Anker SoundCore Boost review: Anker SoundCore Boost speaker bumps the bass

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The Good The Anker SoundCore Boost delivers strong sound for its size, has decent battery life and is splash-resistant. There's a USB out for charging devices and a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls.

The Bad Design is somewhat generic.

The Bottom Line While it doesn't have as cool a design as some competitors in this size and price class, the Anker SoundCore Boost delivers excellent sound..

7.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Sound 8
  • Value 8

It's hard to describe any products from Anker, the upstart accessory manufacturer, as high-end. But the splash-resistant SoundCore Boost is currently its top of the line mini Bluetooth speaker. It costs $80 or £60; it's currently not available in Australia but the US price converts to about AU$100. That may not may seem like a lot of money, but the speaker is twice as expensive as its smaller sibling, the SoundCore 2 speaker. While it may not quite sound twice as good, it does sound significantly better. From a performance standpoint competes with such products as the JBL Flip 4 and UE Wonderboom, which list for about 25 percent more.

Like the SoundCore 2, the 1.29 lb. (0.59 kg) SoundCore Boost has a straightforward, low-frills design that's highlighted by a soft-to-the-touch rubberized finish and nice, big buttons on top for power, volume control, pause/playback and Bluetooth connectivity. The finish does get a little marked up with handing, especially if your hands are a little grimy, but that was my only real design complaint.

The SoundCore Boost has a straightforward, no-frills design.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I had no problem pairing it and the wireless range was good (Anker lists it as 66 feet or about 20 meters). A rubber gasket covers the USB charging port and 3.5mm auxiliary input, which allows you to connect non-Bluetooth devices. Additionally, there's a built-in microphone for making speakerphone calls, but don't expect business-class performance. Its water resistance is rated at IPX5, which means it should survive splashes and water nozzles, but it's not designed to be dunkproof. 

It's also worth noting that -- like JBL's Charge speakers -- this one has a USB-out port so you can use it to charge phones, wireless headphones or other small devices (you'll need to supply your own Lightning or USB-C cable, of course). The internal battery is listed at 5,200mAh, which allows you to play the speaker at moderate volume levels for around 12 hours.