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Apple HomePod (2018)
Ultimate Ears Blast (2017)
See Top Ranked Smart Speakers

Apple HomePod (2018) vs Ultimate Ears Blast (2017)

Analysis:

The Apple HomePod (2018) is a great Smart Speaker for its $299 asking price.

The Ultimate Ears Blast (2017), however, while a reasonable product for $86, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Smart Speakers in the $85 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Apple HomePod (2018) has done great in quite a few roundups from some of the most highly trusted sources available, such as CNET, Wirecutter (NYTimes), and PCmag, which perform high-quality in-depth testing. It got awarded the "Best for Apple fans" title by CNET, "A thrilling speaker, but not for everyone" by Wirecutter (NYTimes), and "Best for Apple-centric Audiophiles" by PCmag in their respective roundups. Earning that much praise from such respected sources is undoubtedly an impressive accomplishment.

Moving on to the Ultimate Ears Blast (2017): it was unable to reach the very top of any roundups from sources that conduct reliable and unbiased testing. Nonetheless, it still managed to impress reviewers from a number of such sites, like What Hi-Fi?, Expert Reviews, TrustedReviews, PCmag, CNET, and Techradar, enough for them to include them on those lists.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Smart Speakers, CNET preferred the Apple HomePod (2018), whereas reviewers at Expert Reviews, TrustedReviews, Digitaltrends, and PCmag liked the Ultimate Ears Blast (2017) better. What Hi-Fi? and Techradar gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Apple HomePod (2018) rating came from What Hi-Fi?, whereas the Ultimate Ears Blast (2017) most impressed reviewers at What Hi-Fi?; they earned scores of 10 and 10, respectively.

Lastly, in order to better compare them to the rest of their competition, we averaged out their review scores. The Ultimate Ears Blast (2017) managed to get 8.4 out of 10 - considerably better than the 7.4 review average of Smart Speakers in general - whereas the Apple HomePod (2018) earned 7.4 points.

It should be said that doing a direct Apple HomePod (2018) vs. Ultimate Ears Blast (2017) comparison might not be entirely fair due to the difference in their prices - some sources don't put much weight on value for money and thus tend to give better review scores to more expensive products.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
SoundGuys
CNET
PCmag
Tom's Guide
powermoves.blog
Gear Patrol
What Hi-Fi?
hardwarezone.com.sg
Techradar
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple HomePod (2018)
$299
Ultimate Ears Blast (2017)
$86
Supports Alexa
No
Yes
Supports Google Assistant
No
No
Supports Siri
Yes
No
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Apple HomePod Review: It Only Sounds Great” 
Last updated: 4 Jun 2019
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best sound overall
in “Best smart speakers of 2020: Nest Mini, Echo Dot, and Homepod compared” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Apple-centric Audiophiles
in “The Best Smart Speakers for 2020” 
Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.3 out of 10
in “Best Apple AirPlay Speakers” 
Last updated: a month ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 5
in “The best smart home hubs of 2020” 
Last updated: 19 days ago
Tech Advisor
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “Best smart speakers 2020” 
Last updated: 13 Aug 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #8 out of 9
in “Best AirPlay speakers: the best Apple-friendly wireless speakers in 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Jan 2020
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #9 out of 12
in “Best smart speakers 2020: Smarten up your home” 
Last updated: 1 Jul 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #12 out of 12
in “The Best Smart Speakers of 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best HomeKit-Compatible Smart-Home Devices” 
Last updated: 20 Dec 2019
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Apple fans
in “Best Wi-Fi speakers of 2020: Apple, Sonos, Polk and Ikea” 
Last updated: 1 Mar 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best smart speaker 2020: The top smart speakers you can buy in the UK” 
Last updated: 6 Jul 2020
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Smart Speakers” 
Last updated: 10 hours ago
Gear Patrol
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Smart Home Gifts of 2018” 
Last updated: 13 Dec 2018
Gear Patrol
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Home Speakers to Gift” 
Last updated: 5 Dec 2018
Recommended by trusted experts
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best smart speaker 2020: The top smart speakers you can buy in the UK” 
Last updated: 6 Jul 2020

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