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Ultimate Ears brings out 'social' Bluetooth speaker
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MacNN Staff
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May 22, 2013, 09:18 AM
Audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears has announced a new wireless Bluetooth portable speaker, the UE Boom. Available in six colors, the mini-speaker is intended to be portable and offers 360-degree sound from all sides of the easy-grip device. The device features an acoustic skin to be water and stain resistant, a long and rechargeable battery life (up to 15 hours) and is easily paired with other UE Boom units.

Because the device can be paired with up to eight source devices and can even utilize two source devices at the same time, the company says it encourages real-world social interaction. It accomplishes this by offering an easy way for friends to swap sources and play each other music, or pair up additional UE Boom speakers in either stereo-to-stereo or traditional left-right channels to create a surrounding wide-stereo effect up to 50 feet away through a free app for iOS or Android, which also allows the cylindrical bar speaker to function as a speakerphone unit.

Ultimate Ears is launching an original web series to promote the speakers, featuring musician Reggie Watts and available on YouTube's Jash channel entitled "The Social Music Experiment." Watts will feature the UE Boom in adult humor sketches, the first of which is available now and will be syndicated beginning May 28 to sites such as CollegeHumor.com, aiming at the twenty-something demographic.

The device offers a sound range of 90Hz-20kHz, and features two 1.5-inch, four-ohm drivers and two two-inch passive radiators. It is NFC (passive) enabled and thus can work with Android devices that have NFC available, and uses a micro-USB port for charging (which takes about 3.5 hours for a full charge). The speaker measures 7.1 inches long with a 2.6-inch diameter, and weighs about 19 ounces.

The UE Boom speaker is available now in the US and Europe, and is expected to debut in select Asian countries in June. It will retail for $200 and comes in either red, black, white, blue, pink or moss green. NFC Android use requires v4.0 (Jelly Bean) or later.

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