Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 Summary
The Megaboom 3 has been around for half a decade, yet it still holds its own when pitted against modern competition. While the Bluetooth codecs are a few generations behind, the UE Megaboom 3 remains relevant in all other areas, particularly in waterproofing, audio performance, and battery life.
While Ultimate Ears have become a staple brand in the Bluetooth speaker sphere, it hasn’t always been this way. The turning point for UE was its acquisition by Logitech in 2008, which laid the groundwork for what would later turn into several series of Bluetooth speakers that have since become extremely popular.
The first release of the Megaboom was back in 2015, which was followed up by the Megaboom 3 in 2018. We’re not sure what happened to the Megaboom 2, but no one has ever said that the UE model naming approach ever made much sense. The Wonderboom, after all, had the Wonderboom 2 replace the initial iteration before the launch of the Wonderboom 3.
The Megaboom 3 is now five years old. However, it remains a popular choice of portable Bluetooth speaker. We do expect that Ultimate Ears will release the successor to the Megaboom 3 fairly soon, but the current version still holds merit as a portable speaker solution even this long after its release.
How The Megaboom 3 Looks & Feels
This speaker features a classic cylindrical design that stands just shy of 9” tall and has a diameter of 3 3/8”, making it a bit larger than the JBL Flip 6. It is also a fair bit heavier, with the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 weighing 2.04 lbs, while the Flip comes in at 1.2 lbs. It features a close-knit woven fabric exterior and offers a texture that allows for easy grip.
The top and bottom of the speaker are void of the fabric wrap and instead feature smooth plastic. This top area is where you’ll find the ‘Magic Button.’ This button serves as a source of speaker control that varies depending on how long you press it and how many times. It controls the play/pause of music, track skipping, and, more interestingly, for some, is the ability to cycle through your selected playlists. This playlist feature is limited in its support, with the Megaboom 3’s only supporting Apple Music and Deezer and not being available for Spotify.
The volume buttons are located along the side of the speaker and are very large. Despite their size, the area that activates the command when pressing it is relatively small. This is a strange design choice from UE, as it would have made more sense to make the whole button active or to scale down the overall size. All the buttons on this speaker are easy to press, and the overall controls are decent, but they aren’t the most intuitive controls on the market.
There isn’t a way to go backward in tracks on the Megaboom 3 without using your source device, which, while frustrating in theory, is unlikely to cause too much annoyance, as most speakers are going to be controlled from your phone. Still, it’s something to keep in mind.
With regards to its durability, the finishes feel high quality, and we also see IP67 weatherproofing, which protects the speaker from dust, rain, splashes, and limited submergence in water. The Megaboom 3 was one of the first popular portable Bluetooth speakers of this size to offer IP67, which has since become the industry standard. The addition of shock protection to help prevent damage from minor drops is also a benefit offered by this speaker.
We found the Megaboom 3 performed so well in this regard, that we included it on our list of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers.
The Megaboom 3 Is True To The Name When It Comes To Audio Performance
With a name like Megaboom, I expected to get a good low-end response from the speaker. While it provides a solid thump in the upper-bass range, the size of the drivers and limited fairly tight encloser limits the overall low-end extension, and while this speaker has a bass-heavy profile, it has minor flaws in its frequency response. There is a drop off towards the mid and low bass with several peaks and dips in this range, though these dips aren’t too audibly noticeable due to the range in which they occur.
The lower midrange is slightly elevated, but overall the midrange is fairly balanced. There are a few small peaks and dips in the frequency response, most noticeably in the upper mids and the treble. There is a noticeable drop towards the high end of the treble that can be noticed on some tracks, causing them to sound a little dull in that range.
The Megaboom 3 is a fairly loud speaker and can achieve around 90 decibels at full volume. When it comes to the dynamic performance of the Megaboom 3, the Megaboom 3 does well but not great. It sounds best between 60 and 85% volume, with some minor compression artifacts audible towards the last 15% of the volume.
While soundstage is something that often lacks in portable Bluetooth speakers of this size, the Megaboom 3 does extremely well in this regard.
The Ultimate Ears App
Something I’ve always enjoyed about the Ultimate Ears brand is their focus on app support. The Megaboom 3 utilizes the Ultimate Ears mobile app, now available for Android and Apple. This brings with it several extremely useful features, the first and perhaps most important of which is the equalizer which has both graphic and preset support. I found this particularly important when looking to iron out some of the smaller sound inconsistencies with the Megaboom 3. Tweaking the upper treble to be a bit brighter and increasing the deep, low bass created a wider sound.
The app also caters to pairing and has both party pairing and stereo pairing options. The app is also pleasantly intuitive.
Battery To Keep You Listening For Longer
Some of the biggest leaps in battery performance have occurred in the last five years. However, despite its age, the Megaboom 3 can still keep up with and, in some cases, even surpass the battery performance offered by newer portable Bluetooth speakers.
It features a 3400mAh Lithium-ion battery that Ultimate Ears rates for up to 20 hours of playtime. In my tests, I found this value to be fairly accurate, and depending on the features and volume I tested, I got between 16 and 19 hours of performance. If you’re listening at high volumes, you can expect around 17 hours and closer to 19 hours for moderate listening levels (without the use of stereo pairing).
Charging is done via a Micro-USB cable, another small reminder that this speaker was released several years ago, as USB-C has since become standard for chargers. The charge time on the Megaboom 3 is extremely impressive, going from empty to fully charged in just two and a half hours.
Is It Worth Buying The Megaboom 3?
Despite being somewhat old, for a Bluetooth speaker, the UE Megaboom 3 is still a viable speaker in today’s market. When compared with the much more modern JBL Flip 6, I still find the Megaboom a more exciting speaker with punchier bass and a superior soundstage. The boosted bass won’t appeal to all listeners, however, and if you’re looking for a balanced-sounding profile, the Megaboom 3 isn’t going to be your best option, even though the EQ software is effective at ironing them out.
If you’re contemplating between the Megaboom 3 and the Wonderboom 3, the Wonderboom offers more portability and a more balanced sound signature but falls behind the Megaboom 3 regarding volume capabilities.