California-based electronics company Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom is immune to the shower, rain, pool, beach, clumsy (or playful) kids, and curious pets.
On the front of each speaker: volume buttons – the plus for a bigger sound and the minus to tone it down.
No matter how portable Bluetooth speakers are, most of them are designed for traditionally safe zones. On a table, on a shelf, and in whichever space gives the best acoustics. Wonderboom isn’t made for that – although it can play safe too. It’s designed for life’s bigger, more rambunctious moments – the ones that are “fun now, worry later”. Like a Korean barbecue by the pool or beach with friends, family, friends of friends who bring their children – plus their dogs. Like a house party to which you’ve invited the whole neighbourhood.
Covered with a woven skin that’s impervious to snagging, scratches and 1.5m drops, it’s been tested to withstand hardship in a tumble tester (similar to a tumble dryer) that drops it 300 times from a height of 1m. This means that if some frisky kid accidentally knocks it off a table, no problem. It’s also no problem when that same frisky kid kicks it around like a football. Still no issue when the darn dog treats it as a chew toy or drools all over it.
What makes it even hardier: It’s waterproof. Like shower-withyou waterproof. Or when it accidentally ends up in the pool when it’s supposed to be by the pool. Ditto for the beach (as pictured here). And it doesn’t just keep liquids out – it also stays afloat when it has to. Wonderboom is buoyant because of its curved shape, which allows an internal air pocket to form. Though the speaker is hardy, it’s not a miracle: its buoyancy lasts forever, but not its internal hardware. You have 30 minutes to rescue it. – SM
WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WONDERBOOM
• It’s $149, and sold at major stores like Challenger, Harvey Norman and Courts. Online: It’s at Amazon Prime Now, and Lazada.
• Comes in six colours: Phantom (black), Fireball (red), Cashmere (pink), Subzero (blue), Stone (grey), and Lilac (er… lilac).
• One full charge lasts up to 10 hours of continuous play.
• How loud it can get: up to 86dB, which is the norm for a portable speaker.
• For double the sound, pair two Wonderbooms with any Bluetoothenabled phone.
PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN CHANG, ASSISTED BY ANGELA GUO ART DIRECTION SHAN