CNET First Look
Ultimate Ears' Blast and Megablast speakers add Amazon Alexa voice controlUE's new portable speakers look a lot like the Boom and Megaboom, but they're now Wi-Fi- and Alexa-enabled.
[MUSIC] Ultimate Ears' new Blast and Megablast portable speakers are shape like its earlier Boom and Megaboom Bluetooth speakers but the new models add Wi-Fi connectivity and Amazon Alexa Voice Control. They respectively cost $230 and $300. And you can also purchase an optional Power Up charging base for an additional $40. Like with Amazon's Echo devices, to use Alexa, you have to be connected to wi-fi, or a mobile hotspot. You get access to the more than 25,000 skills available for Alexa, including the ability to control smart home products. That said, only Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn music services will be Alexa enabled at launch. UE expects to add voice control for Pandora and Dieser in the future, but there's no word yet on when the speakers will get voice control support for Spotify. However, you can stream any music service via bluetooth. The blast is very similar to the UE Boom 2, but UE says the megablast has been completely redesigned from the ground up. And is equipped with new drivers that deliver enhanced sound with a top volume that's 40% louder than the mega booms. Both new speakers are fully water proof and have a range of 330 feet on WiFi and 150 feet on blue tooth. Battery life for the smaller Blast is up to 12 hours and up to 16 hours for the larger MegaBlast. There's also new ultimate ears app which will allow you to update the speakers with new features over time. The speakers are set to ship at the end of October in six color options and will have full reviews in the coming weeks. I'm David Katzmaier for CNET.com. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]