Anker Soundcore Flare Review

Anker Soundcore Flare Review

The Anker SoundCore Flare remains on our list of the best Bluetooth speakers a year after we reviewed it. This waterproof Bluetooth speaker costs $60 (about AU$123) and stands toe-to-toe with the competition.

While the Flare offers balanced sound, a tough waterproof build, a light show when you want, and a great user experience, it does so without breaking the bank. Read on to learn more.

Anker Soundcore Flare Review: Design

Anker soundcore

The Anker Soundcore Flare is inspired by some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market. Its shape is similar to that of the Bose SoundLink Revolve Mini, its cloth texture is similar to that of the UE Wonderboom, and its light show is similar to that of the JBL Pulse 3.

In terms of design, the speaker is shorter than the Revolve Mini and taller than the UE Wonderboom, so it is still portable but not as easy to transport as the Wonderboom or something like the Mining Mini.

The Flare is built well and feels like it will stand up to abuse. Our top pick for taking outdoors is the UE Wonderboom, a rugged speaker that feels like you can play American football with it.

As far as the outdoors are concerned, the Soundcore Flare is IPX7 rated, which means you can submerge it in water without worry, which makes it a great choice for the pool or beach. Unlike the UE Wonderboom, the Flare does not have a loop for a carabiner, so it’s slightly more difficult to carry outdoors while hiking.

A bass boost button and controls for playback can be found on the top of the speaker. A long press of the light button switches between different modes, while a short press turns the lights off. It has a power and pairing button on the back, as well as a rubber flap that protects the 3.5mm jack and micro-USB charging port.

A rugged rubber base and a light ring are on the bottom of the speaker. You can program the LEDs to pulse with your music to create a light show or to create a soothing breathing pattern. You can change light modes either by cycling through them with the light button on top or by using the mobile app. In addition, the app allows you to adjust the EQ and turn on the Bass Up feature.

Performance

Anker Soundcore Flare Review

The Anker Soundcore Flare’s sound quality is generally balanced, but it can sound a bit harsh at times when the EQ is flat. Bass response is improved slightly by enabling the Bass Up feature, but the difference is very subtle. The EQ presets are actually quite subtle, affecting the speaker’s tonal balance slightly.

As a result, the Anker Soundcore Flare can get loud and produces a good amount of bass for its size. While the Flare produces slightly more bass than the UE Wonderboom when Bass Up is enabled, both lack the visceral impact of larger speakers. Additionally, the highs are a bit uncontrolled and can sound harsh at times, especially at high volumes. There is a slight distortion, so those who like to listen to music loudly will want to invest in a larger speaker.

It is estimated that the battery will last for around 12 hours depending on the volume setting and LED brightness. With the LEDs set to medium intensity and the volume at 50%, we were able to get around eight hours of listening. You can, however, extend the battery life by turning off the light show completely.

Pros Cons
Excellent mobile app Bass boost and EQ are very mild
Waterproof Harsh at max volume
Impressive sound for the size Average battery life

Conclusion

There is no better value in the wireless speaker segment under $100 than the Soundcore Flare. In terms of build quality, the UE Wonderboom gives the Flare a run for its money, though we give it a slight edge in terms of audio quality. In contrast, the Wonderboom is more rugged and can be clipped to a bag.

There is no better speaker for the money when it comes to features, build quality and sound. Other speakers may sound better, but you will have to spend much more money. Will that $20 premium be worth it? Yes. The Flare is a great wireless speaker that does it all without breaking the bank. Definitely recommended.