Anker SoundCore Flare Review
This is one of the first speakers from Anker that includes built-in LED lights. But how does it sound? Surprisingly awesome!
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The SoundCore Flare has impressive all-around sound. Crisp highs, full mids and great bass can be heard no matter where you’re sitting in relation to the speaker thanks to its 360 design. At high volumes (over about 85%), the sound starts to get distorted and the highs can start to screech. This is important to keep in mind if you plan to use the speaker outside. For example, it will definitely work for a small gathering on the deck, but one SoundCore Flare likely won’t be loud enough for a large family reunion.
On the top of the speaker is a button dedicated to Anker’s Bass Up feature, which enhances the bass performance of the speaker. I like that Anker has a toggle for this feature as some people will prefer it, while others will not.
The speaker has great bass performance which can be enhanced further by sitting it close to a wall or on a shelf. When out in the open (in the center of a room or at in the yard, for example), bass performance diminishes somewhat, but the lows are still pronounced. The bass is not as strong as what you might find on the Sony SRS-XB31 speaker, but that speaker costs twice as much (or more).
The cylinder design allows everyone gathered around the Flare to enjoy the music. As I walked around the speaker outside, I didn’t notice any “dead zones” where the speaker would sound weaker. The 360-degree designs means that the speaker will sound better placed towards the center of the room or an outdoor gathering.
The LED light ring, which is one of my favorite features, is on the bottom of the speaker and shines down on the surface it is setting on. This means you won’t have the light shining directly in your eyes as it provides more of a “recessed” lighting effect.
- Light Ring: I’m a sucker for LED lighting and have a bit of a Philips Hue addiction. Although some may find the LED light ring on the Soundcore Flare to be a little gimmicky, I actually really enjoy it. It’s great for evenings relaxing on the deck with friends as the dancing glow really seems to set an ambiance. The lights can be controlled by tapping the “light” button on the top of the speaker. Holding down the “light” button for 2 seconds will turn off the lights. The lights can be adjusted (or turned off) with the Soundcore app as well.
- Speakerphone capable: You can also use the Flare as a speakerphone when it is paired via Bluetooth to your phone. Simply tap the “play” button to answer a call when it is ringing. I did find that I needed to be somewhat close to the speaker in order for the built-in mic to pick up my voice as the caller stated I sounded far away. I won’t be taking this speaker to work for conference calls anytime soon, but it’s fine to take a quick call (“Hey, you’re on the way? OK, see you soon, bye!”).
I found that I could squeeze about 10 hours out of this speaker to get me through the work day. Anker claims it can reach 12 hours and I’m assuming it can when using the AUX input instead of (more power-intensive) Bluetooth.
The SoundCore Flare not only sounds great, it looks great too! The LED light ring puts on a show while you're listening to your favorite music. The optional Bass Up feature enhances the bass when you want it. It can also be paired with a second Flare for wireless stereo sound.
- Great sound and bass
- LED light ring
- Long battery life
- May not be loud enough for large outdoor gatherings
- LED lights can be hard to see in the daylight