Ultimate Ears Megablast Review
MegaBlast me away because Ultimate Ears, you’ve done it again.
So I’m a serious audiophile. I own a disturbing number of headphones, headsets, earbuds, and speakers. I’m also a big fan of the whole smart home thing. So when UE announced the Blast and Megablast, I was pretty stoked that I could marry both of those things and live in a little cottage with them and our cybernetic nightmare children.
But as it turned out, they didn’t need me. The MegaBlast does fine all on its own.
Slightly more stationary Sound
First things first, the Ultimate Ears Megablast isn’t really a portable speaker. I mean, technically it is, but in reality you don’t want to be carting this thing around too much. Weight wise, it’s got some serious heft; I dropped it once and it scared the bejeezus out of me, my cats, and I assume everyone in a six mile radius. However, this is what you get when you put this kind of power into something. It’s a trade off, but one worth making.
In the end, ask yourself whether or not you’d rather how a speaker that can Blast everything Megaly, but isn’t as portable as its predecessors, or a slightly less intense model that can be brought to the beach or whatever.
… Please don’t bring speakers to the beach. Don’t be those people. Nobody likes those people.
Bathing with the Blast
I also took daily showers with the MegaBlast, and a bath. This may seem Ike an unorthodox way to test a speaker, but the waterproofing of the UE range is a big deal. It held up a-ok with the random spattering of water from the shower, but the big test was the bath, into which I dropped it (on purpose). When I fished it out, strange Italian women were still happily singing about wizards, so I’d call that a solid test. Tech specs say it’s IP67 waterproof and dustproof, so supposedly you can leave the thing underwater for about half an hour. But that just can’t be good for it, can it?
Well, I just left it in the sink for twenty minutes. And while my partner may now be convinced of my insanity, it does support the argument that the UE MegaBlast is waterproof, drop resistant, and will probably outlive us all. I’m definitely not as durable as this thing.
But look, you’re not here to read about some random guy bathing with a speaker… I hope. That’s pretty niche. So let’s have a chat about some other things.
The battery life is really goddam good. After a week of regular use, I decided I had to properly test it out. I did this by downloading rain sounds from Spotify and listening to that on repeat for a week. It still wouldn’t die. In fact, after the two weeks I’ve spent with the UE MegaBlast, it’s still on 20% charge. If I’ve gone about 15 hours without issue, you’re not gonna have a problem with this thing dying unexpectedly.
Sound wise, this is the best speaker I’ve heard in a home setting under the thousand dollar mark. The main shortfall of all these speakers is usually bass, but that is not a problem with the MegaBlast; I turned out up to 80% to see how loud it went, but decided to stop before my neighbours called noise control or a SWAT team, because DAMN is this loud. There was also no noticeable drop in sound quality from the Powerwolf playlist I was blasting, which is vital if you want to enjoy your werewolf themed black metal to it’s fullest.
Look, we’re not reviewing my taste in music here.
You’ve also got that great 360 degree sound, so no need to worry about where you’ve left it. The Megablast is always pointing right at you. Plus you can place it in the middle of a room and it’ll fill it with tunes nicely.
The Alexa functionality was a little spottier than I expected; being used to the Amazon Echo, I expected instant responses, which the Megablast just didn’t deliver. That being said, she usually got there in the end, maybe with a couple seconds more than you’d like. Not the end of the world, certainly, but worth noting.
It also still hates my accent, but to be fair this entire hemisphere has trouble understanding me sometimes. And yelling “Alexa, next!” at your speaker over the sound of a shower is even less cool than it sounds.
In the end, this is a piece of tech you could set your watch to. Aside from the voice activation being less than ideal, nothing else about the Megablast comes close to falling short. If you want a great sounding speaker that you can take long hot showers with, barely have to charge, and can yell at when you want to swap playlists, there’s really nothing else for it.