Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Does not work
  • 2 - Barely functional
  • 3 - Severely lacking in most areas
  • 4 - Functions, but has numerous issues
  • 5 - Fine yet leaves a lot to be desired
  • 6 - Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 - Great and worth purchasing
  • 8 - Fantastic, approaching best-in-class
  • 9 - Best-in-class
  • 10 - Borderline perfection
Price: $99
UBoom L Portable Bluetooth Speaker sitting on a shelf
Kelly Hodgkins / How-To Geek

The EarFun UBoom L portable Bluetooth speaker takes you by surprise. You buy it for some weekend jams but quickly realize it can do much more. It can go anywhere you go and can fill almost any room with a bass-rich sound. Best of all, this speaker’s superior sound won’t cost you a fortune.

UBoom is a relative newcomer to the portable Bluetooth speaker market, but don’t let that deter you. I tested the UBoom L in my yard as I tackled projects, dropped it in my car for music on the go, and used it as a replacement for my laptop speakers. I was wowed by its performance, especially considering its relatively low price point. What did I like and didn’t like with this Bluetooth speaker? Read on to find out.

Here's What We Like

  • Great battery life
  • Good bass for a small unit
  • Affordable
  • Weather-resistant IP67 rating

And What We Don't

  • Plain design
  • Slow charging

 

How-To Geek's expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

Portable but Plain Design

Close-up of side buttons on Boom-L speaker
Kelly Hodgkins / How-To Geek

  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 8.3 x 2.8in (78 x 210 x 72mm)
  • Weight: 650g (23oz)
  • Water and dust resistance: IP67 dust and water resistance
  • Colors: Available in black only
  • Controls: Rubber-coated buttons

We will start off with the didn’t like. The UBoom L is bland in its design and doesn’t stand out. Like almost all Bluetooth speakers, it has a cylindrical shape with curved edges and solid black color. No other color options exist. You are stuck with only black for the speaker and trim.

Most of the speaker is covered with a black mesh fabric interrupted only by the silver EarFun logo on the front. The unit’s top is home to several tactile rubber buttons and status LEDs. The LEDs are small, but the controls are prominent and easy to press. On the back, you will find a USB-C connector for charging and a 3.5mm aux input. This aux connection allows you to connect a variety of non-wireless devices. It’s a definite bonus as you don’t often see aux on most modern portable speakers.

All ports on the UBoom L are covered with rubber giving the speaker IP67 water and dust resistance. You can use the speaker at the beach or pool without damaging it. And it floats, so you can easily find it if it falls into the pool or a lake. The speaker is durable but not overly rugged. You probably could drop it without damaging it, but you can’t abuse it.

The 1.43-pound Uboom L has some heft which gives it a quality feel. Unlike cheap speakers that feel like they will fall apart, the UBoom L handled maximum volume without significant distortion. It’s slightly larger than the palm of your hand, so you can carry it around. It’s also the perfect size for a backpack’s side pocket or a bike’s bottle holder. Though you can slide it sideways into a pouch or holder, the UBoom L is designed to lay down flat and doesn’t stand up on its side.

The Best Outdoor Speakers of 2022

Best Outdoor Speaker Overall
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2
Tribit StormBox Micro 2
Tribit StormBox Micro 2
Best Bluetooth Outdoor Speaker
JBL Charge 5
Best Portable Outdoor Speaker
JBL Clip 4
Best Wireless Outdoor Speaker
Anker Soundcore Flare 2
Best Outdoor Speaker System
Polk Audio Atrium 4

Simple Setup with Few Features

UBoom-L Side Passive Radiators
Kelly Hodgkins / How-To Geek

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • Bluetooth Range: 45ft (15m)
  • Built-in microphone
  • Wireless stereo pairing to connect two speakers
  • DSP modes: Indoor, Outdoor, Video (low latency)

Connecting the UBoom L to my phone and tablet was quick and easy.  I held the Bluetooth button for a few seconds, and the speaker was ready to pair. The speaker supports Bluetooth 5.0 and has a decent 45-foot range. I never dropped the connection as long as I was in that range. You can even use the speaker’s built-in microphone to answer phone calls when connected via Bluetooth.

The UBoom L offers three different listening modes with mixed results. Indoor mode is the default mode when you turn on the speaker. It is tuned for indoor usage. The UBoom L could fill a living room with sound without reaching maximum volume. It was loud enough that you could hear your music or listen to a podcast without straining. In smaller rooms like a bedroom or office, you may have to keep the volume low to avoid blasting out your eardrums or annoying those in the room next to you.

Outdoor mode boosts the volume and spread so you can blanket a wider area with your music. You can toggle between indoor and outdoor mode by pressing the outdoor mode button, which looks like a mountain. I used outdoor mode on my porch and a friend’s patio while we cooked and ate. We could hear the music in both situations, but it didn’t drown out our conversations. It was great for background music. I noticed a difference in loudness when I enabled outdoor mode, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Sometimes I wasn’t even sure which mode I was using. Thankfully, EarFun included a white LED that lets you know when the outdoor mode is enabled.

EarFun included a third mode, video mode, that reduces latency from the standard 250ms to 150ms. Though great for watching movies, this lower latency was slightly sluggish for gaming. It also reduced the Bluetooth range, so much that you couldn’t walk around the room with your phone. Though we didn’t test it, you also can connect two UBoom L speakers to create a stereo sound ideal for watching TV.

Room-Filling Sound that Boosts the Bass

  • Speakers: Dual 55mm drivers and passive radiators
  • Output power: 2 x 14W

I wasn’t expecting much when I fired up the UBoom L portable speaker for the first time. Boy, was I surprised. The 28W speaker filled the room with a crisp and robust sound that was shocking from such a small speaker. It’s one of the few speakers that boasts about its bass and actually delivers on its claim. The dual 55mm speaker drivers and the passive side radiators provide some serious thumping power for a speaker of this size. It had just enough thumping bass to make you feel the music.

Not a hip-hop fan? Don’t dismiss the UBoom L. Though the bass is prominent, it doesn’t overpower the mids and trebles. It complements them. I listened to everything from country to rap and enjoyed a warm, full sound regardless of music genre.

Long-Lasting Battery Life

UBoom-L with Aux input
Kelly Hodgkins / How-To Geek

  • Charging: USB-C
  • Battery Capacity: 7.4V, 2*2600mAh
  • Play Time: Up to 16 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)
  • Charging Time: About 4 hours

Most mid-priced portable speakers fall short in the battery department, but not the UBoom L. It is equipped with a 5,200 mAh battery that provides hours of listening. The company says the speaker can last about 16 hours, and that claim was spot on. I used the speaker for nearly a week without charging it. I was pleasantly surprised to pull out the UBoom L daily and still have plenty of juice.

Run out of battery? No worries, you won’t lose your music. Unlike most portable speakers, you can use the UBoom L while charging. Unfortunately, the speaker is not fast charging. You’ll need about four hours to go from zero to a full charge.

Should You Buy the EarFun UBoom L Bluetooth Speaker?

The EarFun UBoom L delivers outstanding sound for its size and price point. It hits all the key features you want in a portable speaker and is loud enough to fill a small room. It offers a balanced sound and is durable enough for almost any adventure. It excels at bass, making it perfect for rock, hip-hop, and similar bass-heavy music. Add in the excellent battery life, and you have a speaker you’ll gladly use every day.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $99

Here’s What We Like

  • Great battery life
  • Good bass for a small unit
  • Affordable
  • Weather-resistant IP67 rating

And What We Don't

  • Plain design
  • Slow charging

 

Profile Photo for Kelly Hodgkins Kelly Hodgkins
Kelly's been writing online for ten years at sites like Gizmodo, TUAW, and BGR, among others. Living near the mountains, she gets outside backpacking, hiking, and trail running any chance she can get. And with a background in science and technology, she brings digital know-how to her backcountry ramblings.
Read Full Bio »