Anker Soundcore 2 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 22, 2021 at 08:37 am
Anker Soundcore 2 Picture
5.4
Music
5.1
Videos/Movies
6.6
Podcasts
3.3
Voice Assistant
6.5
Outdoors
This speaker was replaced by the Anker Soundcore 3
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

The Anker Soundcore 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that's battery-operated, so you can easily bring it with you outside. It even has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. However, like a lot of small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, and it doesn't get very loud. It doesn't offer any sound customization features, either. However, its 15-hour battery life is ideal for long listening sessions.

Our Verdict

5.4 Music

The Anker Soundcore 2 is disappointing for music. This speaker struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the thump in bass-heavy genres. Vocals and lead instruments are present in the mix, but higher-frequency sounds like the upper harmonics of vocals can be dull or dark. It doesn't get very loud, and there's some compression when you play it at max volume. There aren't any sound customization features.

Pros
  • Supports stereo content.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • No sound customization features.
5.1 Videos/Movies

The Anker Soundcore 2 is inadequate for videos and movies. It struggles to produce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump in action-packed scenes. Dialogue should be clear, but higher frequencies may be dull or veiled. While it can play stereo content, its soundstage is narrow and not very immersive. Also, it doesn't get very loud, and there's compression when you play it at max volume. Its latency with iOS and Android devices is pretty low, which is nice.

Pros
  • Supports stereo content.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Poor directivity for soundstage.
6.6 Podcasts

The Anker Soundcore 2 is alright for podcasts. It has a balanced mid-range, so vocals are clear and present, but they can also sound a bit veiled due to the underemphasized treble range. It doesn't get very loud, and there's some compression present at max volume. However, its portable design makes it easy to bring your speaker along with you.

Pros
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
3.3 Voice Assistant

The Anker Soundcore 2 is poor for voice assistant. As part of our methodology, we use recorded voice commands to activate the speaker. However, the speaker didn't respond to these commands in our testing. While it responds to commands in a normal speaking voice, this isn't part of our testing process.

Pros
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
6.5 Outdoors

The Anker Soundcore 2 is okay for outdoor use. It's well-built, and its 15-hour battery life should last for long days on-the-go. It also has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Since it's battery-powered, you don't have to worry about plugging it into an outlet to use it. However, it doesn't get very loud, and there's some compression at max volume.

Pros
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • 5.4 Music
  • 5.1 Videos/Movies
  • 6.6 Podcasts
  • 3.3 Voice Assistant
  • 6.5 Outdoors

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Anker Soundcore 2 is a pretty small speaker with a rectangular shape. There's a metal grille on the front side with the Anker logo, while a rubberized material surrounds the other sides of the speaker. On top of the speaker are the control buttons and two small lights next to the Power and Bluetooth buttons. This speaker also comes in several different colors.

9.4
Design
Portability
Volume
27 in³ (450 cm³)
Weight
0.9 lbs (0.4 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker is incredibly portable. It's small and lightweight, so you can easily carry it in one hand. Also, since it's battery-powered, you can take it outdoors without having to worry about plugging it into an outlet.

7.6
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Yes (IP rating unspecified)
Impact Resistance
No
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Anker Soundcore 2 has a good build quality. The metal grille helps protect the drivers, and the rubberized material on the other sides of the speaker feels durable. While the material is prone to collecting fingerprints when you touch it, you can easily wipe it clean. It also has an IPX7 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. While it lacks a rating for impact resistance, the manual says that you should be careful not to drop it.

7.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
Yes (Physical)
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The controls are decent. On top of the speaker, there are buttons to turn the speaker on/off, adjust the volume, play/pause your audio, and activate Bluetooth pairing. You can double-press the play button to skip to the next track, but you can't skip to the previous track. You can hold the play button to activate the voice assistant. Also, you can press play to answer a call and hold the play button to end a call.

Design
In The Box

  • Anker Soundcore 2
  • Micro-USB to USB-A charging cable
  • User Manual

Sound
5.2
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.67
Std. Err.
3.91 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
119.9 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
13.1 kHz

The Anker Soundcore 2 has disappointing frequency response accuracy. Just like many small speakers, like the Sony SRS-XB12, this speaker struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music. Vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mid-range. However, the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments are veiled, while sibilants like S and T sounds are dull. For a similar speaker with a customizable sound profile, check out the Anker Soundcore 3.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.2
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
7.16 dB
Stereo
Yes

The soundstage is passable. This speaker can play stereo content, but its directivity is poor. As a result, its soundstage is perceived as narrow and directional rather than open and spacious. If you're looking for a small speaker with a better directivity performance, consider the JBL Clip 4.

6.1
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
85.0 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.89 dB

The Anker Soundcore 2 has acceptable dynamics. It doesn't get very loud, and there are some compression artifacts when you play it at max volume. It may not be ideal to use at parties or in large rooms. For a speaker that has a more clear and pure audio reproduction at max volume, check out the DOSS SoundBox Plus.

Active Features
8.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
15.0 hrs
Charge Time
3.0 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
Micro-USB

The Anker Soundcore 2 has an amazing battery performance. It lasts for about fifteen hours off of a single charge, which is fantastic. The manufacturer advertises a battery life of 24 hours, but battery life can vary depending on usage, so your experience can differ. The speaker also turns off after about twenty minutes without audio, which can help conserve its battery life.

1.7
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Siri
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
Bad
Ambient Noise Performance
Bad

This speaker has terrible voice assistant support. It uses your smartphone's voice assistant, but it doesn't have any built-in support. Also, as part of our methodology, we use recorded voice commands to activate the speaker. However, this speaker doesn't really register these commands, even in settings without any ambient noise, and it doesn't respond. It can register commands from a normal speaking voice, but this isn't part of our testing process.

0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

This speaker doesn't have a companion app. However, the updated version of this speaker has built-in True Wireless Stereo technology, which the manufacturer claims can be used to connect up to two Soundcore 2 speakers together using Bluetooth.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
Yes
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

The Anker Soundcore 2 has an AUX port, which you can use to wire your smartphone to the speaker to play audio.

7.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
129 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
90 ms
Bluetooth Range
290.4 ft (88.5 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

The Anker Soundcore 2 has good Bluetooth connectivity. You can only pair it with one device at a time, which can be a bit limiting. However, its latency with Android and iOS devices is low enough to be suitable for watching videos and movies. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary. If you're looking for a speaker that can be paired with up to two devices at the same time, consider the JBL FLIP 5.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker isn't Wi-Fi-compatible.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Anker Soundcore 2 comes in 'Black', 'Red', and 'Blue'. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. We expect the other color variants to perform similarly. We also tested the Upgraded version of this speaker. Unlike the previous model, it supports True Wireless Stereo (TWS), so you can pair two Upgraded Soundcore 2 speakers together to create a stereo pair.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a small speaker that you can bring outdoors. It has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Like many small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, and it doesn't have any sound customization features. Also, its soundstage has poor directivity, resulting in a narrow and directional soundstage that isn't very immersive.

Anker Soundcore 3

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 2 overall. The Soundcore 3 can produce a more extended low-bass than the Soundcore 2, and its companion app comes with a graphic EQ and presets you can use to customize the speaker's sound to your liking. Though the speakers can't get very loud, the Soundcore 3 has fewer compression artifacts at max volume. That said, the Soundcore 2 is better-built, and it comes with an AUX input, unlike the Soundcore 3.

OontZ Angle 3

The OontZ Angle 3 and the Anker Soundcore 2 are similarly-performing speakers, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Anker supports voice assistants from your paired smartphone, but it doesn't have the best performance. Its sound profile is better-balanced, though both speakers struggle to produce low-bass. However, the Oontz can get louder, and it has less compression at max volume.

OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA

The Anker Soundcore 2 is a better speaker than the OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA. The Anker feels better-built, has a better-balanced sound profile, and charges up in less time. It also has lower latency on Android devices, although some apps and devices compensate for this differently. However, the OontZ can get louder with fewer compression artifacts, and it has a companion app with bass and treble sliders to help customize its sound.

JBL FLIP 5

The JBL FLIP 5 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 2. The JBL has a more neutral, balanced sound profile, and it also comes with a companion app that makes it easy to pair it with another speaker. However, the Anker supports voice assistants, and it has longer battery life.

JBL GO 3

The JBL GO 3 and the Anker Soundcore 2 are very similarly-performing speakers, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The JBL is better-built, and while it doesn't get as loud as the Anker, it has less compression at max volume. The Anker, meanwhile, supports voice assistants from your phone, and it has longer battery life.

Sony SRS-XB12

The Sony SRS-XB12 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 2. The Sony is better-built, has a more neutral sound profile, and its soundstage seems wider. It also has lower audio latency on Android and iOS. However, the Anker has a bit better battery performance.

Bose SoundLink Micro

The Bose SoundLink Micro is better than the Anker Soundcore 2. While both speakers struggle to produce low bass, the Bose's low-bass is more extended. It also has a better soundstage, a longer battery life, and a better voice assistant performance. However, it downmixes stereo content into mono, which doesn't sound as immersive. The Anker can play stereo content.

DOSS SoundBox Plus

The Anker Soundcore 2 and the DOSS SoundBox Plus are very similar speakers, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The DOSS performs better with voice assistants, though neither speaker has a very impressive voice assistant performance. Also, it has less compression when played at max volume. However, the Anker is better-built, and its battery life is longer.

JBL Clip 4

The JBL Clip 4 is better for most uses than the Anker Soundcore 2. Both speakers struggle to reproduce low-bass, but the JBL has a more extended low-bass than the Anker. Also, the JBL has a better soundstage. However, the Anker has a longer battery life, and it supports voice assistants from your smartphone. It can also play stereo content, unlike the JBL, which has to downmix this audio into mono.

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