UE Roll 2 Review
THE VERDICT
UE's Roll 2 is a solid mini-bluetooth speaker. It's not a major upgrade over the original Roll, but it sounds better and has a wider wireless range making it one of the top mini-bluetooth speakers you can get.

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Design9
Value 8.5
Features8
Sound Quality8.5
The Good
  • The UE Roll 2 can easily fit inside a bag. Its sound quality is solid and since its water proof the UE Roll 2 is the perfect bluetooth speaker to take with you to the pool or beach.
The Bad
  • Still no speaker phone functionality. Play/Pause functionality on the speaker would be nice.
8.5Overall Score

When I reviewed the original Ulimate Ears Roll, I was impressed by the little speaker. The ultra portable and waterproof speaker sounded bigger than its size. Enter the UE Roll 2. On the surface, the Roll 2 looks identical to the original, but UE has made a couple notable upgrades to the newest model. The second iteration of the Roll boasts a 15% increase in loudness and a wider wireless range making it even better than its predecessor

 

RELATED: UE Boom 2 Review

 

UE Roll 2 Design & Appearance

The Roll 2 has a unique and striking appearance that sets it apart from other mini-bluetooth speakers. Round with a convex profile it’s reminiscent of a flying saucer from an old sci-fi flick. Measuring only 5 inches in diameter and weighing only 11 ounces,  the UE Roll 2 fits easily inside a bag for an impromptu road trip.

Ultimate Ears Roll 2 Review

 

The review model that UE sent us was what they call “Atmosphere”, which is blue and red on the front with a maroonish posterior. If this color combo isn’t what you had in mind, don’t worry. The speaker is available in several color options so odds are you’ll find one that you like. The face of the Roll 2 is made of a tight fabric weave embroidered with over-sized plus and minus symbols. Flip the UE Roll 2 over and you’ll see the power and bluetooth connect buttons. A bungee cord latches onto a clip at the top and a hidden rubber trap door hides and protects the 3.5 mm port and mini USB connector. The bungee cord is especially convenient since it allows you to hang the Roll 2 from nearly anything.

 

Along with the Roll 2, UE includes an inflatable floatation device they call the “Floatie”. Inflate the floatie and place the Roll 2 on top and you can take it for a ride in the pool with you. Unlike most speakers which suffer from severe aquaphobia, UE seems to go out of their way to entice you to take the Roll 2 out on the water. The Roll 2 has an IPX7 rating meaning it’s waterproof and can withstand being submerged for up to 30 minutes in 3 ft. of water. I put this to the test on several occasions and the Roll 2 held up perfectly to multiple showers and occasional water dunking.

 

Controlling the Roll 2 is easy. Pairing the speaker simply requires you to press the bluetooth pairing button on the back and activating bluetooth on your mobile device. The entire process is short, simple and sweet and will have you streaming music in seconds. Volume is controlled by the “you can’t miss them” volume buttons on the front. Pressing both plus & minus symbols at the same time will tell you how much juice your speaker has left.

 

Ultimate Ears Provides a dedicated app that’s a free download from the iOS and Google Play stores. The app is simple, but it does let you do some cool things such as pairing two Rolls together, adjusting equalizer settings and turning the Roll on/off. Via the app, the Roll 2 can get you up for work in the morning by becoming your new alarm clock. A couple things missing from the Roll 2 are play/pause features and speaker phone capabilities. Maybe the Roll 3 will have these.

 

Sound Quality

The UE Roll 2 is advertised to be 15% louder than its predecessor. In my listening tests, the 2 does get impressively loud. Although I no longer had the original Roll in our office, based on the time I spent with the Roll 2 it definitely seems to have louder chops than its forebear.

 

Crisp clear sound is the hallmark of the Roll 2. At moderately high volume levels it sounded impressive for a speaker with its meager dimensions. Maxing the volume out did illustrate the limitations of what the little Roll 2 could do. While its little drivers did start to strain and distort at max volume levels it was solid overall.

 

Bass response on the Roll 2 was good for a speaker of this size. The Roll 2 will surprise you with how much bass it does produce, but reign in your expectations a bit. Its little drivers can only do so much.

 

The improved bluetooth range is another one of the major upgrades for this model.  Its advertised range is about 100 ft. With a clear line of sight I was able to hit a little over that, before I started encountering noticeable signal drop outs. The battery life on the Roll 2 is solid. UE says you can expect a 9 hour battery life from the Roll 2, and I was able to get anywhere from 8.5 -9.5 hours on single charge depending on how loud I pushed the speaker.

 

The Verdict

The UE Roll 2 is a marginal upgrade over the original UE Roll. However, I liked the original Roll and the 2nd iteration is even better. If you have the original Roll you shouldn’t feel compelled to run out and grab yourself a Roll 2. The meager upgrades probably don’t warrant that. On the other hand, if you’re a new buyer that’s in the market for a mini-bluetooth speaker that’s waterproof, stylish, good sounding and has excellent wireless range then the Roll 2 is a solid option.

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