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Customer Ratings & Reviews

Ultimate Ears - BLAST Smart Portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker with Alexa - Graphite-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 323 reviews

86%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.2 out of 5 stars with 8 reviews

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

Page 1, showing1-6 of 6 Reviews mentioning:
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Junk, Won’t hold charge!

    Posted
    wallyian
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I've tried charging it 3 times now and it's dead after about 30 min of use.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good portable speaker.

    Posted
    Nick
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Speaker sounds great. Wouldn't say the Alexa part is all that great, seems slow to respond with that. Charging port in location that is a little difficult to get to. Get the wireless charging stand.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great speaker overall but not perfect for home use

    Posted
    Terry
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I was excited to get my first Alexa product and expand my home automation even more. While this unit does have great sound quality and Alexa works effortlessly, there is one minor design flaw that limits its use. The positioning of the charging port on the bottom limits the position that this can be placed in if you want to keep it plugged in for home use. This forces you to lay the speaker on its side (horizontally). While not detrimental to the product, I feel that a more conveniently placed charging port would have increased its usability and allowed you to place it on a countertop the way it was designed to be: vertically.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A cool speaker

    Posted
    BargainBin
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Overall, a good speaker as far as sound is concern. It is pretty loud and easy to connect. An A+ feature to this speaker is the Alexa integration. I do not own an Echo and so this speaker is my first experience for Alexa and she is cool. I also like the mobile app for this speaker because the setup wizard made things really easy and quick. The only drawback is charging of the device because you would have to lay the speaker down for charging but the battery life tested over 5 days has been great so far too.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Excellent BT speaker falls short of “smart”

    Posted
    Ruff
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The UE Blast is quite simply one of the best sounding compact Bluetooth speakers on the market. It easily outperforms similarly priced speakers from the likes of Bose, Harman Kardon, and JBL. It produces a full range of tones without ever sounding tinny or flat. It is capable of producing impressive bass, and volume for its size. I replaced a Bluetooth speaker in my home that was nearly four times the size, without questioning whether or not the Blast could produce the same quality of sound. A unique advantage of this model is that it produces stereo sound as its speakers are multi-directionally positioned within the unit. Now as far as being a "smart" speaker, powered by Alexa...it falls short in a few areas. First and foremost, Alexa is connected through WiFi and only supports (and therefore only can control) Amazon Prime Music or Amazon Music Unlimited. That means that if you use Spotify, Apple Music, or another streaming service, you must connect through Bluetooth and therefore cannot utilize Alexa's built-in controls. This also means that if you're streaming music over Bluetooth, that you lose connectivity when Alexa is activated. The speaker cannot simultaneously connect to Bluetooth and WiFi, and is incapable of smartly switching between the two. Once you have activated Alexa you must manually reconnect and restart the music that you had been playing through Bluetooth. This is a huge inconvenience, and the speaker's biggest downfall. Setup is fairly easy, but requires the Ultimate Ears app to be installed on your phone. The app itself is pretty basic, but even so still has some shortcomings. Once I set up the speaker once, I had to repair Bluetooth to my phone several times for no apparent reason, which was not easily done. Battery life is decent. Not nearly the 12 hours of playback that the materials quote though. Probably closer to 8 or 9. The unit itself is fairly attractive, made out of quality materials, and is fully dust and waterproof which is a must for a portable speaker. My only other complaint is that the charging port is on the bottom of the unit, so you cannot leave the speaker upright (its natural position) while charging. To do so, you would have to shell out $40 for the charging base for either the UE Blast or Megablast. Seems like an ill-conceived design or a way to gouge the customer on what is an already pricey product. If you're just looking for a great Bluetooth speaker, this does a nice job, but you could probably find a cheaper non-"smart" option.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great speaker . . . if you can get it to set up.

    Posted
    TechEnthusiast
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Logitech makes some of the best keyboards and mice in the world. . . . They should probably just stick with that. The Ultimate Ears Blast speaker was an absolute nightmare to set up. Their site lists the requirements as being an Apple device running iOS 10.2 or an Android device running Android 5.0 or later. Good luck finding an Android device that this will work with this, though. I tried setting this speaker up on a ZTE phone running Android 5.1 and an Acer tablet also running Android 5.1. Neither of them was able to get through the installation process. The phone was able to find the speaker during setup, but it would consistently tell me that the speaker was unavailable. The tablet said the speaker was unavailable 2 out of every 3 attempts, but it would allow me to progress through the setup process on the 3rd attempt. Unfortunately, I still couldn't finish the setup process with the tablet. At random points during setup (usually during the bluetooth setup but once on the finish screen itself) the setup process would suddenly lockup and force me to start over from the beginning (again with the speaker being unavailable 2 out of every 3 tries). I finally ended up borrowing a family member's LG phone just long enough to set up the speaker. It took two tries on her phone, but I was able to make it all the way through the setup process. This brings us to the next difficulty. Having set up the speaker using my Amazon account and her WiFi, I tried changing Amazon accounts, thinking we could all give it a try as a family. NOPE. The speaker locks into whatever Amazon account is entered during setup, and good luck trying to change it. You can sign out of the account (whereupon Alexa quits responding completely), but upon trying to sign back in, it automatically logs you in with the account you initially used. As near as I can tell, there is no way to switch to a different account. The speaker, itself, works well with just a few little quirks. Alexa answered questions easily and kept us amused with some of its quirky answers. That being said, there were times when the speaker would just inexplicably stop responding for extended periods of time. The light on top would light up (indicating that it was listening), but then it wouldn't react at all. Other times, the speaker seemingly goes to sleep with the light not even turning on. Unfortunately, the speaker doesn't appear to be capable of making phone calls or using Amazon's "Drop In" function (yet? @@@@@@@ . It was able to set reminders, answer questions and perform other Echo functions, though. The speaker also exhibited an odd, unpleasant "buzz" when set to maximum volume. Keeping it at 4-5 (out of 10) was adequately loud for our needs, though. The hardware, itself, is somewhat problematic too. The USB charging port is hidden behind a rubber flap on the bottom (note: don't pull on the metal ring on the bottom. That won't lift the flap). The port is positioned in such a way that you can't have the speaker stand upright while charging. This is problematic for people who would be inclined to use this speaker as a full-time Alexa speaker and a part-time portable, Bluetooth speaker. Hopefully a stand or something will become available in the near future to allow this to charge while standing upright. I don't dislike this speaker, but the aggravation of the setup process definitely soured things for me some. Between that, the sometimes unreliable response to voice prompts, the lack of the ability to make phone calls, and the unfortunate placement of the charging port; this speaker was a little disappointing. It was cute listening to Alexa as my family asked her to tell us jokes and sing songs to us though. I love the Logitech brand, and I'd heard good things about their UE speaker line, but this speaker misses the mark some. Honestly? I'm on the fence about whether or not to recommend this speaker.

    I would recommend this to a friend