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

Customer rating

Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars with 501 reviews

89%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 10 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Sound is MEGA, but BLAST the bugs!

    Posted
    Namdnas
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    I own and have used the Ultimate Ears Boom speaker that I've had for the past 5-6 years or so and it has been my favorite bluetooth speaker I've ever had. After hearing about this new Ulimate Ears MEGABLAST speaker, I was thrilled and couldn't wait to receive it in the mail. I knew this would be my new permanent replacment for my aging BOOM speaker, with the increasingly dwindling battery. But, a few bugs and inconsistencies keep it from exceeding my expectations. It'll still be my new daily-use speaker. First of all, let me explain why the original UE BOOM was my favorite speaker. I've got some hearing loss issues and my right ear has only about 15% hearing (it's really only good for picking up bass, lol). So, when I choose a new speaker or pair of headphones/earbuds, they have to be able to get loud enough for a comfortable level for me, but yet even louder when I want to "crank" it. I use all my bluetooth devices on my iPad Pro 10.5" and my new iPhone X. The BOOM speaker has never failed me. I watch Twitch.tv daily, usually for about 6 hours on average while I do my work. I've used my BOOM for many years like this and I've only kept the volume up between the 3-4 notch (this is maybe 1/3 the max volume on the device volume bar) for everything I listen to and never had an issue hearing. So, I was definitely excited to get this. I couldn't wait to unbox it, get it charged and synced to my devices! Let's break it down. Packaging: This was where I was most impressed. The packaging on the outside didn't look like anything fancy. But, it's when you break the seal and pull the slip-cover off the box... The inside box the speaker is housed in is made of a super thick and durable cardboard and I was totally not expecting the amazing artwork! It's so bright and colorful and I immediately thought - they've put a lot of love into this making and designing this speaker and box. Inside the box, the cylindrical speaker is nestled in perfectly curved black styrofoam and matches everthing else. It's very snug and secure. Along with the speaker, you also get the normal, minimal instructions (it's a bluetooth speaker, not rocket science), USB power cable and the larger-than-my-old-one power brick. The cable and brick are both white, perfectly contrasting with the black speaker. Design: This speaker looks nearly identical to my old one, aside from a few minor color differences and the obvious fact that it is MUCH bigger. The top of the speaker has the power button and the bluetooth sync button. On the front, non-mesh part of the speaker are the + and - buttons for the volume. Then, down at the very bottom...ON the bottom, lies the flip-up waterproofing rubber flap. You have to pull this up in order to get to the USB charge port and Power LED charge indicators. This flap was a little tighter to pull up than I would have liked (I thought I was going to rip it once...) and you definitely have to pull it back a bit with some force in order to plug the charge cable into it. The only other negative to this is given the fact that all this is on the bottom of the speaker, you have the lay it down on it's side while it is charging. Again, the same as my old one. But...you know, round things...well, they roll. Aside from this, I absolutely love the tall, cylinder shape of the speaker and the minimal amount of space it takes! App: Once I got the speaker fully charged, I was able to connect it via Bluetooth to my iPad Pro 10.5" (my primary Twitch.tv watching device) without fail. I downloaded the app designed for the BLAST range of speakers. It looks really nice and has all the normal options I'd expect. The app detected the speaker and after I entered my WiFi password, it even automatically updated the firmware. It then asked me to activate Alexa and log into my Amazon account, which I was able to do without any problems...then gave me a code for a few months free of Amazon Music. I use Spotify myself, but still - not a bad gesture. After the inital setup, the app displays the current battery level in a bar-style format (not a percentage), confimration of WiFi connection and Alexa on/off, as well as the link to my Amazon account. Other than that, it's pretty basic, but gives you the information you need. However, my major issue with the battery level on this speaker is that you can ONLY view it through the app. My old BOOM speaker displayed the battery at the top of my device, as well as in my Battery Widget. This speaker does neither. It just shows that "headphone" icon at the top of my device with no battery indicator and does not appear anywhere in my Batteries info in settings or the Widget. I'm hoping this is just a software bug and will be fixed in a later update, as it's quite annoying coming from my BOOM speaker that does show this. Then again, it could be intentional since you can just ask Alexa "what's my battery at?"... Bluetooth/Alexa/Sound: I'm tying these final three into one category because it's seems that they are all somehow related together and where my biggest concerns are. This is where the the bugs and inconsistencies hide, aside from my issue with the Battery indicator above. The bluetooth has EXCELLENT range, but it doesn't appear to be flawless, like I'm used to with other Ultimate Ear products. When it has a connection, it's great and solid. No cut-outs or any other weird sound artifacts. However, I've had a few instances where the bluetooth connection would just drop for no reason. This seemed a little inconsistent, with no rhyme or reason for it. Completely random. I have to manually go into settings and select the MEGABLAST speaker to connect it again. This is my first Alexa enabled device! So, I was definitly excited to give it a try. Initially, Alexa was a joy to use. I started with all the obvious stuff you would ask something like Alexa or Siri. "How's the weather today?" granted me exactly what I wanted to hear, plus more in a voice that I found rather pleasing compared to say, Siri. Alexa just seems much more natural and non-robotic. Then I go on with having her tell me a joke, rap, etc, etc. All works great. But...I discovered an issue with using Alexa while playing music or any audio already coming through the speaker. When the speaker is playing audio and you issue an Alexa command...when she's done...the bluetooth connection just.........DROPS. Every. Single. Time. I have to go into settings and reconnect. So, the only time I can use Alexa is when the speaker isn't being used. Which then, I've more than likely got it turned of. Very disheartening as I really wanted to implement Alexa into my music, smart thermostat, etc. I'm really hoping this is just a bug and can/will be fixed in a sooner-than-later firmware update. As for sound, I found a lot of inconsistencies there as well. When playing music or other audio, I noticed I had to turn this speaker up louder than my BOOM to get the same level of volume out of it. I have to use my MEGABLAST at about half volume to get it at the same sound level as 1/3 volume of my BOOM. Which is weird because...isn't this supposed to be the loudest speaker they offer? It appears this speaker does better at mid to higher level volumes than lower to mid level. I initially thought that the "max" volume of the speaker was independant of the volume I have on my device because I could say "Alexa, change the volume to 10" and the volume bar on my device would stay the same, but the speaker would be much louder. But then...when I raise or lower the volume a notch on the device, the speaker volume would change to match that. Another issue I noticed...the speaker outputs the audio that is being played...but none of my other device sounds. Unlike my boom, I don't can't hear the keyboard typing sound, any text or e-mail notification sounds, etc. I've even turned the "Sounds" volume on my device up to the max with no results. But the audio being played is normal. I cannot figure this out to save my life. I didn't get to test the bluetooth phonecall quality during use because my BRAND NEW iPhone X that I've had for less than 15 days decided to bite the dust on me (the touch screen quit working...hardware defect) and I'm currently awaiting a replacement from my carrier. Conclusion: So, there you have it. So far, I have a love/hate relationship with this speaker. The volume inconsistencies are killing me and Alexa is all but useless since my bluetooth connection drops every time I use her. I also really with there was a battery level displayed on the device like my BOOM has, but the only way to see it with the MEGABOOM is via the app. These are my big 3 issues with the speaker and why I'm giving it a 4 out of 5 stars. The only thing saving it from 3 stars is the amazing sound of the actual audio that is being played...as long as it's above half (5) on the volume level. Now, I did reach out to Logitech (the manufacturer of the Ultimate Ears brand) on Twitter earlier in the week. Several days have passed since then (which is why I waited a bit on my review) and I haven't heard anything back from them. I'll e-mail support about this I guess, when I get my phone back. But I really expected some sort of response or follow-up from them regarding this. Oh well. I should dock a star for this, but I won't.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Sound and Build Quality, but...

    Posted
    HarvickFan
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    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    The speaker is amazing. UE makes great products and the Megablast is no different. Quality all the way around. From the packaging to the build quality to the overall sound. A+ across all of those areas. The only thing that left me wanting more, was the Bass. From a speaker this size, I was sort of disappointed in the quality of the Bass. My unit came with the speaker and the table top charging dock. The packaging is incrdible, and makes sure your product is not going to be damaged in any way during delivery/shipping. To cable charge, you simply plug in the supplied USB cable into the bottom of the unit. To charge with the docking station, you simply screw in a charging station cap on the bottom and place directly on top of the charger. The initial charge took quite a long time, and was not fully charged from the factory. But once charged the battery life has been great. UE says a full charge can last 15+ hours, and if you download and connect to the UE App, you can always see how much charge you have left, so you're not stuck with a dead speaker at the wrong time. Setting up the speaker was super fast and simple. Normal bluetooth pairing was immediate to my Note 8. I downloaded the UE App as well and while it looks polished, it felt sort of glitchy. The app recognized the speaker immediately but had trouble running through the rest of the setup. I had to exit the app and start over twice before it let me finish the setup. Not a huge deal to be concerned with, as i'm sure UE will fix the app over time. It's also nice that the speaker can be connected via wi-fi and bluetooth. And you can set it to update itself via wi-fi automatically. Setting up Alexa was also a breeze. Simply go to the Alexa setup in the App and login with your Amazon Alexa account and that's it. Alexa is immediately available on your Megablast. We also have a few Amazon Echos in the home, and using the Megablast with Alexa felt the same as using the Echo device. Speech recognition was very good even from across the room. All the features of Alexa are right here in the Megablast, and portable, unlike a Echo/Echo Plus. I think we'll use the Megablast so much more, simply because we can move it around with us. Build quality is amazing, the speaker is huge and feels very sturdy and almost heavy in the hand. Very nice. The 360 degrees sound field is also great, and you get room filling sound and great volume levels. Sound quality is also very good, as you'd expect from UE. But, from a speaker of this size and build, I honestly expected more Bass. I have numerous bluetooth speakers, some bigger or smaller, some from UE and other brands. Compared to all my other speakers, the Megablast was just ok on Bass response. Don't get me wrong, the Bass is there, and for most it's probably fine. However when listening to bass heavy audio, even when EQ'd, the Bass simply gets compressed and tight, not boomy. i don't think it would be a reason to not get the Megablast, the overall sound of the speaker is amazing, but if you were thinking that a speaker this size would give you over the top Bass, you might be disappointed. Having IP67 weather sealing is nice so you don't have to be worried about getting it wet. A couple things I wish they would have done better; you cannot pair multiple Megablast speakers together in stereo, which for this price and category seems to be a glaring omission, I hope UE fixes that soon. I also wish that the speaker came with a 3.5mm connector, but it does not, wireless all the way, or nothing. When using Alexa, the only way you know Alexa has been triggered is if you're actually looking at the speaker and can see the LED light on top grow brighter, there is no audible tone that tells you Alexa is ready, like when using an Amazon Alexa device. All in all the UE Megablast is an amazing speaker with Amazing features, and integrating Alexa just kicks it up a notch! I'm very impressed with the Megablast overall.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great BT Speaker! Isn't Perfect However...

    Posted
    Justin
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    The new UE Megablast is a newcomer to the UE lineup. Now I have never owned a product in this lineup however I have seen an overall positive impression so I was excited to try it out for myself. This speaker promises omnidirectional sound output, waterproof ability, and the new Amazon Alexa capabilities. What’s In the Box? (The box has a REALLY neat design!) -UE Megablast speaker -Quick Start Guide -Micro USB cable -USB Charger Design: The cylindrical design is not new to me however this size is. It is fairly large in length and girth. The speakers are covered with a metal mesh where the two 25mm tweeters, two 55mm drivers, and two 85mm x 50mm passive radiators pass sound through. On the bottom of the speaker is a circular rubber cover protecting the micro usb port for charging. There is also a removable D-ring underneath the speaker which is also used for charging using the optional charging base. (Not included) Up top is the power button which is a straight line that illuminates. The oversized volume buttons were VERY hard for me to locate when I first used the device. Well the end up being RIGHT in front of you. I had a couple comments about the buttons resembling a religious cross. Features: - Rugged Design - Omnidirectional Sound (Fairly new to the market although not my first speaker) - Up to 16 hrs battery life - IP67 rating - STRONG Bluetooth Connection. I was able to go to any corner of my house and the speaker didnt hesitate a bit. Other speakers typically did cut in and out or stop altogether. - Wifi music streaming from IHeartRadio, Amazon Prime Music, and TuneIn Radio through Amazon Alexa. Pandora and Deezer are hopefully coming in the near future. - Integrated Amazon Alexa voice assistant Audio Quality: One thing I noticed as soon as this speaker started to play music was its overpowering volume level ability. This speaker was able to get LOUD! I wasnt expecting such an ability out of something this (relatively) small. Now this isnt the only speaker I have in this price range that can do this but it is the first to do it well. The mids and highs are very sharp. Very little distortion while turning the volume up. The bass however does become slightly distorted and cannot get the same depth as my Addon T3 speaker can. The Addon T3 won awards for sound quality in the past so it doesnt surprise me but it is something to note. The Megablast does get louder than the Addon T3 and is not directional so it has the overall win in my book but I love the classy design and sound quality of the Addon better. Problems: I did have very weird "Auto" connection problems with the UE. It would randomly connect to my phone while just sitting on the counter AFTER the speaker was turn off. I found this annoying but it seemed to go away after a couple days. Im also not a huge fan of the fact this came with Amazon Alexa capabilities because you need an Amazon account to participate with the feature but I have a Google Mini that fulfills those need overall. Another problem is the charging brick, its huge! It must be plugged in the TOP outlet for the bottom one to be usable at all. Its way to big... Overall: I think this speaker has very good sound quality and with the omnidirectional sound is a bonus. The waterproofing benefits can be a huge benefit if you plan to take your $300 speaker with you wherever you go but mine will likely stay at home with the occasional outing. A solid speaker I would definitely tell others to take a look at if your in the market.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good, but Missing some Well Loved Features

    Posted
    lambda100
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    The UE Megablast is the newest arrival to the UE lineup to offer fantastically crisp and clear audio with strong bass response, with the new addition being the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. With a sleek cylindrical design, waterproofing that allows the speaker to be submersible, and omnidirectional speaker output, the UE Megablast aims to be the only speaker that you need in the home, at the pool, at the party, and everywhere in between. What’s In the Box? -A box with a lot of funky and groovy art (you’ll know what I mean when you slide off the tame looking cover) -UE Megablast speaker -Quick Start Guide -Micro USB cable -USB Charger Appearance and Build Quality: The all cylindrical design looks very similar to an oversize beer can with a rugged, rubberized exterior shell to handle all the scrapes, bruising, and drops that will occur over its lifetime. The speaker is covered in a hard, fabric-like grill to allow the audio to pass through the two 25mm tweeters, two 55mm drivers, and two 85mm x 50mm passive radiators, all the while keeping dust, moisture, and water from seeping into the interior. On the bottom of the speaker is a circular rubber cover protecting the micro usb port for charging. There is also a removable D-ring underneath the speaker. I assume this D-ring is for hanging the speaker. Up top is the power button and another much smaller button to enable Bluetooth pairing. The very oversized +/- buttons are located along the sides of the cylinder. The button labels for + and – are huge, you’d have to be blind not to notice them. And maybe it is just me, but they do have the visual appearance of resembling a religious cross. Features: +Rugged Design – Take the speaker anywhere indoors and outdoors, but of course don’t subject it to extreme heat or cold. +Omnidirectional sound +Up to 16 hrs battery life – more than enough for a full day of partying assuming you get 8 hrs of sleep to round out a 24 hr day. It will take up to 3 hrs to recharge a fully discharged battery. +IP67 rating – This means this speaker goes beyond simply being cowardly splash proof, but boldly insists on being dunked under water in approximately 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. I was too afraid to put this to the test, since I did not want to ruin a $300 speaker. I’ll take UE at their word. +Strong Bluetooth connection. I didn’t experience any Bluetooth stuttering or disconnections. In fact, UE boasts that the Bluetooth range is up to 150 feet. +Wifi music streaming from IHeartRadio, Amazon Prime Music, and TuneIn Radio through Amazon Alexa. Pandora and Deezer are purportedly to be included in the future. +Integrated Amazon Alexa voice assistant. This may or may not be important to you depending on whether or not you are already subscribed to one of the two dominant voice assistant ecosystems (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant) presently available in the market. Features that are Missing: Equally important to the features (aka “the selling points”) are the features that are missing in the UE Megablast which are offered by some of the competitors in the portable Bluetooth speaker market. -No NFC connection. -No 3.5mm audio jack. I am disappointed, but not surprised. Would have been great if UE included a 3.5mm jack since wired audio quality is still better than Bluetooth transmission audio quality. -You cannot connect two or more UE Megablasts together or to other speakers in the UE lineup via Bluetooth in a party mode to have multiple speakers playing the same music simultaneously. Not sure why UE took this feature off the table. Just imagine how loud your party could get if you could connect them together! Audio Quality: I was impressed by the audio output of the speakers. The omnidirectional (aka 360 degree) sound meant that there are no fading, audio dead spots as I moved about my room. The UE Megablast can get really loud to the point that your neighbors will be knocking on your door to turn it down. The mid-range representing vocals and speech is very crisp and clear. The highs are equally well represented. Bass kicks in strong without overpowering the high and midrange frequencies. This means that when you’re listening to music with strong bass, you can still clearly hear the vocals. And if you choose to watch a movie using the UE Megablast, you can clearly hear the bass response from action sequences, but wouldn’t have to adjust equalizers to hear dialogue. Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant: I’m not going to go too much into this. You are initially asked to connect to Amazon Alexa when you first set up the speaker through the Ultimate Ears app available through the Google Play Store or Apple App store. The microphone does a fine job of picking up audio across my room and I’m able to ask Alexa questions and give it commands. Alexa will only work if the speaker is connected through the wifi network. It will not work on a Bluetooth only connection. If you find yourself desiring some privacy, you have two options to turn off the microphone from listening to your conversation. First method is to open the Ultimate Ears app, tap on the microphone icon, and tap ‘off’ to disable the microphones. A tone will be emitted and a small red light will illuminate at the top of the speaker to indicate that the microphones have been turned off. The second method is to use the speaker controls. On the speaker, press the volume down ‘ – ‘ and the Bluetooth button simultaneously. You will hear a tone and see the red light at the top of the speaker. This indicates that the microphone has been turned off. To turn them back on, press the same buttons again. Finally, one thing to take note. UE did a poor job with the location for the micro usb charging port. The port is located at the bottom base of the speaker. That means when you are charging it, you will have to place the speaker on its side horizontally, which means it has a strong chance of rolling off your table. Or you can place the speaker upside down, with the power button on the bottom. The only other alternative is to purchase the charging dock which will allow you to charge the speaker in the upright position. Conclusion: Do I recommend the UE Megablast? Given its very good audio quality and sleek, rugged build quality, I totally believe it is a sound choice (pun intended) and should be on your short list. However, given that some of the features are noticeably missing which were found in the previous UE lineup (eg. Megaboom) at a lower price point, you will need to really ask yourself if the addition of the Alexa assistant is worth the tradeoff.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent sound quality, inconsistent microphone

    Posted
    DoctorHoo
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    Compared to Amazon’s Echo, this speaker offers better sound quality. The midrange is very crisp and clear and makes vocals really stand out. When I listened to some of my Diana Krall playlist, her vocals sounded very intimate like she was singing right in front of me. Setup was very easy, you just plug it in and download and install the Ultimate Ears App for your phone/tablet and the app searches for and connects to the speaker after which you can set it up. To set up the speaker to connect to your wifi network, the app did require me to type in my wifi password which can be a pain on a phone/tablet if you have a long password. I’ve seen other apps that have the ability to automatically set up the password without the user having to type it in (after all the phone/tablet already knows the password if it is on your wifi network) My speakers came with a charging dock that is a must have accessory. It normally costs $39.99. Just sit your speaker on the charging dock and it will start charging. You don’t have to fumble around to flip the rubber tab hiding the usb port to charge the speaker. To set up your speaker to use the charging dock, you unscrew the original black plug on the bottom of the speaker and replace it with a shiny metallic plug that makes contact with the charging pins on the dock. I do wonder if the speaker is still as waterproof with the shiny metallic plug since water would be able to touch the charging rings on the plug. After you set up the speaker, you can use the standard Alexa app to fine tune the Alexa part of the speaker. One thing I noticed is that you can’t change the wake up word for the MegaBlast to anything else (Amazon, Computer etc.). It will only respond to Alexa. Also, some services like Spotify aren’t available yet but that didn’t bother me since I mostly use Amazon Music. So, basically, it seems like the MegaBlast doesn’t currently support all the features of the Amazon Echo. Hopefully, future firmware upgrades will fix this. The top of the speaker is slightly concave with a light bar that lights up when it recognizes a voice command. Compared to the Echo and Echo Dot, I found myself having to repeat myself a lot more before the MegaBlast would respond to my voice commands. Because of this, I don’t think it’s microphones are as good as those in the Echo. To make matters worse, it’s sometimes hard to know if it recognizes the wake up word because it can be difficult to see the light at the top of the speaker if the speaker is located at or above eye level. I had no problems using it as a bluetooth speaker. Pairing with my phone/tablets was easy and I always had a strong connection with no drop-outs. In summary, the MegaBlast is a stellar portable bluetooth speaker that offers superior sound quality over most competing bluetooth speakers. As an Alexa smart speaker, it falls a little short of a real Amazon Echo with regards to command recognition and it currently doesn’t support all the features of a real Amazon Echo. Hopefully future firmware upgrades will rectify some of these shortcomings.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Early Firmware missing features

    Posted
    nhtechie
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    Megablast Setup: I encountered firmware update issues during setup - so I had to continue setup & go back to update (took a few times, then was finally successful). Usage / Buttons: You have to be dead center on the large buttons. At the top of the 'volume down' - it feels like you're hitting a button (feels springy), but you're not - you have to go lower and the volume will decrease. The 'volume up' will accept a lower press to raise the volume. Unlike my $99 Wonderboom, you can't pair more of these speakers that are ~3x the price for a better surround sound. Say whaaat? The sound is a typical UE sound - it's really clean & bassy. It's heavy, but it's grippy & portable - I dig it. It has its own independent sound control - so, raising / lowering volume doesn't change the phone's volume as some devices do (which is where you run into the volume being too low - or just a bit too loud). I've had this before & it's nice that the Megablast is not following that example. Charging the unit appears to make you put it on its side to get to the connector and there's no way it'll be able to stand once you hook up the USB cable. Enter the "POWER UP" charging dock - which gives you a replacement nut at the bottom allowing standing charging & use. It's an extra $40 or so, but is worth it, should you really use this a ton & don't want the aggravation. Bluetooth Usage: If you're streaming via bluetooth and ask Alexa a question, it kills the bluetooth connection & doesn't auto-reconnect to continue playing. There are Bluetooth reconnect issues too - I use a few BT devices, even a UE Wonderboom, so it's not my first rodeo. If I disconnect from those, I can reconnect without issue. With this Megablast, sometimes I have to cycle Bluetooth on my phone & then it works. And I'll hear some static during the reconnect too, which is odd. "Alexa" Features: Voice recognition is 4/5 times successful for acknowledging that it heard me. Via the UE App, you can toggle the 'microphone off' - so it's not always listening (small red light appears on the top at the bluetooth button). There is no tone to let you know it has heard the wake word (it should be an option at least), but the top light blinks. It can't tell how much battery remains: "I don't have a battery." As of Mid-November 2017, there was no Pandora integration yet - though it responds like it's getting my station - but voices an error. There must be an update coming soon (fingers crossed!). It doesn't work well with Amazon Prime Music. It says it's going to shuffle my collection, but it pauses for a long time and then only sometimes starts playing, then cuts out. Smart-ish Home Thoughts ... I could control my HUE lights via room names & the ever finicky Harmony Hub without issue, just as my Tap does - no issues seen here. So, the recommendation is a "yes" for the sound - you just need to be patient & hope that these 'smart' quirks get worked out soon.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Alexa On Steroids

    Posted
    PG460
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    I own a Google Home and I have played around with an Amazon Echo at my local Best Buy. Both are really good personal assistant devices but I was frankly underwhelmed by each device’s audio quality particularly when it comes to music playback. As a result I was excited to get the Ultimate Ears Megablast with the expectation of exceptional sound quality. The Megablast come nicely packaged and includes a power adapter, a usb cable, and some basic instructions. You need the Ultimate Ears app from either the Apple app store or the Google Play store to complete setup. Within the app one simply connects the Megablast to your WiFi network, pair Bluetooth devices, and sign into your Amazon account and you’re up and running. Can’t beat that for simplicity. I started off by asking Alexa some standard personal assistant questions like the time and weather then quickly moved on to music. I have an Amazon Music Unlimited account so I start requesting songs. I pump up the volume using the + control on the side of the device and I’m quickly blown away by the sound quality emanating from the Megablast. I put it through it paces by requesting various music selections from rock, to jazz, to classical. What a treat! Great music reproduced with great quality by simply asking Alexa. Deep bass and clean rich highs filled my house. Even on the max volume there was no distortion. This thing rocks. One disappointment I discovered which you should be aware of if you use Amazon Music Unlimited. Amazon offers a reduced pricing option called Amazon Echo monthly which limits your account to just one Echo device. It appears that this plan is only available on Echo devices and not on licensed devices such as the Megablast. I hope this changes in the future since Amazon support was even surprised that it didn’t work. I should point out another discovery that the Megablast powers off when not in use. I thought initially that this was a disappointing limitation for a personal assistant device until I found the setting in the app to change this auto sleep feature in time increments of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 Hour, 3 hours, or never. You will get 16 hours of constant use on the never sleep setting. Impressive! Buyers should note that Ultimate Ears also sells a great charging dock accessory for the Megablast called the Ultimate Ears Power Up. This let’s you leave it on at all time while also maintaining a full charge for when you want to take the Megablast with you. When you do the unit is big but is still quite portable. I was happy to learn that the Megablast is also water resistant. Not only that but you could immerse in water up to 3 feet deep for 30 minutes. Why you would want to submerge such an expensive device is beyond me but hey you can if you want. As I used the device for several days one issue stood out. While the Magablast boasts a multiple microphone design with beam forming technology I found myself constantly repeating myself to get Alexa to respond. Very frustrating. I’m hoping that this is improved with a firmware update. Other than this one issue I was truly impressed by the Ultimate Ears Megablast. I would definitely recommend particularly for music lovers seeking excellent sound quality.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Travel Companion

    Posted
    hitsuyoo
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    The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST Portable Wi-Fi/Blutehooth Speaker is possibly all you need for a night at the pool, a session in the personal gym (That would be me.) even a Barbecue in the back yard or the patio. It has everything you need to carry your personal soundtrack any and everywhere (allowed). It's got a nice premium feel to it. it's wireless and water resistant. Plus, for the smart home savvy, there's Amazon Alexa integrated into the speaker. Okay, you've gotta admit, that's cool , right? The sound is crisp and clear, even at high volumes. It sounds really nice. Really nice. I guess the only thing I can say I wish this thing had, would be support for other streaming services. I use a different service other than Amazon music Unlimited usually. Then there's the whole pause when the phone rings. ( I'll live with that, since I'd normally have to scramble to find a remote on other occasions.) There are few options to stream, but I would just like more ( obviously. wouldn't we all? ) There are still a few things I have yet to learn, but it is definitely getting the job done. You should get one or two. Really. "The Ultimate Ears Power up", sold separately, is also a great accessory to go with it, as it allows you to charge your speaker without laying it on it's side, all the while , keeping the party going. I have already recommended this speaker to a couple friends ( I don't waste time when I like stuff.) They come in few different colors. I got the black. It goes with everything. The price is really great for such a sweet piece of tech. Christmas is coming and I don't see why this wouldn't make it's way under a few trees. If not, just get one to blast that holiday spirit throughout the house. Basically, this would be a great addition to a smart home enthusiast or someone starting up their smart catalog. Even just for that person that likes cool gadgets.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great speaker with a few flaws

    Posted
    couponkingofjax
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    Ultimate Ears - MEGABLAST Smart Portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker is definitely a contender for one of the best bluetooth speakers I've ever heard. The sound is crisp, clear, and LOUD. Louder than any other speaker I feel like I've tested. The nice thing about the speaker is that even though it reaches unreached levels of sound, it doesn't get too blown out at the higher levels. Sometimes static and fuzz can occur and I hear none of it. Like the new Bose speakers, the sound is projected in a circular fashion which I absolutely love. Being able to hear the music from any part of the room as if you were right next to it is a great accomplishment. The packaging on the speaker is slick and the unit itself is very robust and heavy. I like the fact that the speaker is waterproof, but it will be a while before I put that to the test. The only real thing that bugged me about the speaker is the APP that the company forces you to use to setup the device. I had issues getting it to recognize the speaker, installing the updates and even pairing with WIFI. Repeatedly I had to restart the app and sometimes it just would not pair with the device at all. Finally I just got it to pair with bluetooth and turned off the app, so as of now I don't use the Alexa function. I don't really use Alexa so it's not a big deal to me, but the hassle from the app itself makes me not even want to try and finish the process. So that to me is the only real detriment to the device. Other than that I think it is a great quality speaker that competes with any of the other bluetooth speakers I've heard out in today's market. You can't go wrong with this one, but I hope they update and fix the bugs in the App soon, cause it hurts the experience!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Best speaker for everyone

    Posted
    MikeElectronicBuff
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    Easy Bluetooth connection, remember last device it was hooked up to if your like myself and have multiple Bluetooth devices. I've noticed my other devices tend to prioritize iOS over Android but this doesn't do that. Amazon Alexa is heavily integrated with the UE MegaBlast. If your a heavy user of Amazon services and product this is for you. If not as a Bluetooth speaker there's other options at this price point that will give you better physical controls, unless you prefer voice control for things like skip, previous track, volume. If you have smart home devices connected to Alexa you'll be able to control them thought this speaker. The only draw back I can find with this was the missing controls like the UE Mega Boom speaker. Touch controls are missing like placing your hand over the top to mute a song, tapping to skip a song. These sound allot better than the boom since this unit has bigger speakers than the other units. Water and dust proofing on all UE products are great, taken to parks, beaches, tailgating, pool parties I can say these speaker are 2 year old proof as well. Thrown in pools, buried under sand castle, tossed from slowly moving truck bed. While still looking new since the fabric used hasn't shown any wear or tear. Software is upgradeable, I foresee a long life with this speaker. Which brings me to battery life, 16 hours at mid level volume which is okay for this type of speaker. Overall I enjoy this speaker, being a heavily user of all things Amazon this is an easy integration of my Amazon ecosystem. Since voice control is getting better I prefer voice over tactile controls. The protections you get are better than most Bluetooth speaker on the market.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    missing some streaming services

    Posted
    bradcon
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    This is an all-around great speaker, but I can't give it five stars when it doesn't stream Pandora or Spotify. Yes, it still works fine as a bluetooth speaker, but the main reason for getting the WiFi-capable speaker is the ability to stream music without a phone. Sure, you need WiFi to use the Alexa integration, but to me that's secondary. Supposedly, other services will be added in the future, but at the time of this review, neither of my favorites would stream. Initial setup was a little janky. I downloaded the wrong app at first since there are multiple UE apps, but after connecting via bluetooth, my iPhone prompted me to download the correct one. I could have saved that initial search and incorrect download by connecting first. I also had issues connecting over my WiFi at work. It initially connected fine, but when I went through the immediate firmware upgrade, it couldn't reconnect because it said WEP was unsupported. I did the update over my phone's hotspot, then it was able to reconnect to my work WiFi. One nice thing about the 360 degree sound output is that if you don't like looking at the giant plus and minus symbols on the front of the speaker, you can just turn those toward the wall, and it still sounds great. I personally recommend getting the charging base, otherwise the charging port is awkward to get to if you want to leave it plugged in and charging.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic Sound, nice integration with Alexa

    Posted
    BGWolf
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    I’ve used multiple Bluetooth speakers in my years and I would say that the MEGABLAST rates right up there in the top. The most important feature to me off the bat is the music quality. I listen primarily to classic rock and heavy metal and the highs on the output were very crisp. The bass was very punchy and pronounced but I felt at times that the the low end wasn’t filling in on louder volumes (full disclosure, I tend to listen to music loud!) When I listened to acoustic songs, the crisp sound sounded beautiful and it was a very pleasurable experience. The unit structure itself is incredible solid. I like when electronics have a dense feel, the only thing I would say is that it actually packs some weight behind it! I also found the battery life to be phenomenal! The app itself is a little cumbersome in the flow of things while using an iPhone, and other apps didn’t stream out (like Instagram videos), but maybe there’s a little more tweaking I have to go through. This is the first time that Uve really used Alexa and I have to say I just might try it more and more! The microphone picked up my voice pretty easily (even while playing music at my high volunes) which was a huge plus! Overall I recommend anyone looking for a solid and rugged base, nice sounding music, and especially if you are hooked into Amazon’s Alexa!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Must have speaker!

    Posted
    dlowen
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    I like the idea of smart speakers but I have held off from getting one until this speaker was released. The problem with other smart speakers is that they just don't have as great of a sound as I would like out of a speaker. The UE megaboom with Alexa is one of the best speakers I have used so far. The sound quality is rich and loud. Even at the highest volume the sound is good amount of base and sounds crisp. The battery life, build quality, and water proof capability of this speaker sets it above other speakers. One thing I like about this speaker is that you can use it as a regular speaker if you do not want to use Alexa. The charging dock for the speaker is a must have because it allows you to set the speaker on top of it to charge and it is simple. The only downside to this speaker has to do with Alexa. When Alexa is being used on the speaker anyone can say "Alexa buy me...." and it automatically purchases the item under the account owners card and mailing address. This isn't the end of the world but if anyone else has access to your speaker they can order stuff either on accident or to prank you. Overall I highly recommend this speaker and it is one of my favorite Bluetooth speakers to date.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Sound Awesome

    Posted
    ElectronicJunkie
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    The Ultimate Ears is just that, Ultimate. I am overly please with 85% of the product. The sound is amazing for the size, I can fill the living room, or kitchen with beautiful and clear music. The size is perfect and the charging base is a must accessory, the design is perfect and usable. Now, Alexa, she is awesome, simple as that. I am a Google Home consumer, and Google Home is better in many ways, but Alexa, she is better in other ways. Alexa is smart and funny, she knows what I want to hear but is way to politically correct. Major issue is the device is not supported with Sirius XM accounts, this just blows my mind. Pros: Sound Alexa Integration Great Microphone Alexa Apps Home Control Helps keep kids happy with fun games Long Lasting Battery Great Looks Easy Setup Cons: Missing Home Control with Major Companies Sirius XM is not supported with this device, this is a big one for me All in all, a solid 4.5 stars and would be a great gift for Christmas.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Speaker-wise but bad functionality-wise

    Posted
    Adithy
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    The speaker has amazing sound quality with loud thumping base and clean vocals. Amazon Alexa is a good addition to a good speaker. Since, this is the first time ever Ultimate Ears tried to build a smart speaker, I think they skipped on many basic functionality: - alexa commands to control your playlist does not work when you play your local phone directory over bluetooth. - UE could have included the feature to connect to two devices at a time over bluetooth. - Bluetooth is the only way to connect to a device. No USB, No headphone jack to connect your phone via it. - the on-board device functionality is limited. You can only increase/decrease volume and know the battery level. I have returned my speaker as I would like to go for their second iteration of their Megaboom lineup as I feel they are going to fill a lot of gaps.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Potential

    Posted
    AKK1
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    EU Megablast is a very unique BT speaker with Alexa assistant. This device is WELL BUILT, heavy, and rugged. Pros: very clear sound huge battery power very good range for wifi and BT connectivity (perfect for backyard and garage work) water proof, pool proof, shock proof. Alexa assistant (need I say more?) Cons - as of now it supports only a limited music apps (no Spotify) - connecting to smart home devices is not so easy (had hard time connecting the megablast with my Phillips Hue home kits) - Bass on this device could be better for this price - the base that lets you dock the device while at home is an option at $40 and it comes in white color only. at the end I know for a fact that this device will last for years and survive a lot of parties/ camping, etc. the apps and Alexa support will hopefully get better with time.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    LOUD!

    Posted
    Jacktl5i
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    When selecting this particular line of UE be aware you will no longer be able to pair multiple speakers through the UE app as it’s “UE Boom” series. For now the speaker is strictly WiFi as well as Bluetooth capable. Takes a little playing around with the app to pair it with your home WiFi but once paired works fine with Alexa. Extremely portable, although TSA will make you take it out of your back pack at security checkpoints. Sound quality is amazing!! Battery lasts either very long (6-8hours, on low volume)... or very limited (1-2hours of play, on moderately high volume) no distortion and very clear sound and the bass bumps as well. Overall it’s an awesome portable and rugged/ waterproof speaker.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great sound with shome drawbacks

    Posted
    CastleColorado
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    This speaker has great sound and I have had not issues with connectivity. If you are looking to integrate this into your Amazon Alexa you will find some issues. If this were effect I would be able to add the speaker to a group and have it play with the others in my home. Unfortunately the integrated Alexa is unable to group in with my other speakers. On a positive I was not really purchasing this to add to my home sound and look forward to using this on our next camping trip.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice and loud, but needs some work with Alexa

    Posted
    wase4711
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    Set this speaker up today, and its very nice and loud; the packaging is terrible, and it was a nightmare to get out of the box, but, hey, who buys it for the packaging? Anyways, the Alexa interaction is nice, except for one major thing; you can NOT set it up to be part of a group with other Amazon/Echo devices, which was a big let down..hopefully there will be a firmware update to fix that, as I have sever other echo devices in my house, and its nice to play music and have all of them playing the music at the same time..hope they fix this one so it can be part of my "evverywhere" group!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    One rugged speaker

    Posted
    Cguardsman91
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    I purchased this speaker while deployed and hung it in the HUMV’s we drove, it got slammed around, dropped, kicked, stepped on and it survived with minimal superficial flaws! The sound is great and the battery life is astounding!!! Only downside I’ve noticed is that at times, the speaker won’t turn on–however, the resolve is to hold down all 4 buttons for 3-5 seconds and everything goes back to working flawlessly and having Alexa on it is just an added bonus in my book.

    I would recommend this to a friend