Logitech subsidiary Ultimate Ears makes some of the most popular portable Bluetooth speakers, and they’re popular for good reason. The company’s Boom, Megaboom, and Roll speakers offer surprisingly good sound quality in relatively compact packages.
I’ve been using a UE Mini Boom for years, and haven’t felt the need to upgrade, although I use it in the kitchen quite a bit, so one of these years I’ll probably drop it in the sink and replace it with a newer waterproof model.
Anyway, UE is expanding its lineup with two new speakers. The UE Blat and Megablast look a lot like the company’s Boom speakers… but there are a few minor differences and one big one: the new speakers support Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
The new speakers have a six-microphone array to pick up your voice from across the room, allowing you to ask the speakers questions, use your voice to control music playback, or interact with third-party Alexa Skills.
UE says the new Megablast is also 40 percent louder than the Megaboom speaker. And the new speakers support WiFi and Bluetooth, with a WiFi range of up to 330 feet and Bluetooth range of up to 150 feet, letting you keep the music playing while you move.
There is one down side to the new features: shorter battery life. Here’s how much run time you should get from each of UE’s premium speakers:
- Boom: 15 hours
- Blast: 12 hours
- Megaboom: 16 hours
- Megablast: 20 hours
Both new speakers are IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. You can drop them in up to 3 feet of water and leave them there for 30 minutes and the speakers should work just fine when you pull them out of the tub, pool, or toilet.