The UE HYPERBOOM and JBL Boombox 2 are two of the best sub-$500 portable Bluetooth party speakers that offer excellent portability while still outputting clean sound at any volume level. They have similar functionalities and features, but the JBL Boombox 2 is more expensive due to having a more rugged build that lends to excellent durability. If you are in the market for a party speaker, should you go with the UE HYPERBOOM and save a bit of money, or should you cough up the extra cash for the JBL Boombox 2? To help you decide, we compare the two below.
The JBL Boombox 2 is better built than the UE HYPERBOOM.
Since these are portable speakers, size and durability are the main concerns for prospective buyers. Size-wise, the UE HYPERBOOM is fairly small relative to the competition, measuring 7.5 x 7.5 x 14.33 inches. Compared to that, the JBL Boombox 2’s physical dimensions are 19.1 x 7.9 x 10.1 inches, so it’s considerably bigger. Interestingly, though, they both weigh 13lbs., which is neither light nor heavy. They both come with built-in handles for easy transport, so both are excellent when it comes to portability.
As for durability, the JBL Boombox 2 definitely has the advantage. Even though both are made of mostly plastic, you can feel that the JBL Boombox 2 is the sturdier of the two. This is largely thanks to the tight-knit fabric covering of the Boombox 2. It feels more durable than the thinner fabric covering of the UE HYPERBOOM. The UE HYPERBOOM just feels like a more delicate speaker than the Boombox 2.
In addition to being better built, the JBL Boombox 2 also has an IPX7 rating. This means that the speaker is completely waterproof and it will survive being submerged in water to up to one minute. Meanwhile, the UE HYPERBOOM has an IPX4 rating, so it’s not completely waterproof. It can be splashed with water, but that’s it.
You can get the UE HYPERBOOM in black, whereas the JBL Boombox 2 is available in camo or black colors.
The UE HYPERBOOM and JBL Boombox 2 have similar features, but the former does come with an additional optical input.
Both speakers can be connected to your music source via Bluetooth or a wired connection. You can connect the two speakers to two devices simultaneously, so they are similar in that regard. However, when it comes to wired connectivity, the UE HYPERBOOM certainly has the advantage as it comes with an additional optical input in addition to its 3.5mm jack. On the other hand, the JBL Boombox 2 only has a single 3.5mm jack for wired connectivity.
The two speakers come with their own companion app. The Ultimate Ears and JBL Portable app offer similar functions and features. They both have graphic EQ to tweak the speakers’ sound and they also have multi-speaker pairing options. One advantage of the Ultimate Ears app is its EQ presets. It has Podcast, Game/Cinema and Bass Boost options.
Another feature that the two speakers share is their powerbank function. They have a USB-A port at the back that lets you charge your smartphone or other compatible devices.
The UE HYPERBOOM has a smoother sound than the JBL Boombox 2, even at higher volumes.
When it comes to sound quality, the UE HYPERBOOM and JBL Boombox 2 are very good. However, we have to give the edge to the UE HYPERBOOM since it produces a smoother overall sound when volume is maxed out. There is minimal audio distortion or compression when it is at max volume, unlike the JBL Boombox 2 which struggles when maxed out. Also, the UE HYPERBOOM has a wider soundstage that makes for a more immersive listening experience.
When played at normal volumes, the UE HYPERBOOM and JBL Boombox 2 both offer a balanced sound with tight mid-bass, balanced mids and clear highs. Unsurprisingly, they both struggle with sub-bass since they are smaller speakers that do not have the space for a decent subwoofer driver. You won’t be using either of these for critical listening sessions, but for playing loud music with emphasis on bass, they output a boomy sound that’s just right.
The UE HYPERBOOM and JBL Boombox 2 have identical battery run time, but the former can be fully charged faster.
These speakers have excellent built-in batteries that can last up to 24 hours of continuous use. They also come with power-saving features that automatically shuts off the device when they are inactive for a certain period of time. The power saving feature of the UE HYPERBOOM kicks in when it is inactive for 15 minutes. The JBL Boombox 2 will turn itself off after 20 minutes of inactivity.
While they have similar battery performance, it’s a different story when it comes to charging time. The UE HYPERBOOM can be fully charged in 2.6 hours while the JBL Boombox 2 will need 6.5 hours to get fully charged. Needless to say, the UE HYPERBOOM is the winner when it comes to overall battery performance.
The UE HYPERBOOM sounds better, but the JBL Boombox 2 is better built.
Better sound quality
JBL Boombox 2
Better build quality
The UE HYPERBOOM is better than the JBL Boombox 2 in many areas. It sounds better, it’s more versatile when it comes to connectivity, and it charges faster. If you are looking to get the best bang for your buck, the UE HYPERBOOM is the obvious choice. That said, the JBL Boombox 2 is not a bad choice if you want a better built portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s more durable, which makes it better for outdoor use.
📌 How many watts is the UE HYPERBOOM?
It has a power output of 229 watts.
📌 How long does the JBL Boombox 2 last?
It can last up to 24 hours on a full charge.
📌 How loud is the UE HYPERBOOM?
It can output 98dB at maximum volume.
📌 Is the JBL Boombox 2 good for parties?
Yes, it’s a good speaker for parties, but there are better options if you need louder speakers. You can check out our list of the best party speakers.