The SoundCore 2 Bluetooth Speaker is yet another fantastic speaker brought to you by our beloved Anker. The package includes:
SoundCore 2 Bluetooth speaker
USB-A to microUSB charging cable
18-month worry-free warranty
The SoundCore 2 boasts 12 watts (2 x 6 watts) of total power using two 1.5" full range drivers along with a passive radiator. This, along with Anker's BassUp technology and a patented spiral bass port helps to achieve big sound from a small speaker.
The speaker is IPX5 water protected which safeguards against rain, dust, snow, and spills. It shouldn't be immersed but it's definitely outdoor-proof if you wish to use it in that manner.
The unit's internal 5200mAh Li-ion battery is rated to last a maximum of 24 hours or 500 songs. Note that this can vary with the volume level actually used and the source audio material so use this specification as a guideline. Recharge time for the internal battery is rated at three hours using a 2 amp external charger (which is not included).
Bluetooth version is 4.2 which provides a 66 foot wireless connectivity range to your device. Also provided is an AUX in port that will allow you to connect the speaker to your device directly using a standard AUX cable (not included). A microphone is also provided on the unit to use the speaker as a hands-free speaker when on a phone call.
The SoundCore 2 came well packaged in Anker's typical white/blue/black color scheme. All included items were well protected from any shipping jarrs/bumps/jolts that could occur.
Upon opening the box, I was surprised at how small this speaker actually is. Going by it's size alone, it would seem to not be able to produce much bass or volume. Thankfully, this assumption was put to rest when the speaker was powered up and paired via Bluetooth with an audio source...a MacBook Pro 13" (Late 2011), iPhone 5s and iPad mini 4 were all used with no trouble with pairing or connectivity issues. The only issues I ran into were typical to my personal dwelling environment; plaster walls once again proved themselves effective at diminishing the Bluetooth signal (as they affect Wi-Fi as well). Other than that, connectivity was outstanding with zero issues.
Sound quality was outstanding for such a small speaker. The sound was clear, rich and full. Bass was quite remarkable using BassUp (which is always activated and not switchable) along with the passive radiator and whatever internal "Spiral bass port" technology (invisible to the user) is used. Volume was decent...crank it above a certain level (audio content will affect this) and the sound quality will start to somewhat diminish. As I mentioned, this is a small speaker so do not expect miracles. What you can expect is great audio quality at normal listening levels.
Battery life seems to be on par with the advertised 24 hour rating. This speaker plays and plays...kinda like the Energizer bunny.
The device control buttons (Power, Volume -, Play >, Volume +, and multifunction Bluetooth) along the upper side are all sealed from the elements and have a great feel to them with nice positive clicks that let you know that you've pushed them. Also on the same side of the unit are two status LEDs, one to the left of the Power button indicating:
Fully charged battery/Power ON (steady white)
Battery being charged (steady red)
Low battery (flashing red)
The other LED is to the right of the Bluetooth button indicating:
Bluetooth pairing mode (flashing blue)
Bluetooth device connected (steady blue)
Overall, the SoundCore 2 is a great speaker considering it's small size and small price. Battery life is stellar as well. All of it's functions and usability are outstanding. Most of all, the sound that this little speaker produces is quite remarkable. Prepare to be surprised by this little gem.
I've now since seen a few teardowns of the SoundCore 2 which reveals that the speaker drivers themselves are marked/stamped (on the drivers themselves) as "5W" (or 5 watts), in some cases questioning Anker's advertised "6 watt x 2" specification. While this "5W" driver rating may be true, speaker drivers themselves are usually stamped with the speaker's handling capacity, not the amplifier's wattage. The amplifier used to drive the speakers may in fact produce more power. I personally feel that the spec used by Anker (in the SoundCore 2's case, 6W x 2) reflects the amplifier wattage and not the speaker handling wattage.
The Soundcore 2 advertises "Huge Stereo Sound" which at first I thought was a marketing ploy/gimmick. Upon further testing of this little guy, it truly is a stereo speaker. Initially, I expected to hear both left and right audio channels play through both drivers (mono mix) but further listening/testing reveals that the left audio channel is indeed played through the left driver and the right audio channel is indeed played through the right driver.
I verified using older Van Halen tracks (David Lee Roth era) where the guitar is panned hard left...sure enough, close listening (you need to get the speaker close to your head/face and centered) reveals a true left/right stereo image.
I also tested using Audacity (audio editing software) where you can pan/isolate the audio channels with the same result.
The SoundCore 2 is turning out to be my favorite speaker as far as sound quality goes (not great with sheer volume however), even beating out the more powerful Motion Q.