Amazon Reports Biggest Holiday Season Ever

Adjust Comment Print

The smaller variant, the Ultimate Ears Blast, costs £200.

Echo Dot was the top-selling device in Amazon's 13 book stores. That lineup includes Amazon's Echo speakers and Fire TV streaming device, among other gizmos.

The Megablast is built like a tank, and with its stunning design it looks handsome. We've put together a great list of questions you can ask to get amusing responses.

The cylindrical speaker has a hard rubber coating wrapped around the top, bottom and along one of the sides, too, and this protects the speaker from drops. Add in the MySomm skill and it turns Alexa into Wine Gal, your personal wine sommelier that can give you wine recommendations for your meals. Along the top of the Show are a row of buttons.

The at-a-glance information is handy, particularly if you have your calendar hooked up to your Alexa account, and formatted to be readable from across the room. This is a handy accessory if you don't want any trailing wires sticking out of the speaker.

This year you can also have Santa curate your tunes. I'm a big fan of the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom due to its multi-purpose design and I'm glad to see it return in the Megablast. Amazon has included what it calls "beam-forming" technology in the Amazon Echo, enabling the device to hear input from any conceivable direction. It will communicate directly with Amazon Music for subscribed members in order to source music, with other sources such as Spotify also available. Pandora and Deezer are to follow soon.

Device control is one of the biggest issues with a smart home.

The e-Commerce giant also labeled 2017 a record holiday shopping season for Amazon Devices. Disappointingly, too, there's no support for Bluetooth aptX nor a 3.5mm headphone jack present.

The Amazon Alexa integration on the Megablast, however, is second to none. As with most smart speakers, there is a limit to this and you'll either need to raise your voice or lower the volume to get the speaker to pick up voice commands when the music is playing loudly.

If I had to take a punt on where the future of smart home control lies, I'd have to point to Amazon. Open the app and select Settings from the left hand panel and then "set up a new device". Or maybe you already have one and you're getting a little exhausted just streaming endless hours of holiday music.

The Megablast shares the same sound signature as other Ultimate Ears speakers. Apple didn't provide a detailed explanation as to why, only noting that it needs "a little more time before it's ready".

That's not all, though. It works surprisingly well, with a good video from the front-facing camera and clear audio through the speakers. Sure, this takes some organisation at the back end, sorting things into rooms and, potentially, setting a primary light, but it would ultimately make the smart home easier to use. If I've to compare the AI capabilities with competition, the Alexa does understand Indian accents much better than Siri.

The general consensus of opinion on the Amazon Echo is that it is able to detect speech with incredible accuracy. With its stylish design, robust build quality and bright colours, Ultimate Ears has created a great-looking speaker as well.

The screen also enables one of the things that I've been longing for ever since installing smart cameras in my home.

Comments