Got my Flare a little while ago, been testing it out and here's my review.
Obligatory unboxing pics, gotta love the new Soundcore branding - looks nice and high end.
One massive, glaring, omission from the box contents. We have our micro-USB cable (no USB-C for all you guys who are crying out for it), not an issue as I have way more micro-USB than USB-C cables around the place! But we have no Happy? - You all know what I'm talking about right??
First impressions on the unit - Wow! - it's pretty heavy, reassuringly so.
The material covering the unit is a bit odd at first - every other bluetooth speaker I've ever had has been plastic - this is quite a tough feeling material. Can't really compare it to anything, it's not like a traditional speaker grille.
Power it on and we get the sweet lights.
Pairing is the usual simple process for Anker/Soundcore kit. The nice reassuring Whoosh as you power it on. Pair with Bluetooth and off we go.
Yes, it's plugged into my 20100 Anker batter pack, reason for that was a first for me...
An app for a Bluetooth speaker! A firmware update for a Bluetooth speaker???
Go on then.
Come on, I wanna play!
Took almost 10 minutes - I was starting to get a bit worried.. I know Bluetooth doesn't have the greatest bandwidth - but I was worrying I had bricked it!
The app is quite nice, we can control the BassUp and EQ, as well as the lights. I will grab a few screenshots tonight and update this - just realised I hadn't taken any - and don't have the speaker with me right now.
It's had a bath
I haven't submerged it, but have run it under a tap several times - I love watching people's faces when you do that and they don't know it's waterproof!
I'm not an audiophile - I love my music and can tell the difference between a piece of garbage and something a lot better! Far too many loud gigs has meant my hearing isn't 100% - 95 maybe...
However, that said, I have a Soundcore Mini2 and a few other Bluetooth speakers. The sound improvement is huge - the sound is really bright and clear.
I have, or rather had, a Kitsound Hive 2 plugged into my living room Echo Dot. for a direct comparison I switched it out with the Flare - What a difference! The bass was massive! so much so that given the location is on top of an MDF cabinet, I had to switch the BassUp off! Just wow!
I've had a mixture of some nice chilled Faithless and Cafe Del Mar all the way up to Slipknot through it over the last week or so. Sound is awesome, I haven't played with the EQ settings on the app - haven't felt the need.
I know the Amazon Echo (1st gen) didn't have the greatest reviews for it's sound, but it isn't a bad speaker. This is much better and the similar 360 sound concept makes this speaker an ideal replacement if coupled with a little Echo Dot.
I've got to admit, I'm not a fan. I was never a fan of all the 90's big stereos that looked like a disco. In fact, I'm so grumpy that I've never liked discos!
I'm of the opinion that I want to listen to my music at home, not watch it.
It appears I'm in the minority in my house though, the boss and the kids love them and will switch them back on at every opportunity.
What a sound, I thought my old Hive 2 was a pretty big sound for a larger Bluetooth speaker - that's gone to the great speaker graveyard in the sky now. The sound from this speaker is very, very impressive.
The 360 sound is great too, put it in the garden for a BBQ and you won't get any flatspots of sound. Brilliant execution.
There was a top 10 of Bluetooth speakers on wired.com
Puts this at number 3, below 2 other speakers that are at least 3 times the price.. That alone should tell you what you need to know.
Seriously good value, and if you haven't gone and bought one yet, why not?
I've even convinced one of my colleagues to take the plunge, especially with the Amazon UK deal of the day today.
Like I said, I will try and update this review later with some app pics.
Any questions, give me a shout