Anker is mainly known about its chargers and external batteries but besides these, they have built up a nice Bluetooth speaker line-up from the nano speakers even to the large bookshelf speakers.
What is common in its speakers that they usually provide great value for a low price tag.
Today, I will review the Anker SoundCore 2 which is a small brick-shaped outdoor speaker in the Anker’s portfolio.
Anker SoundCore 2 Review Video
The speaker is available in three colors: black, red, blue and it comes in a box with only a micro USB cable included.
Regarding the size, it is at the upper end of the ultra-portable speakers, it is small and light enough to easily toss it into a beach or notebook bag, however, it is too big to carry around in a pocket.
The design is very minimalist; it has a classic, brick shape with rounded edges.
On the front, you can find the metal speaker grille, while the whole speaker is covered by a soft, rubberized plastic.
It feels premium, you do not have the feeling that you hold a cheap speaker in your hand.
Its material fits well to outdoor usage, it does not get scratches easily and provides a solid, rugged feel.
The top edge houses four big buttons: the Power button, the volume controls, the Paus/Play button and the Bluetooth button.
I like the design of the buttons, they are embossed above the surface, large and clicky enough.
The speaker has a limited music control capability, which means you can pause/play a song and jump to the next track, however you cannot jump back to the previously played song or forward/backward in a song.
By long pressing the Play button on the speaker you can activate the digital voice assistant of your phone.
The SoundCore 2 has a built-in microphone, so it can be used as a speakerphone to accept phone calls.
You can even reject, mute, put on hold or switch between the active and the held call with the speaker.
If you want to learn more about the setup and usage of the speaker check my Anker SoundCore 2 user guide.
It did not even get a loop, so you cannot attach a lanyard or a carabiner to it, which is definitely a drawback when you want to carry the speaker around.
The SoundCore 2 got an IPX5 water protection, which means it is splash-proof, so it can be used in rain or as a shower speaker, however it cannot be submerged into the water.
This protection can be really useful when you use the speaker outside, however, it is not outstanding, nowadays many speakers come with IPX7 protection, so they can be even dropped into the water.
To ensure this water protection, the charging port, and the audio jack input port are situated under a flap.
Since it has an audio input port, besides Bluetooth it can be also connected via cable.
In my outdoor test, I measured around 90 feet Bluetooth range, which is quite long, it is definitely above the average.
So likely, you will not have any connectivity problem even when you use the speaker far from the Bluetooth source.
Of course, walls and other obstacles can shorten this Bluetooth range.
The speaker has a 5200mAh battery and according to the manufacturer, it takes 3 hours to fully charge it.
In my test, when I tested the speaker with various types of songs at full volume, I measured 8 hours play time while repeating the same test at 70% volume I got 12 hours.
This is a strong battery life and it is above the average, however, it is still far from the 24 hours claimed by the manufacturer, which likely can be only reached at an even lower volume level.
Unfortunately, the speaker does not have any battery level indicator so you do not know the exact remaining battery percentage.
It is worth to mention that my first test device stopped working and did not turn on after some days of testing, so the reliability of the speaker is questionable.
However, at least the support was good and they quickly sent me a replacement unit.
Anker SoundCore 2 Sound Test
Under the hood, the SoundCore 2 features two 1.5” drivers which are said to provide 2 x 6 W output.
However, I have disassembled the speaker and apparently, it has 2 x 5 W drivers as you can see in the video below.
In addition to the two drivers, it got a passive radiator to produce better bass.
Despite its low price, the sound quality is surprisingly good.
The bass is also much powerful, thanks to its passive radiator.
Its sound is clear, only the bass struggles and distorts sometimes on higher volume levels.
Comparing the SoundCore 2 to the similar sized but more expensive speakers like the JBL Flip 4 or the UE Wonderboom it falls behind in the deeper lows, it does not have so punchy bass and has a bit hollow sounding.
However, I think it is fine considering that those speakers cost twice as much as the SoundCore 2.
You can check the sound of the speaker in my JBL Flip 4 vs Anker SoundCore 2 sound comparison video.
Anker SoundCore 2 vs JBL Flip 4 Sound Test
Anker SoundCore 2 vs Anker Classic Sound Test
Overall, I am very satisfied with the performance of the Anker SoundCore 2.
It has a solid, good built quality, an exceptionally strong battery life, and Bluetooth range.
Surprisingly, for 40 dollars you do not have to compromise much, you could pay more for a full water protection or for a better sound, however, I think what the SoundCore 2 provides is enough to make most of the people happy.
My only concern is its reliability, however considering its low price is not a big risk and also the Anker support handles these problems well.
If you are on a budget, I think the Anker SoundCore 2 is one of the best speakers you can choose.
The Best Budget Speaker
Long battery life
Long Bluetooth range
IPX5 water protection
Solid, rugged feel
Weak deeper lows
Bass sometimes distorts on full volume
They are more portable but do not have so good sound quality as the SoundCore 2.
If you can pay some more bucks the Anker SoundCore Boost or the Anker Premium can be an upgrade in terms of audio quality and if you can pay even more then the JBL Flip 4 and the UE Wonderboom have a superior sound and an IPX7 water protection.
Size: 168 x 47 x 56 mm / 6.6 x 1.9 x 2.2 in
Weight: 414 g / 14.6 oz
Frequency response: 70 Hz – 20 KHz