UE Blast and Megablast speakers will add voice control for Spotify

The Alexa-enabled speakers will soon get some sorely needed updates.

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Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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The UE Megablast (left) and Blast speakers.

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Some key features currently missing from Ultimate Ears' Blast and Megablast smart speakers will be added to them soon via a free firmware update.

The company has announced that voice control for Spotify, stereo pairing and "party mode" speaker grouping will soon be coming to the Alexa-powered smart speakers soon.

Watch this: Ultimate Ears' Blast and Megablast speakers add Amazon Alexa voice control

The key features on deck:

  • Spotify voice control: This feature is on Echo speakers by default, but manufacturers need to manually add it to third-party Alexa-powered speakers. 
  • Spotify Connect: One-touch playback from the Spotify app is also coming to the Blast and Megablast. (Read: Spotify Connect: What it is and how it works)
  • Stereo pairing: If you have two Blast or Megablast speakers, you can have them serve as the left/right channels for true stereo. 
  • "Party mode:" This feature lets you group several Blast or Megablast speakers into zones for playback of content throughout the house.
  • Updates to the UE app, including equailzer controls.

The stereo and "party mode" features are already available in the Blast and Megablast's predecessors, the Boom 2 and the Megaboom -- but those models don't have Alexa support. 

UE says the Spotify features are "coming soon," with the grouping features "expected to be available later this year." The app improvements are said to be coming in May.

UE Blast: Read the CNET review

UE Megablast: Read the CNET review