Anker is probably best known for its power-related smartphone accessories, but it also makes a whole host of other useful items like Bluetooth speakers. Anker’s most popular speaker, the SoundCore is a constant fixture on Amazon’s best seller list. Is it worth checking out? Watch our video for a brief hands-on look.

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Unboxing

The SoundCore comes in standard and sensible blue and white Anker cardboard packaging. Inside the box you’ll find a welcome guide, a microUSB power cable, and the SoundCore speaker.

Although I ordered the black version of the SoundCore, the unit I received from Amazon came in red. I actually prefer the red color, so this was a good thing for me, but the unit I ordered showed that it was only available in black during checkout. Anker also makes a water-resistant SoundCore version 2, which is available in colors like Blue and Red.

Video walkthrough

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Specifications

  • Rechargeable battery with 24-hour playback
  • 66-ft Bluetooth 4.0 range
  • Built in microphone for phone calls
  • Hardware controls
  • Robust rubber build that’s ideal for outdoor usage
  • Can be had for less than $30

Why it’s a Best Seller?

The Anker SoundCore is a no-nonsense Bluetooth speaker that just works. Its 24-hour battery life is particularly appealing, even though I got closer to 16 hours in continuous playback testing. Regardless, that’s still very good battery life for such a small speaker.

For Amazon fans, the auxiliary connection means that the SoundCore pairs well with a device like Amazon’s Echo Dot. Simply connect the Echo Dot to the SoundCore with a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable, and you instantly get much better sound than what the Echo Dot is able to produce on its own.

All of this coupled with the sub $30 price point and the Anker name makes it easy to see why the SoundCore remains a Best Seller on Amazon.

Should you buy it?

If you’re looking for an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker that’s backed by a brand name, then the SoundCore is a good buy. Just don’t expect booming sound that you’d get from bigger speakers, as the it’s very light on the bass. The unit also lacks water resistance that’s found in other speakers, so that’s something to consider if you plan on using it outdoors.

Although the unit features buttons on top, they aren’t very tactile, and lack some basic functionality like the ability to go back to a previous song. You’re probably going to want to stick to controlling the SoundCore from your smartphone.

Simple, and no-nonsense Bluetooth and auxiliary playback — that’s the name of the game when it comes to the original Anker SoundCore.

What are you thoughts on the Anker SoundCore? Share your opinions down below in the comments.

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Jeff Benjamin's favorite gear