Last time I have reviewed the Anker SoundCore 2 which turned out to be a good value speaker.
Now I will test an other Anker product the Anker Classic (A7098) to find out if it’s also a good budget speaker.
At the date of this review (27.02.2018) it can be bought for around 30 dollars, so it is one of the cheapest Bluetooth speakers, it is similarly priced as the least expensive JBL, the JBL Go.
However, does the budget pricing require too many sacrifices?
Let’s find this out in this in-depth review.
Anker Classic Review Video
The speaker came in a simple box with a micro USB cable, an audio cable and a nice carrying pouch included.
It got a minimalist cube-like shape, which fits well to its name ‘Classic’.
The design is not super exciting and stylish but it still looks good, especially on an office desk.
In terms of the size, the Classic is bigger than the smallest Bluetooth speakers but it’s still small enough to grasp easily in one hand or carry it in your backpack.
Overall, I was satisfied with the built quality of the speaker, it felt solid and premium.
I think this is partly because it is heavier than what you would expect, so you have the feeling that there must be a lot of materials inside.
It comes in three color options: blue, black and white.
My black test model got a nice to touch, matte finished plastic body and a metal speaker grille on the top protecting the 4W driver.
On the front, you can find the indicator LED, the ‘Play’ and the volume control buttons.
With the ‘Play’ button you can play/pause a song but otherwise, it does not have any music control capabilities, you cannot skip a song or jump back to the previous one.
On the left side there are the micro USB charging port and the audio jack input port, so the speaker can be connected via cable.
The Anker Classic did not get any water protection, so it is not an ideal outdoor speaker, particularly because it was mainly built from hard materials which can get damaged easily.
On the bottom, there is an anti-slip pad to keep the speaker in place on any surface.
Unfortunately, there is no spot on the speaker to latch a carabiner onto it, so you cannot fix it to a bag or a bike.
The speaker is surprisingly heavy compared to its size, you would think that this is because of the big sound system inside but actually it’s not the case.
The Anker Classic got a bass reflex port and a small driver which is only a bit bigger what the JBL GO has.
So not its sound system causes the heavy weight but its huge battery.
The battery capacity is 2100 mAh which is three times bigger than the usual 6-700 mAh in this category.
To be honest is not a surprise that the Anker focused on the battery life since the company is a leader in mobile charging and power bank manufacturing.
In my test when I played various types of songs on the speaker at full volume I measured 10 hours 30 minutes play time.
While repeating the same test at 70% volume I got 43 hours play time, which is a very impressive number.
I haven’t seen any Bluetooth speaker in this category which had such a long battery life.
Typically, they can do around 10-15 hours before they run out of juice, so it means the play time of the Anker Classic is around three times longer than the average.
It takes around 5-6 hours to fully charge the device and unfortunately there is no battery indicator on it, so you do not know how much percentage you have left.
Next to the charging port, there is a tiny battery indicator LED which lights steady red when the device is charging and lights off if the battery is fully charged.
If no device is connected to it, the speaker turns off automatically after 10 minutes to save battery life.
How to Setup
When you turn on the speaker it automatically starts in pairing mode and the blue indicator LED starts blinking.
While the LED is blinking the speaker is discoverable, however, it tries to automatically connect to the last-connected device and if it was successful it gives a confirmation sound and quits from pairing mode.
This means that if you want to pair a second device, make sure that the Bluetooth is turned off on your first device.
If you have a problem with the speaker, you can reset it back to the initial state by turning on and pressing the volume up and down buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds.
The speaker can maintain only one active connection, so for example, it is not possible to connect your phone and your computer to it at the same time.
According to Anker, the Bluetooth range is 33ft, what I can confirm I got around 35ft in my outdoor test which is an average in this category.
Of course, this range can be less if there are obstacles or walls between your device and the speaker.
The Classic features an audio input port on the left side that lets you plug in anything that doesn’t have Bluetooth.
Since it has a built-in microphone you can answer phone calls by pressing the ‘Play’ button or you can reject the calls by long pressing it.
If your phone supports voice dialing, then by long pressing the play button you can activate it.
Anker Classic Sound Test
Under the hood, it has a single 2-inch driver with 4W output power and a bass port.
Regarding the audio quality, there are some distortions at higher volume levels, especially the bass tends to distort, however, the sound of the speaker is mostly clear, only the highs are a bit too harsh.
Basically, the Anker Classic is a small speaker which sits on a large battery and this is noticeable in the sound quality as well.
It has a similar sound profile as the half sized JBL Go, which means the sound is quite flat, the bass is very weak and the deeper lows are missing.
Anker Classic vs Anker SoundCore 2 Sound Test
Overall, for 30 dollars you get a nice, well-built speaker.
However, I mainly suggest it only for home usage since it’s not water protected and was made mainly from hard materials, so it is not an ideal outdoor speaker.
The biggest strength of the Anker Classic is its exceptionally long battery life.
If you use it one-two hours a day, it’s enough to only charge it once-twice a month, what is absolutely awesome.
Its sound is not bad but quite basic, the lows can be missing when you listen to music on the speaker.
Paying some few more bucks, for example, the Anker SoundCore 2 provides a much better, richer sound.
I would suggest the Anker Classic if you need a basic speaker to your kitchen counter for listening YouTube live streams or podcasts and if you do not want to worry that your speaker runs out of juice during your favorite show.
The Best Battery Life
Long battery life
Flat sound, weak bass
No water protection
For only ten more bucks you can buy the Anker SoundCore 2, which is a splash-proof more durable speaker and provides a much better overall sound.
It does not have so good battery life as the Classic but it’s still able to play music for 12 hours at 70% volume which is a quite decent number.
So if you are not after the longest battery life then the SoundCore 2 is definitely a better choice.
You can find the previously mentioned JBL Go in the same price category.
It has a similar sound and a much smaller, more portable device, however, it has a much shorter battery life.
If you are looking for a similarly sized speaker with some protection you can check the Sony SRS-XB10.
Which is a solid, durable device with IPX5 water protection, so it’s splash proof and can be used as a shower speaker.
It is a more advanced speaker with a built-in NFC chip and a much better bass production, however, if it is not discounted it costs around 60 dollars at the date of this review (27.02.2018).
Size: 80 × 80 × 60 mm / 3.1 × 3.1 × 2.7 in
Weight: 280 ± 10 g / 9.9 ± 0.4 oz