Top positive review
Quality sound in a small package
10 November 2017
I have been using UE Roll 2 for over a month now. It has been a very satisfying experience.
I am more of an IEM user. This is my first and only BT speaker, so keep that in mind when you read the review.
Before buying, I was very skeptical about the sound quality of such a small speaker. I initially bought one Roll 2 and tried it. The sound showed some good potential. The loudness was good, the vocals sounded clear, even in tracks where they are buried in the recording. It lacked bass and also had a slight hollowness in the sound. Thankfully, UE Roll app has an EQ, which when adjusted a little, pushed the sound towards my desired frequency response. What made me elated was the dynamics. Dynamic range was pretty good, meaning the loudest and the softest parts of music are well differentiated. The clarity is also very good. Since I was satisfied, I immediately ordered another Roll 2 to pair with it.
For about a month now, the pair of Roll 2 speakers has been working as L-R speakers in my room. It is loud enough to fill the room at about 50-60% volume. It is paired with my iPhone, Moto G4+ and my Laptop. I have recently paired them with my Echo Dot. Nothing speaks lazy than commanding Alexa to "play some xyz" and then relax. This has been a great setup for casual, background listening. It is not going to match the experience of a proper speaker system or even a good IEM/Headphone, but that is not the point of buying a 4,000 bluetooth speaker.
My usage is limited in scope, so I cannot tell you whether it is water-proof or fills a hall as a party speaker (though others have tested it). What I can tell you is
1) The build quality is good. They are small and light enough to carry anywhere, feel sturdy enough to hook up anywhere without fearing if it would collapse on a fall.
2) The Roll 2 is loud enough for a room, even at half the volume. If you place it in a large hall or an open space, you might need to crank up the volume a bit more.
3) The Bluetooth range is pretty good. I can carry and place it almost anywhere inside my home (on the same floor). "Almost", because it struggles to keep the connection across two rooms on opposite sides of the house (Wi-Fi signal also goes down in this room). But, it does work at 60-65 feet easily.
4) If you are looking for something with good bass quantity, you should skip this.
5) I have not exactly measured the battery life, but it seems to be close to 10 hours or so (at 50% volume). It takes about 3 hours for charging using my Anker charger.
6) If it sounds alright to you out of the box, leave it as-is. This UE Default is very fine for anything that emphasizes vocals. If you listen to different genres, I'd recommend using EQ in the UE Roll app. My settings are 250: +4, 450: +2, 1.5K: +2, 5.2K: 0, 9K: +1. It may or may not be to your liking since this is my preference (at my listening volume). You can set all frequency bands to flat and then start tuning based on how you like what you hear. You can always go back to "The Standard" just in case.
7) One speaker is quite OK. But, I liked this better in a two speaker stereo mode. It would not work quite like big speakers and present great sound stage or anything, but the stereo mode is better than using a single one. If your budget permits it, go for it. While I paired them as L-R speakers using the Double-up feature, there was a brief period where I could not get them to pair again (both speakers would output the same thing, without going into stereo mode). I don't know why, but after a week like that, they once again paired correctly and it has been a smooth ride since.
8) It will play nicely for casual listening. But, I should qualify that statement. I don't listen to Bollywood music (or Tamil film music), Pop, Rap, Dubstep etc., My preferred genres usually have metal or rock in their name, but I do listen to a bit of Jazz, Classical and sometimes, other genres. I don't mind using these speakers for Miles Davis, Alice In Chains, A Perfect Circle, acoustic-heavy Opeth (Damnation) or Massive Attack (as long as you don't mind the low bass quantity). But, I would not dare use it with something like a Dodecahedron or anything busy or complex. But then, that would be asking too much from these little speakers :-)