the Megaboom 3 is not used as a hands-free kit. In addition to not being equipped with a microphone, it is not recognized by Bluetooth terminals as a speaker capable of handling calls.



If the Megaboom 3 keeps its predecessor a signature V-flavor, the frequency response curve of the latest has nothing to do with that of the previous one and displays a fairly impressive balance from 600 Hz.

The Megaboom 3 delivers a slightly flattering rendering, but leaves plenty of room for each of the frequency ranges which are expressed freely and intelligibly. The bass remains very full and still lacks sharpness in the attack and especially extinction transients - we clearly feel the very "round" action of the passive radiators -, but are less inflated than before. Their weight is also less heavy on the spectrum thanks to the fact that the voices and instruments playing in the court of mediums are no longer set back at all. They are therefore considerably less crushed by the bottom of the spectrum - there are still some mask effects still -, regaining in passing good intelligibility. The presence peak around 1 kHz that we perceived on the previous model softened considerably, as did the hissing aspect it generated.

The case of treble is more specific: as we explained in detail in the dedicated news lab, the Megaboom 3 is not omnidirectional, contrary to the promise made by Ultimate Ears. Instead of a mono signal sent in all directions, it broadcasts the stereo mix well. The sound is therefore not audible in an identical manner at 360 °, the treble range being clearly more perceptible when one is positioned in front of one of the speakers (therefore to the left or right of the speaker). The rendering becomes muted when you are positioned in front of the speaker, but you gain an appreciable stereophonic scene width - although necessarily blurred, the two speakers broadcasting in a direction parallel to the plane of the ears. Since the Megaboom 3 is capable of offering a fairly immersive audio rendering, one cannot help but experience again frustratingly the impossibility of watching films via a wired input.

The Megaboom 3 is still just as powerful, with a distortion from 150 Hz much better controlled than that of the first model, thus improving the clarity of the musical message and reducing hearing nuisance. Between 70 and 100 Hz, notable parasitic vibrations can taint the signal, which will not be heard on a bass playing, but possibly on bass layers.



The Megaboom 3 offers an audio performance unquestionably superior to that of its predecessor, thanks to better control of the bass, distortion and spectral balance, which it swaps for poor connectivity: the absence of analog input combined with the significant Bluetooth latency considerably hinders the viewing of films, and the hands-free kit is no longer available.