UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker Review
THE VERDICT
The Roll has an excellent combination of durability and sound quality. It may be more expensive than some comparable speakers, but it's probably worth it.

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Design9
Features7.5
Value8
Performance8
The Good
  • The UE Roll has impressive detailed sound for a small speaker. Being waterproof and extremely durable, the Roll is a perfect on-the-go speaker.
The Bad
  • Small speaker means small bass. No speakerphone features.
8.1Overall Score

 

UE Roll Review

Ultimate Ears Roll Review
As I write this review, Adele’s “Hello” is streaming through the Ultimate Ears Roll as it sits on my desk.  I can’t help being somewhat impressed by the tiny speaker’s performance. The UE Roll isn’t your average speaker. It’s a 5″ saucer shaped bluetooth speaker. At its apex it measures close to 2″ in height. The size is perfect for fitting in the palm of your hand or sliding in a bag to take with you on the go. The UE Roll has a wide range of color options, so odds are you’ll find a color combo that suits your tastes.

UE Roll Color Options

The front grill is made of a textured fabric with the now iconic large volume controls embroidered on top. The design of the Roll is straightforward and simple. You won’t find a Play/Pause or speakerphone button anywhere on the device. Instead, anything other than the volume needs to be controlled through your streaming device. The back of the UE Roll is made of a soft rubber. A bungee cord attached to the back can be stretched and hooked at the top or you can use the cord to hang the Roll nearly anywhere. A waterproof rubber flap conceals the micro USB charging port and 3.5 mm input. A power button and bluetooth pairing button are also located on the backside of the Ultimate Ears Roll.

 

UE Roll Rear

UE Roll Rear

The UE Roll has a rugged design and is one of the few speakers on the market that’s truly waterproof. As evidenced by this, I submerged the Roll in a sink full of water and yep….it kept playing, albeit the sound was a little muffled. The UE Roll may be the perfect shower speaker. Hang the little saucer from the shower head and you never have to worry about water damage.

 

An app which is available on both the Google Play and Apple Store adds more functionality to the Roll. The app allows you to setup an alarm on the UE Roll. It also gives you some flexibility by giving you the ability to adjust the equalizer settings. If you have two Rolls you can also double up and have the same tunes pouring from both speakers. About 9 hours is the estimated play time you can get on a single charge with the Roll. Its bluetooth range is about 65 ft. which is double what you’ll usually find with most speakers.

 

Sound Quality

Surprisingly the UE Roll is an adept little speaker. Keep in mind this speaker isn’t designed to be a “party” speaker. You won’t get chest thumping bass that rattles the walls, but what you do get is clean crisp sound that can get impressively loud and still maintain its composure. The treble never gets too sharp and vocals are warm and clean. When listening to several Jazz ensembles, the Roll reproduced each instrument’s distinct sound with impressive detail.

 

The UE Roll’s bass is understandably limited with a speaker of this size. That being said, the little bit of bass it does kick out isn’t boomy or heavy-handed.

 

The Verdict

The UE Roll is an excellent on-the-go speaker. Its long battery life means you’ll enjoy hours of music. Its waterproof sturdy design also means you don’t have to handle it with kid-gloves. You can find other speakers out there which are cheaper, but few have the UE’s combo of great design and sound quality.

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