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Last year when I first reviewed the UE Megablast I didn’t like it at all. But then when I resisted the Megablast 8 months later thanks to some software updates and new features, I liked it a little more even though it still had its problems. But now that we have the Boom 3 and Megaboom 3… I actually really like both of these speakers. I feel the Megaboom 3 is so good, it can actually keep up with the big boys like the Sony XB41 and JBL Xtreme 2.
Now even though the Megablast and Megaboom 3 look very similar to one another there are some key technical and physical differences that we’ll dive into deeper later on in the video. The Megablast is an Alexa Enabled speaker that retails for $250. Where as the Megaboom 3 and Boom 3 are standard speakers that retail for 200 and 150 dollars respectively. If you want to pick either of these Speakers up I’ll have links in the description below, and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I highly suggest you check them out cause you never know when these speakers might go on sale so you’ll might get lucky. And also check out the merch shelf down below.
First lets go over the basic stuff… just like most other premium speakers out there both the Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 have a fabric body with soft touch end caps that make them very durable and both of these speakers are also rocking IP67 certifications which means they’re both dust and water proof. And for those wondering, yes these speakers do float. On top of both of these speakers you have your power button, bluetooth button, and this new quote un quote Magic Button… which is just a multifunction button that has been sorely lacking on the Megablast. On the megablast, even though there is a huge button in the middle, you can only use this button to call Alexa. And in order to control your music playback on the megablast you either have to use Alexa voice commands that only work on select streaming services or you have to control your music directly from your phone. And like I’ve said before, I don’t care how smart your smart speaker is, sometimes its just easier to have physical controls on your speaker to do basic things. So thats why I’m so happy the Megaboom 3 finally has this multifunction button, either you or your friend can physical play or pause your music, and double tap to skip a track directly from the speaker. But you cant go back a track.
Another thing that I hated about the megablast was the way you had to charge it. Now all three of these speakers charge via a micro USB port and I do feel the Boom 3 and Meagboom 3 should have had come included with a USB C port instead. But with the megablast, since the micro USB port is on the bottom you have to stand it upside down to charge it. Now obviously this isn’t going to affect your music in anyway but I just find it to be some very sloppy designing, almost as bad as having to charge apple’s Magic Mouse upside down. But since the ports on the Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 stick out the back these speakers can stand up right when you charge them. You may also have noticed that these speakers have their power up charging dock contact points built into the bottom where as with the Megablast you would have to switch out its quarter inch D-ring. Now The power up charging dock is an additional $40 accessory and by no means do you have to get it. But it does play nice with both the Megablast and Megaboom 3 and if you get it you really never have to remember to charge your speaker if you just place it on the dock when you’re done using it. Its kind of like wireless charging on a phone, you don’t need it… but it does make charging your device more passive.
But regardless the Boom 3 has an advertised battery life of 15 hours and with the volume set at 80% this speaker managed to average 7 hours of playback time… where as the larger Megaboom 3 has an advertised battery life of 20 hours but with its volume set to 80% this speaker managed to average 9 hours of playback time. Where as the bigger and heavier Megablast has an advertised battery life of just 16 hours.
Regarding bluetooth, just as you’d expect these speakers have stable connections that don’t cut out. But more importantly these speakers can be connected to 2 devices at the same time and if you’re an iPhone user… they have very little latency so they are good for watching youtube videos on your phone.
Now before we go over speaker set ups, there is one major hardware difference I want to point out between the Megaboom 3 and the outgoing Megaboom for the audiophiles out there. UE’s newer speakers like the Megaboom 3, Boom 3, and Megablast don’t have 3.5 millimeter audio jacks. Personally I don’t really care cause I never use the audio jack on any of my speakers these days. But I can see why some people would really hate this. From an audio quality stand point, bluetooth just doesn’t sound as good as having a wired connection. Or sometimes you just want to have a wired connection cause it easier than having to go through the bluetooth set up process. I don’t mind if smaller single transducer speakers like the Bose Soundlink micro don’t come with an audio jack, but I think larger speakers like these should still have it.
But when it comes to speaker set ups, the boom 3 and Megaboom 3 are almost identical. Both the boom 3 and Megaboom 3 have 2 inch diameter transducers shooting out the sides and both of these speakers have dual passive radiators. But the passive radiators on the Megaboom 3 are slightly larger than the ones on the Boom 3. Regarding the Megablast, it also has dual transducers and dual passive radiators, but it also has a pair of tweeters that just aren’t present on the Megaboom 3. Now we’re about to jump into the sound test. Since all three of these UE speakers sound identical, to make things more interesting I’m also going to be including the Sony XB41 with extra bass mode turned on, and the JBL Xtreme2. And also… all three of these UE speakers are running the “the Standard” EQ setting.
In general, the new boom 3 and Megaboom 3 sound very good. They both have good clarity, good instrument separation, and they don’t suffer from distortion at higher volumes. But the biggest difference between the Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 is going to be the bass. Since the Megaboom 3 has larger passive radiators, you feel the bass more so its more fun to listen to music with this speaker than this one.
But objectively, the megablast still sounds a little better than the Megaboom 3. Do to its tweeters this speaker is able to separate the mids and highs a little better. But unless you listen to these speakers back to back and looking for these nuanced differences you’re really not going to notice.
But when it comes to comparing the sound quality on Megaboom 3 to the Sony XB41 and JBL Xtreme2… I can confidently say the Megaboom 3 outperforms the Sony XB41. Compared to these other speakers, the Sony XB41 sounds pretty muffled. And even though the Megaboom 3 is smaller than the XB41, it still has as much if not more bass than the XB41. But when it comes to comparing the Megaboom 3 to the JBL Xtreme2… the Xtreme2 is still the better sounding speaker. Hardware wise the Xtreme2 is rocking a dual transducer, dual tweeter, and dual passive radiator set up. So besides having more hardware… the JBL Xtreme2 still has deeper punchier bass, its instrument separation is better and the sound stage is wider. But since I feel the Megaboom 3’s sound quality is up there with the Xtreme2, it does make the Megaboom 3 a compelling option for some people cause youre getting near JBL Xtreme2 sound quality from a speaker that costs less and takes a fraction of the desk or shelf area and thats why I like it so much.
But the Megaboom 3 does take a hit when it comes to its max volume compared to these other speakers. Now the Megaboom 3 obviously get a little louder than the smaller boom 3. And both of these speakers have no problem filling a large room with music, but at max volume the Megaboom 3 lives in the 105 decibel range and struggles to break through its 110 ceiling. Where as the Megablast, XB41, and Xtreme2 have no problem breaking that 110 ceiling and getting all the way up to 120 decibels. So what I’m saying is, the Megaboom 3 sounds good and gets loud enough, but its not as loud as these other speakers. But for its size I feel it does get loud enough, unlike the LG PK7 I reviewed a few months ago. That speaker was a joke.
But another important thing to keep in mind about UE speakers, is that even though UE markets them as 360 degree speakers… they’re really not. They’re just shooting their music out of either sides. If youre using these speakers indoors where the music can bounce off of walls they’re going to perform like 360 degree speakers, but if you use them out doors then they are going to have major dead zones on the front and rear of the speaker. So even though these wouldn’t be my first choice for an outdoors speaker, indoors they’re great.
But now lets talk about UE’s app cause its very useful and it has a lot to offer. First off, you can remotely power on or power off your Megaboom 3. You can also go in and select from a few EQ settings or make your own. Personally I just stick to the standard one, but you can easily make either of these speakers sound how ever you want for the type of music you listen to. Also if you're going to pair multiple speakers together you just have to go into the party up tab a drag the other speakers up. You don’t have to go through any pairing process, if they’re near by they’ll show up. Just keep in mind you can only pair Boom’s, Boom 2’s, and megaboom’s together, and nothing else. And finally theres block party, where you can have up to 3 devices connected to the Megaboom 3 and you can select from of one the three devices to play music. And when you and your friends are done hanging out you can turn off block party and disconnect them from your speaker, or you can even kick them off if you want.
But over all, I am a fan of the new UE Boom 3 and Megaboom 3. The majority of the grips that I’ve had with the Megablast have finally been fixed with these new speakers. Sure I do wish both the Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 had USB C charging and I would at least like the option to be able to have a wired connection with these speakers… but everything else is pretty good. They’re very good sounding indoor speakers that have a very small foot print but have no problem filling a room with music and I feel they’re adequately priced. They’re app is more useful than most other apps and since they have a good microphone for phone calls and low latency for watching videos there really isn’t much to complain about this time around. Even though the Megablast sounds slightly better than the Megaboom 3… unless youre a hardcore Alexa and you just need voice commands and have no interest in pairing multiple UE speakers together, I think the majority of people are going to be better off just going with the Megaboom 3.