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The UE Megablast is the newest big name speaker on the market right now. What makes this speaker so special is its Alexa integration and 360 degree sound. But I thought it would be a good idea to compare it to another popular 360 degree speaker, the Bose sound link revolve plus and the Xtremely popular… JBL Xtreme don’t forget to like comment and subscribe and you can watch some of my other videos here after you’re done watching this video.
Now remember, this isn’t a full review on either of these speakers, I’m just trying to point out the most important difference between them so I can help you with your purchase decision. One of the main reasons I want to compare these 3 speakers is because of price. They all retail for $300 but they’re all drastically different from another. The UE Megablast is the most advanced, the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus is the most elegant, and the JBL Xtreme is the most versatile. And You can actually get the JBL Xtreme for as low as $212 on Amazon right now. If you want to pick either of these speakers up I’ll have links in the description below and I’ll keep them updated so you can get the best deal possible.
First up lets go over design. The Bose sound link revolve plus is the smallest and most elegant speaker in this line up. The majority of the body is made up of metal with milled holes and there are soft touch rubber end caps on both the top and bottom. Theres also a carrying handle which makes taking this speaker with you on the go super easy. This speaker screams classy. The JBL Xtreme and UE Megablast are pretty similar. They both have nylon weave bodies and soft touch plastic end caps. But the JBL Xtreme is the largest speaker in this line up and has exposed passive radiators on each side. You can also either lay it flat or stand it on its side. And if you plan on taking this speaker with your somewhere you can quickly attach a shoulder strap to it. Where as the UE Megablast dosnt have any kind of handle on it so carrying it around can be a little awkward at times. You can also only stand it up straight. But it is a good looking speaker none the less. I just find it a little funny if you’re going to charge the megablast you essentially have to stand it upside-down.
Now, I want to talk about ports and buttons cause I think its super important for a $300 speaker. The Bose sound link revolve plus has a full set of very tactile buttons on the top of the speaker. You can manually control your music playback, adjust your volume, switch from 3 audio sources, (Aux jack, micro USB, or bluetooth), and if you press and hold the multipurpose button you can activate your voice assistant of choice. And on the back you’ll find a micro USB port for charging and an aux jack if you want to use a wired connection. The JBL Xtreme has two USB ports on the back so you can charge your own devices, also has an aux jack and uses an AC in port for charging. And on top you also have a full set of buttons to control your music playback and activate your voice assistant. Where as the UE Megablast has gotten rid of its Aux jack, you cant use the micro USB port as a wired connection like the Bose and as a result you can only use a bluetooth connection on the Megablast. Which wouldn’t have been as big as a problem if it at least had AptxHD audio. The UE Megablast also only has a volume up and volume down button on the front and a power button and bluetooth button on the top. If you want to control your music playback on the Megablast without using your phone you have to do it by telling alexa. But like I said in my initial review, the Alexa voice commands will only work if you’re using a supported streaming service and if the speaker itself is connected to wifi. So if the megablast isn’t connected to wifi or if you’re streaming music from an unsupported streaming service or a different source then the Alexa voice commands wont work you can only control your music playback directly from your phone.
And I just feel the megablast is over reliant on Alexa, if you’re not using it under the ideal conditions or streaming from a supported service then not having a physical play pulse button is very annoying. There are just some times where being able to pause or skip a track directly from the speaker is the easiest method. And I just don’t understand why UE took away the tap functionally that the megaboom had. If you tapped once it’ll pause your music and if you double tapped it would skip a track.
UE’s megablast over reliance on Alexa only make it suitable for people who are heavily invested in the amazon echo system. When it comes to connectivity the UE Megablast also drops the ball, it can only be connected to one device at a time. Where as both the Bose and JBL can be connected to 2 devices at a time. So switching from one device to another is super easy and convenient. But when it comes to ruggedness the UE Megablast is the toughest of the group. The Megablast carries an IP 67 rating which means its both water and dust proof, where as the Bose sound link revolve plus is only IPX 4 certified which means it can get a little wet and you shouldn’t drop it in water. And the JBL Xtreme is just water resistant, so again a little water wont do it any harm but still don’t submerge it or let it get too wet.
When it comes to battery life all three of these speakers are pretty neck and neck. Both the Bose and megablast advertise a battery life of 16 hours and the JBL Xtreme advertises a battery life of 15 hours. But when it comes to real world performance the UE mageblast averages about 10 hours of playback time even with Alexa turned off. Where as the Bose Soundlink revolve plus averages 13 hours of playback time at a moderate volume and the JBL Xtreme over performs with an average battery life of 16 hours.
Now when it comes to sound quality all three of these speakers sound very different. Remember the UE megablast and Bose Soundlink revolve plus are 360 degree speakers and the JBL Xtreme only shoots sound out the front.
Now like I said in my initial review, the UE megablast has a good amount of bass but has some weak lows and mids and some ear piercing highs. Where as the Bose has much more tamed highs, a more even sound signature, and has some better performing lows but not as much thumping bass. But the Bose really likes to push the mids and vocals forward which some people like and others don’t.
the highs on the JBL are little more present than the the Bose but not as harsh as the megablast. But in JBL fashion, the Xtreme does have a lot of treble. The mids and vocals aren’t as emphasized like on the Bose but I feel the lows on the Xtreme are almost as good as the Bose and I feel the Xtreme has almost as much bass as the Megablast. The Xtreme is almost like a compromise between these two speakers.
And at max volume all three of these speakers get just as loud. They all hover around the low to mid 80 decibel range. But at max volume I feel the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus is the best sounding in this group. Cause at max volume the UE megablast has a lot of roll off from the bass and the highs constantly pierce your ears. And when the JBL Xtreme is at max volume its really just pushing out a whole bunch of treble.
And theres one more thing I want to point out about each of these speakers, and thats paring them together to other speakers. For starters, if you already have other UE speakers and you were planning on pairing the Megablast to them, you cant. You cant even pair the Megablast to its smaller brother the Blast as of right now which is mind boggling these days. Its a pretty standard feature. If you plan on getting the JBL Xtreme, it can only pair to older JBL speakers using JBL connect and not JBL Connect plus. So the JBL Xtreme cant pair to newer JBL speakers like the JBL Flip 4, JBL pulse 3, JBL boombox, or any future JBL speakers that might get announced at CES 2018. But the Bose Soundlink Revolve plus can pair to most current Bose speakers.
So in conclusion, I feel the UE Megablast falls short in a few key areas. First off if you aren’t heavily invested in the Amazon eco system then the Megablast wont work to its fullest capacity. The lack of basic functions like pairing it to other speakers, not having the option of using a wired connection, and not having a manual way to control your music playback is a major inconvenience. And when it comes to sound quality, the Megablast is the worst sounding speaker in this group. Like I said in my initial review, the Megablast’s over reliance on Alexa is more of a handicap than anything else. The Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus is a great option if you want something elegant and if you want something for easy listening. I really don’t have complaints about the Revolve Plus, its great at home speaker. But I’m still a really big fan of the JBL Xtreme. Its a very versatile speaker that looks good at home and if you’re going to take it with you somewhere the shoulder strap really comes in handy. The sound quality could use some improvement but the Xtreme is still a great option even after being on the market for more than 2 years now. If you decide to get the JBL Xtreme its an all around good speaker, but I’m willing to bet there might be a JBL Xtreme 2 announced at CES 2018.