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The Anker SoundCore Bluetooth speaker punches far above its price

Great sound at an incredible price. This is the Anker SoundCore, and it rocks.

Portable Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen, but that doesn't mean they're all worth your money. You've got expensive options like the Bose Soundlink Mini which carry a legendary brand and great sound to go with it.

You've also got a ridiculous amount of much cheaper options. One of those is the Anker SoundCore (opens in new tab), a Bluetooth speaker I picked up recently and have been really impressed with. And it costs just $36.

It's not much to look at, though you can go for something a little brighter like blue or red if the regular, ordinary matte black one isn't wild enough for you. It's not particularly big or heavy, perfect for throwing in a bag when you travel, and it's covered around all the sides with a durable, soft touch finish.

No talk of a speaker would get very far without mention of the tech specs. Here's what we're looking at:

  • 6W dual-drivers
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4400mAh battery
  • Passive radiator bass boost
  • 3.5mm aux input
  • microUSB charging (5 hour charge time)
  • Microphone for hands-free calling

Anker SoundCore

The party piece of the SoundCore is the claimed 24hr play time at 80% volume. And it's absolutely spot on with that claim. I've not timed it exactly (because seriously, 24 hours), but I'm charging it about once every 4 days with fairly constant use.

The controls are incredibly simple, with buttons for volume up and down, power on and off, play/pause and initiating the Bluetooth connection. With Bluetooth 4.0 you get a solid connection and Anker claims a range of about 66 feet. In reality that doesn't seem to be the case, but equally my house has crazy thick walls which no doubt factor in.

But how far away from the speaker do you want to be anyway?

The sound gets good and loud and mostly distortion free. When you really turn it up I have noticed little instances, tracks like Blurs "Song 2" being an example of something that pushes to its limits. Bass is a little underwhelming, but I'm not sure it's as much of a deal given the price of this speaker. I'm ok with it, personally, since I don't listen to much bass-heavy music. But it's something to bear in mind if you do. Otherwise it's a fairly neutral and balanced sound.

Anker SoundCore

Ultimately what you have here is a great-sounding speaker with subtle looks and a shockingly small price tag. It's not perfect, and I'd love to have seen forward and back buttons as well as just play/pause, and perhaps a less enormous logo, but those are minor complaints.

The SoundCore is an excellent bit of kit and one of the better purchases I've made recently. The combination of sound quality, price and battery life makes it easy to recommend. It also leaves me wondering why ever you'd spend so much money on a 'branded' product.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

21 Comments
  • Can you double/triple press the button to skip tracks?
  • Why would you need that? You can do it on your phone!
  • Yes, you can.
  • Richard, is that a yellow shell on a Lumia 9x phone? May I ask where you got it? (Excited look). Mozo don't have that color...
  • That's a Microsoft phone...looks like a lumia 650 with a mozo shell...
  • Mozo 950 XL cover. It's actually green but it has a yellowish tint in the right light.
  • I currently own one.  My car doesn't have integrated Bluetooth so I use the Anker on large trips.  It works really well.  I've never owned a "high end" Bluetooth speaker but the Anker still produces a nice sound.  Sometimes it can be a bit tinny, though.
  • Does it distort at full volume?
  • I've been unable to notice any distortion at full volume. Though I'm sure any true audiophile would pick up on such a thing before I would.
  • Does it fit in a cup holder?  Just wondering.
  • It does not fit inside an average size cup holder.
  • Thanks.  I'll stick with my JBL Flip 2 for now then, although its battery is on the way out.
  • Thanks
  • Kind of funny... I have been looking at this speaker for a while but the things that have stopped me are your two minor complaints: Lack of previous/next buttons and the giant logo.
  • I have this. It is great for the price. The sound is good and it gets loud without distortion. The only disappointment for me is that I would like more bass, but that is not going to happen with something at this size and price. I would also like to have a USB port for charging other devices from it, I don't think anything worthwhile at this price point has that.
  • I didn't realize that I need a bluetooth speaker. Until now. :) I don't own home stereo, so it would be a really nice and elegant combination with my Lumia, taking really small amount of space. Ofcourse, I'm not an audiophil, so this is totally enough for my needs.
  • It doesn't beat Sony....
  • How's the volume like?  Can you use two at the same time?  Just looking for an alternative for using in non-studio dance rehearsal space.  I can deal with less bass since I'd already know the music well enough to not care while practicing.
  • It gets loud enough to fill an average size room.  Not sure about a dance studio, though.
  • Shame about the name though, I'm just tempted to put W in front of it.
  • Ordered one today in China so will have to wait to arrive