Fugoo Sport XL vs UE Boom 2: Which Bluetooth is Best for Your Beach Days?

(Last Updated On: October 9, 2017)

Bluetooth speakers are unique because they go further than just the living room. They’re small, convenient, and increasingly rugged, making them a great option for audiophiles on the go.

Unless you like sitting in the corner listening to music on your own, a Bluetooth speaker brings the party wherever you go. As many know, sometimes where you go isn’t the ideal place for expensive audio equipment. Thankfully, Bluetooth speakers are being made to be thrown, kicked, and smashed.

We took a look at two mid-level speakers that are built to sound great and protect against the elements. The durability of these speakers can stand up to dirt, water, snow, and grim, meaning it travels wherever you do.

Quick Compare

Fugoo Sport XL UE Boom 2
Frequency Response 50Hz – 20KHz 90Hz – 20kHz
Bluetooth Versions Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.1
Battery Life Up to 35 hours Up to 15 Hours
Microphone Yes No
Dimensions 12.04 x 4.21 x 4.72 inches 2.5 x 2.5 x 7 inches
Weight (lbs) 4.1 1.2
Price $229.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) $199.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)

Fugoo

Fugoo doesn’t have the name that Ultimate Ears (UE) does. Still, their speakers have features suitable for both the living room and outdoors. Each of their speakers come in slightly under their competitors, making them an ideal choice for value seekers.

Features

The Fugoo XL has some of the best smartphone integration that I’ve seen. The first part of the magic is support for Siri and Google Now. Simply touch a button on top of the speaker and access the controls via the built-in microphone. Many speakers have support for Siri, but not many for Google Now, a nice nod to Android users.

The omnidirectional microphone doubles its function to answer calls as well. The built-in echo cancellation helps for clear calls all without ever touching your phone.

The speaker also doubles as a power bank. A single built-in 1A USB Type A connection will charge any USB device on the go. However, an additional 2A USB connector would’ve been nice for a quick boost of
battery life.

Regardless, there should be plenty of juice to charge your device. The internal battery boasts up to 35 hours of play time before it needs to be recharged. That’s well above any other speaker in this price point, making the Sport XL truly stand apart.

To help audio quality, the speaker also supports the aptX codec. This code is for high-quality Bluetooth streaming. Since there is some signal loss through Bluetooth, support for this codec helps fight that.

If you don’t want to lose any signal, there’s a 3.5mm auxiliary input. Just plug in your device and you’re good to go, without any loss in audio quality.

Design

The Fugoo Sport XL is made to be kicked, smashed, and torn up. That doesn’t mean it looks bad, though. The design isn’t elegant, but it looks good enough all while being able to stand up to anything you can throw at it.

Looks-wise, the speaker is simple. The black grille wraps around the body, with white bracing wrapping around the bottom and side edges. On both sides is webbed venting, exposing a bit of the internals.

However, this is just a shroud. The meat of the speaker is encased inside. The removable core is built of plastic but feels really substantial in the hand. This design is a bit strange but makes cleaning out some extra dust or sand inside of the speaker a breeze.

big-waterproof-bluetooth-speaker

There are six different buttons on top of the speaker. You have a play/pause, volume up and down, one touch for calls and Siri, and forward/back buttons. What makes the buttons cool is the illumination. In dark light, the white buttons light up blue automatically, making them easy to see.

For carrying around, a strap is included to thread into two holes built into the frame.

None of that is really what makes the speaker special, though. What makes it special is how well it’s built. The speaker is waterproof, snowproof, mudproof, and shockproof.

Fugoo doesn’t exactly specify how these points are achieved. They do test the speakers with a 3ft drop test, which makes the shockproof point valid. Still, the speaker can clearly hold up in each of these conditions, so I’m not too upset at the lack of specs.

Sound Quality

This speaker is absolutely stacked with drivers. The eight of them are divided into four tweeters, two midrange woofers, and two bass radiators. The main point that changes between other speakers are the four tweeters.

The Sport XL has 360 degree sound, justifying the four tweeters. With a set of tweeters on both sides, there’s no top-end loss as you move around the speaker. If you’ve used a Bluetooth speaker before, you know what it sounds like when you go around back. This design eliminates that, making the top-end present all around the speaker.

wireless-speaker-for-beach

The midrange woofers are very nice. However, they’re responsible for both the midrange and the low end. As opposed to having low end drivers, the midrange ones control from the midrange down. If you know about the designs of other Bluetooth speakers, this should be no surprise.

Instead, the bass radiators help make the real low-end. Yes, the speaker is rated down to 50Hz, but the real bass is coming from the radiator of the bass. The frequencies bounce around inside the radiators, making the low end full and satisfying.

Fugoo Overall

The Fugoo is a feature-packed speaker. It’s one of the better options out there, striking a balance between performance and rigidity.

The design is modern, but what really sticks out is how well it stands up to a beating. All of the elements combined make the speaker ideal for taking it wherever you are. Yes, there are other speakers that are built well, but few as well as this one.

Sound wise, everything is peachy. The speaker won’t blow you away, but it’s enough to satisfy. If you’re on the go, how this speaker is intended, you probably won’t be critically listening anyway.

UE Boom 2

Ultimate Ears’ Boom 2 is a speaker that comes in at a slightly lower price point but aims at the same market as the Sport XL. Despite not being fully protected against the elements, the speaker is waterproof and holds the signature UE sound.

Features

Feature-wise, the Boom 2 is like a more beefed up Sport XL. Integration with smartphones is as good as ever, with a few extra features to make controlling and using the speaker a joy.

Starting off is that smartphone integration. All the controls are with your voice, making the phone obsolete once connected. Play, pause, change songs, all of it can be done with your voice.

However, there are options if you want to use your phone. Instead of dedicated controls, the free Ultimate Ears app controls all of the functions. Everything can be controlled there, as well as features like an alarm, remote on and off, and more.

Up to eight devices can be paired and remembered by the speaker at any point, making reconnecting a breeze. However,  only two devices can be paired simultaneously. If you and a friend want to switch songs you’re playing, this is ideal.

Speaking of which, multiple speakers can be chained together as well. One device can stream to two UE speakers at the same time, doubling the output. It’s not as ideal as JBL’s Connect technology, but it’s a
good one.

Where things fall apart is with battery life. The speaker is rated for 15 hours of playback before it needs another charge. That’s consistent with other Bluetooth speakers at this price point. However, it becomes a con when compared to the battery life of the Sport XL.

Design

The look of the Boom 2 is much more modern than the Sport XL. As opposed to the understated design of the Sport XL, this speaker comes in a variety of colors and designs, some with a single color, others
with patterns.

All of them feature a cylindrical design. The grille wraps around the speaker, with colored accents for the top and bottom and a single strip running the length of the speaker. On that strip is UE’s iconic cross volume controller, raised with soft rubber. In addition, there’s a UE tag that adds some flair.

Out of all of the designs, my favorite is the blue, purple, and black one. The top and bottom are black, and the grille has a gradient from baby blue to royal purple. It’s that kind of design that pushes speakers in different directions, and I can appreciate that.

Of course, the looks aren’t what’s important though. What’s important is how well the speaker holds up. UE advertises that the speaker is protected against just about any weather condition you can throw at it.

The IPX7 waterproofing means the speaker can fully submerge in water for up to 30 minutes with
no damage.

Sound Quality

The Boom 2 holds the same 360 degrees sound as the Sport XL. The cylindrical design has drivers placed around the body, making sound great from any angle you can be standing at.

Despite being only rated to go down to 90Hz, the name of the boom holds up in the department you would want it do. The speaker booms low end, thanks to two passive bass radiators. Again, they bounce audio around to create a fuller low end without straining the drivers.

Most of the sound are from the chief midrange drivers. These two create most of the frequency spectrum, as well as the perceived low end. The midrange is rich and smooth, but less present. The speaker has a scooped characteristic, which shouldn’t be surprising if you’ve heard a UE product before.

Speaking of which, the tweeters produce some crispy and very present top end. The highs aren’t shrill or annoying, but they’re very hyped. Again, you’ve heard a UE product before, you’ll know what I’m
talking about.

The sound overall is hyped in the high end and the low end, with the mids scooped out. That’s great for many people, but don’t expect a warm or smooth sound from the speaker. The sound is about as trendy as the design.

UE Boom 2 Overall

The UE Boom 2 is a stylish and great sounding speaker that holds up to just about any environment. The multiple styles are all unique, meaning the speaker will stand out no matter which one you go with.

The extensive feature set is great for integration with smartphones. Add that to the app for control and the speaker is very versatile.

All of that is in the classic UE sound. It’s definitely hyped which, for some, is great. However, it isn’t as elegant as some other, more expensive, products.

Conclusion

Both the Fugoo Sport XL and UE Boom 2 are great speakers. On paper, the Fugoo wins out with honors. The extended battery life and frequency response make for better audio for longer periods of time.

However, the design isn’t as flashy as that on the Boom 2. Additionally, the UE option has deeper integration with smartphones and full IPX7 waterproofing.

Both are great options and the decision comes down to personal preference. Unfortunately, the determining factor here is looks. If you’re just looking for specs, go with the Fugoo Sport XL and leave the Boom 2 behind.

Juan Alexander

Juan is a self-professed sound-nerd and the webmaster / lead author & tester for AllSoundLab. You might literally walk into him on the street because he's tuned out to the world and tuned in to his beats...

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