We live in a wireless world. Our phones carry our music with us wherever we go. That’s why a portable Bluetooth speaker is something we can all use. Imagine listening to your favourite podcast while you’re gardening or starting an impromptu dance party with friends at the park. No matter the time or place, everything’s better with music, and the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 will let you bring the music with you everywhere you go.
The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 (coming soon) is a portable Bluetooth speaker that delivers 360 degrees sound with colour-changing LED rings. It’s small, waterproof, and features technology to increase the bass. The question is, is it any good? Let’s answer that question after taking a quick look at the video below and the specs.
Specs: Anker Soundcore Flare 2
If you want to read up on portable Bluetooth speakers before you dive into my review, check out the Bluetooth speaker buying guide.
- IPX7 Waterproof so it withstands complete water submersion
- 12-hours playtime – 5,200 mAh Li-ion battery
- Multiple light modes – choose 1 of 6 lighting modes
- PartyCast technology – sync your music across 100+ Anker Soundcore speakers
Design of the Anker Soundcore Flare 2
The Anker Flare 2 is designed for outdoor use in backyards and the beach. It’s constructed from sturdy material and sits on a rubber pad. This prevents movement from bass vibrations.
It’s very portable measuring approximately 6.3” x 3.5” (HW) and weighs only 1.29lb. Shaped like a cylinder, a rugged cloth covers the grille that houses a 20-watt driver. The top and bottom of the speaker feature multi-colour LED rings. Each ring houses 24 small rainbow LEDs. A rubber flap opens in the back to access the USB-C port. Above that is the BassUp and Bluetooth button.
The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 has an IPX7 rating. If you’re not familiar with the IPX rating system, this guide will help. Essentially an IPX7 rating means the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 can be submerged in water up to one meter for 30 minutes. This makes it suitable in rain or near water splashes.
On the top are controls for power, volume, and a light button that switches between the various LED light modes. In the center, a multi-function button for voice assistant control also tracks navigation and playback.
Using the Soundcore app
The Anker SoundCore Flare 2 works in conjunction with the Soundcore app (iOS and Android). Here you can control the lights, adjust audio preferences, and update the speaker’s firmware.
Inside the app, users can switch between different EQ presets such as Voice, Chill, Flat. There’s also a Custom preset where users can manually adjust EQ bands. As an audiophile myself, I appreciate this level of customization.
Tapping the Light Effect button takes you to light presets. Here you will find presets such as Party Time, Phasing Beats, Circle Beam, and more. One of the light effects is called Who’s Next. This appears to be a random light generator. People would stand around the Flare 2 and a random light would indicate who the next player would be for any game. This is a unique feature. Its purpose is not entirely clear to me and I couldn’t find any more info about it in the app.
PartyCast with the Anker SoundCore Flare 2
The one feature that caught my attention was PartyCast. This is a technology developed by Anker to link 100+ speakers together. Sound and light are synchronized across every speaker. This feature can really set a party mood at night in virtually any space.
To enter PartyCast mode, users must first set up a primary speaker by connecting it to a device (i.e. smartphone or tablet). Using the Bluetooth button, users can then add additional speakers. To verify the connection, a light will change from flashing white to solid white on the additional speaker.
Testing the Anker Soundcore Flare 2
I do a lot of yard work, gardening, and exercise in my backyard. To test the Soundcore Flare 2, I used it indoors and outdoors connected to my smartphone and tablet. It’s extremely portable and versatile for listening to streaming music, podcasts, and videos. I’m also a huge fan of 360-degree sound. It doesn’t matter where you place the Soundcore Flare 2. It’s going to sound good anywhere and everywhere.
The frequency profile is comparable to other speakers I’ve reviewed at its size. You can audibly hear the difference with BassUp on and off. I prefer to keep it on for music, and off for listening to podcasts. The addition of the lights on the top and bottom gives it a modern, futuristic look. The lighting effect can be enhanced by the surface it’s placed on. On a glass table at night, the reflection of changing lights is quite mesmerizing.
For myself, the main selling feature is PartyCast. Unfortunately, I only had one Anker Soundcore Flare 2. I was, however, reviewing the Anker Soundcore Rave Neo. It also has PartyCast but I was unable to sync the two speakers together. I tried everything and followed the instructions carefully. However, I don’t think these two speakers are compatible with PartyCast.
Final thoughts on Anker Soundcore Flare 2
These days, everyone can use a wireless Bluetooth speaker. The audio from our smartphones and tablets is not that good. With that said, there is no shortage of options available today.
The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a versatile portable speaker that’s easy to use in a variety of different contexts. You could use it to listen to podcasts as you shower in the morning. Then, you can bring it outside as you organize your shed. Finally, when friends come over for a BBQ, it brings its pulsating music light show on the deck.
It’s not perfect. I think additional design elements could make it better. For instance, I wish there was a small hook on the bottom of the base. I would love the ability to hang it, especially during parties. Also, I would love to see more LED lights. I feel any portable Bluetooth speaker should now have LED lighting. The more, the better.
In the future, I hope I’ll have an opportunity to test out the PartyCast feature with Anker speakers. As someone who has set up multi-room speaker systems, I would like to know how well this feature is. For example, how far can the speakers be apart? Do they all need to be in close proximity to the primary speaker? These are the questions I hope to answer in the future.
No matter how you intend to use it, a small, portable Bluetooth speaker can add a lot of value to your life. If you’re looking for a good bang-for-your-buck option, I highly recommend you give the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 a try. Keep an eye out for it, because it’s coming soon to Best Buy.