Powerful UE Blast and Megablast portable speakers come with hands-free Alexa voice support
Hesitating between the Alexa-powered Harman Kardon Allure and a JBL Link series voice-activated speaker with Google Assistant as you’re thinking of getting one of these bad boys from a brand specialized in high-quality audio equipment rather than Amazon or Google themselves?
You may want to consider the Ultimate Ears Blast or Megablast as well, at least if you’re into Alexa’s skills more than the fast-growing Google Assistant capabilities. This is the Logitech-owned company behind the popular (and relatively affordable) UE Boom family of “traditional” wireless speakers, mind you, and the Blast line basically improves on those with hands-free voice control and extra-powerful sound.
The thing is the UE Blast and Megablast don’t come cheap at all, fetching $229.99 and $299.99 respectively, with pre-orders underway already, and deliveries starting sometime in late October.
In addition to the US, the two portable smart speakers will be launching across the UK, Germany and Austria, where they’ll let users control their favorite tunes from Amazon Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn with just “the power of their voice.”
Fret not, Pandora and Deezer should be added to the so far short list of fully supported services in the near future. And there’s always the possibility to stream music the old fashioned way, i.e. via Bluetooth, using a Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music or Google Play Music smartphone app.
Of course, Alexa can do a whole lot more than play music on the UE Blast and Megablast, also taking voice commands for smart home device control, pizza orders and over 25,000 neat “skills.”
Aside from far-field voice recognition, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the Blast family boasts “immersive 360-degree sound”, long battery life (up to 12 and 16 hours respectively), and IP67 certification for water and dust resistance.
The Megablast is larger and punchier, being billed as Ultimate Ears’ “loudest, most powerful and best sounding speaker to date”, while the regular Blast is easier to carry around and still pretty loud, hitting a max sound pressure level of 90 dBC.