UE Roll

Take music anywhere

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Awards

iF Product Design Gold Award

iF Product Design Award Product Family

Pentawards Silver

Good Design Award

What we did

Experience Essence™

Insights

Industrial Design

Materiality

Design Language

Packaging

Art

Design for Manufacturing

Turning existing convention on its head, the UE Roll is small enough to fit in your hand yet loud enough to power a party anywhere.

Following successful collaborations on the UE Boom and the UE Megaboom, Ultimate Ears again turned to NONOBJECT, this time to design the most adventurous portable Bluetooth speaker ever, the UE Roll. Continuing the DNA of the UE Boom and Megaboom, the front of the UE Roll speaker is instantly recognizable with its iconic oversized ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ buttons. But the small size of the speaker and the portability vision for the UE Roll presented steep design challenges. And when adding excellent sound quality and acoustic performance requirements, the design challenges at first seemed almost insurmountable.

Designing an acoustic breakthrough

The portability requirements were directly at odds with the acoustic requirements. But ultimately, the slim, hemispherical shape that NONOBJECT conceived was an acoustic breakthrough that delivered on the idea of the powerful 360 sound that all the speakers in the Ultimate Ears portfolio deliver.

Orange UE Roll mobile speaker with surfersResponsible vs a wild child

 

UE Roll speaker duct tape rapid prototypeUE Roll mobile speaker in action Instagram photosThe most adventurous speaker text on the wallUE Roll speaker duct tape rapid prototype on backpack

Amazing 360 sound

The shape allows all the necessary acoustic components to be positioned optimally inside in an incredibly compact envelope. When placed face up on any surface, the user can enjoy amazing 360 sound, without the speaker vibrating or traveling on the surface.

UE Roll mobile speaker design modelsUE Roll mobile speaker design sketchesUE Roll mobile speaker with a truck wheel

an acoustic breakthrough that delivered on the idea of the powerful 360 sound in new way

UE Roll mobile speaker design sketches on postit notesBlue UE Roll mobile speaker on a barbed wire fence

The most advanced materials

Shunning the throwaway nature of consumer electronics, the UE Roll—as with all speakers from Ultimate Ears—only gets better with age.  Small and portable, the UE Roll will be held in your hands, put in pockets, shoved in bags, attached to outdoor objects, and exposed to dirt and grime on a daily basis. Therefore, the materials were carefully selected to not only make the surfaces beautiful and approachable, but also to make the speaker much more durable. The acoustic skin on the front of the speaker is a custom weave produced by one of the most advanced fabric manufacturers in the world. It is the most durable, acoustically transparent material we could find and lives up to the promise of a life-proof product. The TPSiV elastomer on the backside is also custom developed. This elastomer is soft to the touch but wears like iron. It shows and maintains vibrant colors beautifully and is completely washable.
Just as with UE Boom and UE Megaboom, over time, the speaker will develop a beautiful patina, unique to each user. And if patina is not your thing, the UE Roll can easily be kept immaculate with a quick dunk in water.

UE Roll mobile speaker fabric designUE Roll mobile speaker prototypesUE Roll mobile speaker acoustic skin materials

the acoustic skin is a custom-weave from one of the most advanced fabric manufacturers in the world

Waterproof Blue UE Roll mobile speaker on a snorkelBlue UE Roll mobile speaker strapped to a rear view mirror

This bluetooth speaker is so honest about what it should do and what it should look like. Form and function reinforce each other in perfect unison. Material use is extraordinarily smart, as is its detailing. Not only does it very cleverly coordinate with the users behavior, it positively exudes kindness, youth, freshness, fun and good vibrations. This product sends out a message, it communicates an outstanding design.

The iF Award Jury 2016 for UE Roll iF Gold Award

UE Roll mobile speakers fabric patterns and prints

UE Roll mobile speaker on an arm

Not only is the physical appearance of the UE Roll designed for a long life. The acoustic and digital capabilities of the product can also be updated seamlessly through the UE Roll app, further extending the life of the product.

Orange UE Roll mobile speaker in a pizza box

The butcher shop inspiration

The idea of sustainability extends to the packaging of the UE Roll. Going against the prevailing trend in packaging for consumer electronics, the UE Roll packaging is minimal, consisting primarily of a recyclable piece of paper folded beautifully to protect and showcase the product.

UE Roll mobile speaker packaging on a drainage grate

The idea for the packaging of the UE Roll was driven by the thought of the perfectly imperfect packaging. At first glance, the packaging appears perfect on the shelf, a true brand vehicle, carrying all brand attributes of its family and clearly conveying critical product attributes. But at a closer look, it does so much more. While other members of the UE family are packaged in cylindrical boxes, the UE Roll is not one to be confined in a box. In fact, its packaging has more in common with a slab of meat in a butcher shop than a typical consumer electronics product.

UE portable speakers packaging familyUE Roll portable speaker packaging in a shopping basket

has more in common with a slab of meat in a butcher shop than a typical consumer electronics product

UE Roll portable speaker packaging prototype

the inside of the paper is printed with a commissioned piece of art – a different one for each product color

UE Roll portable speaker packaging stacked

The oval packaging is simply the product wrapped in a single sheet of paper, There are no trays or small boxes for accessories, no plastic sleeves for protection – just the simple sheet of paper wrapped such that it beautifully reveals the product, leaving you with no waste and no hassle – just you and your music ready to go. And the inside of the paper is printed with a commissioned piece of art – a different one for each product color – with images that are as non-conformist as the product itself.

UE Roll portable speaker packaging posters

The result of the perfectly imperfect packaging is a truly unique way of packaging a product in the consumer electronics category. Challenging established industry norms and pushing the boundaries the packaging conveys the essence of the the UE Roll while being extremely cost-efficient and sustainable.

UE Roll portable speaker with Mona Lisa print The Real Me scribble on UE Roll portable speaker packaging