Anker Soundcore 3 Review
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Anker Soundcore 3
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|Pros||Portable, great battery life, inexpensive||Good sound quality, waterproof, long battery life||Super-portable, waterproof, great battery life||Loud, compact, durable||Waterproof, inexpensive|
|Cons||Sub-par sound quality||Not the strongest sounding bass||Sound quality diminishes significantly at higher volumes||Distortion at higher volume, not the longest battery life||Weak bass, not very loud|
|Bottom Line||A much less expensive, but still enjoyable, portable speaker option for those sticking to a tight budget||An affordable balance for those that want good sound quality and portability but don't want to pay a premium price for the absolute best||This mega-portable, waterproof, and durable speaker is perfectly at home on hikes, bike rides, out on the lake, or in the shower||This durable little speaker packs plenty of volume into a waterproof package||An 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%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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