We’ve taken a hard look at the differences between these top portable Bluetooth speakers and all of the commentary from the leading critics. Which is better for you? It depends if you’re carrying tunes around the house, to the beach, or on a whitewater rafting trip — here’s a look at which speaker of these three is better for which use. We’ll also see how these perform in terms of sound and durability.
Our complete meta-review of every Bluetooth speaker out there named the UE Boom 2 as our top pick for most people, but there are a few for whom the Fugoo Sport or Bose Soundlink Revolve could be better choices. While we focus on those three as the representative flagships, we’ll also note the alternate models from each brand.
- Fugoo vs. UE vs. Bose: Quick Take
- The Fugoo Sport: Good Sound for Rugged Adventures
- The UE Boom 2: Top-Rated Sound, Volume, and Durability in a Small Package
- The Bose Soundlink Revolve: Premium Sound (and Price), Not as Outdoorsy
- Wrap-Up: How Rugged Will You Go?
Update history of this article
Fugoo vs. UE vs. Bose: Quick Take
Here’s a side-by-side overview of the speakers.
• Portable: 2.3 x 7.4 x 2.9 in. (59 x 187 x 73 mm)
• Light: 1.1 lbs. (0.519 kg.)
• Good sound quality: While critics enjoyed the quality and quantity of sound from the speaker’s six drivers, it does not have the warmth and evenness, nor the bass performance, of the Bose Soundlink Revolve and UE Boom 2
• Good 360-degree sound
• Extremely Rugged: Built to withstand serious outdoor use including dirt and getting banged about and dropped; excellent for outdoor sports including careening around on mountain bikes, canoes, rafts, etc.
• Water- and dustproof: Rated IP67, can be dunked underwater and the dustproof rating means that it has a more impervious casing than the other two speakers; also billed as “shockproof”
• Cannot be paired with a second unit
• 40-hour battery
• Price: The price is generally best at Amazon
UE Boom 2
• Portable: 2.5 in. diameter, 7 in. tall (6.4 x 17.8 cm.)
• Light: 1.2 lbs / 0.54 kg
• Outstanding sound quality: critics write about powerful-but-balanced bass and overall clarity and evenness across all ranges, generally considered the best-sounding speaker at this size and price
• Excellent 360-degree sound
• Quite rugged: Many report that it survives drops well, suitable for outdoor sports and use around water
• Fully waterproof: Rated IPX7, can be dunked underwater
• Louder: One of the loudest among its peers
• 15-hour (replaceable) battery
• Other: Speakerphone, 3.5mm aux input, tap the speaker to skip songs, carabiner hook & tripod mount, can use voice command to start music
• Price: There have been wild price swings for this speaker and note that pricing can vary a lot according to the color you select; check the latest at Amazon (this link shows all color options) and BestBuy
Bose Soundlink Revolve
• Portable, a bit fatter: 6 in. (15.2 cm.) tall, 3.25 in. (8.2 cm.) in diameter
• A wee bit heavier: 1.5 lbs. (0.66 kg.)
• Excellent sound quality: Critics found it delivered flawless 360-degree sound and warm even mids and treble, not as much bass as the UE Boom 2
• Excellent, very evenly spread 360-degree sound
• Sturdy: Fine for outdoor use and travel, but more of an indoorsy speaker
• Splashproof: Rated IPX4, which means it survives the odd splash, but not being dunked underwater
• Louder: One of the loudest among its peers, but struggles at higher volumes
• 12-hour battery
• Other: Speakerphone, 3.5 mm aux input, tripod mount, connects to computers via USB, Google Assistant and Siri integration
The Fugoo Sport: Good Sound for Rugged Adventures
Fugoo Sport is hands-down the most rugged Bluetooth speaker of the lot; if you’re planning on strapping a speaker to your bike, raft, or off-road vehicle, this is the one to get. The speaker is, like the UE Boom 2, completely waterproof and could survive 30 minutes underwater. But it goes further than the UE Boom 2 in being rated completely dustproof as well. Fugoo markets it as “shockproof”, and abusive users have found that it does indeed survive quite well (though the UE Boom 2 also does well with drop tests).Tough version, which is the same speaker but in an even more indestructible fiber-reinforced resin and aluminum “jacket”. We have a separate article on the differences between the Fugoo Sport, Tough, and Style speakers.
In the eyes of audiophile and tech critics, the Fugoo Sport/Tough/Style (all with the same six-driver core) do pretty well at delivering convincing 360-degree sound and not-bad bass and detail for a speaker of its size. However, those who ran comparisons generally prefered the UE Boom 2 and the Bose Soundlink Revolve, and we think chances are most listeners would agree with them. The advantages of the Fugoo speakers are that they’re cheaper and more likely to survive rough outdoor use. (Though if you’re just looking to save money and don’t care as much about ruggedness, check out our cheap speaker recommendations.)
Another important note is that these Fugoo speakers are not pairable, in the sense that you can’t buy two of them to have a stereo pair, as you can with the UE Boom 2 and the Bose Soundlink Revolve.
The UE Boom 2: Top-Rated Sound, Volume, and Durability in a Small Package
UE Boom 2 listed as our favorite portable bluetooth speaker; for us, it offers the best balance of clear, even sound, good volume, and even bass in a small, rugged, waterproof package.
Reviewers tend to really enjoy how the UE Boom 2 sounds and they consistently have it as their top or nearly top pick for small Bluetooth speakers. They say that it delivers even bass, as well as even, crisp details in the mids and highs. Most think that it outperforms even the more-expensive Bose Soundlink Revolve in terms of delivering solid bass and not distorting at high volumes.
As with the Fugoo Sport, the UE Boom 2 is completely waterproof and can survive 30 minutes underwater. And it too is reported to survive drops and other abuse by weirdos who do such things to their speakers in order to write Amazon reviews of their experiences.
The speaker is made a better investment due to the fact that the battery is replaceable (by calling the Logitech support line). It’s likely that any speaker’s battery will stop holding its charge after a couple of years; the UE Boom’s can be replaced if this happens.
If you buy two UE Boom 2s you can pair them via a smartphone app to create a portable stereo system; this is also true for the Bose Soundlink Revolve but not for the Fugoo speakers.
If you’re interested in the UE Boom 2 but want something cheaper, check out our comparison of it versus the squatter, bassier Wonderboom, as well as our comparison of it with the pool disk UE Roll 2. If you’re willing to pay a bit more and carry a bigger speaker, you can check out our comparison of the UE Boom 2 with the UE Megaboom. But note that the UE Boom 2 remains our overall favorite from UE’s Logitech.
The Bose Soundlink Revolve: Premium Sound (and Price), Not as OutdoorsyBose Soundlink Revolve is marketed as the higher-end, more civilized speaker; it costs more, and it’s not built to withstand mud and watersports. It’s a bit like a more portable Sonos. Those who have given it a listen generally laud its clear handling of detail and its warmth in the mids and highs. It delivers solid bass, and they’re impressed with the rubberized bass, which keeps it from bouncing on bassy tracks. All that said, those who listened to both the Revolve and the UE Boom 2 generally preferred UE’s (cheaper!) offering, especially for its solid bass performance and consistent approach to high volumes.
The Bose Soundlink Revolve did excel with very even 360-degree sound, slightly outperforming the UE Boom 2 in terms of sounding the same no matter which side of it you stand on.
The Revolve is only splash-resistant (not waterproof) and not shock- or dust-proof. It’s also the heaviest and bulkiest of these three speakers.full comparison of the Revolve and the Revolve+; the later is bigger both physically and in terms of volume and bass, and has more battery life, but will cost you $100 more.
Wrap-Up: How Rugged Will You Go?
These are three great-sounding speakers and ultimately the choice comes down to how much you want to spend and how much abuse you plan to subject them to.
|Also Available at
B&H Photo Video
|UE Boom 2
B&H Photo Video
|Bose SoundLink Revolve