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Anker Soundcore Flare 2 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 25, 2021 at 08:52 am
Anker Soundcore Flare 2 Picture
6.8
Music
6.0
Videos/Movies
7.3
Podcasts
4.4
Voice Assistant
7.2
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a small, portable Bluetooth speaker with multicolored lights. Even with the BassUp setting on, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, and the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments can be dull or dark. Fortunately, there's a graphic EQ and presets in the app to help you customize its sound. It doesn't get very loud, but you can pair it with multiple speakers to amplify your audio across a crowded party.

Our Verdict

6.8 Music

The Anker Flare 2 is fair for music. With its BassUp setting on, it still struggles to reproduce low-bass. Vocals and lead instruments are clear and present, but higher frequency sounds like sibilants can be veiled and dull. Also, it doesn't get very loud. There's a graphic EQ and presets available in its companion app, so you can customize its sound to your liking. You can also pair it with multiple speakers to amplify sound across a large or noisy area like a party.

Pros
  • Amazing soundstage.
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
6.0 Videos/Movies

The Anker Flare 2 is mediocre for videos and movies. Even with the BassUp setting turned on, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. It doesn't get very loud, and its latency with Android and iOS devices is pretty high. However, some apps compensate for latency, so your experience can vary. On the upside, it has an excellent soundstage, so you really feel immersed in your audio.

Pros
  • Amazing soundstage.
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
7.3 Podcasts

The Anker Flare 2 is satisfactory for podcasts. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce dialogue clearly, but upper harmonics and sibilants like S and T sounds can be dull or dark. It has a portable design, but unfortunately, you can only pair one device to it at a time. It doesn't get very loud, and there's compression when you play it at max volume.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
4.4 Voice Assistant

The Anker Flare 2 is poor for voice assistants. It uses the voice assistant from your paired smartphone, but it doesn't have any built-in support. Also, as part of our methodology, we use recorded voice prompts to test the speaker. However, this speaker didn't respond to the commands, even when there wasn't any ambient noise present. It responded to a normal speaking voice, but this isn't part of our testing process.

7.2 Outdoors

The Anker Flare 2 is decent for outdoor use. It's well-built and portable, and since it's battery-operated, you don't have to worry about plugging it into an outlet to get it to work. With an over eight-hour battery life, it can last through long days outside. It even has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. However, it doesn't get very loud, and there are some compression artifacts present when you play it at max volume.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • 6.8 Music
  • 6.0 Videos/Movies
  • 7.3 Podcasts
  • 4.4 Voice Assistant
  • 7.2 Outdoors
  1. Updated Aug 04, 2021: We updated the test results for 'EQ' to 'Graphic + Presets', and for 'Bluetooth Version' to '5.0'.
  2. Updated Jan 25, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jan 20, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights Yes

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a fairly small speaker with a cylindrical shape. It's meant to sit vertically, and there's a tight fabric wrapping around it. There are light rings on the top and bottom of the speaker, and you can turn them off if you prefer. You can buy this speaker in either 'Black' or 'Blue' color variants.

9.1
Design
Portability
Volume
83 inยณ (1,354 cmยณ)
Weight
1.3 lbs (0.6 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is incredibly portable. It's small and lightweight, so you can easily carry it in one hand. Also, since it's battery-operated, you can bring it outside without having to worry about plugging it into an outlet.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Great
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
No
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 has a good build quality. It feels solid and durable, and it sits on a rubber base. The tight fabric wrapping around the speaker doesn't seem like it would rip easily. It even has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. However, the manual warns that you should avoid dropping it.

7.9
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Good
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 Flare 2's controls are very good. On the top of the speaker, some controls let you play/pause your audio, adjust the volume, turn the speaker on/off, and turn the lights on/off. You can press the Play button twice to skip to the next track, and three times to skip to the previous track. The Play button also lets you accept/end calls, and you can hold for two seconds to activate voice assistant. On the rear of the speaker, there's a Bluetooth pairing button and a Bass-Up button that adds an extra thump to your audio. You can hold the Bluetooth button for three seconds to pair other Flare 2 speakers together. Overall, the buttons are responsive and easy-to-use.

Design
In The Box

  • Anker Soundcore Flare 2 Bluetooth speaker
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • User Manual

Sound
6.4
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.22
Std. Err.
4.05 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
60.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
13.7 kHz

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 has passable frequency response accuracy. Using the Default EQ with the BassUp feature turned on, it still struggles to reproduce low-bass. As a result, you don't really feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music genres. Vocals and lead instruments are clear and present, but higher frequencies are a bit dark and dull due to the underemphasized treble. There's a graphic EQ and presets available in the Soundcore app, so you can customize its sound to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
8.8
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
2.17 dB
Stereo
Yes

The soundstage is amazing. This speaker has excellent directivity, so the soundstage is perceived as large and open. Also, unlike the JBL FLIP 5, it has separate speakers for the left and right channels, so it can play stereo content.

5.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
84.9 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.81 dB

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 has middling dynamics. It doesn't get very loud, and there's a lot of compression when you play it at max volume. As a result, it may not be ideal to use in large rooms or at crowded parties. For a speaker that can get as loud but with less compression, consider the JBL Charge 4.

Active Features
7.7
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
8.2 hrs
Charge Time
2.0 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
USB-C

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 has a good battery performance. The manufacturer advertises a battery life of 12 hours, but in our tests, the speaker lasted for just over eight hours. However, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your results can differ. The speaker also shuts off after about twenty minutes without audio, which helps conserve its battery life. If you're looking for a speaker with a longer battery life, consider the Anker Soundcore Motion+ or the Limitless Innovations TikiTunes.

2.3
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Siri
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
Poor
Ambient Noise Performance
Bad

The Anker Flare 2 has poor voice assistant capabilities. It uses the voice assistant from your paired smartphone. As part of our methodology, we use recorded voice messages to test the speaker. However, the speaker didn't respond to some of these commands, even when there wasn't any ambient noise. While it responded to a normal speaking voice, this isn't part of our testing process. For a speaker with a better voice assistant performance, check out the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2.

7.9
Active Features
App
App Name
Soundcore
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

Update 08/04/2021: We updated the test results for EQ to 'Graphic + Presets' after retesting this speaker.

The Anker Soundcore app is very good. There are several EQ settings, including 'Default, 'Voice', 'Chill', 'Flat', and a Custom graph that offers a full graphic EQ. You can also turn the extra bass on and off. You can pair two speakers together to create a stereo pair, and there's also a Party Mode feature that lets you pair speakers to play your audio in large, crowded settings. You can even customize the lighting.

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

This speaker doesn't support any wired connections. Its USB-C to USB-A cable is for charging only.

7.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
159 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
147 ms
Bluetooth Range
221.5 ft (67.5 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

Update 08/04/2021: We updated the test results for Bluetooth Version to '5.0' after retesting this speaker.

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 has decent Bluetooth connectivity. It has an outstanding range, so the speaker stays connected to your Bluetooth device, even if you aren't very close to it. Unfortunately, its latency with iOS devices is likely too high to be suitable for gaming. It performs a little better with Android devices. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary. Consider the Beats Pill+ if you want a speaker with lower Bluetooth latency with iOS devices.

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 Flare 2 comes in 'Black' and 'Blue' color variants. We tested the 'Black' model, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. We expect the other color variants to perform similarly.

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 Flare 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with customizable colored lights. Like many small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, even with the Bass-Up feature turned on. Also, it doesn't get very loud. However, it has an amazing soundstage performance that can really immerse you in your audio, and its companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can customize its sound to your liking.

See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best waterproof speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers under $100.

JBL FLIP 5

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the JBL FLIP 5. The Anker has a better soundstage performance, and its graphic EQ and presets give you more ability to customize its sound. Also, the Anker supports voice assistants from your smartphone, though it doesn't offer the most impressive performance.

Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a slightly better speaker than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. The Motion+ is better suited to outdoor use since its battery lasts longer and it can get louder than the Flare. While the Flare has a more open soundstage thanks to its 360-design, it has more latency with iOS and Android devices, although some apps compensate differently for this.

JBL Charge 5

You may prefer either the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 or the JBL Charge 5 depending on your listening habits. The JBL has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, that can produce a slightly more extended low-bass than the Anker. It's better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It can also get a bit louder. That said, the Anker can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, and offers a wider-sounding soundstage. It also comes with a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. 

Anker Soundcore 3

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.

Anker Soundcore 2

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the Anker Souncore 2 overall.  WIth its Default EQ and BassUp feature enabled, The Flare 2 has a somewhat better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass than that of the Soundcore 2. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has better directivity, resulting in a wider and more open-sounding soundstage. It's also more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. That said, the Soundcore 2 has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better speaker for most uses than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. The Ultimate Ears is better-built with a longer battery life. Also, it gets louder, and it has less compression when played at max volume. However, the Anker supports voice assistants, and it also has a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization.

JBL GO 3

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the JBL GO 3. The Anker has a more balanced sound profile, and its graphic EQ and presets offer more sound customization options. Its soundstage is better, its battery life is longer, and it supports voice assistants. However, the JBL is better-built.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker for most uses than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. The Bose is better-built, and its battery life is longer. Also, it has a more neutral, balanced default sound profile. However, the Anker has a better soundstage, and its graphic EQ and presets offer more sound customization options.

Bose SoundLink Revolve II

You may prefer either the Bose SoundLink Revolve II or the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, depending on your listening habits. The Anker 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. That said, the Bose can be paired to two devices at once, which can help you swap between audio sources quickly. It also does a better job at letting your paired voice assistant hear you from far and in noisy settings.

Sonos Roam

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 or the Sonos Roam. The Sonos is better-built with a better voice assistant performance. However, the Anker has a better soundstage performance, longer battery life, and more sound customization options.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. The Bang & Olufsen has Alexa support and understands voice commands very easily, while the Anker struggles to understand you. The Bang & Olufsen is better built, comes with a carrying strap, and is advertised as dustproof. However, the Anker's battery lasts longer, and it can play stereo content without downmixing it into mono.

OontZ Angle 3

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the OontZ Angle 3. The Anker is better-built, and it supports voice assistants, unlike the OontZ. Its default sound profile is more neutral and its graphic EQ and presets offer more sound customization options. Also, it has a better soundstage. However, the OontZ gets louder, and it has less compression at max volume. Also, its battery life is longer.

Limitless Innovations TikiTunes

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the Limitless Innovations TikiTunes. The Anker is better-built with a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and it also has a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize its sound. Unlike the TikiTunes, it can play stereo content without downmixing it, and it supports voice assistants from your paired smartphone. That said, the TikiTunes has longer battery life.

Theater Solutions B83GR

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the Theater Solutions B83GR, with a more balanced sound profile. The Anker has a graphic EQ and presets, which are handy if you want to customize its sound. It also supports voice assistants and has an amazing soundstage. However, the B83GR may be better suited for those who prefer a louder speaker with fewer compression artifacts at max volume.

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