UE Takes on JBL With Alexa Powered ‘BLAST’ & ‘MEGABLAST’
Just days after the launch of JBL’s new Link 300 smart speaker, Logitech owned Ultimate Ears (UE) has unveiled its new Alexa-powered ‘BLAST’ and ‘MEGABLAST’ speakers – like its rival, UE claims the later is its “most powerful speaker” yet.
The new Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST (A$379) and BLAST (A$279) offer 360-degree sound with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth integration, and are set to land in Australian on May 8th.
Both speakers are available in six colours; Graphite (Black), Blizzard (White), Blue Steel, Merlot (Red), Mojito (Green) and Lemonade (Yellow) (local availability may differ).
Unlike many of its competitors, UE has opted to integrate Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, in lieu of Google Assistant.
Taking on JBL’s new Link 300, UE’s MEGABLAST claims to be its “loudest, most powerful and best sounding speaker” yet, courtesy of “custom drivers”.
Presented as a portable battery-powered speaker, the MEGABLAST features sound pressure of 93 dBC, and claims to be 40% louder than the predecessing UE MEGABOOM, despite a slimmer build. The BLAST boasts 90dBC.
As a result of “meticulous engineering” UE claims the MEGABLAST features a more powerful mid-range, deeper bass, and clearer vocals.
Both the UE MEGABLAST and BLAST have Wi-Fi integration – with a range up to 100m – complimenting its 45m Bluetooth range.
Marketed as “virtually indestructible” portable speakers, the BLAST features a 12 hour battery life, and the MEGABLAST up to 16 hours.With built-in Alexa smarts, both smart speakers have voice control capability, allowing consumers to adjust volume, control their smart home appliances, requests songs and more.
Voice control music streaming is available via Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio and TuneIn, with more services said to be coming soon.
Ultimate Ears General Manager, Charlotte Johs, affirms the MEGABLAST is the “best sounding portable smart speaker” on today’s market, suited for both indoor and outdoor use:
“With MEGABLAST and BLAST, we wanted to take the mobile music experience to the next level with this new range, adding Wi-Fi and far-field voice recognition with Amazon Alexa”
“We turned it all the way up with MEGABLAST; we believe it is the best sounding portable smart speaker available today, and with its sleek, waterproof design, it will look at home with any interior, or wherever you take your music, from kitchen to backyard, beach to mountain.”
Amazon Alexa Vice President, Steve Rabuchin, commends the speakers’ ability to take Alexa outdoors:
“We’re excited that these devices will bring great-sounding music, durability, portability and hands-free access to Alexa to more customers, even outside of their homes’.
Alongside its new smart speakers, Ultimate Ears has also launched its new POWER UP charging dock.
POWER UP (A$49.95) claims to make charging the speakers easier. The device provides Wi-Fi music playback and Alexa voice control when charging.
Like its predecessors both the BLAST and MEGABLAST are dustproof and waterproof with a IP67 rating.
Both products work with Ultimate Ears’ app, which offers control of additional settings and features.
UE states a “new grouping experience” for its Wi-Fi smart speaker range, with improved connection reliability will roll out later this year.
With the new grouping feature, consumers can connect up to eight MEGABLAST and BLAST speakers, with stereo mode supported for groups of two speakers (on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi).
Further information is information on Ultimate Ears’ website. SmartHouse will publish a full product review sometime soon.