Based on its size alone, I expected the Hyperboom to deliver some massive sound -- and it didn't disappoint. Playing Led Zeppelin's IV via Amazon Music's HD codec was a near religious experience, with the sort of staging and presence I'd expect from my Pioneer Elite home theater towers. The Hyperboom handled the dynamic range in "Stairway to Heaven" like a champ, from the quiet opening guitar riffs to its explosive crescendo. Most importantly, it maintained that sound quality even when I pumped the volume up all the way. That was too loud for my Brooklyn apartment -- my floors were shaking and my cats were freaking out -- but ideal for throwing your own mini dance party in the park.
Ultimate Ears also came up with a smart solution to keep your party going when switching sources. The Hyperboom can connect to two Bluetooth devices at once -- but crucially, it can also pair with a new device while continuing to play music from another. It even gently fades audio in and out as you switch between sources. You can also plug in any device into the speaker's 3.5mm auxiliary jack, and you can get a pure digital connection to a TV or game console with an optical input. I didn't expect to see optical in a party speaker, but it's a useful addition, since it effectively makes the Hyperboom a high-quality portable soundbar for TVs.
Ultimate Ears is competing with other pricey party speakers like JBL's Party Box 300 ($450), but those also tend to be significantly heavier. That JBL speaker weighs a whopping 35 pounds, while one of our current favorites, the $999 Soundboks 2, clocks in at 32 pounds. So sure, the Hyperboom certainly looks imposing, but it's far friendlier on your back. There's also the Sonos Move, which weighs half as much, but doesn't sound great when compared to larger speakers.
You'll be able to pick up the Hyperboom at retailers in early March, just in time to prepare for spring shindigs.