Designed to maintain up with life’s thrills and spills, the Increase Three is the newest in Final Ears’ line of finest promoting transportable audio system, and it comes with an unbelievable IP67 waterproof and dust-proof score, which implies it may be submerged underwater for as much as 30 minutes.
With an new two-tone material grille and refined look it actually appears the half, however does it stand as much as our checks? Right here’s what we considered the Increase 3:
Worth and availability
The UE Increase Three is available for purchase for $129.99 (£129.99 / AU$199.95), which is round $30 dearer than its predecessor, the UE Increase 2.
This worth places the Increase Three on the dearer finish of the transportable speaker market – dearer than the Bose SoundLink Shade II, which provides the next normal of audio high quality, however a decrease IP score.
Just like the UE Increase 1 and a couple of, the most recent mannequin within the transportable speaker line has a cylindrical construct for 360 sound, and with a peak of round 18cm, it’s pleasingly compact and simple to carry on the go.
The UE Increase Three is available in vary of two-tone iridescent material finishes, together with sundown crimson, lagoon blue, forest inexperienced, and night time black. We tried out the forest inexperienced design, which encompasses a two-tone khaki and gold material end, which shimmers fantastically when it catches the sunshine. This explicit shade palette might not be for everybody, however with so many choices on the Final Ears web site, even the fussiest buyer is certain to discover a mixture they like.
Except for trying nice, this material is designed to be tremendous sturdy, because it was initially engineered for bike jackets and fireplace gear.
The calling card of the UE Increase Three is it’s unbelievable waterproof score, which implies it may be completely submerged in water for as much as 30 minutes because of an excellent tight interlocking weave and a totally protected charging port.
If you happen to plan on taking the Increase Three into the pool for a dip, it additionally floats – though for many of us, the waterproof score will show most helpful within the bathe.
On the highest of the speaker you’ve gotten an on/off button and a ‘magic button’, which can be utilized to pause, play, and skips tracks. You may also used the magic button to immediately entry your playlists from a choose few music suppliers – to do that you’ll need to set this characteristic up within the accompanying Megaboom app.
Disappointingly, this characteristic solely works with Apple Music should you’re on an iOS system, and Deezer Premium should you’re an Android person – with so many Spotify customers on the market, the expertise would actually be improved with Spotify integration.
The rubber casing that housed the buttons on the UE Increase 2 is gone, with the massive ‘+’ and ‘-’ quantity buttons built-in immediately into the material grille. Whereas this appears much more aesthetically pleasing, it does make the amount buttons just a little tougher to push down, notably should you’re utilizing the speaker within the bathe.
Options and efficiency
With a most quantity of 90 decibels, this little speaker actually packs a punch, and it has a two 2-inch drivers and two 4-inch passive radiators for room-filling sound. The conical design permits for 360 diploma audio, and we discovered the sound to be spacious, with good frequency separation.
Though bass frequencies sound good (if not missing in just a little depth) for the speaker’s measurement, we weren’t blown away by the mid frequencies, which characteristic closely in vocals and keys – they felt barely subdued compared to the bass.
Treble frequencies had the identical downside, with a usually lack of readability within the prime notes – we tried out guitar heavy tracks like Belle and Sebastian’s ‘Your Cover’s Blown’ and we felt that the very best frequencies might have benefitted from a sharper kick.
In case you are sad with the default equalizer settings, you possibly can amend them within the devoted app – it comes with 4 completely different presets ‘The Standard’, ‘Cramped Spaces’, ‘Voices’, and ‘Bass Jump’. Swapping between these presets didn’t have an enormous impact on the audio output, though you possibly can create your individual customized equalizer settings with the adjustable tuner – merely transfer the sliders up and down on the bass, mid, and treble tuners till you discover a sound you’re pleased with.
One cool characteristic of the app is that you would be able to hyperlink up two UE Increase 3s for stereo sound – though it’s doable to hyperlink as much as 150 Increase and Megaboom audio system for an loopy wall of sound.
To cost the UE Increase 3, you possibly can both join it to an influence supply through the included micro-USB, or use Final Ears’ personal charging dock, which supplies you a few completely different choices relying on whether or not you’re on the go or listening at house.
By way of portability, the speaker ticks all the correct bins: it’s mild, simple to hold, and has a powerful 15 hours of playback from a single cost. We encountered no issues with the Bluetooth connectivity both, and located its acknowledged vary of 150 toes to be fairly correct.
The waterproof design appears to work properly, and we encountered no issues when utilizing it within the bathe. It additionally has a cloth hook on the highest of the speaker so you possibly can cling it up when you wash.
All in all, the UE Increase Three is a stable little speaker that addresses a few of the problems with its predecessor, the UE Increase 2. With a wi-fi vary enhance of 15 toes, and elevated waterproofing, it’s actually an enchancment on the earlier technology, however Final Ears nonetheless haven’t fairly achieved perfection within the UE Increase 3.
At this worth, it’s puzzling that Final Ears haven’t made an important enhancements to the audio high quality which, whereas highly effective, is missing readability and precision, notably within the decrease mids and treble frequencies. Being able to alter the equalizer settings is a pleasant contact nevertheless.
Battery life has additionally stayed the identical between the generations at 15 hours, which appears just a little low in comparison with the UE Megaboom 3’s 20 hours. Nonetheless, the Megaboom 3 is a good bit dearer, so should you’re trying to avoid wasting money on a conveyable speaker, go for the Increase 3.