Ultimate Ears, or better known as UE, makes some of the best-known Bluetooth speakers with the Boom 2 and MegaBoom. The cylinder speakers with the signature plus and minus volume buttons are hard to miss when you take a glance at them. They boast a soft fabric exterior with a waterproof design and offer impressive sound. But UE has found a way to improve them with the brand new Blast and MegaBlast speakers.
The Blast and MegaBlast are successors to the Boom 2 and MegaBoom, but those speakers will still stick around. The new Blast line offers key differences and improvements that aim to become your next Bluetooth speaker. The major difference between the new Blast line and the past Boom line is the addition of the Alexa assistant.
Using Alexa, you will be able to ask it commands to specific questions or control the speaker. You will be able to play, pause, rewind or skip tracks as well as increase or turn down the volume. It’s the same functions you’ll find in other speakers and accessories that already have Alexa.
UE created a new app that makes it super easy to set up Alexa and the Blast speakers. You will sign up with your Amazon account and set up the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other settings you want to tweak. After you finish the setup, you won’t need to use the app anymore. The Blast and MegaBlast will function on their own using cloud integration for updates.
Looking upon the Blast and MegaBlast, they are almost indiscernible from the Boom 2 and MegaBoom, but a few changes were made—most of them are inside. UE says the MegaBlast is 40-percent louder than the MegaBoom, and that’s because of a new acoustic architecture. Two new custom 25mm tweeters were added as well as new custom 35mm drivers.
The Blast has the same acoustic architecture as the Boom 2. Where it does improve upon its predecessor is with battery life, which can be as high as 12 hours on a single charge. The MegaBlast has a 16 hour battery life.
Just like the Boom line, the Blast line has the same IP67 water and dust resistant design. They can be submerged three feet underwater for 30 minutes and they’ll be fine. Both speakers will will charge via MicroUSB plug at the bottom that seals with a flap. It would have been nice of UE to jump on the USB-C bandwagon, but that can be forgiven because of new a product called the Power Up.
The Power Up is a charging dock for the Blast and MegaBlast that makes it super easy to charge. The small, circular base will house the speakers vertically and charge them while you listen to music. This eliminates the need to fumble around with the flap and wires. It will be sold as a separate accessory.
UE is also offering a free three-month subscription to Amazon Music with the purchase of the Blast and MegaBlast to take better advantage of Alexa’s skills. The offer will be valid through January 23, 2018.
The Blast and MegaBlast will come in six colors: Graphite, Blizzard, Blue Steel, Merlot, Mojito and Lemonade and will go on sale beginning October 26. They will be sold at Best Buy, Amazon, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and online through UE’s site.
The Blast will retail for $229.99, the MegaBlast for $299.99 and the Power Up charging dock will cost $39.99. Carrier stores that sell the Blast speakers will bundle the speaker and dock with a $10 discount.