Ultimate Ears  - Ultimate Ears Megablast

Ultimate Ears

UE Megablast: a portable adventurer enclosure with Alexa assistant

Aprox. 160€

See specifications

Well-known in the world of portable speakers, Ultimate Ears is the first manufacturer to launch two portable nomad speakers with the Alexa intelligent voice assistant. After the Blast, we are testing the Megablast (launched at € 300), which promises us a foolproof resistance as well as an "ultra powerful 360 ° sound".

Positive points

A balanced frequency response in front of the speaker.

Very powerful, low distortion.

Nice stereo broadcast.

Very neat and robust construction.

Bad points

Directive rendering, not the most detailed.

No pause / play and navigation between tracks, no hands-free kit.

Very limited advantage of Wi-Fi (no multiroom, DLNA, etc.), no multipoint via Bluetooth, no 3.5 mm mini-jack input.

Our review

Speech Recognition

Ultimate Ears does not give precise information on the number and positioning of the microphone (s) dedicated to capturing (only for Alexa, no hands-free kit use possible). In any case, voice recognition is correctly ensured, but under certain conditions.

In a quiet environment, it is easy to call Alexa and interact with her, even when you are not in front of the speaker (the front is located at the level of the large volume buttons) or when we are in an adjacent room. You still have to speak clearly and out loud to be fully understood, but there is no need to force too much. It spoils quickly in a noisier room (conversation in the same room, background music played by another speaker). It is then necessary to approach the enclosure and speak in its direction to activate the assistant and to make clear its request. In extreme cases, especially when the Megablast itself broadcasts music at a comfortable volume (volume at more than 50%, to sound a living room of about 15/20 m², for example), you have to speak really loud, in face and very close to the enclosure (less than 2 meters) to invoke Alexa. Beyond that, it is better to activate the assistant directly via the dedicated button to cut the music and send your request if you want to avoid yelling.

Speech Recognition


The Megablast hosts two 25 mm tweeters, two 55 mm woofers seconded by two passive 85 x 50 mm radiators. It is a very interesting performance / size ratio that is offered to us.

We particularly appreciate the general balance of the sound rendering as well as the power that the speaker is capable of developing. Each frequency band is precisely represented and none of them really takes precedence over another. Contrary to what we noticed on the Megaboom, the bass is wiser here. Lovers of predominant bass will certainly find them too discreet, although their extension is very correct given the size of the speaker. It must be recognized that the sensation of impact does not really jump to the ears, but the restitution of the first part of the spectrum is more harmonious and the mask effects are more discreet. However, the bass (like the rest of the spectrum for that matter) is not very detailed. This is felt immediately on the songs more complex to reproduce (many sources, rich in harmonics or with very close attacks). The readability takes a hit in these cases, and it is better to stay at a relatively wise level of listening to distinguish all the elements. Something to say the least funny: the Megablast is experiencing particular difficulties in the face of battery "blasts". The mediums are well defined, the voices perfectly intelligible and clear, the timbre well respected. Again, the lack of detail is felt on the more demanding songs.

It is important to specify that, as on its cousin Megaboom 3, the sound reproduction proposed by the Megablast is not omnidirectional. The manufacturer has in fact placed its speakers at 90 ° and 180 ° from the speaker with stereo broadcasting (no rocking in mono is made in horizontal position). Thus, we feel much more treble when we stand on the left or right of the speaker, and less in front. If you place the speaker in the middle of the room, we will not have the same listening experience depending on your position. However, when you sit well in front of the speaker and it is in a vertical position, you get a very diffuse sound and a nice stereo width, even if it is extremely fuzzy.

The Megablast is very powerful. It can rise to particularly high sound pressure levels, which can even be difficult to bear nearby (although our measurements are normalized to 85 dB SPL at 1 kHz / 1 m, we were able to climb to 94 dB SPL in our lab). The distortion is well managed when you stay at reasonable levels, sufficient to add sound to a 20 m² living room for a party, for example. Beyond that, the signal gradually loses precision and the dynamics are more and more crushed (certainly due to a compression algorithm responsible for limiting distortion).



The Megablast is the first portable backpacking speaker launched on the market, and we see that Ultimate Ears is satisfied with the essentials. The integration of Wi-Fi in the enclosure is only of interest to Alexa (very few connected functionalities are offered) and there is only one other possibility of connection (the Bluetooth connection to a single apparatus). However, we must salute the efforts made to offer a great listening experience. The concept is therefore interesting, it is up to you to see, depending on your usage, whether it justifies such an investment. In any case, you will find alternatives that are at least as interesting, whether they are adventurous speakers without an assistant or less resistant speakers with an assistant.