Anker Soundcore Flare 2 – Soundcore, as some readers may know, is Anchor’s premium audio brand. Over the past few years, the company has started pumping out some great products that offer value-based great music experiences. We were big fans of the original Flair last year, and Anker Soundcore is back with Flair 2.
Soundcore Flare 2 doesn’t deviate too far from the original. You have an angular cylindrical speaker with a nice fabric cover. The Flare 2 also has a weight and solidity that suggests it’s well made.
Anker Soundcore Flare 2
I have no reservations about taking this anywhere. This is good because Anker wants this content to be available wherever you go. Flare 2 is IPX7 waterproof and has an anti-slip silicone layer on the bottom. A canvas cover will cause it to drop or be tossed in a bag without seeing it go to hell.
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Apart from the Soundcore logo on the lower front of the Flair 2, there are no real design features. On the back, you’ll find a USB-C power port and a Bluetooth button for pairing multiple Flair speakers.
The Flair 2’s main controls will be very familiar to anyone who has used a Bluetooth speaker. They are placed on top of the Flare 2 in a traditional D-pad design. Here you’ll find the power button, volume up/down, LED lighting control and the Soundcore logo to enable audio controls on a connected device.
Most of the controls are pretty self-explanatory. To turn Flare 2 on and off, press and hold the power button. Pressing the volume up and down once will change the sound levels. A long press skips to the next or previous track in your playlist.
Soundcore and the LED buttons are where things get a little interesting. Pressing the SoundCore button activates the voice assistant of your choice. Google Assistant, Bixby and Siri are all supported.
Review: Soundcore Flare 2
An LED button controls the lighted rings on the top and bottom of the Flare 2. Press the button once to turn on the lighting effects and then once to cycle through the color profiles. Press and hold the button for 2 seconds to turn off the LED options.
I personally don’t care much for audio shows, but younger people like my teenage daughter seem to enjoy it. While I consider this a gimmick, it’s nice to see the anchor add it. I’m glad I was able to turn the feature off.
The sound is really good on the Soundcore Flare 2 speaker. 360-degree sound rightfully fills the room with a rich playback experience. You can also adjust the bass on the fly with a dedicated button on the back of the Flare 2.
And if you want to tweak the sound even more, you can always head over to the Soundcore mobile app. It gives you an on-demand equalizer and tutorials on how to use Anker’s audio brand.
Review: Soundcore Flare 2 Pack
Now let’s talk about the best part of the Flare 2 speaker. You can sync multiple Flare 2 units together for stereo sound. If you’re really crazy or have an endless supply of money, you can connect over 100 speakers.
You can pull up a tutorial in the Soundcore app to set it up, but you just hold down the Bluetooth button on the back of each speaker. This puts it in sync mode as the “master” speaker in the chain.
Then hold the same button on each subsequent flare 2. Once they’re linked, you get an expanded, richer stereo experience. I know the Flare 2 isn’t the only device to do this, but Anker really has an impressive iteration here with these.
Anker’s Soundcore Flare 2 offers amazing 360-degree sound, waterproofing and a powerful Bluetooth speaker with the ability to create a stereo cluster for your music playback. The only thing I think is really missing is Chromecast. I really wish Anker offered another option with this feature.
Review: Anker Soundcore Flare 2 Portable Speaker
You can grab a Flare 2 speaker or 100 of them on Amazon right now for $80. I am really impressed with this portable device and I hope you will be too.
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In The Test: Anker Soundcore Flare 2
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Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a small, portable Bluetooth speaker with multi-colored lights. Even with the BassUp setting on, it struggles to reproduce low bass, and harmonics on vocals and lead instruments can be dull or dark. Fortunately, the app has a graphical EQ and presets to help you customize the sound. It’s not very loud, but you can pair it with multiple speakers to amplify your sound over a packed party.
Anchor Flare 2 is fair to music. With its BassUp setting on, it still struggles to reproduce low bass. Vocals and lead instruments are clear and present, but high-frequency sounds like sibilants can become muffled and muffled. Also, it doesn’t get too loud. A graphic EQ and presets are available in its companion app, so you can customize the sound to your liking. You can pair it with multiple speakers to amplify the sound in a large or noisy area like a party.
Anchor Flare 2 is mediocre for videos and movies. Even with the BassUp setting on, it struggles to reproduce low bass, so you won’t feel the thump and rumble of action-packed scenes. It is not too high, and its latency is quite high with Android and iOS devices. However, some apps compensate for latency, so your experience may vary. On the upside, it has an excellent soundstage, so you’re truly immersed in your sound.
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The Anker Flare 2 is satisfactory for podcasts. Its balanced midrange can clearly reproduce dialogue, but upper harmonics and sibilants such as S and T sounds can be muffled or dark. It has a portable design, but unfortunately you can only connect one device at a time. It’s not too loud and there is compression when you play it at maximum volume.
Anchor Flare 2 is bad for voice assistants. It uses the voice assistant from your paired smartphone, but it has no built-in support. As part of our approach, we also use recorded voice messages to test the speaker. However, this speaker did not respond to commands, even when there was no ambient noise. It responded to a normal speaking voice, but that wasn’t part of our testing process.
Anker Flare 2 is suitable for outdoor use. It’s well-built and portable, and since it’s battery-powered, you don’t have to worry about plugging it into an outlet to make it work. With a battery life of eight hours, it can last long days outdoors. It also has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, although we’re not currently testing it. However, it’s not very loud and there are some compression artifacts when you play it at maximum volume.
Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with customizable colored lights. Like many small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low bass even when the bass-up function is turned on. Also, it doesn’t get too loud. However, it has great soundstage performance that really immerses you in your audio, and its companion app offers a graphical EQ and presets so you can customize the sound to your liking.
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Also see our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best waterproof speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers under $100.
The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a better speaker than the JBL Flip 5. The Anker has great soundstage performance and its graphic EQ and presets give you more options to customize the sound. In addition, Anker supports voice assistants from your smartphone, although it does not offer the most impressive performance.
The Anker Soundcore Flair 2 is an overall better speaker than the Anker Soundcore 3. The Flair 2 is well built and has great directionality, so your sound sounds clear from most angles. You can connect it to another speaker to create a stereo pair. The Soundcore 3 is slightly smaller and comes with a carrying strap, making it easy to take with you on the go. It also has a slightly longer Bluetooth range so your paired device can stay connected even if it’s far from the speaker.
The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a slightly better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB23.
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