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JBL vs UE Boom – Detailed Comparison

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

JBL Quick History

JBL was founded in 1946 by James Bullough Lansing just after World War II. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA. The company manufactures amplifiers, loudspeakers, and headphones with the JBL Professional LSR10S being one of its best-selling subs with a class D amp, among other features. It is currently owned by Harman International after its Vice president Bill Thomas sold it in 1969.

In the 1970s, JBL entered the studio industry and launched its new technologies academy of motion pictures’ first full-line portable system in the 1980s. Also, the company was the first to introduce titanium in high-frequency diaphragms.

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

JBL Sound Quality

JBL speakers tend to depict a neutral, balanced sound profile. Their bass-heavy audio profile makes them ideal for party and personal use, especially for those looking for deep bass to listen to modern pop and hip hop music. The speakers are also loud with rich sound.

The speakers perform well in both high and low volumes. Built for DJs and other professionals, the speakers are tough and reliable. The Bluetooth speakers have long battery life lasting 24 hours or more.

On the other hand, JBL headphones are packed with features that help them deliver a well-balanced sound that closely follows the Harman curve.

However, the design and fit of these headphones are not very comfortable. A top-of-the-range JBL could sound unique with the depth, power, and accuracy every listener appreciates!

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

JBL Features

JBL manufactures futuristic speakers to ensure users can easily fit them into their modern home systems. Bluetooth speakers and subwoofers from JBL, for instance, come with the following features:

  • Polypropylene or cellulose-fiber cones
  • Rubber surround
  • Frequency response depends on specific speakers
  • Sensitivity of about 2.83V at 1 meter
  • Power handling up to 250W RMS

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

JBL Build Quality

JBL speakers are well built with Aluminum, Nickel, and Cobalt which is a strong high-power permanent alloy.

Also, the wireless speakers are high quality and built with solid features. The performance is reliable and they are waterproof which makes them all weather.

How To Pair Your JBL Speaker To Your Device

The headphones however have a plasticky build that makes them look average despite the well-balanced sound.

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

JBL Ease Of Use

Setting up JBL speakers may not be easy if you are not ready to handle the process. However, if your speakers are within the Bluetooth range, JBL speakers will easily pair with nearby devices.

The subwoofers may not be very easy to set depending on your car, but they are easy to use.  The wireless headphones are easy to use, whether you want to talk or just listen.

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

JBL Cost

Bluetooth JBL speakers are available at a range of prices. You can, however, get them between 40 dollars and 400 dollars.

However, the GBL Go is still ranked the most affordable Bluetooth speaker owing to the added value of sound quality and portability. The cost is generally high due to the high cost of engineering, high cost of quality materials, and the cost of advertising.

Headphones: $10 – $200

Amplifiers: $50 – $5000

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

JBL Space Requirements

JBL speakers are built to fit in many room sizes. The Bluetooth speakers are tiny in size and easily portable. Therefore, you can easily place them anywhere in your room or carry them for an outdoor listening experience.

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

JBL Remote Controls

JBL builds remote controls to help with easy and safe control of music together with other call functions on other devices such as smartphones.

JBL Click, for instance, is a mountable Bluetooth controller that makes it easier to control your music and call functions on any smartphone. However, JBL Boombox and JBL Partybox 310 do not have remote controls.

UE Boom Remote Controls

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

Connectivity Options

JBL Connectivity Options

JBL speakers, especially the Bluetooth-enabled ones, connect easily via Bluetooth. In fact, JBL makes them so that you can easily wirelessly connect up to 100 JBL speakers via Bluetooth.

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

JBL Power Range

The speakers have a high power handling capacity. For instance, the 840 Cinema Surround Speaker can handle 350 watts of continuous play, while the JBL Stage 1210 12” woofer can handle up to 250 watts RMS and 1000 watt peak power.

Subwoofers: 50W to 1600W rated power

Speakers: 50W to 250W rated power

Amplifiers: 50W to 800W per channel

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

JBL Frequency Response

JBL speakers work well under various frequency ranges. For instance, the JBL ES Series speaker systems, such as the ES 20, operate between 65 HZ – 40 kHz.

The 840 Very High Power Cinema Surround Speaker for digital surround sound immersion application performs within the 60 Hz to 19 kHz frequency range.

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

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. JBL offers a wide range of speakers for all use cases. Although most of them do not have EQs for customized sound, they have a pretty neutral sound profile. Besides, they have an excellent build quality that ensures that the portable JBL sound systems last longer. 

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