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

Customer rating

Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 198 reviews

87%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Really excellent speaker with Alexa integration

    Posted
    Shaunh20
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    I had been looking to get into the speak-your-command speaker game for a while but was unsure of what I would like to go with but ultimately when the opportunity came to get the UE Blast with Alexa I jumped at the chance. While I had some experience with issuing commands to my Xbox I knew the experience of using Alexa was much better since I had set them up as gifts for relatives in the past. When I received the UE Blast it was nearly fully charged and had minimal packaging. It was ready to go out of the box but I did have to download and configure the app which was pretty easy. After linking it to my account on Amazon and establishing a bluetooth and wifi connection I was ready to test it out. The speaker itself is quite similar in design to another speaker that my wife and I had been using for a couple of years now, that is the UE Boom. It's bigger and has better sound. I knew that our experience with the UE Boom had been a positive one, the speaker held a charge a long time, was easy to pair and had excellent sound so I held high hopes for the UE Blast. Once everything was configured the UE Blast was very easy to use by issuing Alexa commands. The toughest part is remembering the best way to address the commands, although it should be noted that Alexa doesn't require rote, specific type of commands (as the Xbox does) but through practice my wife and I have found out that it does respond to certain phrasings better than others. You also have to learn to add a slight pause after saying "Alexa" and not just start yelling out commands but that becomes second nature in practice. I was highly disappointed to see that Alexa could not control Spotify and that Spotify would only work when using a Bluetooth command, similar in nature to the UE Boom. Spotify is my primary music source and I do not like that Amazon seems to want to steer you to their Amazon Prime Music direction. However, it should be noted that you do not have to be a subscriber to the Amazon music service to use Alexa on this device, but it will open up more music, including your own if you have a subscription to it. I have used the speaker twice now in long sessions and the first session I got about 7 hours out of moderate listening levels which was, in my opinion, disappointing considering the speaker promises "up to 14 hours". We all know "up to" is the key there but still, half of the promised amount is not what I'd consider a home run. The second time listening from a full charge we got roughly 9 hours and that is listening at moderate listening levels so that was a bit better. It honestly made me wonder if the first I was not at a complete charge. It should be noted here that the only way to know the charge level of the speaker is through the app and you will only know two levels of charge, full charge or partial charge and that is a sincere lack of information in my opinion that needs updated with a future fix for the app. The quality of the sound of the speaker is very high for a large room and the speaker will fill the room with sound. Any larger than a large room though and the speaker will struggle but for most people volume or clarity of the music will not be any issue whatsoever. It was disappointing that I was unable to band my UE Blast to my UE Boom to create a stereo, or mirror, effect from one source. I worked on this for well over an hour before looking online and determining it simply is not possible. So word to the wise, if you already own a UE product and are considering buying this to add on as a "stereo" effect or even just a multi-room, one source solution you will be out of luck. It remains to be seen if this will be fixed in a future update but I sincerely doubt that it will happen based upon my research. Ultimately I do recommend this device, it's very clear, very loud, integrates Alexa commands perfectly and has decent battery life. Just be aware though that it won't control Spotify via Alexa, the battery life is not what is promised (but still good overall) and it will not pair with another UE device. Another downside of course is the price. I am not completely sure this is a great value for most people but I will say if you have the money the device will not disappoint. For most people on a budget this would be a better value purchase on sale or at a discounted rate perhaps on Black Friday. There are certainly more reasonably priced devices that will do many of what this speaker offers. But if you want a great all-in-one solution, are aware of some of the limitations of the device and its app and are willing to pay the money you cannot beat the UE Blast.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good Sounds, Alexa Software Skills Buggy

    Posted
    TechTux
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    Overall this is a good portable unit if you wish to have a portable sound system with the convenience of Alexa/Amazon access. The unit is made very well, durable for the environment and being water proof is a nice touch. I really loved how they chose to protect the USB access point underneath with a screw and rubber cap. During my testing this was very durable and prevented any water from trying to get through. The Sound is good but not the top ranking like other portable sound units out there. However appears to last a good long time over moderate usage and charge is quick so thats a plus. My only concern is the Alexa software that you use to compliment this device, caused my Alexa to freeze to the point where I had to power cycle a few times. PROS - Good Sound Quality Plays Local Music Playlists or Streaming Music Service Waterproof Battery Quick Charging Portability Volume Keys Easily Accessible Position of the USB charge access point and durable cover CONS - Treble Sound Difficulty at High Pitches Non-Removable Battery Lack of Training Material / Learning Curve Alexa Software Can Cause Freezing, having to power cycle unit Software - When setting up Blast there is a small booklet advising to download "Ultimate Ears" on your Smartphone. Once installed you can connect via bluetooth to Blast to setup the WIFI connections. This software also allows you to check on the battery charge / status of the unit. Unfortunately that is the limit of what this software can do and there is no other guidance provided on how to use Blast. After long searching on the internet it appears Amazon has a smartphone application that compliments Alexa on Blast called "Amazon Alexa". This software is not 3rd party as the publisher is Amazon themselves. This software allows you to provide Alexa with "Skills". These skills that you set your Alexa with really helps takes full advantage of Blast. Unfortunately some skills even with being certified by Amazon can cause Alexa to stop responding. The Blast unit still plays the radio station / function you choose but is stuck at that trait. Only way to resolve is to power cycle the unit. I really enjoy using BLAST with the many "Skills" you can train your Alexa however wish there was a better quality check system in place for the approved Amazon Alexa Skills. Otherwise this is a really great product to listen to music locally from your playlist or streaming music service.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Average sound, stylish design

    Posted
    BenisJ
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    The goal with any speaker should be quality sound before anything else. I have another, smaller UE bluetooth speaker that delivers better all-around sound than the Blast. The Blast gets plenty loud but the sound is not very full. Very little bass and the higher end sounds are a bit tinny. The app seemed easy enough to setup...until it kept failing to complete the mandatory software update for my UE Blast out of the box. There was no skip option so in order to connect it to the wifi I had to muscle through the update. It took 3 tries. Even though it warned me not to turn off the device during the update, I had no choice. Nonetheless, eventually it updated and I was able to use Alexa. If you are a heavy "Alexa do this and that" person then the Blast is pretty cool even if the sound isn't great. I paired the Blast with my phone and my laptop. It continued to play music as long as I left my music player open on the laptop. I paused music and left the office for a while and the device shut off (likely when my computer went into standby mode). When I wanted to ask Alexa something I had to hit the on button and let it connect to wifi again. I had planned on keeping this unit in my kitchen. Having to tap the Blast to turn it on and wait for the wifi might get old fast. It is not as fast asking Google or Siri on your phone. And if you want to play music by speaking a command, for now you have to rely on the Amazon music system ("Alexa play some hiphop" will play music from Amazon while "Alexa play my mellow jazz Spotify mix" will do nothing--but you can launch Spotify and bluetooth the stream to the speaker). The design is very stylish. It is basically an oversized pop can. Imagine a 16oz beverage can and you pretty much have the Blast in size and weight. I like the stylish lines, oversized buttons, and fabric mesh wrap. HOWEVER...the device needs to be set upside down if you want to charge it and keep it vertical. The USB (micro, not C) cable is included in the box as well as a wall charger but because of the design, you cannot plug the cable into the bottom and stand the Blast upright unless you flip it upside down--essentially charging from the top. The hook is also on the bottom of the speaker. To recap, sound quality less than spectacular, average at best. Loud enough. Stylish design with some flaws. Alexa is cool. I had some app setup issues but that may be a one-time thing. Either way it was resolved after some restarts. This product is just "meh" for me.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Excellent BT speaker falls short of “smart”

    Posted
    Ruff
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    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
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    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

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Ultimate Sound! A Powerful Amazon Echo

    Posted
    EXWOLF
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    I really enjoy this new speaker from Ultimate Ears. It's called the blast for a reason as you could blast your music insanely loud with 360 degrees of sound. There are some noticeable flaws to it but nothing major that turned me away from using it as my daily speaker. (Note: I list built in Alexa as a Con down below but it is also a Pro for different reasons which I also list further down.) Cons: Sound Distortion- At high volumes there is a lot of distortion and it doesn't sound all too great. Built in Alexa - It may seem nice to be able to tell your speaker "Alexa, shuffle my music" but it really isn't all that satisfying when your speaker has to be connected to a WiFi network for that to work. I have a gym in my garage which is detached from my house and the WiFi is not very strong in there so I could not use voice controls to play my music. When I was able to use voice controls the mics would not pick up my voice when the volume was too loud. When I told Alexa to raise volume to 10 I was surprised with how big the sound was that I wanted to lower it back down with voice controls to 5 but the mics would not pick me up even when I yelled at the speaker. No Aux Port: Very minor that there isn't an aux port with many new phones going without the headphone jack but it would've been nice to have one so you had an alternative to just using bluetooth or relying on a strong wireless network. Pros: Amazing Sound Quality: Despite not sounding great when the volume is all the way up this speaker does sound amazing at mid to slightly higher volume levels. It has a very smooth sound signature with enough bass to get me pumped for my workouts and enough volume to be heard from a distance without cranking it to max volume and distorting the sound. Alexa Built In: When connected to a WiFi network this speaker allows voice controls via Amazon's Alexa through your amazon account. The speaker practically turns into a glorified Echo device where you can use voice purchasing, ask questions, play games, and control your smart home devices. (note: you get three months of music unlimited from Amazon after purchasing this speaker) Water Resistant: Ultimate Ears seems to have this feature right on point where they’ve practically made it standard to include water resistance to their speakers which I highly appreciate. I do enjoy listening to music in the shower and with this speaker I don’t even need my phone to play music so I could take it in the show without any worries about damage. Design: I am really enjoying the tubular shape and how tall the speaker is. It is not a huge speaker by any means and is smaller than most medium sized speakers on the market. The 360 degree sound is really a benefit when it comes to design and I’m glad it’s there. Surprisingly I was able to fit the speaker into my shorts pocket. Battery Life: 12 hour battery life is huge for me. I am generally listening to music various times throughout the day without interruption and while using this speaker for 10 plus hours now it has not died. I also have it auto sleep when not in use for 15 minutes to save battery life if I forget to shut it off which happened often after messing around with Alexa voice commands. Overall, I really do enjoy using this speaker and I would definitely recommend it to my friends and family members. The price point is really premium but you are getting Alexa built in and a regular Echo is not cheap so you are essentially getting two products here. I like Alexa built in but I feel as if you have to have the speaker docked and plugged into the charger for it to function like a voice assistant at all times which isn't too practical. Personally, I am using this speaker as a portable device with a few commands thrown at it here and there since my home is integrated with Alexa compatible devices but mainly I use it for its intended purpose and that is music. It is a bummer that only Amazon music is supported with this device so I can't use voice controls to play my music from Spotify or Google Play Music. It's not a huge deal since there is Bluetooth compatibility which works just fine. It's a great speaker with amazing sound and some neat features and it is definitely worth it for me.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    UE Blast is a blast, but at an explosive price

    Posted
    TechnicallyCorrect
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    The Ultimate Ears (UE) BLAST Smart Portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker with Amazon Alexa is UE’s first attempt at a wifi speaker with Alexa integration. Wi-Fi is a key point, this is not just a bluetooth speaker ( while an excellent bluetooth speak you should not buy it for that.) This seems to be nearly identical ( on the outside) to the UE Boom so if you want only a bluetooth speaker, you should be looking to that model since it much less expensive. Build - The speaker is a relatively small at about 7 inches by 3 inches. It is surprisingly heavy for its size, not too heavy but just an indictation of how solid it is. It is waterproof and dust proof so the entire speaker is covered in a rubberized plastic. The charging port and contact charging point ( more on that later) are covered by a cap made of the same rubberized plastic . It is screwed on to provide a tight seal. I like that aspect of the design but I can see the cap and screw being easily lost. I do not see those pieces as available for purchase on the UE site. As with most UE products, they are built like tanks. UE gets high marks for quality of design. Form - The speaker is cylindrical and designed to stand on one end but can easily be laid down if you choose ( not that you would want to.) When charging you cannot stand on the end in an upright position and have to lay it down. There is a charge base available called the Power Up charging dock but it will cost you $40 . This is a negative part of the design. In my opinion, you would want to have this always on a charging port in your home to take the place of Amazon Alexa. At the $230 list price, now you need to spend another $40 to use it the same way. Either they should have included it in the price or designed the plug in port so that you can stand up the speaker in the correct upright position. Function - As a speaker alone , it is great. The sound level is simply amazing for a a speaker of this size. It can easily fill up a room , very powerful. But power is not everything, I found the sound to clear with little or no distorition at high levels. Throughout the whole volume range the bass and treble were spot on . As a speaker alone, it is top notch. I would have like to see some controls for bass and treble in the app but there is none. So let’s talk about the app. Don’t get your expectations up, there is not much to it. It seems the app is there only to provide set up and does not do much more. You can see the battery level, turn on and off the microphone in the speaker and see some basic settings but that is about it. There is no equalizer, sound modes etc. When connected to Wi-Fi, you get the access to Alexa and can stream music from Amazon, iHeart and Tunein. You cannot ( yet) access Pandora, Spotify etc but can access most music services when streaming from bluettooth device to a speaker. I say this may change because I did not get a chance to test that aspect of it but I question what Amazon will allow to access since other music services are competitors. Beyond streaming you have access to the full Alexa suite – home automation, the Alexa app ( it worked great with the speaker) and much more. The microphones in the UE Blast were excellect. Not quite as sensitive as the Google home but did the job well. The speaker could mostly pick up my voice even with the speaker at full volume. in summary, this is a great speaker first and an Alexa enabled device second. It would be vice versa if the charging dock was included and the price was lower. The regular price on the speaker is about $230, plus the Power up charging dock is $40 plus tax; you are nearly at $300. At that price point, I do not think the value is there. UE needs to decide this is an Alexa device first, include the dock and have the overall price point at about $200. If they did that, this would be a 5 star product. Even so, I will still recommend it because of the stellar sound and quality and prices do come down over time.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    All show and no go

    Posted
    Crasher
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    Ultimate ears blast, what is it and is the true 360 audio worth the buy? Ultimate ears blast is a mobile upright 360 audio boombox with Built in Alexa. Ultimate ears claims to provide a water tight true 360 sound with Alexa built in that you can take with you anywhere life may take you. Ultimate ears seems to fall short in a few key categories so lets dive in and talk about some of the good and bad with this product. First off out of the box your going to receive the Ultimate Ears speaker, micro sd charging cable, and some brief instructions on set up. Linking the speaker to your mobile device is done with in a matter of seconds. Ultimate Ears also provides an app that allows a few more features and the ability to update your speakers firmware. So lets talk about the app for a second. The app offers very little features as of writing this review. You can check your speakers battery life, link additional speakers, manage wi-fi settings and connect to and manage your Alexa and amazon account. That's really all the app has to offer and its kind of disappointing and let me tell you why. When i first turned on the speaker and linked it to my mobile device so i could stream music, the quality was average at BEST! I messed around a little bit with my mobile device's audio equalizer and it did seem to help out a bit however the equalizer is very basic and limited. I went on to Ultimate Ears app hoping to find an equalizer to help improve my audio quality and to my dismay they did not offer one. My mobile device's base equalizer did help to improve sound quality and made it at least sound decent. Everyone thing about the sound was truly average. While listening to some of my music all my tones were within equal range and never seem to over power one or the other. My bass never took away from my vocals and my mids never took away from my highs. Now as far as the 360 audio sound is concerned i do not feel this is a true 360 audio device. I own 3 other devices that are portable 360 audio boombox style and the sound coming out of those devices can be heard the same no matter where you are standing. With the Ultimate Ears Blast i noticed right off the bat that the speaker has a solid strip going down the speaker that houses the big volume up/down button. If you are standing in the direction of the volume buttons the audio is going to seem distant and far away due to the fact you have a solid strip covering up the speaker. With the speaker positioned at waist level i noticed audio pitch and quality varied depending on where you were standing in relation to the speaker. The point of a 360 speaker is to get the same sound and quality equally no matter where you stand in relation to the speaker up to a given point. The quality of the sound was so inconsistent that i found the best sound came from being within 5 feet of the speaker. Battery life also seemed to drop rather quickly. Ultimate Ears claims about 12 hours of battery life but i got about 10 hours before i had to recharge the speaker again. There is some good though. You have a portable Alexa that you can take with you anywhere that you can command to play your music or playlist and even get sports and weather updates. The unit is also water proof however i wouldnt be so quick to dunk it in water. It can easily shrug off any drink that may get spilled on it or if your having a poolside party any water that may get splashed on it will not affect it in any negative way. At the end of the day if your looking for a cost effective speaker that you can take with you no matter where you go that has a built in assistant then this may be for you. However if your like me and care how rich and consistent your sound quality is then you may wanna pass on this unit. My hope is that over time as the app and firmware updates the sound quality and functionality will continue to improve also.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Ultimate Experience!

    Posted
    MemphisTechieRN
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    I was a bit skeptical about this product, because all wireless/bluetooth speakers I have used in the past left a WHOLE LOT to be desired. Both in features and sound quality. So going in, I wasn't expecting a whole lot.. I just went in wanting a wifi/bluetooth/battery operated speaker for the portability of it all. While I certainly got that (12+ hours of playtime on battery!), I was blown away by everything else. The sound quality to me is mind blowing.I have an audiophile setup in my office, and i literally found myself looking at the control unit for said setup, because I was almost positive that the sound was coming from those speakers. It wasn't! It was all the Ultimate Ears Blast the whole time! The speaker does a good job with highs and lows. Even at the highest volume (10, on the 10 step volume) there was absolutely no discernible distortion. The unit comes with a standard usb micro cable and power adapter. Charging times seemed pretty quick to go from half to full (much less than an hour - maybe 30-45 minutes tops). You can opt in for the wireless charger here on amazon for under 40 as well, if that's a must have for you.. Personally, I just flip the speaker upside down while charging, and it remains safe and steady whilst charging. Setup was a breeze, just follow the easy instructions in the Android and IOS app. You just basically connect it to your WiFi, and bluetooth pair your device with the speaker. You can also rename your device to something other than the default name of "blast". There are limited features for the app at the moment, but I've been told that more features and options should be rolling out soon. Did I mention this does voice commands with Alexa built right in? WOW! You can tell Alexa to turn the music up/down, pause etc. not only that, but you are able to download other options for alexa. My favorite so far is "Alexa, start my day" which you can configure to play headlines (from many different sources) as well as weather forecasts for your area. On the goofy side, I found Jeopardy! for the speaker! Now that was cool! So far there are a few music services (free and paid) that are supported by the UE blast. My favorite to use is Amazon Music Unlimited - not only because they offer high quality - but because the vastness of their music catalog. Don't already have a subscription the AMU? Good news, you get 3 free months!! This promo will be offered to you when setting up the speaker for the first time in-app via it's android and IOS apps. The build quality feels very solid. All the buttons are easy to see and use. So even your most tech-unfriendly person will have this up and running in no time. Want to take the speaker in the shower? You won't turn into a crispy critter! This thing is even waterproof! How cool is that? Taking the speaker out by the pool will no longer involve getting worried it will be splashed. All in all, this speaker has mindblowing sound quality, fantastic features, and an on-point build. If you are in the market for a wireless/wifi/bluetooth speaker - get this one and don't be tethered with a power-cord! If I could give more than five stars, I would in a heartbeat! That's how awesome this product is!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Alexa sings in the rain!

    Posted
    neio11
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    Intro This Amazon’s Alexa enabled speaker sounds good and it is waterproof so go ahead and take it with you in the shower. With Alexa enabled, you can play your favorite music from Amazon’s music library and control your Alexa compatible smart home devices. It has two speakers which delivers surprisingly loud volume and 360 immersive sound. It is loud enough to fill a very large room with very clear and rich sound. Not so good at the top of the volume level as you might expect but I can’t enjoy music at that volume level anyways so I don’t go there. Bass is good especially from such a small speaker. Overall, I think this speaker produces great sound. It has multiple, beam forming mics and sound cancelling for voice control. It works good but I found that the Amazon Echo Dot can hear a bit better. So, when you’re blasting your music, don’t expect it to hear you especially when you are not near it without shouting. In a quiet environment with just ambient sounds, it can hear very good. With my normal speaking voice, it heard me from as far as 40+ feet away. Charge time is a little over 2 hours and lasts just about 16 hours on standby connected to wifi and I’ve gotten an average of 12 hours and 15 minutes of continuous music on medium volume level. So, If you want to have Alexa at your beck and call 24/7 and non-stop music, you have to get the Power Up charging dock ($40). The charging port is located on the bottom so you have to lay it down on its side or upside down to charge it. Having the charging dock remedies this too. Ultimate Ears app for iOS (also available for Android - did not test) lets you see the status of the Blast like battery charge, wifi and bluetooth connection. You can turn off the mic for those times when you don’t want to use voice control. You can use it to update the firmware and set other settings. The Blast also gets listed in the Alexa app if you register it with your Amazon account. It’s pretty light but feels solidly built with smooth, soft rubber and a mesh grill. Distinctive Ultimate Ears plus and minus for the volume control is unmistakably large but it doesn’t bother me, anymore. Pros - Alexa enabled - Versatile at home or on the go - IP67 waterproof Cons - Charging port location - No other music streaming services available Outro This Blast speaker is for any music loving tech geek like me. The versatility and portability is a big plus for people that want to take their music and voice control with them with its built-in Alexa (wifi or hotspot req’d) and rechargeable battery. There are better speakers out there with Alexa built-in like the new Sonos One and of course the Amazon line but I like this one overall because of its versatile features. This one lets Alexa sing in the rain!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Speaker with Waterproofing

    Posted
    OmieOne
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    Lets get to what you want. The sound is great and can carry. It can definitely boom. With IP67 Waterproofing you can keep it out at the swim party or sing in your shower, I won't judge. This thing just rocks. It sounds good and can definitely rock a space. If you are in the Amazon ecosystem it is definitely for you with the Alexa integration it takes this speaker to the next level. Nothing like saying Alexa and your favorite band and let it stream it via your home wi-fi. Just rock out if you have an amazon unlimited plan or use Alexa to play your audible book without needing a phone or another device to stream to it. Obviously this has Bluetooth so it can do that too. Setup: If you have an Android 5.0 or a recent iOS device then you are good to go. If you have only a PC or Mac kinda of out of luck in the setup. Would have been nice to have an app in the Windows 10 Store or Mac Store too, incase you don't have a smartphone handy. App works well and was more of the painless setup/tie into Alexa rename apps I've used. So not too bad if you have a feel for this stuff. Only downside is Bluetooth seemed flaky with my Gen1 Pixel phone, esp. when I used Wi-Fi. Not sure if that was the phone or device where it would go one or the other. Overall though getting it connected and updated wasn't a hassle. Use: Using it, if you have Amazon Music Unlimited (which the speaker comes with 3 months free of the family plan) then its as simple as saying Alexa play song or band. Very handy. No device just music. Though streaming via Wi-Fi in my house would pause/lose wi-fi. Unsure if the device is weak or if my router (a modern AC 3200)/Internet was the issue. I had a few cutout in listening to music. I do recommend if you have kids or listen to podcasts with Alexa to install the App on your phone and turn off purchasing. First thing I did, otherwise I'd have over 150 bottles of shampoo delivered right now. You can set a voice code, but I don't trust my kids, so I disabled it. I'd recommend you do too. Easier to just have it added to your cart, review the choices and then click purchase. But everyone if different. Seems to have to whole Alexa voice control. So whatever Alexa can do, this speaker can be used to do it. It is a nice addition. If you are in the Amazon Ecosystem then this is definitely a speaker for you as it has great sound. From soft to rocking out that the police are called. Only gripe is flaky wi-fi at times. But you can still directly stream via a phone and still use alexa to control the sound. I think Logitiech got it right with this device. Sound is top-notch and the additional AI voice control gives it a bonus over other 360 degree speakers. If you want to rock the holiday season this is definitely a contender for a party worthy of being reported to the police by.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Wonderful speaker, poor Alexa device

    Posted
    Bootleg89
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    I was so excited to receive this item that I could barely contain myself. I have so many "smart home" devices and have always considered getting an Alexa device such as an Echo to control it all. When I saw the UE Blast with built in Alexa control I could not resist. Then I received it... Once I received the speaker I immediately set it up. It required an app that helped set it up. The app does almost nothing other than get the speaker online to your wi-fi. It does not offer any other useful features, maybe to update the system software when need be. The real functionality comes form the Alex app. That links all of your smart devices to the speaker and also to your Amazon account. This was the most exciting part for me. After set up I wanted to test it out. So I asked Alexa to open Pandora and play one of my favorite stations. No she says. Although the Alexa app allows you to link your Pandora account the speaker is NOT compatible with Pandora. What?? Then I read the box and it shows that the speaker works with only like 3 apps, iHeart Radio, Tune In, and Amazon Music. Huh? I was so confused. I pay for Pandora premium, so not being able to use it via the built in Alexa is extremely disappointing. So I asked Alexa to "play me some music". She started to play some songs. They sounded familiar, like it was pulling from my Google Play music library. So I asked Alexa to play a specific song and she says no again. I then asked Alexa "where are you playing music from?" She said she wasn't sure. Literally said she wasn't sure. Ugh. I then asked her to change my thermostat's temperature and she said that she could not do that either. Wow. The novelty of Alexa wore off quickly, not only with me but with all 3 other members of my household. They actually are angry with her and want her to leave. Now the speaker itself is terrific, which is why i gave it 4 stars instead of 3. I love the crisp sound and the battery life is fantastic. I still have not needed to recharge it. It also gets very loud. I have to lower it sometimes since it is playing so loudly I don't even realize it. Overall I must say that the speaker works great as a portable waterproof rugged speaker, but you can say that about a lot of Bluetooth speakers. The Alexa feature was what was supposed to set it apart. That turns out to be the most disappointing feature on this device.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Nice but could be better

    Posted
    CoppinFam
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    In the box is the speaker, and a beautiful white cord for charging (I have so many charging cords and having a sturdy white one is nice to me!) Download the speakers app and charge out of the box and you are ready to set up the product. I charged while sleeping, so I am not completely sure how long this device takes to charge. (The battery indicator in the app tells you that the battery is fully charged, partially charged and .) The positives: Sound- the speaker in my opinion has great sound. It fills the room and Alexa is easy to hear in multiple rooms. I was able to activate from decent distance (from the bedroom to the next room with the door open) The undecided: Connectivity: The music play on bluetooth did drop once while listening in a 30 minute increment. I was playing from Apple Music via bluetooth and the music stopped playing all of a sudden. Otherwise, connectivity was very good. I did have the product right beside my phone when the signal dropped. Portability: The speaker is not too heavy to carry around but if you are not in wifi Alexa will not work but you can use as a portable bluetooth speaker. The negative: The speaker automatically plays from Amazon Music only! The negative is for people that already have Apple Music, Spotify, etc. The plus side, the app does send you a link for a three month free trial. If you don't want to keep it, you have to manually connect your music to the bluetooth. Another negative for me is having multiple people using the product. In my opinion, I would like to be able to walk into the room and activate the product by talking to Alexa but if another device connects, you have to open the app and re-connect each time the bluetooth. The Alexa system didn't work until I connected the bluetooth. Wifi- I tried to connect the wifi using the hotspot on my phone and it didn't work. It couldn't find my connection. (I wanted to try to use outside of my home in a home that didn't have wifi.) With updates, this product will be better but at this point I would not buy again. Also if it were just a bluetooth speaker without Alexa, I would definitely buy again. Would I recommend this to friends and family, maybe. I would definitely let them know to wait for more updates and this would be a great purchase.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Good bluetooth speaker but left me wanting more

    Posted
    Section8ght
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    This Blast speaker is a good everyday take with you Bluetooth speaker for casual listening and added sound for movie streaming, but it left me wanting more overall. The initial setup was a little frustrating because you have to download the app before you can connect the speaker. The Alexa feature is a bit underwhelming because she does not pick up my voice very well and it feels like I have to yell to get a response sometimes. I listen to Pandora as one of my feature music apps and connected it thru the Alexa app for this speaker. Every time I asked Alexa to play one of my radio stations, it acted as if it was going to start playing, but then every time would respond with "I am having trouble playing that station for you". Maybe there is an update that will fix the issues with the Alexa app, but for now I am just using the Bluetooth feature to play music and connect to my laptop for streammg movies. For the size of the speaker I was expecting a lot more power with a full dynamic range. It does have full sound but seems to lack on the deep rich lows, mids and highs are great. The 360 degree profile I think only refers to the design of the speaker body, because if you listen closely while rotating the speaker, you can hear the change in sound from the different drivers built into the speaker. I have experienced several drop signals while using the Bluetooth which is kind of frustrating. I will be playing music and then ask Alexa to turn volume up or down, then the music would stop and not start playing again. I would have to disconnect the speaker and reconnect it. I love the look and feel of the speaker and really love that it is waterproof. It is the perfect companion for the shower and medley of songs. I can comfortably take this speaker in the shower or to the pool without the stress of worrying about it getting wet. Overall, this is a decent Bluetooth speaker but still needs a little work to iron out all the quirks with the wifi and Alexa. I have not used the multi connection with other UE speakers because I have no one with one to try it out. But I'm sure that would be really cool to share music and make a surround sound party at the beach or pool.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Great idea, lacking design

    Posted
    ravedave
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    I have used several bluetooth speakers, at best this is an OK design. My setup had problems from the start. Alexa initial setup went well and the Bluetooth setup went ok. Came back in a few minutes and the bluetooth had disconnected and Alexa would not respond to commands. There is a button on the top for power (short push) and reconnect to bluetooth (longer hold). Alexa would not reconnect from the app so I had to use the Alexa app to reconnect. I emailed tech support to see if they has any suggestions with the connectivity, no response from them after 3 days. I always listen to the same song when I buy new speakers and headphones. This was definitely more in the treble than bass side. Pros: Nice design love the water resistance so I can take this to the beach or pool. Great battery life. Has some Alexa functionality. light weight Cons: connectivity issues with bluetooth and Alexa. The power is at the bottom, so you cant just leave this on the counter unless you buy the extra charging dock Limited Alexa commands, so not an echo replacement. Alexa can fail to "wakeup" to commands. no email tech support after 3 days. The sound was more on the treble side. Older versions of ultimate ears allows multiple devices to be connected for music play. this does not. Some of the issues I had may have been helped with support from Ultimate Ears. But 3 days and no email response makes it hard to know if its a me issue or a device issue hardware/software. I guess I have to say, look somewhere else for a speaker. I gave this 2 stars. It has some decent features and seems like a great idea and maybe it will get better with time

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great little speaker with Alexa!

    Posted
    Titan5178
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    This little speaker from Ultimate Ears does it all. It's not only Bluetooth, as most portable speakers are, but also supports connecting directly to Wifi or a hotspot and using Alexa to play tunes directly from the net. This means not only can you play music, but access almost any of the "skills" that the Alexa platform has to offer such as trivia, weather, smart home integrations, and more. However, you are not able to use Alexa calling on it at this time...I think this is exclusive to Amazon devices. The speaker itself is pretty compact, more so than I thought it would be. It's about the diameter of a soda can and as tall as a can and a half. It's pretty rugged, but not so much that it's not elegant in its design. It's made to be portable, as it's waterproof (hello pool...) and dust resistant. Sound wise this thing is on par with my Amazon Echo (1st Gen), the very device that introduced us to Alexa. The major difference is the UE Blast can be unplugged and run off of battery. Another major and welcome difference is that the UE has large volume controls on the speaker itself. Sure it's convenient to use Alexa to change the volume---except when it isn't. Like when you are standing next to the speaker. Speaking of changing the volume...wow! This thing gets incredibly loud for as small as it is. Honestly, the only downside I can see is if you do not NEED the portability you might be better off with a wired Alexa device. Not only will it be cheaper but the UE is not made to be plugged in on a nightstand and left there for eternity. In fact, it's kinda difficult to keep it plugged in and standing upright since the power cord comes jutting out of the bottom of the unit. However, there is a "Power Up" base that can serve as a home for the speaker and will charge it---but it's sold as an accessory. Overall, I really like this speaker and would recommend it to anyone whose in the market for either an Alexa enabled voice assistant or a bluetooth speaker.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Amazon Echo app and Great sound integrated in one

    Posted
    gonzaloejimenez
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    I have been using the Google Home for 2 years, as well as a Portable Bose Speaker. And I choose the UE Blast because of the size, the company offers that the sound will be great, the portability, and the capability to have Alexa app integrated, and I wasn’t disappointed. I like the style and the large volume controls. And the fact that is water proof. The material allows made to get a good grip so you can carry it with confidence. The set up is pretty simple. I have an Iphone 7, and the first thing you do is to install the app. Once it finishes, it will guide you step by step. You have the enable the Bluetooth and connected the UE Blast as a Bluetooth speaker. Once you do that, the app will try to connect to the device, and then you set up your amazon account. I will start first with the functionality as a speaker. It is great, the sound is clear, very high for a large room and the speaker will fill the room with sound. I have used the speaker several times about the 70% of the volume in long sessions and I have got about 8 hours of Battery life. Using a 2amp usb charger adapter it will take less than 2 hours to fully charge. The Bluetooth range is really good, about 60 feet, with my iphone7. Now, the integration with the alexa app, works great. I have my Alexa account and I was able to play the radio app, using the same commands and same functionality as I used to do with my google home. To recap, the UE Blast turns into a Echo speaker. That means playing music without having to pair your phone too. All the features tha are available with Alexa are now built into UE Blast flagship products. This includes Wi-Fi functionality. By connecting to a network, or mobile hotspot, The US Blast “Alexa” is now portable wherever you go. I really like it!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Would not buy for the Alexa aspect or app

    Posted
    Christopher
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    I received the Ultimate Ears Blast to test and review. I really like the presentation of this piece (especially the box! included in the picture). It is solid and feels very well built and being waterproof is cool. As a standalone Bluetooth speaker, this speaker is very nice. The sound quality is great but not spectacular (does get really loud though which is nice). I really think in today’s market to be a superior Bluetooth speaker you have to standout. They tried here but came up just a bit short. The waterproofing of this speaker makes up almost all that I found unique with it. I will use it a ton this summer but not sure how much otherwise. The app needs tweaking, I am fairly smart when comes to "Tech" but just to get this one up and running was a challenge. Nevertheless, I was able to get it paired and operational in a few minutes (I am hoping that maybe they are still working on the app). I have used other like and non like assistant products such as or similar to Alexa and found the responsiveness from this speaker to be slow or not at all; which required me repeating myself quite a bit. Again though, it did work and Alexa is a fun tool to have around. All in all, I would buy for the speaker aspect and having an Alexa is a plus but not as functional as I would have liked.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Portable Speaker with Alexa Integration

    Posted
    RedScorpion
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    With the Ultimate Ears Blast, UE have created a great portable speaker with some Alexa integration now with more features to come later. The speaker sounds great. Portable speakers are everywhere these days, but this speaker produces some of the best sound I have heard from a speaker this size. I tested the Blast with my iPhone and the set up was easy and within a few seconds I was playing music from my Apple library. In addition to Bluetooth, UE have included Alexa integration over WiFi. In my testing, the Alexa has worked well. I tell the speaker to play Christmas music and it works. The mic can hear me and the voice commands are pretty intuitive. The Blast responds to many basic commands and plays music from Amazon, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio. If you don’t have Amazon Music, a 3 month subscription is included. To get the most out of your Blast, you need the Ultimate Ears App and the Amazon Alexa app. I wish the Blast had built in Pandora support, but Ultimate Ears claim that support is coming soon. The entire package would be better if there was a 3.5mm jack on the Blast and if the charging base had been included with the speaker, but beyond that, I really can’t think of anything wrong with this speaker. The UE Blast works great and I highly recommend it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great potential, needs more work!

    Posted
    TheTruthRealDeal
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    The Ultimate Ears - BLAST Smart Portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker with Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant - Blue Steel is a device that I could not get up and running at 100%. I had to call customer service to address my concerns, but the representative was not knowledgeable enough to solve my problems. First, I downloaded the Ultimate Ears app and followed the step by step instructions to complete setup. Second, I signed into my Amazon account to connect with Alexa voice control. Third, I downloaded the Amazon Alexa app as recommended. I asked simple commands such as, what is the time and weather? The answers were stated correctly by the Blast speaker. Problems arose when I tried to get it to play music from my Google Pixel and from Tunein. No sound was produced from the Blast; even though I saw the playback icon fluctuate that meant the song was playing. The second day I tried to test it out, I said Alexa play Tunein. It connected to Tunein, without any problem. When I said Alexa stop playing music, Blast kept on playing music. The only way I could stop the music playing was by shutting down the Blast completely. All problems with the Ultimate Ears - BLAST Smart Portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker with Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant - Blue Steel come from the syncing with Amazon Alexa. Using the Ultimate Ears - BLAST Smart Portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker with Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant - Blue Steel strictly as a Bluetooth device works fine. I can tap on Blast under my Blutooth settings and connect my Google Pixel phone and then I can play music from any installed app. If Amazon Alexa can work perfectly with Blast, then the Blast experience would be fantastic. The volume is tremendous, but I was not able to find out how to create more bass. The potential of the Blast is great, once Alexa is properly synchronized.

    I would recommend this to a friend