Soundcore, as some readers may know, is Anker’s premium level audio branding. Over the past few years, the company has started pumping out some really great products that offer value-based awesome musical experiences. We were big fans of the original Flare last year and Anker has returned with the Soundcore Flare 2.
The Soundcore Flare 2 doesn’t stray too far from the original. You have an angled-cylinder speaker with a nice fabric covering. There’s also a heft and sturdiness to the Flare 2 that signals it’s well-made.
I have no reservations taking this one just about anywhere. That’s a good thing because Anker wants this thing to be available everywhere you go. The Flare 2 is IPX7 waterproof and has a silicone anti-skid layer on the bottom. The canvas covering also makes it capable of taking a fall or being tossed in a bag without looking beat to hell.
There are no real standout features of the design other than the Soundcore logo on the bottom front of the Flare 2. Around the rear, you find the USB-C power port and a Bluetooth button for pairing multiple Flare speakers together.
The main controls of the Flare 2 are very familiar to anyone that’s used a Bluetooth speaker. They are located on the top of the Flare 2 in a traditional D-pad style layout. Here you’ll find a power button, volume up/down, LED illumination control, and a Soundcore logo for activating voice controls on the connected device.
Most of the controls are pretty self-explanatory. You press and hold the power button to turn the Flare 2 on and off. Pressing the volume up and down once will change the audio levels. Long-pressing the same will skip forward or to the previous track in your playlist.
The Soundcore and 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.
The LED button controls the illuminated rings at the top and bottom of the Flare 2. Pressing the button once to turn the lighting effects on and single presses afterward will rotate through the color profiles. Press and hold the button for 2 seconds will turn off the LED options.
I personally don’t care much for audio light shows, but younger folks like my teenage daughter seem to enjoy it. While I consider it a gimmick, it’s nice to see Anker include it. I’m glad that I am able to turn the feature off.
Sound on the Soundcore Flare 2 speaker is really good. The 360-degree sound legitimately fills a room with a rich playback experience. You can even adjust the bass on the fly with the dedicated button on the back of the Flare 2.
And if you want to tweak the sound even more, you can always jump into the Soundcore mobile app. This gives you an on-demand equalizer and tutorials on how to use Anker’s audio branded devices.
Now, let’s talk about the best part of the Flare 2 speaker. You can sync multiple Flare 2 units together for stereo sound. You can actually daisy-chain up over 100 speakers together if you’re a true lunatic or have an endless supply of money.
To set this up you can pull up the tutorial on the Soundcore app, but you hold the Bluetooth button also found on the back of each speaker. This puts it in sync mode as the “master” speaker in the chain.
You then hold the same button on each sequential Flare 2. Once they are linked up, you get an extended, rich stereo experience. I know that the Flare 2 isn’t the only device that does this, but Anker really has an impressive iteration here with these.
The Soundcore Flare 2 by Anker offers a compelling Bluetooth speaker with good 360-degree sound, waterproofing, and the ability to create a stereo cluster for your music playback. The only thing I think is genuinely missing is Chromecast. I really wish Anker would offer another option with this feature.
You can snag a Flare 2 speaker, or 100 of them, at Amazon now for $80. I was truly impressed by this portable unit and I think you will be too.