Anker SoundCore Boost Bluetooth Speaker: Hands down the best speaker under $100 (review)

Anker, a third-party manufacturer, is mostly known as a seller of mobile accessories at a fraction of the price of big box brands. It’s also a brand that made its name on Amazon where it relies on consumers to review its products. Founded in 2009, by several ex-Googlers, Anker is now making great products like portable batteries, speakers and cables.

I’ve been using Anker with my first purchase of a power bank back in 2010. Amazingly, the portable battery I bought seven years ago still works as advertised. I use Anker cables to charge my iPhone and Galaxy S8+. Anker’s active Kickstarter campaign, Liberty+ true wireless headphones, are a testament to just how much its fans trust its products. The Kickstarter campaign is only a week old but has already crushed its fundraising goal of $50,000 and is on its way to being one of the most funded projects ever.

I continue to find myself buying from Anker not only because I save money, but mainly because its products are really freaking good. Following a long list of items I’ve purchased from Anker is the SoundCore Boost Bluetooth Speaker which was released about two months ago. Let’s find out how Anker did on its first premium speaker.

Build and Specs

  • 12 hour playback
  • 20w dual drivers and twin subwoofers
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • USB port for charging mobile devices with a 5200mAh internal battery
  • 18-month warranty
  • Microphone for calls
  • NFC

In a sea of wireless speakers, Anker’s latest release, the SoundCore Boost aims a bit higher. It’s priced at $79.99 which takes it out of the budget category and moves it to the mid-range priced speakers. When you compare it to other speakers based on price, it matches up closely to the Sony XB20, Fugoo Go and the UE WONDERBOOM.

The SoundCore Boost is about the size of a standard 500mL water bottle which is small enough to slide into a backpack or purse with ease. It is hefty at 1.3 pounds, but that’s a good thing. If sound is the most important feature to you, then weight goes hand in hand with it. Larger drivers require more power to deliver adequate sound – pick up any Bose portable speaker and you’ll think it is hefty too. Larger drivers require heavier magnets to pump out sound and the Anker SoundCore Boost does that with 20 watts of power per driver.

The build is solid. The SoundCore Boost definitely feels more premium than any speaker I’ve used from Anker before. It has a soft matte plastic material that covers the top and bottom while a cloth material lines the drivers. On top is where you will find the controls for power, Bluetooth connectivity, NFC, volume and bass boost. Off to the side is where you will find the microUSB input port for charging, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB A port for charging your mobile devices on the go. The SoundCore Boost only comes in black, but the design is basic enough to not stand out and look offensive.

How does it sound?

For the price, you won’t find anything better. I usually hate to make statements like this, but this is one case where Anker took on the mid-range wireless speaker and took the top honor of the best sounding speaker under $100. The Anker SoundCore Boost definitely punches above its weight class, matching sound quality of speakers twice its price. The sound is powerful but detailed. It’s rich, balanced. It can be unbalanced with extra bass with the push of the “UP” button on top of the speaker. When the “UP” button is activated it almost doubles the bass output. This makes for great listening when genres like rap, R&B and hip hop are playing. It certainly has enough bass to vibrate my desk while I write this review.

The sound is room filling. It’s also loud enough to play by the swimming pool or by a campfire while roasting marshmallows. I brought the SoundCore boost on my latest weekend camping trip and it performed as advertised. I even recharged my phone once from the SoundCore and still got over six hours of playback with the volume at about 70% of maximum.

The sound manages to stay balanced and clear even at low volumes. This is one test I put all speakers to since not everyone likes to listen to speakers at neighbor bothering levels. For calls, the microphone is adequate and the people on the other end of the line could hear me with moderate background noise.

Overall the Anker SoundCore Boost is one heck of a Bluetooth speaker. Priced at $79.99 you won’t find anything better for equal or less money. I’d even argue you be hard pressed to find anything better at twice the price with a few exceptions. If you’re looking to spare your wallet while still getting a great sounding speaker, look no further than the Anker SoundCore Boost at Amazon. Right now there are 19 reviews on Amazon giving it an average rating of 4.9/5 stars which is spectacular. Once more people get their hands on the SoundCore Boost I’d expect this to be another category leader on Amazon.

Check out the Anker SoundCore Boost wireless speaker at Amazon.com.

 

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