Box-fresh Bluetooth speakers roll in thick and fast at this time of year and frankly, not all of them deserve a dedicated TechRadar news piece. Why is this one any different? Is it cut from the same cloth as some of the best Bluetooth speakers around?
Not necessarily. Although this particular audio outfit's Anker Soundcore Flare 2 performed well under review, the Anker Soundcore 2 was a little disappointing – and Anker is perhaps better known for producing some of the best power banks on the market, rather than speakers.
The new Anker Soundcore Motion X600 is not a smart speaker either. But what it does have is something its maker, Anker Soundcore, is calling a 'sky driver' for upward firing Spatial Audio support plus LDAC (from an Android device), aka Sony's wireless audio codec that allows three times more data to be efficiently transmitted than standard Bluetooth. This kind of resolution, while not entirely lossless, is far closer to true CD-quality audio as long as you’re pairing the speaker with a device that supports either codec. And those are pretty special to have here.
Why? Because of pricing. A quick glance over our Apple HomePod 2 review proves Apple's Spatial Audio-toting speaker will set you back $299 / £299 / AU$479 (remember, the Apple HomePod mini doesn't support Dolby Atmos, LDAC or Spatial Audio) – and Sonos Era 300, which has an upfiring driver just like the Anker, costs $449 / £449 / AU$749. Whereas the model I want to tell you about knocks an easy $100 off the HomePod and $250 off the Sonos – or more, if you grab a deal…
Opinion: if the Motion X600 sounds as good as its spec sheet looks, Anker Soundcore has a hit on its hands
Anker Soundcore says that the Motion X600 is designed to be the company’s most premium-looking loudspeaker to date, with a metal grille, a handle and a simple yet elegant design – but it's under the hood that things get really interesting.
This speaker incorporates five drivers: two woofers, two tweeters and one full-range, upwards-firing driver (aka the Sky Driver). This unique speaker array, combined with Soundcore’s audio algorithm is designed to provide an immersive, high-fidelity, audio experience in a portable design.
The Motion X600 is the brand’s first speaker to accept and decode Hi-Res LDAC sources (Android only) and the speaker includes a nine-band custom EQ (yes, nine) accessible via the Soundcore app (for both iOS and Android).
The Motion X600 has a 50W output which promises to fill a room with great sound and you can wirelessly pair two Motion X600 speakers together for a beefier stereo soundstage. It includes a 6400 mAh (7.2v) internal battery to claim up to 12 hours of playtime (at 50% volume) and it also carries an IPX7 waterproof rating.
The Anker Soundcore X600 comes in Polar Gray, Aurora Green, and Lunar Blue and is scheduled to be available for purchase on May 6 for $199.99 / £199.99 / €199.99 and $269.00 (CAD) on Amazon.com (which is around AU$299.99) via soundcore.com and other retail partners.
But if you're strongly interested, you can save $50 if you pre-order. The Motion X600 is available for pre-order through May 9 on Soundcore’s website (www.soundcore.com) in the US, UK, Germany, or Canada for $149.99, £149.99, €149.99, and $199.99 CAD.
I've not seen anything that excited me quite so much in the Bluetooth realm since the world’s first LDAC and aptX HD Bluetooth speaker, the BE100, also known as Astell&Kern’s first foray into wireless Bluetooth speakers, which launched in March 2022. The thing is, that speaker cost $499 / £449 / AU$549…
At just $150 and toting Spatial Audio and LDAC, Anker Soundcore could be onto a stone cold winner with the X600. And if it sounds any good at all, Apple, Sonos and JBL should definitely be worried – or be busily creating a new competitor…