You’re preparing a feast for your favorite party guests. Suddenly you realize it’s quiet. You want to get the mood going.
You don’t have to go to your den to turn on your stereo because you have the most incredible sounding, portable Bluetooth speaker right at your fingertips. And the best part is it’s the best Bluetooth speaker under 50 on the market.
Was it the Anker SoundCore 2?
Yes! The Anker SoundCore 2 is the best portable Bluetooth speaker I’ve found under 50 dollars. I’ve compared everything from the quality of sound, durability, playtime, and portability to the waterproof rating.
SoundCore 2 isn’t as loud as I would typically like. When pushed to max volume, the speaker struggles to deliver the same loudness as other portable Bluetooth speakers.
Even though loudness is slightly less than competing brands, it’s still a great little speaker that has everything you would want.
I’ll give you tips on where to use it, who it’s best for, and I’ll even tell you what comes in the box.
Keep scrolling for the full review or check out the table of contents below if you’re looking for something specific.
- Are Anker Speakers Any Good?
- Anker SoundCore vs. Anker SoundCore 2
- Seriously, This Battery Never Quits
- Not as Loud as Other Speakers But
- So, Which Is It, IPX5, or IPX7?
- Durability That Matches Your Greatest Adventure
- Plenty of Range for The Explorer in You
- What Comes with Your Anker SoundCore 2?
- Operating Your New Bluetooth Speaker Is Easy
- Anker SoundCore 2 – What I Like
- Anker SoundCore 2 – What I Don’t Like
- Who It’s Best For?
Are Anker Speakers Any Good?
As you might have guessed, I ranked it #1 on my list for a reason.
For the bargain buyer, this incredible little speaker gives you everything you need and more. Anker products aren’t the Rolls Royce of speakers, but they are in the Cadillac range.
With Anker’s specialization in power solutions, it’s no wonder that the battery life and power of SoundCore 2 is outstanding.
Anker uses proprietary technology, PowerIQ, to detect device connections and determine current delivery. Less battery charging time and a simple connection to your other devices.
The bass gets high marks as well with Anker’s signature BassUp Technology. They’ve managed to get a top tier bass sound at max volume. It’s remarkable for the size of Anker SoundCore 2’s speaker.
But if you’re looking for loudness, you’ll want to keep reading. Later, I describe the best conditions for the optimal volume of this speaker.
Anker also invested in data collection processes to track customer reviews and pricing shifts. This tactic helped Anker ramp up customer service, offer competitive pricing, and influence design decisions.
Anker has an excellent reputation.
The fact that they offer an 18-month warranty and have high customer service ratings supports my decision for their top ranking.
But more importantly, the performance of their products can’t be beaten for the price. So, let’s dig a little deeper and see what’s so great about this little speaker and what’s not.
Anker SoundCore vs. Anker SoundCore 2
I’ve spent some time figuring out what makes the upgraded SoundCore 2 better than its predecessor.
Let’s start with the wattage. Anker doubled the watts in SoundCore 2. They also implemented BassUp Technology to enhance the deep bass sound at higher volumes for a better listening experience.
SoundCore 2 is slightly bigger and heavier but not enough to notice. It’s just as portable as its previous version.
SoundCore isn’t waterproof, but SoundCore 2 has an IPX7 rating, so if splashing by the pool or playing around at the beach is your thing, you’ll want the SoundCore 2.
Rubber coated materials and attached rubber plugs for the connection ports make SoundCore 2 more durable and suitable for outdoor and travel fun.
The waterproof rating, durability, and enhanced bass make this upgraded version a steal for the price. It’s worth the few extra bucks to get the upgraded features if you can afford to do so.
The battery life is unbeatable in both SoundCore products.
Seriously, This Battery Never Quits
The foundation of Anker’s reputation is on its genius battery pack design. Anker didn’t hold back on selecting a top-notch power management system for SoundCore 2, either.
They use a 5200mAh lithium-ion battery house design. You get 24 hours of play and up to 500 songs out of this powerhouse speaker.
You’ll be pleased with SoundCore 2’s playtime and the fact that they use rechargeable batteries.
But if you like your volume cranked up to the max, you’ll need to have an extra battery or two on hand, depending on how long you like to play.
Just like most of these small, portable Bluetooth speakers, you’ll only be able to get about 15-16 hours of play on max volume. But that’s still phenomenal.
All you need is a back-up battery on hand to use while your other one is charging, and this little party machine plays for days.
It’s easy to slide the battery in and out for a quick change. And the Power IQ technology means it only takes about 3 hours to charge your battery with a 2-amp charger. Less downtime, so your party keeps going.
Cold temps won’t drain your battery like the old cell ones, either. That’s because of the battery’s inclement weather tolerance.
The bottom line is you can cook all day and party all night and never have to worry about losing your tunes to a dead battery.
Depending on your activity, you may sacrifice a little sound for all the other great features.
Not as Loud as Other Speakers But
SoundCore 2 has an incredibly balanced sound for the price. And the upgraded 12W of power and dual neodymium drivers produce a thundering bass that blows away its previous version.
But it’s still not as loud as other portable Bluetooth speakers. Although, for the price, it exceeds performance expectations. If you’re enjoying your speaker at the campsite with a group of friends, SoundCore 2 is plenty loud.
This speaker is great in smaller group settings like a nice dinner party with friends or when you’re lounging by the pool.
But if you’re having a big bash or in an area that competes with other entertainment like a tailgate party, you may be disappointed. You would most likely want to use a beefier subwoofer or sound system for that activity regardless.
There is no distortion at max volume. So, if you’re someone like me who likes a rich, clean sound, you’d be willing to sacrifice a fraction of the volume for quality of sound. If that’s you, this speaker is for you.
You can find a little better bass and volume in some competing brands like JBL Go 2 and UE Wonderboom. But, the diversity of SoundCore 2 makes it such a great buy. For example:
- SoundCore 2 beats the battery life of JBL Go 2 by nearly 80% and UE Wonderboom by 46%.
- Anker SoundCore 2 has stereo quality speakers, and JBL Go 2 doesn’t. (Sound deliverance is by independent channels on both sides of the unit producing a more luxurious sound experience.)
- Anker SoundCore 2 has 4.2 Bluetooth, which is slightly better than JBL Go 2’s 4.1 Bluetooth.
- Anker SoundCore 2 has voice recognition. But JBL Go, and UE Wonderboom doesn’t.
- Anker SoundCore 2 has an Auxiliary port, and UE Wonderboom doesn’t.
The differences add significant value when you consider what you’re getting for the price point.
Do you know enough now to make a decision?
Things like waterproof rating, durability, and range, may be relevant to you as well, so let’s explore how SoundCore 2 measures up in those categories next.
So, Which Is It, IPX5, or IPX7?
I’ll clear up some confusion regarding the waterproof rating for SoundCore 2. Anker upgraded SoundCore 2 from IPX5 to IPX7. It’s challenging to figure this out since Anker’s website doesn’t make that clear and still advertises the product with the old IPX5 rating. And most reviews out there still say IPX5.
It isn’t until you search the IPX7 rating on Anker’s site that you discover SoundCore 2 was indeed upgraded to an IPX7 rating for water resistance.
Amazon has it correct and appropriately added the word upgraded to the product description. So, no worries, the upgraded version can handle your splashes and weather.
Pool, beach, rain, mud bowl, you name it, Anker SoundCore 2 has you covered. Anker’s rugged construction gives you confidence in protection from dust as well as the occasional splash.
Upgraded materials and port coverings make this little machine outdoor and shower proof.
I wouldn’t drop it in the pool. The IPX7 rating means it is submersible up to 3ft of water for about 30 minutes, but I wouldn’t recommend taking that chance.
I couldn’t find enough evidence to support a claim for SoundCore 2’s ability to be submersed like I did the Aomais Sport II.
The difference between the two is that Aomais Sport II has a slightly more protective coating. Aomais also has testimonies from users that it can handle the occasional oops in the water.
But you can rest assured that water splash and rain won’t interrupt your fun while using your SoundCore 2 speaker.
It’s the ultimate companion for your sound system, too. The dustproof technology keeps the inside clean for optimal operation. So, go ahead and put it on that shelf. You’re covered.
SoundCore 2’s durable construction can handle your awkward moments.
Now let’s dive deeper into durability.
Durability That Matches Your Greatest Adventure
You love adventure and lead an active life. You’re sick of spending money on a speaker that can’t keep up with you.
It Almost Bounces When Dropped
The body of SoundCore 2 is coated in rubber for a better grip. Those clumsy moments won’t result in a broken machine as fast as others.
Take it out on the construction site with you. Take it on that all-day hike. You can drop SoundCore 2, and it’s incredibly forgiving.
Rubber protective plugs help keep your connection ports protected from water splashes, dirt, and any other particles that could impede your connectivity.
Watch That Grille
The speaker grille covering sticks out more than the previous version. The upside is that it creates more separation from the actual speakers. In my opinion, this feature offers a little more protection.
If you bump or ding the grille mesh, it’s farther away from your speaker, and that’s the essential part of your machine.
The downside is the protective grille isn’t recessed like the SoundCore. So the upgraded version is more susceptible to dents and scratches. If aesthetics are important to you, you’ll want to be a little more careful.
Nice Control Buttons, But Fingerprints Suck
The control buttons are more pronounced. It’s smoother to the touch, and since these get much use, the thicker construction keeps you from pressing with force and compromising the integrity of the connection.
But the smooth rubber coating can’t handle all those touches without leaving fingerprints that are difficult, if not impossible, to get off.
Overall, SoundCore 2 is a more rugged design and can handle an owner that enjoys an active lifestyle. As I mentioned above, Aomais Sport II ranks higher for me in durability, but SoundCore 2 is a close second.
And the best part is it has a fantastic range so you can go the distance with your rugged, waterproof speaker.
Plenty of Range for The Explorer in You
When it comes to range, SoundCore 2 has 66ft/20m of unobstructed, listening pleasure. It performs quite well at a distance, and it has a built-in mic that gives you the freedom to make calls and communicate with your cell phone.
You Won’t Lose Your Beats
It’s no Oontz Angle 3, which has up to 100ft of unobstructed range. But the calls are crisp and clear, and the beats don’t lose anything up to 66ft with SoundCore 2.
This great speaker has 4.2 Bluetooth Technology with a 70 Hz-20KHz Frequency Response Rate. It also has upgraded 2 x 6-Watt drivers.
All this simply means is you won’t have a delay while you’re trying to hold a conversation or dance to your favorite song. Many other portable Bluetooth speakers suffer from this annoying issue.
But no so with the SoundCore 2. Anker paid attention to this important detail for you.
Now that we have all the finer details out of the way let’s look at what you’ll get when the box arrives.
What Comes with Your Anker SoundCore 2?
The most important thing that comes with your Anker SoundCore 2 is protection and excellent service.
You get an 18-month warranty and the best customer service around.
Please don’t hesitate to take advantage of this if something doesn’t look, sound, or perform the way it should.
Anker truly does offer hassle-free returns for qualifying issues. Getting a year and a half to discover problems is unbelievable.
I don’t recommend waiting that long if you suspect something isn’t right. But Anker does back their products and makes it right if something goes wrong.
So, what’s in the box?
First, the packaging is secure and adequately protective. And here’s what’s inside the box:
- A happy card congratulating you on your purchase and owner’s manual.
- A velvety, sealed sleeve protects your speaker.
- Inside the sleeve is a beautiful but simply designed Bluetooth speaker that weighs just under a pound.
- One USB Charging Cable
- One Lithium-Ion Battery
Make sure you read the manual. Operation is effortless, but things like the pairing, troubleshooting, and do’s and don’ts are helpful tips, so you get the most out of your investment.
The speaker fits comfortably in your hand and measures 6.5 x 2.2 x 1.8 inches. So small, you can fit it in a backpack, purse, or most fanny packs.
When you first pull your SoundCore 2 out of the sleeve, you’re instantly taken aback by the leathery, cushy feeling of the rubber coating. The grip leaves you feeling secure.
The nice, large buttons are easy to see and feel making operation a breeze.
There is a built-in mic for utilizing the touch-free calling feature, too.
The Battery Is Included But
Although your beautiful speaker includes one Lithium-ion battery and a USB charging cable, it doesn’t include an Auxiliary cable.
It has an auxiliary port, but you’ll need to purchase the Aux cable separately.
I wasn’t crazy about this since many other Bluetooth speakers come with the Aux cable, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker.
Some optional items to consider if you can splurge are a travel case and a 4 ft. Auxiliary audio cable.
Just like all my reviews, I want you to know what things I like and don’t like. We all have different tastes and needs, but I want you to have all the information possible so you can make a great buying decision.
Operating Your New Bluetooth Speaker Is Easy
Pairing your SoundCore 2 couldn’t be easier.
You just select Bluetooth on your phone settings, find your device, select it, and your device pairs automatically when your Anker SoundCore 2 powers on.
A blinking blue light indicates pairing, and once paired, the light turns solid blue. And that’s it. You’re ready to play your favorite audio in a snap.
Check out this video to see how easy it is to get your device up and running.
Tons of customer feedback inspired the convenient skip feature. If you press the play button twice, you can jump to the next song. You don’t have to use your phone or other devices.
You’ll experience immediate enjoyment with all of the great features of your new Bluetooth speaker.
Anker SoundCore 2 – What I Like
- Under $40, this is the best portable Bluetooth speaker for the price point.
- 24-hour battery life – SoundCore 2 endures through my most extended playtime.
- Amazing bass even at the highest volume settings. Great for rock-n-roll tunes where the bass is an essential factor.
- Excellent customer service – Good service is hard to find these days. Anker is responsive, courteous, and stands behind their name.
Anker SoundCore 2 – What I Don’t Like
- It doesn’t come with an auxiliary cable. Not a big issue, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to purchase the auxiliary cable separately, like other models on my list. However, Anker offers a 4ft Cable for a reasonable price. And it’s backed by an 18-month warranty.
- I would like to have more color choices so I could match my home décor. Anker only offers black, blue, and red.
Who It’s Best For?
You have the perfect sound system, and you need a Bluetooth speaker that can move with you.
You love your music and want to take it with you wherever you go. Cooking in the kitchen, outside gardening, or lounging on the beach. Not a problem!
You love to entertain for hours. So the battery life of your Bluetooth speaker is vital.
You want a durable, weather-proof speaker that can handle your adventurous spirit. If this describes you, Anker SoundCore 2 is the perfect match.
And, if you’re still undecided, check out my top 10 picks under $50 here.
You can be confident you’ll have all the information you need to find the Bluetooth speaker that’s right for you.