Ultimate Ears Blast Smart Speaker 0

Ultimate Ears Blast Smart Speaker Review

The Package »

Introduction


Ultimate Ears was one of the first companies to build some great all-around Bluetooth speakers when they released their UE BOOM several years ago. Today, we will be taking a look at their newest and smartest speaker yet: the BLAST. The BLAST is a full-on smart speaker with WiFi connectivity as well as Bluetooth. Once hooked up to WLAN, it will handle Alexa requests to Amazon all by itself as opposed to the semi-smart speakers that just pass such requests on through your phone.

It is clear that UE intends the BLAST to take over where the BOOM left off. The size is very similar and so is the exterior. However, the BLAST has a sharper, slightly more refined look. The fabric and rubberized surfaces remain the same and so does the IP68 rating.

The BLAST is fully equipped to take on the Echo and Google Home (if they decide to add OK Google support). It sports a microphone array which employs beam forming algorithms for better voice pickup and definitely does some form of echo cancellation.

UE also released a MEGA BLAST, which is the same size as the UE MEGA BOOM, but with smart-speaker functionality. Both the MEGA and normal BLAST support the new charging station from UE, so you do not have to fiddle around with a mini-USB cable anymore. The combination makes the new generation of UE speakers great for people who want a neat solution that covers both smart speaker and traditional Bluetooth speaker tasks.



Specifications

  • Frequency range: 90 Hz–20 kHz
  • Maximum sound level: 90 dBC
  • Drivers: Two 35 mm dynamic drivers coupled with two 81 mm x 39 mm passive radiators
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a,b,g,b and Bluetooth A2DP
  • 12 hour battery life, lithium-ion
  • Amazon Alexa built in
  • 2-year limited warranty
The BLAST is a standalone Alexa-enabled smart speaker. In order to get Alexa to work you need to sign-in, and in order to sign-in you need the UE App, which unfortunately is limited to the US/UK, so if you are outside those countries, you need to side load the app. 20 kHz is probably the most unrealistic figure in their specifications sheet. Getting that kind of extension out of a 35 mm full range dynamic driver is unrealistic. Their 90 dBC claim is also strange as you would usually provide a weighted figure to make conveying how loud a device is subjectively easier.
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