Ultimate Ears Wonderboom: Pint-sized powerhouse

UE Wonderboom

For a pint-sized portable speaker, Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom pumps out remarkable sound.

I’ve long been a fan of UE’s Boom Bluetooth portable speaker: We bought one a few years ago to take away on holiday and it proved a hit with the family (although arguments did ensue over what music playlist had to be played next) so I was excited to see how the company had upped the ante with this compact cousin. It’s upped the ante big time.

Like the UE Boom before it, the Wonderboom gives 360 degree sound, meaning you’ll hear the music no matter where you put it – and believe me, we heard it when it was being used: My teenage son loves his music while he showers so the Wonderboom was a constant companion at shower time (good job it’s waterproof, too, although he didn’t put the unit in the shower, it’s nice to know it’ll survive a dunking). Sometimes, we’d sit in the lounge during a weekend afternoon, just listening to music out of the Wonderboom and smile at how good things sound from such a small speaker.

The sound is so good on the Wonderboom that I could hear the music easily from a few rooms away. Like the UE Boom before it, this pint-sized unit features large volume up and down buttons and a charge port secured by a sturdy waterproof flap. No water’s going to get into this beast. It has a range of around 30m and pairing is quick and easy. The only niggle I have is the loop that you can pick it up with: It’s too small to slip a finger through.

Ultimate Ears reckons the battery life is around 10 hours, and it’s not far off that, when put through its paces at reasonable volume. Soundwise, the Wonderboom is excellent, offering toe-tapping bass, and nice mid-tones and high notes. Your music will feel right at home with the Wonderboom.

For a waterproof, portable speaker that offers fantastic sound and great portability, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than the UE Wonderboom. Seriously, this is a wonderful Bluetooth speaker that will fill your home with the sound of music.


Logitech M331 silent mouse plus: Silence is golden

Logitech’s M331 silent mouse. The one I have is racing red.

Logitech M331 Silent Mouse Plus ($40)

Logitech’s silent-clicking M331 mouse is just the ticket for the busy office environment.

It doesn’t make much noise at all.

Hardly any noise when clicking, hardly any noise when sliding, hardly noise when scrolling. It’s pretty much¬† silent – and I like that about it. Logitech says it has eliminated 90% of the mouse’s click noise, and I believe it: It’s barely perceptible when it comes to clicking, scrolling and sliding.

Small and portable, the M331 comes with its wireless USB receiver tucked in its insides, fits into a laptop bag easily  and I found it really comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. The mouse worked well on a variety of surfaces: The glass top of my home desk, the laminate top of my work desk and even my leather couch.

Sure, the M331 is lacking programmable buttons of higher-end, more pricey mice (mouses?) but this peripheral isn’t designed for fast-twitch gaming (that’s what Logitech’s G Pro gaming mouse is for. A review is coming for that one). Logitech says the supplied AA battery will power the M331 for 24-months: I’ll have to take its word for that, at this stage, as I haven’t had it anywhere near that long.

Look, this review is going to be short and sweet because, well, there’s only so much you can say about a mouse. There’s one caveat: The M331 won’t work for left-handed people. It’s right handies only, sorry.

For my money, the M331 ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a portable mouse for laptop use.