Bluetooth speakers have been all the rage for a while now. Somehow I’ve missed the boat several times and have yet to buy one until recently. I purchased the Anker Soundcore from Amazon from ~$30 on sale. The reviews looked promising, with 790+ reviews averaging out to 4.6/5 stars.
The Anker Soundcore is a humble looking speaker, void of any bling. It comes in red, blue, and black. The entire speaker is coated with a rubbery plastic that could protect the unit if lightly splashed with liquid.
There are five buttons located on the top of the unit. They are responsible for Power, Volume Down, Play/Pause/Skip/Answer, Volume Up, and Bluetooth Pairing.
On the right side of the unit there is a charging indicator LED, a micro-usb charging port, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, and a microphone. The unit’s size is ~7in x 2in x 1.5in.
The Anker Soundcore’s pair of 3 watt speakers put out decent sound. The unit can get very loud, but starts to suffer from distorted sound at extremely loud volume. When kept at ~50-80% volume the unit performed nicely in the highs and lows, but washed out a bit in the mids. Some songs sounded great, especially electronic music; however, Coheed and Cambria’s ‘The Audience’ was muddied a little. I tried a few other songs in the Electronic, Rock, Rap, and Pop genres. Generally, most songs sounded great when played by the Anker Soundcore.
The unit uses Bluetooth version 4.0, and advertises a range 66 ft. I didn’t measure, but I was able to connect and play music the entire length of my house; I believe their claim, but it should be noted that this distance refers to line-of-sight. Like many wireless technologies, as soon as you start transmitting through walls quality and distance drop off. I wasn’t able to walk 10 ft away from the unit before it started to skip and pause, all because I had the audacity to leave it in a different room…
The Anker website touts the unit has 24 hours of playtime, when kept at 80% volume. I haven’t tested this personally, but some reviews I’ve read confirm it. Charging time is advertised as 5 hours.
Worth the on-sale price (~$30)? Absolutely! Worth $80? Probably not. The Anker Soundcore is an awesome piece of technology. It’s perfect for impromptu parties, beach trips, beer pong, or broken car stereos, but I’m not sure I’d pay more than $50 for it. I’m not sure I’d pay more than $50 for any Bluetooth speaker…
Am I impressed with it? Yes, I did not expect this quality for ~$30.
What impressed me? Since this is my first Bluetooth speaker, I guess the idea itself impresses me. The fact that I can just start playing music anywhere, annoying everyone around me, at any moment is pretty awesome! Anker made a solid product and packed a lot into a very tiny package. Seriously, look at it next to a V8 Can!
What could Anker improve on? Anker has always impressed me with their power/charging products. It would be cool if I could charge my phone by plugging it into the Soundcore… I’m really reaching for something. The mids and some lows are lacking, but that is sort of the nature of the beast. Larger speakers don’t suffer so much in that regard, but size is compromised.