Of all of the transportable speaker producers round (and there are lots of), Final Ears is definitely one of many brashest in relation to its branding. With garish colourways, funky promoting campaigns and a proclivity for audio system that prioritise huge, daring sonic brushstrokes, the corporate’s merchandise usually are not laborious to identify. Solely Final Ears might produce one thing referred to as an “Epicboom” with out blushing.
The purpose of Final Ears, although, is to be enjoyablethe corporate aiming its merchandise predominantly on the younger, on-the-go finish of the audio market who need their music to be transportable, punchy and party-ready. These are merchandise designed to be pulled out at pool events and pupil shindigs, they usually often have the assured, fun-loving sonic profiles to match.
That’s no unhealthy factor. We love fun-orientated merchandise as a lot as the following publication, and we’re simply as keen to gush over a cool piece of lovable tech as we’re an austere set of multi-thousand-pound audio system – simply take our critiques of the numerous UE merchandise through the years as proof, from the unique Increase to the Megaboom, to the most recent Wonderboom 3.
The purpose of the Epicboom then, certainly, must be as a speaker that’s as sparky and enthusiastic as its ridiculous title suggests. It additionally must be as rugged and transportable as value rivals such because the Sonos Transfer 2 or the Award-winning Dali Katch G2. Let’s see if Final Ears has introduced the growth.
Final Ears’ newest comes with a moderately substantial price ticket. The Epicboom will set you again £300 / $350 / AU$500, making it the second most costly product within the firm’s vary after the colossal Hyberboom (round £400 / $400) and nearly an identical to the five-star (however ageing) JBL Xtreme 3 (examined at £300 / $350 / AU$400).
In contrast with up to date merchandise of an identical ilk, UE’s effort does begin to appear like a sensible(er) alternative, particularly once you place it side-by-side with the Sonos Transfer 2 (examined at £449 / $449 / AU$799). That stated, the distinctive, Award-winning Dali Katch G2 is barely just a little extra at round £330 within the UK (US costs are a lot steeper), and whereas the Katch could also be a smaller unit, it’s actually able to sonically competing with the most important and one of the best on the town.
Construct & Design
The chunky, pill-shaped Epicboom is difficult to overlook. At an identical dimension to the Sonos Transfer 2, the Epicboom is a strong mini-monolith that pushes the bounds of what you’d think about transportable with out totally straying from its temporary. May you’re taking it out on a stroll? Sure, however it’s higher suited as a semi-stationary speaker that may be carried to a location after which set down for the day, moderately than as a handheld that fairly actually goes wherever you go. Assume picnics, parks, pitchside warm-ups, out of doors Zumba courses, that kind of factor.
Not that the Epicboom isn’t keen to affix in on the motion. Like a lot of Final Ears’ transportable gear, ruggedness and sturdiness have been positioned excessive on the agenda. With an IP67 ranking and the flexibility to drift in water, that is nonetheless very a lot a go-anywhere unit, with the Epicboom surviving a dunk in our workplace sink with out fizzing like a malfunctioning toaster or ominously smoking on the edges. That stated, we did discover that the unit retained just a bit water for a couple of minutes after it had been for its impromptu swim, so perhaps err on the aspect of warning earlier than you begin dunking your new toy with gleeful abandon.
Final Ears Epicboom tech specs
Bluetooth Sure (5.3)
Mains-powered or battery-powered: Battery-powered
Battery Life: As much as 17 hours
Options 360-degree sound, Occasion Up speaker pairing, Out of doors Increase, Adaptive EQ, IP67 ranking
Connections USB-C (charging)
Dimensions (hwd) 24.1 x 11.9 x 16.2 cm
Finishes x2 (Cotton White & Lipstick Crimson, Charcoal Black & Lime)
Sink-based dips apart, we took the brand new mannequin outdoors the confines of our testing room into the nice vast world, exposing it to backyard health periods, a patio meet-up, even a pitchside cameo at a hockey match, and never as soon as did it really feel fragile and even significantly cumbersome as we hauled it round like a new child toddler.
With that strong rubber bass and a few pleasingly taut polyester speaker cloth, we’re assured that our pill-shaped companion might have weathered something we threw at it for a lot of, many extra outings had we been given the possibility. Though, you would possibly wish to go for the black and lime colourway choice versus our easily-dirtied white and crimson check mannequin to be able to conceal a tough day’s grime.
If we had any actual gripes, they’d be that the Epicboom truly seems just a little restrained for an Final Ears speaker. Sure, these distinctive ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ indicators (used for adjusting the amount) are proudly emblazoned upon the entrance of the unit, but when something this newest speaker feels only a smidge conservative to our eyes. Possibly we’re used to the bolder colourways of the Increase, Megaboom and Wonderboom fashions (the latter resplendent in pink and inexperienced), however this newest addition to the household isn’t fairly as funky as we’d have appreciated.
Final Ears’ newest is satisfyingly made general, although, and we’re happy that this mannequin will be charged through a USB-C connector, particularly after the frustration of the Wonderboom 3’s reliance on an outdated micro USB port.
For north of £300 / $300 we’re anticipating a transportable speaker that’s well-furnished with options, and to be honest to the Epicboom it does an excellent job in incomes its high-end price ticket. That aforementioned IP67 ranking clearly provides to the speaker’s usability as a sturdy outdoorsman, with a useful Out of doors Mode additional boosting the Epicboom’s roaming capabilities by providing up an additional 1dB of energy through a much less bassy, extra forthright sound profile.
This gearing of the Epicboom in direction of out of doors play doesn’t cease there, as a Bluetooth vary of 55 metres ought to make sure you don’t lose connection out of your supply participant. Talking of supply gamers, a helpful one-touch NFC characteristic (accessible for appropriate Android 8.0 smartphones, sorry Apple followers) lets you pair your gadget with a single faucet. Useful.
Battery life, in the meantime, is okay, however it’s actually beatable by some similarly-priced rivals. Seventeen hours of playtime sees the Epicboom rating a win over the chunky JBL Xtreme’s 15 hours. Nevertheless, the Sonos Transfer 2 will furnish you with a moderately spectacular 24 hours of listening time, whereas the extra diminutive Dali Katch G2 (additionally round £300) will take issues additional to a whopping 30 hours.
What you do get with the Epicboom is compatibility with different Final Ears merchandise. Accessing the app permits you to pair up with a number of different UE fashions such because the Increase 3, the Megaboom 3, the Hyperboom and even one other Epicboom. The app itself supplies a pleasingly easy platform by way of which to attach with different audio system, navigate your Epicboom’s settings and alter your EQ, and whereas it’s not as in-depth or as feature-laden because the Sonos app, it’s going to do the job for the Epicboom’s Bluetooth-only speaker. It’s easy, uncluttered and a breeze to function.
No, it’s not fairly on the Sonos Transfer 2’s stage in relation to providing a really refined ecosystem or as many wi-fi streaming choices (the Transfer 2 supplies AirPlay 2 and Wi-Fi 6), however the Epicboom nonetheless fulfils its temporary with a raft of options that focus predominantly on out of doors use, ruggedness and intuitiveness.
A lot of Epicboom’s flashy advertising has positioned a heavy emphasis on huge, fundamental sonic claims that make some extent of loudness, depth and overuse of the phrase “epic”. What UE does promise is 360-degree sound fired by way of two 45mm transducers and a single 12cm woofer, however the general MO of the Epicboom, clearly, is loud and proud.
It actually achieves that first purpose with out an excessive amount of trouble. Push the amount as much as the upper echelons and also you’ll get pleasure from a sturdy, assured presentation that suffers little from the shameful ignominy of apparent distortion on the greater ranges. It carries nicely, too, and first-hand expertise of taking the UE pitchside for a pre-game warm-up on the native hockey membership attests to the scale of the brand new mannequin’s appreciable lungs. Put Out of doors Mode on, and that sound carries with larger exuberance, even when it’s just a little harsher and extra industrial-sounding consequently.
Being loud and being actually musical, nonetheless, are two various things, so how does the Epicboom cope as a speaker for extra discerning listeners who nonetheless need their music to retain a way of tone, cohesion and nuance? You actually obtain an honest diploma of sonic punch, significantly within the bass, with rock and hip-hop (Infamous B.I.G’s Hypnotize and Skinny Lizzy’s The Boys Are Again In City) benefitting particularly from the Epicboom’s broad, expansive sound presentation.
We have now our doubts, although, as as to whether this speaker actually gives that dynamism and musicality to make it a viable proposition as a real class chief. Whereas it’s clearly able to producing a large, highly effective sound, the Epicboom has a slight inclination in direction of a man-made tone that may be laborious to ignore. Listening to the UE side-by-side with the (admittedly dearer) Sonos Transfer 2 reveals extra richness, tonality and depth inside the latter’s presentation. The previous, sadly, feels considerably artificial against this.
It’s additionally not the peppiest, most rhythmically adept speaker we’ve come throughout, one thing that comes as a disappointment contemplating the model’s pedigree for vigorous, likeable merchandise. Stevie Marvel’s irresistibly funky earworm Superstition doesn’t fairly pop because it does when performed by way of a JBL Cost 5, say, whereas OutKast’s Hey Ya! might do with a larger injection of liveliness and rhythmic drive to essentially convey the monitor’s infectious sense of enjoyable.
That isn’t to say that the Epicboom in any means sounds unhealthy, removed from it. Somewhat, we’d prefer to be handled to just a little extra richness and depth throughout the speaker’s sonic spectrum, in addition to just a little extra spark and dynamism to essentially give our check tracks some pep. For partygoing teenagers and undiscerning loudness junkies, it does a tremendous job, however for those who’re eager on utilizing the Epicboom as your predominant speaker of alternative for each day listening each within the dwelling and out of doors, you might discover these shortcomings wearisome after a time.
Like so lots of Final Ears’ transportable merchandise, the Epicboom is an undeniably likeable and well-made performer that may please anybody in search of huge sound and rugged construct high quality wrapped up in a sexy, personable bundle. When it comes to fulfilling that exact temporary, the Epicboom is a worthwhile companion.
Our actual difficulty from an audio perspective is whether or not UE’s newest can justify its still-considerable asking value when in comparison with similarly-priced options. The Sonos Transfer 2 gives extra substantial and genuine sound for an elevated outlay (to not point out an entire raft of streaming options), whereas the likes of the Dali Katch or cheaper JBL Cost 5 will each reward you with a way more subtle sonic efficiency from smaller and extra actually transportable items. If such concerns stay a precedence, the Epicboom might battle to earn a spot in your wishlist.
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Learn our Dali Katch G2 evaluation
And in addition try our Sonos Transfer 2 evaluation
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