Soundcore Flare 2 Review
Anker’s original SoundCore Flare 1 speaker was a hit: great sound, cool lights, and long battery life. The Flare 2 continues the highly rated design with a few enhancements. If you’re simply interested in what is different, you can check out our Flare 1 vs 2 comparison chart.
The sound on Soundcore Flare 2 is impressive, much like the Flare 1 model. Not only do you get crisp highs and full mids, but bass is also enhanced more on the Flare 2 compared to its predecessor. In addition, the sound is noticeably louder on the Flare 2:
|Watts per Speaker||Dual Speaker Total|
|Flare 1||6 watts||12 watts|
|Flare 2||10 watts||20 watts|
Highs still become distorted at high volumes (when you reach about 80-85%), but the speaker still gets loud enough to fill a medium-sized room before hitting that point.
If you need to fill a large room or an outdoor party, you’ll likely want to look at pairing multiple Flare 2 speakers together, or check out one of Soundcore’s larger offerings such as the Soundcore Trance.
As noted earlier, the bass on the Flare 2 is even better than it was on the Flare 1. It’s not quite as bass-heavy as the Sony SRS-XB32 speaker, but it will likely satisfy most listeners. If bass is not your thing, the bass boosting effect can be turned off by pressing the “Bass UP” button located on the back of the speaker.
Probably the main difference you will notice on the new Flare 2 is the addition of an light ring on the top of the speaker, which the LED-lighting nerd that I am really enjoys! The light ring on the Flare 1 was located on the bottom and was sort-of hidden, especially if you set the speaker on a dark surface. Now, the LED lights are a lot more noticeable on the Flare 2.
Other than the LED rings, the cylinder shape is very much the same as the first generation of the Flare speaker.
The buttons have also been changed around a bit. You’ll now find the power button on top of the speaker and the Bass Up button on the back of the speaker.
The dimensions for the Flare 2 are very similar to the first generation: 3.5 x 3.5 x 6.3 inches.
- Additional lighting modes: Now that the Flare 2 has two LED light rings, Soundcore has added some additional lighting effects to the speaker. You can access most of them by pressing the “light” button on the top of the speaker. They can also be accessed and further customized by using the Soundcore app.
The lighting modes are: Party Time, Phasing Beats, Bouncing Beats, Circle Beam, Cool Breath, and “Who’s Next?” (which is a bit of a “spin the bottle” game).
- Party Chain: On the Flare 1, you could only pair the speaker to one other Flare 1 speaker. With the Flare 2, you can pair the speaker to up to 100 other Flare 2 speakers. However, please note that the Flare 2 cannot be paired to the Flare 1.
- Water Resistant: The Flare 2 has an IPX7 rating, meaning that it can be submerged in shallow water (up to 3.3 feet) for up to 30 minutes. Oddly, there is no “dust” rating (hence the “X”) on the Flare 2 whereas the Flare 1 had an IP67 (dust-tight) rating.
Battery life is still rated up to 12 hours on the Flare 2, which is the same as the Flare 1. Normal usage (with the lights) tends to net about 9-10 hours of play time.
The speaker itself sounds and looks great, but one thing that agitated me was the accompanying Soundcore app. The first time I launched the app in order to explore the features of the Flare 2, the Soundcore app displayed a full page ad for Soundcore’s new wireless headphones. While I can appreciate the discount it advertised, disrupting my workflow to show a full screen ad that I need to manually close in order to get to the speaker settings is a big no-no in my book.
The Soundcore Flare 2 gets louder and has stronger bass than the Flare 1, making it an all-around crowd pleaser -- literally -- with it's 360 degree sound. The built-in light show is also enhanced with a new light ring on the top in addition to the light ring on the bottom.
- Great sound and improved bass
- 2 LED light rings
- Long battery life up to 12 hours
- LEDs might not be very noticeable in the daylight
- Soundcore app displays full-screen ads