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 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 and , 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.
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 -- likespeakers -- 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.