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Anker Soundcore 3 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed May 06, 2021 at 09:55 am
Anker Soundcore 3 Picture
6.0
Music
5.4
Videos/Movies
6.5
Podcasts
3.3
Voice Assistant
6.9
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a rectangular Bluetooth speaker with a similar design to the Anker Soundcore 2. It's decently well-built and is rated IPX7 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Unlike the Soundcore 2, it comes with a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets that can adjust the speaker's sound. It also comes with a carrying strap you can attach to its side, which can come in handy when you want to take it with you on the go. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud and has some compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound very clean when listening at louder volumes.

Our Verdict

6.0 Music

The Anker Soundcore 3 is passable for music. With its 'Bass Up' feature turned on, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble in low-bass that's often present in bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM. Its mid-range is relatively balanced, ensuring vocals and lead instruments sound clear. However, its underemphasized treble range can cause higher-pitched vocals and instruments to sound dull and veiled. Thankfully, its companion app features a graphic EQ and presets that can customize the speaker's sound.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Can play stereo content.
Cons
  • Some compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
5.4 Videos/Movies

The Anker Soundcore 3 is disappointing for watching videos and movies. This speaker doesn't get very loud and has some compression artifacts at max volume. It also has poor directivity that can cause its soundstage to sound narrow instead of open and spacious. Additionally, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble of action-packed scenes. However, you can use the graphic EQ in its companion app to adjust its sound. It also has low latency with Android devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

Pros
  • Can play stereo content.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Some compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
6.5 Podcasts

The Anker Soundcore 3 is okay for podcasts. This outstandingly portable Bluetooth speaker has a relatively balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear, making it suitable for vocal-centric audio content like audiobooks or podcasts. However, its underemphasized treble range can make higher-pitched voices and instruments sound a bit veiled. It doesn't get very loud and has some compression artifacts at max volume. It also has poor directivity, so your audio may not sound as clear from all angles.

Pros
  • Remarkably portable.
  • Balanced mid-range.
Cons
  • Some compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
3.3 Voice Assistant

The Anker Soundcore 3 is bad for voice assistants. It doesn't have any assistants built-in, so it uses those available on your smartphone. It also struggled to register the recorded voice commands we use as part of our test methodology, even in quieter settings without ambient noise. That said, it can register commands from a normal speaking voice, though this isn't part of our testing process.

Pros
  • Balanced mid-range.
Cons
  • Some compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Has trouble understanding you.
6.9 Outdoors

The Anker Soundcore 3 is alright for outdoor use. This decently built speaker is rated IPX7 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Its exceptionally portable, and its battery life is suitable for long days of listening. That said, it has poor directivity resulting in a narrow-sounding soundstage. It also doesn't get very loud and has some compression artifacts at max volume that can cause your audio not to sound clean and clear during louder listening sessions.

Pros
  • IPX7 rating for water resistance.
  • Remarkably portable.
  • Can play stereo content.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Some compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Narrow-sounding soundstage.
  • 6.0 Music
  • 5.4 Videos/Movies
  • 6.5 Podcasts
  • 3.3 Voice Assistant
  • 6.9 Outdoors
  1. Updated May 06, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated May 03, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a small, rectangular Bluetooth speaker with a similar design to the Anker Soundcore 2. It comes with a carrying strap you can attach to its side, making it easy to take with you when you're on the move.

9.4
Design
Portability
Volume
37 inยณ (599 cmยณ)
Weight
1.1 lbs (0.5 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Anker Soundcore 3 is incredibly portable. Its small, lightweight design makes it easy to carry it in one hand. It even comes with a detachable carrying cord to help with transporting it with you when you're on the move. Additionally, this speaker is battery-powered, so you can take it outdoors with you without needing to worry about plugging it into a power outlet.

7.1
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
No
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Anker Soundcore 3 is decently built and is rated IPX7 for water resistance, though we don't currently test this. Its body is made of materials that feel durable, and its buttons atop it are texturized. Aside from the metal grille protecting its drivers, its body is surrounded by a rubber-like contour that's unfortunately susceptible to collecting fingerprints.

8.0
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
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The Anker Soundcore 3 has a great selection of controls. You can use its multifunction button to play and pause your music, as well as to accept, reject and end phone calls. You can also double press it to skip to the next track, triple press it to skip back to your previous track, or press and hold it to activate your voice assistants.

It has + and - buttons you can use to adjust its volume to your liking, and has a Bluetooth button you can use to pair it to your devices, as well as to connect it to multiple other speakers with the PartyCast feature. Aside from the voice assistant feature, all the buttons trigger the same chime, which may be confusing to some users.

Design
In The Box

  • Anker Soundcore 3
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Detachable carrying cord
  • Quick Start guide

Sound
6.0
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.49
Std. Err.
5.17 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
71.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.2 kHz

The Anker Soundcore 3 has mediocre frequency response accuracy. With its 'Bass Up' feature turned on, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble that fans of bass-heavy music tend to enjoy. Its treble range is also underemphasized, which can make higher-pitched vocals and instruments sound dull and veiled. That said, its somewhat balanced mid-range makes vocals and lead instruments sound clear, making it suitable for listening to dialogue-centric content like audiobooks and podcasts. Its companion app also features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak the speaker's sound to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.3
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
6.83 dB
Stereo
Yes

The Anker Soundcore 3's soundstage is acceptable. Although this speaker can play stereo content, it has poor directivity, which can cause its soundstage to sound narrow instead of wide and spacious, so your audio may not sound very clear from all angles. For a speaker with better directivity, check out the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II.

5.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
85.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.94 dB

The Anker Soundcore 3's dynamics are sub-par. This speaker doesn't get very loud and has some compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean and clear during louder listening sessions.

Active Features
8.7
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
13.6 hrs
Charge Time
3.6 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C

The Anker Soundcore 3 has an excellent battery performance. The manufacturer advertises that it can last up to 24 hours from a single charge, but we found in our tests that it could last over 13 hours. That said, battery life can vary depending on your usage habits, so your experience may differ. It also has a power-saving feature that you can set to automatically shut the speaker off after 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes of inactivity. However, when the speaker is plugged into a power source, it doesn't automatically turn off but instead goes into Standby Mode after a period of inactivity.

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

The Anker Soundcore 3 has a terrible voice assistant performance. Since it doesn't have any built-in voice assistants, it uses the ones available on your smartphone. We use recorded voice commands to test the speaker's microphone as part of our methodology. However, the Soundcore 3 struggled to register these commands, even in quieter settings without ambient noise. That said, it can register commands from a normal speaking voice, but this isn't part of our testing process.

4.7
Active Features
App
App Name
Soundcore
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

The Anker Soundcore 3's Soundcore companion app is poor. You can't use it to pair the speaker to another speaker to create a stereo pair. It also doesn't have a Multi-Room feature you can use to control it when you want to play different content on different speakers in different rooms at the same time. That said, it offers a PartyCast mode that you can use to connect up to 100 identical Soundcore speakers to play the same audio. You can activate this feature by holding the Bluetooth button for up to two seconds. This can come in handy when you want your audio to fill a large room without increasing its volume. The Soundcore app also comes with a graphic EQ and EQ presets you can use to tweak the speaker's sound to your liking.

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

The Anker Soundcore 3 doesn't have any ports you can use to wire your devices to it. It has a USB-C port, though this is only for charging the speaker.

7.6
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
145 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
99 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

The Anker Soundcore 3 has a good Bluetooth performance. It has an outstanding range, so your paired device can stay connected even when it's far from the speaker. It also has low latency with Android devices making it suitable for watching movies and videos. However, its latency performance isn't as good with iOS devices, which may disappoint some Apple users. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

The manual states you can pair the Soundcore 3 to two devices at once by pressing the Bluetooth button and re-entering pairing mode. However, we've found in our tests that re-entering pairing mode disconnects the currently paired device, so we were unable to connect two devices at the same time. That said, changing connections between devices is still somewhat easy to achieve.

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

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Anker Soundcore 3 comes in one color variant, 'Black'. You can find the label for the model we tested here.

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

Compared To Other Speakers

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a rectangular speaker with a similar design to the Anker Soundcore 2. However, the Soundcore 3 can reproduce a more extended low-bass than its predecessor, and it also comes with a companion app that features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak the speaker's sound. Also, it comes with a carrying strap to help with transporting it.

See our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best cheap speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers for bass.

Anker Soundcore 2

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.

JBL FLIP 5

The JBL FLIP 5 and the Anker Soundcore 3 are similar speakers with different strengths. The JBL is better-built and has a slightly better-balanced sound profile than the Anker. It also has a PartyBoost feature you can use to pair it to multiple other PartyBoost-compatible speakers, handy when you want your audio to fill a large room. The Anker features a Graphic EQ you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It can also support voice assistants through your smartphone and has a longer battery life, though this can vary depending on usage, so your experience may differ.

Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3 overall. The Motion+ can get louder with slightly fewer compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner during louder listening sessions. It also has a wider sounding soundstage than that of the Soundcore 3 and can be paired with another speaker to create a stereo pair. That said, it's slightly larger and heavier than the Soundcore 3, which also comes with a carrying strap to help with transporting it.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3 overall. The Flare 2 is better-built and has amazing directivity, so your audio sounds clear from most angles. You can also connect it to another speaker to create a stereo pair. That said, the Soundcore 3 is slightly smaller and comes with a carrying strap, which makes it easy to take it with you when you're on the move. It also has a slightly larger Bluetooth range so your paired device can stay connected even if it's far away from the speaker.

JBL Charge 5

The JBL Charge 5 is a slightly better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3. The JBL offers a better-balanced sound profile, that can produce a deeper bass than that of the Anker. It can also get louder, and has a wider-sounding soundstage. That said, the Anker's sound profile is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive.

JBL GO 3

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a better speaker than the JBL GO 3 overall. The Anker can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and comes with a graphic EQ and presets you can use to customize its sound to your liking. It also has a longer battery life, though this can depend on your usage habits, so your experience may vary. That said, the JBL is smaller and more portable. It’s also better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don’t test this.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3 overall. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it offers a fantastic soundstage that can be perceived as wide and natural-sounding. It can get louder with less compression present at max volume. It's also better-built, with an IPX67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. That said, the Anker is more customizable with a graphic EQ and presets to tweak its sound to your liking.

JBL Charge 4

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Charge 4. The Anker has a better-balanced sound profile and features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. That said, you can pair the JBL to two devices at once, which is handy when you need to switch between audio sources quickly. You can also pair it to another speaker to create a stereo pair or multiple other speakers when you want your audio to fill a large space.

Sony SRS-XB13

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sony SRS-XB13 or the Anker Soundcore 3. The Sony is better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test this. It also has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box and has significantly better directivity than the Anker, resulting in a more open-sounding soundstage. That said, the Anker is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and can get louder than the Sony.

Marshall Emberton

The Marshall Emberton is a somewhat better overall speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3. The Marshall has a slightly better-balanced sound profile and an excellent soundstage that can be perceived as wide and spacious-sounding. However, unlike the Soundcore 3, it doesn't have any audio customization features you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It also doesn't support voice assistants.

JBL Clip 4

The Anker Soundcore 3 is a better speaker than the JBL Clip 4 overall. The Anker has a customizable sound profile thanks to the graphic EQ and presets available in its companion app. It can get louder than the JBL and has a longer battery life, though this can vary depending on usage. However, the JBL is smaller and more portable than the Anker. The JBL is also better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don’t test for this.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Sony SRS-XB23 is slightly better than the Anker Soundcore 3. Thanks to its 360-degree design, the Sony has better directivity, resulting in a more open-sounding soundstage, so your audio sounds clear from most angles. You can also pair it to another speaker to create a stereo pair or multiple speakers when you want your audio to fill a large room. That said, while both speakers feature a graphic EQ, the Anker comes with presets you can use to customize its sound. It also has a longer battery life, though this can depend on your usage, so your experience may vary.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 is a better overall speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce deeper bass. It can also get much louder than the Anker, with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. However, the Anker is much smaller and more portable than the JBL. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone and features a graphic EQ you can use to adjust its sound to your liking.

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