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Anker Soundcore 3 Review

A much less expensive, but still enjoyable, portable speaker option for those sticking to a tight budget
Anker Soundcore 3
Credit: Soundcore
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $50 List | $49.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Portable, great battery life, inexpensive
Cons:  Sub-par sound quality
Manufacturer:   Soundcore
By Michelle Powell and Matt Bento  ⋅  Jul 15, 2021
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 12
  • Sound Quality - 40% 6
  • Portability - 25% 7
  • Volume - 20% 6
  • Battery Life - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a portable and affordable little unit with exceptional battery life. It's hardly noticeable in a backpack until you power it up, connect to your device, and start blasting your favorite playlist. It makes a great gift for someone who's always on the go and loves to share music with their friends, plus it's water-resistant, making it a good option for people who are hard on their gear. Audiophiles need not apply, as there are plenty of better-sounding portable options for those willing to invest a bit more.

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Anker Soundcore 3
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Anker Soundcore 3
Awards Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award   
Price $50 List
$49.99 at Amazon
$120 List
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Pros Portable, great battery life, inexpensiveGood sound quality, waterproof, long battery lifeSuper-portable, waterproof, great battery lifeLoud, compact, durableWaterproof, inexpensive
Cons Sub-par sound qualityNot the strongest sounding bassSound quality diminishes significantly at higher volumesDistortion at higher volume, not the longest battery lifeWeak bass, not very loud
Bottom Line A much less expensive, but still enjoyable, portable speaker option for those sticking to a tight budgetAn affordable balance for those that want good sound quality and portability but don't want to pay a premium price for the absolute bestThis mega-portable, waterproof, and durable speaker is perfectly at home on hikes, bike rides, out on the lake, or in the showerThis durable little speaker packs plenty of volume into a waterproof packageAn inexpensive speaker that is totally waterproof and sounds better than built-in phone speakers
Rating Categories Anker Soundcore 3 JBL Flip 5 JBL Clip 4 Ultimate Ears Wonde... Tribit XSound Go
Sound Quality (40%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
Portability (25%)
7.0
7.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
Volume (20%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
3.0
Battery Life (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Specs Anker Soundcore 3 JBL Flip 5 JBL Clip 4 Ultimate Ears Wonde... Tribit XSound Go
Dimensions (in x in x in) 6.9" x 2.4" x 2.2" 3.64" x 3.6" x 8.5" 1.8" x 3.4" x 5.3" 3.68" x 3.68" x 4.02" 6.7" x 2.3" x 2.2"
Inputs and Charging Ports USB-C port Micro USB port USB-C port Micro USB port Charging port, Micro-USB, 3.5mm auxillary input
IP Rating IPX7 IPX7 IP67 IP67 IPX7
Reported Weight (ounces) 13.12 oz 19.04 oz 8.48 oz 15.04 oz 13.4 oz
Measured Weight 17.8 oz 19 oz 8.13 oz 14.9 oz 13.4 oz
Wireless Range (feet) 66 Not Listed Not Listed 100 66
Reported Battery Life (hours) 24 12 10 13 24
Measured Battery Life (hours) 16.75 27 27 13 18.5

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Anker Soundcore 3 didn't blow us away with its sound quality or volume, but for the price, it's a worthy, portable speaker with just enough oomph to get your small beach get-together or barbeque moving and grooving, and it's so affordable you'll have some cash left around to fill your cooler with some quality brews.

Performance Comparison


This is one of the most affordable models we tested.
This is one of the most affordable models we tested.
Credit: Laura Casner

Sound Quality


For those of us that can remember when portable audio meant lugging around a boombox a la John Cusack in Say Anything, the sound quality of the Soundcore 3 is nothing short of miraculous. This speaker also represents a vast improvement on the old mini pop-up speakers (that sounded about as good as the built-in speakers on an iPhone 11). While we can certainly appreciate the Soundcore 3 in the wider context, in comparison to modern standards, it just doesn't cut it.


The lows are rattle-y and lack definition, especially on bass-heavy music, and the highs sound thin and tinny. We also noticed a constant low volume hiss that's quite apparent during moments of silence when the volume is turned up. This is still about a ten-fold improvement on your smartphone speakers and offers an inexpensive way to share music with your friends.

Though plenty loud, we found the lows to lack definition and...
Though plenty loud, we found the lows to lack definition and clarity, while the highs sounded thin and tinny compared to the competition.
Credit: Jason Peters

Portability


Weighing in at 13.12 ounces and measuring 6.9" x 2.4" x 2.2", the Soundcloud 3 easily disappears into a small backpack, messenger bag, fanny pack, and could be crammed into a large pocket. It's very much on the lighter end of the spectrum, and while there are lighter speakers that sound better, those models come at a significantly higher price.


Once you get down to the beach, the Soundcore 3 is ready to tackle the surf, sand, and any spilled beverages it may encounter. This speaker has an IPX7 rating, meaning it can survive submersion of up to 3 feet for 30 minutes, and the party won't stop just because somebody got excited and knocked the speaker in the water. To top things off, this speaker has a removable strap that makes it easy to carry or hang on a tree.

This speaker boasts an impressive amount of volume for its...
This speaker boasts an impressive amount of volume for its convenient size.
Credit: Jason Peters

Volume


Despite its diminutive size, the Soundcore 3 cranks out a respectable amount of volume. We measured this speaker blasting an impressive 83db at about 75% volume from a distance of 30 feet. This is comparable to some of the more expensive top-notch offerings from Bose and Sony, but keep in mind that while the Soundcore 3 is competitive in terms of volume, sound quality is a different story. When cranked to 10, this speaker ranks about in the middle of the pack in terms of maximum volume, with the larger, less portable models being much louder.


This model provides plenty of volume for poolside fun.
This model provides plenty of volume for poolside fun.
Credit: Laura Casner

Battery Life


This little speaker boasts 24 hours of claimed battery life. Our extensive testing revealed that the Soundcore 3 can crank out the jams for 16.75 hours, earning it a middle-of-the-road score. It's a great speaker to bring along camping or anytime you may not have access to power for a few days. When you return to civilization, you can expect a quick charge via a USB-C cable.


With a little over 16 hours of battery life during our tests, this...
With a little over 16 hours of battery life during our tests, this speaker has plenty of juice for around-the-house uses, like listening to your morning podcasts while you get ready for work.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


The low MSRP on this speaker is going to put it on a lot of people's radar. Considering the price, the Soundcore 3 has a lot going for it, with easy connectivity, an app to make eq settings, and a speaker sync feature that allows you to link a few Souncores together (100+). This speaker is affordable enough to be a stocking stuffer and quality enough that the recipient will use and appreciate it.

Though inexpensive, the Soundcore 3 is a quality speaker that is...
Though inexpensive, the Soundcore 3 is a quality speaker that is definitely worthy of your consideration if you're trying to stick to a budget.
Credit: Laura Casner

Conclusion


The Anker Soundcore 3 isn't a great choice for audiophiles who will scoff at the fuzzy, buzzy bass and tinny highs, but for the kid (or kid at heart) who needs to bring the party wherever they go, this speaker is an affordable, portable option with plenty of battery to keep the music going well after closing time.

Michelle Powell and Matt Bento