Often, it’s the unknown brands that produce an unexpectedly good-value product. EarFun is certainly unknown to most people, yet its affordable Bluetooth speaker punches well above its weight.
It sounds good, feels well put together and is fully waterproof to boot.
The sides of the cylindrical body are covered in a black mesh, with a rubber top and bottom. On the base, rubber gives it plenty of grip, while on top it covers the buttons. It’s similar looking to the Bose SoundLink Revolve II.
There are six buttons: two for volume, one for power, one for Bluetooth, one to toggle indoor/outdoor mode and a sixth for play/pause (a long press will call up your phone’s assistant).
Unusually for what most people would consider a budget speaker, charging is via USB-C, not micro-USB.
The port, along with a 3.5mm aux input, is hidden behind a rubber flap which prevents water from getting to them.
Thanks to an IPX7 rating, the Uboom will survive being dropped into water. It’ll float, too, but we wouldn’t recommend leaving it in for the 30 minutes that the standard allows for, especially in a swimming pool full of chemicals.
It’s still reassuring to know it will come to no harm if it gets splashed or covered in water while at the beach.
There’s a yellow loop so you can hang it or attach it to a rucksack, and the design means it’ll slot into the water bottle holder on your bike. It measures 167mm tall and 88mm wide at the base. It’s narrower at the top: 74mm.
Charging the 2200mAh battery from empty takes around four hours using a 5V 2A charger. This isn’t included: you just get a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box.
EarFun says it will play music for 16 hours on a full charge.
A built-in mic means you can use it for hands-free calls when paired to your phone and you can even pair two Ubooms for stereo sound.
With Bluetooth 5, range is impressive: it has a claimed 100ft working distance and that’s pretty much spot on. Even indoors with a wall in the way, audio still didn’t cut out.
If there’s any criticism we can level at the Uboom it’s that it only supports the basic Bluetooth audio codecs, not the higher bitrate ones such as aptX and AAC. However, the increase in sound quality is unlikely to be noticeable to most people, so it really is us just being picky here.
Behind the mesh at the bottom are a pair of 45mm drivers pointing in opposite directions – left and right if you have the EarFun logo pointing at you. Thanks to a pair of passive radiators above them, bass is much stronger than you’d imagine from a speaker this size.
However, because of this setup, there needs to be some clever compensation so that there’s still bass at lower volumes. And EarFun has achieved this: the Uboom does have decent bass at all volumes.
Not that you’d expect it from this type of speaker at this kind of price, but the overall sound isn’t utterly amazing. It is, however, very good and easy to listen to.
Vocals are clear and warm, and there’s enough mid-bass thump for use at parties. Highs, somewhat unsurprisingly with no separate tweeters, are less pronounced.
When you switch to outdoor mode, bass is rolled back and the mid-range enhanced so they’re clearer (and there’s less distortion) at the inevitable higher volumes you’ll use.
If you want to use the Uboom for watching videos, there’s another pleasant surprise: hardly any latency which means you won’t have lip-sync problems that other Bluetooth speakers – and headphones – often suffer from.
Price & Availability
You can buy an EarFun Uboom from Amazon UK for £59.99. It’s $79.99 from EarFun’s own website. At the time of review, it was out of stock at Amazon US, but EarFun assured us it would be available again there within weeks.
See alternatives in our roundup of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers. And if price is no object, here are the best Bluetooth speakers money can buy.
The EarFun Uboom genuinely surprised me for the price.
Not only does it sound good, but it also ticks every other box you could want: a built-in mic, low latency, great battery life, long Bluetooth range, USB-C charging, an aux input and – last but definitely not least – IPX7 waterproofing.
EarFun Uboom: Specs
30 Meters Wireless Range
IPX7 100% Waterproof
Bluetooth 5.0 technology
Up to 16-Hour Playtime
Voice Assistant Integration
Built-in Microphone for Hands-free Call
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