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Anker Soundcore Flare 2 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Review updated Jan 17, 2023 at 04:21 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Jan 17, 2023 at 04:21 pm
Anker Soundcore Flare 2 Picture
6.9
Music
6.0
Videos/Movies
7.3
Podcasts
4.4
Voice Assistant
7.2
Outdoors

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker available at a budget-friendly price. It's a small and lightweight device that lets you bring your favorite tunes with you on the go, and its IPX7 rating for water resistance adds some protection against the elements. The light rings around the top and bottom of the speaker are customizable, so you can set the mood wherever you go. In the Soundcore app, you can customize its sound to your liking using its graphic EQ and preset modes, including BassUp for added bass.

Our Verdict

6.9 Music

The Anker Flare 2 is fair for music. Out of the box, it offers a balanced sound, especially in the mids, where voices and lead instruments are reproduced. As a result, it's suitable for listening to lots of different genres. You can even use its graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound. That said, given its small size, this device can't bring much rumble in the low-bass, and it doesn't get as loud as other models on the market.

Pros
  • Amazing soundstage.
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Not loud enough to fill larger spaces.
6.0 Videos/Movies

The Anker Flare 2 isn't designed for use with videos and movies, but if you want to use it to watch content on a paired smartphone, it can get the job done. Dialogue is reproduced clearly, though there isn't much bass to bring action-packed scenes to life. There's also relatively high latency with iOS and Android devices, meaning you're likely to notice lip-synching issues in videos.

Pros
  • Amazing soundstage.
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Not loud enough to fill larger spaces.
7.3 Podcasts

The Anker Flare 2 is satisfactory for podcasts. Dialogue is reproduced clearly right out of the box, so you can easily follow along with your favorite shows. Given its portable design, you can bring it with you from room to room as you listen. You can stream podcasts right from your phone over Bluetooth, and while you can only pair it to one device at a time, its range is great, so it stays connected even if your phone is further away.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
Cons
  • Not loud enough to fill larger spaces.
4.4 Voice Assistant

The Anker Flare 2 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. This portable Bluetooth speaker has a sturdy design that's capable of withstanding some light exposure to the elements. It's rated IPX7 for water resistance, which is handy if you plan to use it near water. It's lightweight and easy to bring with you to the park or your backyard. It doesn't get as loud as some of the other speakers we've tested, so you'll want to stay close by to enjoy your favorite tunes.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
Cons
  • Not loud enough to fill larger spaces.
  • 6.9 Music
  • 6.0 Videos/Movies
  • 7.3 Podcasts
  • 4.4 Voice Assistant
  • 7.2 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jan 17, 2023: Updated review text for accuracy and clarity. No changes in test results.
  2. Updated Aug 04, 2021: We updated the test results for 'EQ' to 'Graphic + Presets', and for 'Bluetooth Version' to '5.0'.
  3. Updated Jan 25, 2021: Review published.
  4. Updated Jan 20, 2021: Early access published.

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, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Anker Flare 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with customizable colored lights. Like many small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, even with the BassUp feature turned on. It doesn't get very loud. However, it has an amazing soundstage performance that can 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 6

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is slightly better than the JBL Flip 6. With its 'Bass Up' feature enabled, the Anker can produce a more extended low-bass than the JBL. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and has better directivity, resulting in a wider and more immersive-sounding soundstage. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't very good. However, the JBL is smaller and better-built, making it easier to bring outdoors with you. Its out-of-the-box sound profile is a bit better balanced, and it can get slightly louder than the Anker. You can also pair it to up to two devices at a time, which is handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources.

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.

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 and 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, thanks to its 360-degree design.

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.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB23. With its default settings and BassUp feature enabled, the Anker has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has excellent directivity, resulting in a more open and natural-sounding soundstage. That said, the Sony is better-built, and can be paired to up to two devices at once, which can come in handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources.

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.

Anker Soundcore Motion Boom

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a slightly better speaker than the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom, though they have different strengths. The Flare 2 has significantly better directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, resulting in a more natural-sounding soundstage. It's also smaller, making it more portable. That said, the Boom can get much louder with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is better than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 overall. The Ultimate Ears is better built and has a significantly longer battery life of over 22 hours from a single charge. It gets a touch louder with much less compression present at max volume. It's also smaller and more portable. If you like having control over your speaker's sound profile, the Flare 2 comes with a graphic EQ and presets to tweak its sound to your liking. Since it's larger, it also produces a deeper bass. It even supports voice assistants through your smartphone.

Anker Soundcore 2

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 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.

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.

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 Charge 4

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 4. The Anker has a somewhat better-balanced sound profile with its BassUp feature enabled and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It has excellent directivity resulting in a wide and natural-sounding soundstage. You can customize its sound to your liking, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. That said, the JBL has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volumes. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 and the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 are similar speakers, though they have different strengths. The Ultimate Ears can get a bit louder with significantly less compression present at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volumes. It's better-built, and has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage. That said, the Anker has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce a more extended low-bass. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone, though its performance isn't great.

Anker Soundcore Motion X600

The Anker Soundcore Motion X600 is better than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. The Motion X600 is a more premium speaker with better sound quality, and it offers some additional enhancement features, such as its Spatial Audio tool. It gets louder, too, so it's more suitable for listening in larger spaces. It doesn't have RGB lights like the Flare 2, though, and its soundstage isn't quite as expansive since it lacks a 360-degree design.

Sony SRS-XB33

You may prefer either the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 or the Sony SRS-XB33 depending on your listening habits. The Anker offers a wider-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design and has a slightly better-balanced sound profile with its Default EQ and BassUp features enabled. That said, the Sony is better built and can be paired to up to two devices at once, which is handy when you need to quickly switch between audio sources. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can vary depending on your usage.

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 built-in 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.

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/Roam SL

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.

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.

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.

iFox iF012

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the iFox iF012 overall. The Anker offers a better-balanced sound profile with its BassUp feature turned on and has a graphic EQ and presets you can use to customize its sound profile to your liking. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone and can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. That said, the iFox has less compression present at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio at louder volume levels. It also comes with a removable suction cup and carabiner hook, which some users may prefer.

Sony SRS-XB43

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB43 overall. The Anker has excellent directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, so its soundstage is perceived as more open and natural-sounding. It also offers a better-balanced sound profile with its BassUp feature enabled, and can produce a more extended low-bass. That said, the Sony can get louder than the Anker. Also, it has a longer-lasting battery life, though this can depend on your usage.

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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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.

9.2
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 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 worrying 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

This speaker 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, meaning you can submerge it in up to a meter of water for thirty minutes without issue. However, the manual warns you to 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 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 the voice assistant. On the rear of the speaker, there's a Bluetooth pairing button and a BassUp 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
6.5
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.22
Std. Err.
4.05 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
60.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
13.7 kHz

Out of the box, the speaker has a fairly balanced sound, making it suitable for listening to a wide range of music genres. Voices and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix. Like most small speakers, there isn't much rumble in the low-bass, which is especially noticeable with genres like EDM and hip-hop. Even with its BassUp feature on, this is the case.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
8.9
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, meaning it can play stereo content.

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

The speaker gets loud enough to fill an average-sized room with sound, but it isn't suitable for larger or more open spaces. Also, as you turn up the volume, you notice more pumping and compression artifacts in the mix.

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

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)
Speakerphone
Yes
Siri
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Voice Assistant
Yes
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
Poor
Ambient Noise Performance
Bad

This speaker 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

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
Yes
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

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
Wi-Fi
No
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A