Anker has a historical past of constructing glorious price range wi-fi audio system. Whereas we weren’t fully impressed with the Anker SoundCore 2’s sound, we couldn’t be too mad because the speaker was so reasonably priced.
So what occurs in case you can stretch your price range a bit extra to $60 (£70, about AU$123)? For that worth, you get the Anker Soundcore Flare, a wonderful waterproof Bluetooth speaker that may stand toe-to-toe with the competitors.
After spending a number of weeks with the Anker Soundcore Flare, we got here away very impressed with what Anker achieved for the value: The Flare affords balanced sound, a tricky waterproof construct, a lightshow while you need, and a very good person expertise. For the cash, this little speaker is a steal. Right here’s why.
The design of the Anker Soundcore Flare mashes up with a number of the finest Bluetooth audio system in the marketplace. It has the form of the Bose SoundLink Revolve Mini, the fabric texture of the UE Wonderboom, and the sunshine present of the JBL Pulse 3.
Design-wise, the speaker is barely shorter than the Revolve Mini and taller than the UE Wonderboom making it transportable sufficient however not as simple to journey with because the Wonderboom or one thing just like the Miniring Mini.
Construct high quality is excellent and the Flare looks like it might probably put up with some abuse. Whereas the speaker feels rugged, the UE Wonderboom looks like you’ll be able to play American soccer with it, making it our selection for taking open air.
Talking of the outside, the Soundcore Flare is IPX7 rated, which suggests you’ll be able to dunk it and never fear about it, making it a wonderful speaker to take to the pool or seaside. There’s no loop for a carabiner just like the UE Wonderboom which makes the Flare barely extra cumbersome to hold round mountain climbing open air.
On high of the speaker you get controls for music playback, the RGB LED and a bass increase button. Urgent the sunshine button cycles by means of varied modes whereas a long-press will shut off the lights. On the again of the speaker you’ll discover the facility and pairing button together with a rubber flap defending the three.5mm jack and microUSB charging port.
The underside of the speaker incorporates a rugged rubber base and a light-weight ring. The LEDs might be set to pulse together with your music to create a light-weight present or might be switched to a soothing respiration mode. You may swap mild modes both by biking by means of them with the sunshine button up high or from the cell app. The app additionally permits you to alter the EQ and toggle the Bass Up characteristic.
Sound high quality of the Anker Soundcore Flare is general balanced however highs can sound a bit harsh at instances when the EQ is about to flat. Enabling the Bass Up characteristic helps bass response a tiny bit however the impact may be very refined. In truth, the entire EQ presets are fairly refined, shifting the tonal steadiness of the speaker barely.
That being stated, for its dimension the Anker Soundcore Flare can get loud and produces admirable bass. With the Bass Up characteristic enabled, we discover the Flare produces barely extra bass than the UE Wonderboom however each lack the visceral affect that bigger audio system present. Equally, highs are a bit uncontrolled and sound harsh at instances, particularly at excessive volumes. There’s slight distortion so those that prefer to hearken to music loudly will need to put money into a bigger speaker.
Battery life is rated at round 12 hours and can rely largely on quantity degree and the brightness of the LEDs. With the LEDs set to medium depth and listening at 50% quantity, we managed to get round eight hours. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to stretch the battery life by disabling the sunshine present fully.
The Soundcore Flare is an incredible worth within the sub-$100 wi-fi speaker phase. Rivals just like the UE Wonderboom give the Flare a run for its cash by way of construct high quality however we give the Flare the slight edge with sound high quality. Nevertheless, the Wonderboom is extra rugged and might be clipped to a bag.
For the cash, we are able to’t consider a speaker that provides a greater steadiness of options, construct high quality and sound. Whereas different audio system might sound higher, you’re going to must spent way more cash. Is it well worth the $20 premium over the Soundcore 2? Completely. We suggest the Flare for anybody searching for a wi-fi speaker that may do all of it with out breaking the financial institution. Extremely advisable.