While not of all of us can afford to drop hundreds on a nice speaker, or simply don’t need a speaker that is louder than my neighbor’s lawn mower at 6:00 AM every Sunday you may find yourself looking for a nice portable bluetooth speaker that doesn’t break the bank and performs very well. I had the same problem, and oftentimes found myself purchasing speakers that were unfortunately, very bad. Luckily, I stumbled upon a speaker that has high quality, good bass, good volume, and more all at a low budget ranged price of $40.
Speaker Specs and Company History
The Soundcore 2 is a portable bluetooth speaker proclaiming a mighty 24 hours of battery life, IPX5 water resistant (for general liquid/dust, not against being dropped in a pool), lightweight and easy connectivity, and a powerful bass system all for the low price of $40. The company Anker while not a big company is known for making their incredibly durable and high quality charging cables for all devices. While this company doesn’t have the reputation of JBL or Sony, it is not a small company in the middle of nowhere and still designs a nice product for purchase.
How Does it Sound?
The Soundcore 2 was one of the first “good” speakers I bought in my opinion. Many cheap speakers in this price range include little-to-no bass, which in my opinion can ruin songs completely. Adding bass to speakers is expensive which is why many companies don’t do it at this low price range, but the Soundcore 2 manages to fit it in while still staying at a competitive price bracket. Once I connected the speaker to my phone and started playing I was genuinely impressed straight away, as this was in my opinion better than any speaker or headphones/earbuds you’ll find at a $40 price point and is a direct competitor to the next level of speaker upgrade at $70, the JBL Flip 4. My friends are all JBL fanboys and have any speaker of JBL’s ready at a moment’s notice, so when they found out about my “cheapo” speaker we compared the two. While the JBL Flip 4 sounded better than the Soundcore 2, it was still very close, and often times we would get into petty arguments over which speaker was better. With the Soundcore 2 being half of the price and still outputting almost as much sound quality as the JBL Flip 4 it is safe to say that this speaker is everything but bad. The speaker brings a powerful and crisp sounding noise at a fairly loud volume. I was able to play music very loud and the only times I really had trouble hearing it was when I was biking and it was incredibly windy out, other than that the speaker is actually very pleasing. The bass brings a powerful kick, while it does not deliver the power a JBL speaker with two subs may have it brings just enough so the bass is noticeable and enjoyable. If you really enjoy the bass, you’ll likely have to spend money on a more expensive speaker such as a JBL Charge 4 which comes with incredible bass. (Read my review on it here: https://www.vekhayn.com/2019/02/jbl-charge-4-review.html). This speaker served me great for eight months before I upgraded to the JBL Charge, and while the JBL Charge is a significant upgrade the Soundcore 2 is by no means bad. This speaker again serves well for any occasion including just listening to music in your room or using it outside while hiking or biking. This speaker simply is not loud enough for a party, but for a small group of 10 or less people the speaker will do the job just fine.
Battery Life and Charging
The ANKER Website states that the Soundcore 2 gets a battery life of 24 hours, in my experience that is not true at all. Often times I would get around 12-14 hours of playtime before it died. The Soundcore 2 has no really good way of telling you the battery life. Sometimes when you’re connected to a bluetooth device such as a smartphone it will tell you the battery life status, but when the battery goes to very low the light next to the power button will start blinking. I should say I do play music fairly loud (due to being outside and using the speaker in large groups) so that can account for the lower battery life time. However, if you’re using this for a quiet background noise item it should last you easily 20 hours. You recharge the device by plugging in the charging cable that comes with it, it is a Micro USB cable so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a replacement if your cable breaks. The speaker seems to charge fairly quickly, only requiring a few hours at best to recharge. Overall, I felt the battery life underwhelming for playing music loud, but if you’re using this more as a background noise speaker it should last you a decent amount of time before a recharge.
The Soundcore 2’s biggest strength in my eyes is the high quality audio output at such a cheap price. I honestly cannot think of too many speakers or even headphones/earbuds that will give you this high of audio quality and bass at such a low price of $40. Infact, for many people with low quality audio systems such as the normal earbuds that come with their phone this speaker will revolutionize the way they want to listen to music, even if this is just a small upgrade for audiophiles. Additionally, the small dimensions and lightweight make it incredibly easy to carry around outside or on trips.
The Soundcore 2’s weaknesses are really in some of its design. The speaker not being able to indicate its battery life in a good way is incredibly infuriating, imagine if your smartphone just randomly died or only told you when it was below 15%, it is something that should definitely be fixed in the Soundcore 3 whenever that is released. Also, the sound level seemed very underwhelming and on windy days when you’re biking it can be impossible to hear the speaker at all. However, for a $40 speaker, what more can you really ask for it?
The ANKER Soundcore 2 is a great budget range speaker that provides audio quality that will be better than any standard earbud/headphone system many people have, although it falls short on some things like battery life and sound level. For $40 it is hard to beat the high sound quality it outputs for music, and for many people that aren’t audio freaks is a perfect but cheap upgrade to enhance their listening experience, or bring their music on the go.