Reviews You Can Rely On

Anker SoundCore 2 Review

An inexpensive, water resistant speaker that will please most listeners
Anker SoundCore 2
Credit: Anker
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Price:   $40 List | $39.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, exceptional battery life
Cons:  Bass is quite weak, can sound tinny, especially at high volumes
Manufacturer:   Anker
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
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55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Sound Quality - 40% 3
  • Portability - 25% 7
  • Volume - 20% 5
  • Battery Life - 15% 10

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a reliable, durable Bluetooth speaker at a low price, you can't get much better than the Anker SoundCore 2. This speaker is water resistant, lightweight, and can last more than 40 hours on a single charge. Yes, it doesn't sound as good as the pricier models, but it is exponentially better than listening to music from the built-in speakers in your smartphone. Plus, it's cheap enough that you'll be able to stock up on some iTunes gift cards before heading out on your next trip.

Product Updated
Anker updated the SoundCore 2 since our test period. It now features a higher water rating of IPX7, meaning it can be submerged to a depth of one meter for 30 minutes. We're linking to this updated model.

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you're looking for a dependable way to share your music with friends while out and about, but don't want the stress that comes along with lugging around a $200 electronic doodad, the Anker SoundCore 2 is for you. It provides a substantial upgrade to your smartphone's built-in speakers without breaking the bank.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


As you can see in the table above, the Anker SoundCore 2 was one of the lower overall scorers in our tests. This was largely because it went up against a bevy of much more expensive speakers, but we still believe it provides a great value, as we'll explain in the sections below.

Sound Quality


The SoundCore 2 was one of the worst performers in our sound quality testing, picking up a 3 out of 10 in a metric where scores ranged from 3 to 10. Notably this is better than the Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz Angle 3, which was the only other speaker that could compete with the SoundCore in terms of price.


Compared to the top scoring speakers the SoundCore 2's sound is relatively unimpressive, with weaker bass and treble that sounds thin and can easily get distorted at higher pitches. But the SoundCore 2 isn't trying to be an audiophile's dream, it's trying to be an inexpensive way to to make your music sound louder and better than your smartphone's speakers can. In this capacity it performs marvelously. When compared to the other budget speaker in our selection, the Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz Angle 3, it has more powerful bass and much better clarity. It is also still a huge step up from the quality and volume of built-in smartphone speakers. The sound won't blow you away, but it will let you share your music with friends, which is really what Bluetooth speakers are all about.

Portability


The SoundCore 2 earned a score of 7 out of 10 in our portability testing. This ended up being an average score in a metric that saw scores ranging from 2 to 10.


At just 12.8 ounces the SoundCore 2 is fairly light. We barely noticed it when we threw it in a backpack. The rubber coating feels somewhat thin, but is definitely enough to protect the body from minor scratches, and to keep it from sliding around when in use. The simple rectangular shape provides a profile that can easily slide into a bag, though the sharp edges would sometimes get caught on things. Plus it is IPX5 water resistant, so you don't have to worry about packing it with your wet towels or any surprise downpours.

The SoundCore 2 is relatively small and portable.
The SoundCore 2 is relatively small and portable.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Volume


The Soundcore 2 received a score of 5 out of 10 in our volume testing. This was far off the top score of 9.


The SoundCore 2 definitely does not have the juice to power a dance party. It can get quite loud, but the music gets very tinny and shrill as you crank the volume up. It is much better suited to serenading a small group of friends while they relax and talk. Unfortunately, if you want something with a bit more punch, you're going to have to spend more money. For example, the JBL Charge 3 is much, much louder, but lists for $130.

Battery Life


The SoundCore 2was the undisputed king of our battery life testing. It lasted an astonishing 41 hours, well besting its claimed 24-hour battery life. Honestly, we had paranoid nightmares that the SoundCore 2 was walking itself over to an outlet and plugging itself in because it just wouldn't die. This incredible performance earned it a perfect score of 10 out of 10.


Value


The Anker SoundCore 2 is very affordable, but there are better speakers if you're willing to spend a bit more. However, it's a great value if you're on a tight budget, and certainly more enjoyable than listening to your smartphone's speaker.

The SoundCore 2's covered charging and auxiliary cable port.
The SoundCore 2's covered charging and auxiliary cable port.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The Anker SoundCore 2 is a dependable Bluetooth speaker that is relatively inexpensive. It can't match the impressive sound quality of more expensive speakers, but is a great option if your smartphone's built-in speakers just aren't cutting it and you don't want to spend too much.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata