Review: Soundcore Flare 2 – A feast for the ears (and eyes)
Mixing high-quality sound and light for a great portable package.
Damn it, I love audio gadgets. The advances in technology mean that not only is tech getting smaller and more user-friendly, it also means that it is available at a much more affordable price. Take the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, for example; this portable speaker sneaks in some nice additional features alongside great sound, with an MSRP of only $79.99.
Honey, I shrunk the speaker
The Soundcore Flare 2 is a compact little chap. Its cylindrical construction stands only 16cm from the base to the top, and its widest point (at the base) is 9cm in diameter. It is an unobtrusive portable speaker, which offers a lot more than its Lilliputian dimensions give away.
Being cylindrical allows the Flare 2 to deliver genuine 360° sound. It is pretty loud, too, packing dual 10W 1.75-inch drivers and dual passive radiators. It is the radiators that give the speaker their bass sound, which is the main focus of the Flare 2; delivering a rich bottom-end that outstrips many of its similarly-priced rivals thanks, in part, to the BassUp™ technology. Simply pop the ‘Up’ arrow and the speaker delivers additional bass to crank up your party.
I listened to Dr. Octagon’s epic track, 3000, which delivered the goods on the low-end front, while never engulfing the mids and tops with bass, or drowning out the vocal. A neat little speaker.
Listen with your eyes
The Flare 2 also boasts Dual Beat-Driven light rings – one at the base and one up top – which respond to the music being played by blinking, pulsing, swirling, and a number of other customizable display modes. I found the lights to be a really nice addition to the speakers, and they’re really nice quality in terms of their vibrancy and the brightness of the color they were capable of displaying.
The one gripe I have and, as small and singular as it may be, it is a factor I found to be important on occasion; the control panel at the top of the unit was difficult to see. It is fine if you have a very well lit room (daytime light I found best), but as soon as you’re relying on artificial light, I could not make out the controls. I knew where they were, so I could operate them, but someone who is less familiar with gadgets might struggle to locate them.
The top of the unit, which houses the controls, has lights built in – perhaps using a translucent button that the light could also shine through may help matters a little. Just an idea, though.
Take it for a swim
The Soundcore Flare 2 speaker is IPX7 compliant, meaning it is waterproof, which is great for outdoor listening if you are caught short in a cloudburst – the speaker won’t be damaged by any water frying its circuits. This also means it is a great speaker to perch in the bathroom, as the steam can’t have any negative effect.
In addition, Flare 2 has the ability to wirelessly link up to 10 other units, meaning that theoretically you can have music in every room in your house via these portable speakers so, with 12 hours of playtime, the party never has to end. The provided USB-C lead ensures your speaker can be charged pretty much anywhere.
The verdict on the Soundcore Flare 2
Anker does it again with the Soundcore Flare 2. They impressed Matthew recently with their Liberty Pro 2 in-ear headphones and myself the Nebula Soundbar, and they do so again with their updated Flare model.
The relatively low price-point, coupled with the big high-quality, 360° sound, ability to daisy-chain, and the IRX7 rating is the icing on the cake, allowing you to use the Flare 2 anywhere.
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Just a heads up, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here for more. A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.