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Bose vs UE Boom – Detailed Guide

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Bose and UE Boom are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, and subwoofers

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however, we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Bose Quick History

Bose is an American audio equipment company established by Amar Bose in early 1964. It is well-known for making high-end speakers, headphones, car sound systems, and other professional audio equipment.

Amar Bose started Bose because he was unhappy with the sound quality of a stereo he had bought. He did this to try to make sound systems better than they were at the time. Amar had taken the time to find out how important sound reverberation was to the sound system‌.

As a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amar Bose knew how important research was to making excellent products. Therefore, he had made this the driving force for the company’s growth over the past few decades.

UE Boom Quick History

Ultimate Ears, founded by Mindy and Jerry Harvey in 1995, is a custom in-ear monitor (IEM), earphone and speaker manufacturer based in Irvine and Newark, California, United States. Their UE Boom portables are popular party speakers, and their IEMs are currently used by customers including Coldplay, Rita Ora, and Sam Smith. The company was acquired by Logitech in 2008.

Sound Quality

Bose Sound Quality

There is a lot of criticism about Bose speakers as it relates to sound quality. Many people believe Bose is an overhyped company that focuses too much on marketing and not enough on R&D to improve the quality of their speakers.

Many audiophiles for example lament the fact that Bose speakers tend to not have clearly defined highs and lows (bass). This is where the phrase – no highs, no lows, must be Bose came from.

While the above may be true, to Bose’s credit, some psychoacoustics has been a primary focus in the development of Bose audio equipment. This focuses on the effect of the reflected sound arriving at the listener’s head and thus tries to mimic a live performance with all their speakers.

This psychoacoustic design began with the Bose model 901, which was manufactured in 1968, and as a result of its success, it is still in production to this day.

But because Bose’s psychoacoustic approach is unusual and most audiophiles criticize it, but that doesn’t make it sound any less impressive. The sound fills the room, making it seem like a live performance without losing any of the high, mid, or low frequencies.

UE Boom Sound Quality

UE devices deliver quite decent audio output, with unmuffled but shallow bass, accurate mid-tones and colorful highs. The sound quality is much improved in the in-ear-monitors, but that reflects markedly in the cost.

The Ultimate Sound™ technology carefully balances audio at all volume levels and preserves the dynamic range. Coupled with the DSP technology, you get a clean and detailed audio output.

Features

Bose Features

Bose has features for expressive audio, intuitive controls, and modern components for better use. It is pretty easy to identify a Bose product when you see one. Some of the most common features of Bose devices are patented and device-specific.

Most Bose speakers support all audio formats, like Flac and Wav. They also have voice support, like Amazon Alexa, built-in music streaming platforms, like Deezer and Spotify, and seamless wireless connectivity for listening to music in multiple rooms through the Sonos set up and SoundTouch.

You can also expect to find a micro USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack/aux cable on a typical Bose device.

Most Bose headphones also have a background noise canceling feature that blocks out all the surrounding noise and allows you to focus on the sound from the headset. Because of this feature, Bose headsets are a great choice for professional uses like conference calls.

UE Boom Features

Some unique features of UE devices are shown below:

  • Ultimate Sound technology for balanced and detailed sound
  • Extreme ruggedness
  • User-centric and personalized design on all their devices.
  • 360° immersive sound technology.
  • Streaming from services like Pandora, Deezer, and Spotify

Build Quality

Bose Build Quality

Bose products are not something you can rely entirely on when it comes to build quality. The build quality can be divided into the internal build and the external structure.

However, for a brand that has been a big player in the audio equipment industry, Bose seems to focus more on the internal build quality at the expense of the structural delivery. Therefore, this leads to a great-sounding device that has a poor structure.

Although, another factor that might be worthy of note is the fact that the build quality varies from device to device. While some Bose products fall short of expectations, others are extremely durable.

For example, while most Bose speakers are usually reviewed to be of below-standard build quality, the headphones have enjoyed excellent reviews. An example of this is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones, which most users have reported to have one of the best build quality.

UE Boom Build Quality

The claim that their products are ‘virtually indestructible’ might be strongly worded, but UE devices are seriously rugged. They are dust and water-resistant (up to IP67) and shockproof while still managing to look fashionable.

Ultimate Ears Earbugs

They are constructed of military-grade fabric covering, neodymium magnet drivers, photopolymer gel moldable ear tips, and lightweight plastic and aluminum frames.

Ease of Use

Bose Ease Of Use

A great number of Bose products are easy to use. This means that even without technical know-how, you can operate them without stress.

For example, the QuietComfort 35 II headphone has a design that can be turned 360 degrees, adjusted to an angle, and can be folded easily.

The Soundlink Micro is another Bose portable Bluetooth speaker that is designed with a freestanding mount which makes it ideal for use anywhere including the bedside, bookshelf and other places. This includes poolside too since the Bose Soundlink Micro is waterproof and can stand easily.

UE Boom Ease Of Use

UE devices have features like voice and one-touch control that make manipulation extremely easy. Their earphones and speakers can also be customized for individuals. The intuitive UE Boom and UE Roll apps are fully featured with customizable EQs, musical alarm and connection to several speakers.

Cost

Bose Cost

One of the most important pieces of information you need to understand before choosing a Bose product is the fact that they are quite expensive. However, most people will unconsciously prefer to buy Bose products. This is basically for two reasons:

  1. Bose has a brilliant marketing strategy which makes them one of the most popular brands in the world.
  2. Bose speakers have a sound that makes your brain mimic the feeling of being in a live show. This is because of the tremendous investment by Bose in research and development.

Unfortunately, there are so many brands in the audio equipment industry with less prestige than Bose but which offer similar quality products at a lower price.

Check out the price tags for their most common products:

  • Bose earbuds: $180 – $450
  • Bose headphones: $100 – $550
  • Bose bass module speakers: $400 – $850
  • Bose Soundbar: $300 – $850

UE Boom Cost

UE devices are quite affordable (except the IEMs), as seen from the following list:

  • Portable Speakers: $100 – $450
  • In-ear Monitors: $500 – $2200
  • Earbuds: from $170

Space Requirements

Bose Space Requirements

Most Bose products, including the home theater, AV receiver, and speakers, do not require too much space as they aren’t normally large and bulk. They include shelf speakers, minimal home theaters, and AV receivers with pretty sleek designs.

Bose speakers such as SoundLink Color Bluetooth speakers can be used on the bookshelf without disturbing the arrangement of books.

UE Boom Space Requirements

UE speakers are portable enough to be easily carried about or stuffed into a backpack. The MegaBoom 3 measures 8.7×22.5cm and weighs just 925g the slightly smaller Boom 3 is 7.3×18.4cm, weighing just 608g.

Remote Controls

Bose Remote Controls

entertainment without stress. They add this remote to almost all Bose products except for the headphones.

A pretty interesting factor to admire about the Bose remote control is the fewer buttons. The remote control adds usability to its delicate design. It allows you to perform all the desired tasks with a few clicks of the buttons.

UE Boom Remote Controls

There are a variety of custom apps available, which are the major remote control options for UE devices.

Connectivity Options

Bose Connectivity Options

Here are the main connectivity options compatible with most Bose speakers:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • RCA
  • HDMI

UE Boom Connectivity Options

The connection options for UE devices are scanty. They can be connected via Bluetooth 5.0 supporting AptX, AAC and SBC codecs; USB and audio jack. The available options can easily be extended using the required adaptors.

Power Range

Bose Power Range

The power rating of Bose devices is not shown on most of their devices. But, according to different reviews from their users, the power range depends on the kind of device.

For example, the power range of an average mini home speaker like the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 is around 30 to 50 watts. The wattage of a larger speaker, such as the Bose Soundbar 300, is around 65 watts.

UE Boom Power Range

UE devices have enough power to be used at outdoor parties but are not overpowered since they run on batteries and lack amplifiers.

Frequency Response

Bose Frequency Response

Most Bose speakers have a frequency response of around 25Hz to 20kHz. However, for most Bose headphones, the frequency range is between 100 Hz and 10 kHz.

UE Boom Frequency Response

The frequency response ranges for UE devices are adequate but not much above adequate, except for the professional IEMs. For example, the UE Fits earbuds range from 20Hz to 20KHz, which is the average range of human hearing. The UE 7 CSX IEM, on the other hand, starts at 5Hz and ends at 22KHz. The lower and upper-frequency ranges for UE devices are 5Hz and 40KHz respectively.

Conclusion

For those looking for a sound system that can simulate a live performance, Bose products are the best option. However, most audiophiles feel this is not a natural sound and it is hence heavily criticized amongst audiophiles. Whether it’s delivering accurate in-ear monitoring for professionals, or loud, amplified sound for parties, UE devices deliver a clean and pure representation of music. The less-costly Booms and UE Fits are adequate for daily use, but you might want to spend more on the IEMs if you want audiophile-grade sound.

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