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.
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.