UE Megablast Review: This Summer's Ultimate Portable Wireless Smart Speaker

      Comments Off on UE Megablast Review: This Summer's Ultimate Portable Wireless Smart Speaker

, I help you make the most of your Apple gear and other technology Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Brad Moon

UE Megablast is like the Megaboom’s bigger brother + Alexa.

</div> </div> <p><strong>Very Familiar, But a Few Key Differences</strong></p> <p><span>For a primer on what to expect from the Megablast, check out my <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradmoon/2017/08/05/ue-megaboom-review-bigger-but-not-too-big-is-better/" target="_self">review of the UE Megaboom</a>.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>The new speaker is very similar, from appearance to audio performance. Same cylindrical shape, same D-ring on the bottom (for hanging or removing to reveal a standard tripod mount), same prominent volume buttons on the front, same mesh cover, same high performance 360-degree audio. It’s also IP67 dustproof and waterproof (safe in three feet of water for an hour and a half) and yes, I threw the Megablast in our&nbsp;dog’s wading pool to verify the claim. The speaker survived the dunking without a problem.</span></p>

Brad Moon

UE Megablast takes a swim in the dog pool and shakes off the dunking.

</div> </div>

<p><span>The primary functionality difference between the two is that the Megablast has integrated Amazon Alexa voice control. To enable this, the Megablast adds Wi-Fi to its connectivity options. That means you can use Alexa to stream tracks from Amazon Music Unlimited or Spotify, although iPhone users should note that it’s not AirPlay compatible, so Apple Music streaming is Bluetooth only. As part of that smart speaker angle, Ultimate Ears sells an <a href="https://www.ultimateears.com/en-us/wireless-speakers/power-up.html" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.ultimateears.com/en-us/wireless-speakers/power-up.html" rel="nofollow">optional Power Up base</a> ($39.99) for the Megablast that lets you leave it powered on&nbsp;at all times.</span></p>” readability=”48.5823353293″>

Just about this time last year, I tested two groups of tough, waterproof, Bluetooth speakers. And in both groups, Ultimate Ears (UE) entries were at the top of their respective class. The UE Wonderboom was my first pick overall among the compact entries. When it came to the bigger entries, the Megaboom was one of my favorites.

The company has rugged, portable, wireless  speakers down to an art.

UE has a new “big” speaker in the Megablast. Sporting a familiar cylindrical form factor and continuing the trend of multiple color options, the Megablast is larger and louder than the Megaboom. And this one features integrated Amazon Alexa, with voice control.

Brad Moon

UE Megablast is like the Megaboom’s bigger brother + Alexa.

Very Familiar, But a Few Key Differences

For a primer on what to expect from the Megablast, check out my review of the UE Megaboom.

The new speaker is very similar, from appearance to audio performance. Same cylindrical shape, same D-ring on the bottom (for hanging or removing to reveal a standard tripod mount), same prominent volume buttons on the front, same mesh cover, same high performance 360-degree audio. It’s also IP67 dustproof and waterproof (safe in three feet of water for an hour and a half) and yes, I threw the Megablast in our dog’s wading pool to verify the claim. The speaker survived the dunking without a problem.

Brad Moon

UE Megablast takes a swim in the dog pool and shakes off the dunking.

The primary functionality difference between the two is that the Megablast has integrated Amazon Alexa voice control. To enable this, the Megablast adds Wi-Fi to its connectivity options. That means you can use Alexa to stream tracks from Amazon Music Unlimited or Spotify, although iPhone users should note that it’s not AirPlay compatible, so Apple Music streaming is Bluetooth only. As part of that smart speaker angle, Ultimate Ears sells an optional Power Up base ($39.99) for the Megablast that lets you leave it powered on at all times.

Page 1 / 4