Anker Soundcore Flare Mini Review

Anker Soundcore Flare Mini Review

The Anker Soundcore Flare Mini presents itself as a potential party king with its LED lighting and all-around sound. But, first, we test the noise.

With the Soundcore Flare Mini, Anker is clearly in the entry-level segment but wants to offer the best possible music experience, including 360° sound and LED lighting. Our test will check whether this calculation works and whether the Flare Mini can hold its own against other inexpensive Bluetooth loudspeakers in outdoor use.

PROS:

  • For the size homogeneous sound
  • Smooth 360° sound
  • It can be coupled with a second box
  • Waterproof

CONS:

  • Somewhat thin bass
  • Loss of sound at high volume
  • The pressure point of the control buttons is a bit spongy
  • Long battery charging time

Scope of delivery

While Anker has equipped the Flare Mini with a few nice extras, the scope of delivery of the speaker is very economical. The functional packaging only contains a brief pocket-sized manual and a micro-USB charging cable. The instructions consist of a so-called Quick Start Guide, which explains the speaker’s functions in a reasonably understandable way with the help of simple pictograms.

Design and processing of Anker Soundcore Flare Mini

The manufacturer has given the Soundcore Flare Mini LED lighting suitable for parties but otherwise relies on a simple design. The Flare Mini measures little more than a standard Coke can, while its round housing tapers slightly towards the top. The speaker’s surface is covered with a kind of textile mesh. The LED lighting surrounds the bottom of the speaker with a width of about one centimeter. Unfortunately, the Flare Mini is only available in black and gray.

On the top of the speaker, there is a silicone plate with an embedded control panel. The simple Soundcore logo is emblazoned on the front of the device, and we can connect the charging cable to the back. Unfortunately, there is no jack connection or other ports. However, as with most outdoor speakers, the connection can be sealed with a rubber plug.

As an outdoor speaker, the Flare Mini survives small falls from a height of one meter without any problems. We dropped the device on vinyl floors and gravel and could not find any damage to the housing or impairment of the function of the speaker. We were also able to remove dust and dirt from the textile mesh without any problems by wiping it with a slightly damp cloth.

In addition to its shock resistance, the Flare Mini also has an IPX7 certification. Accordingly, we can immerse the speaker in water up to one meter deep for a maximum of 30 minutes without damaging the hardware. So, the next pool or beach party can come. The Flare Mini should easily survive a fall into (shallow) water.

Service

Operation is limited to a few essential functions. In addition to the power button, the control unit has buttons for Bluetooth pairing, LED lighting, volume, play/pause, and forward/back. Furthermore, two buttons have double assignments; the Bluetooth button is also paired with another Anker Soundcore Flare Mini. At the same time, the play/pause button is also used to switch between individual songs.

At first glance, there is little to complain about when it comes to operation. All buttons reacted as they should, even if there was a slight input delay when pressing the play/pause button. However, we could hardly see the individual keys in weak to the medium incidence of light, which can be particularly annoying when using the speaker in a dim or dark outdoor environment. Of course, the power and Bluetooth buttons have their lighting. But that’s of little use if we want to change the volume in the dark, for example. Moreover, feeling the buttons is hardly possible.

We also found the double assignment of the play button to be unfortunate, to play or pause a song; we press the button once. To skip a song, we press it twice, and if we want to bounce back, we have to press the button three times. But if we now want to skip several songs forwards or backward, it quickly degenerates into the wild back and forth pressing if we don’t press the button fast enough or if we miscount. Two additional keys would have been really good for the speaker here.

The rubber stopper on the back of the speaker, which protects the connection for the charging cable from dirt and moisture, was only partially convincing in the test. Unfortunately, it is embedded quite deeply into the case, so we were busy opening the fiddly construction for quite a long time.

Also, annoying

The Flare Mini does not work with the Soundcore app, and the speaker can only be connected to the same models but not to other speakers in the Flare series, such as the Flare+.

After all, we can choose from five different light modes with the lighting button. You can choose from M-Sync (light pulses to the beat of the music), Fusion (dual, flashing colors), Breathe (colors flow into each other), Pulse (color rings that follow one another), and Glow (slow transitions of individual colors). However, a single color that lights up permanently cannot be set.

Sound

Because the Soundcore Flare Mini is an outdoor speaker in the entry-level price range, we deliberately set our expectations of the device’s sound low in the run-up to our test. Still, the speaker managed to disappoint us.

Because although the Flare Mini offers 360° sound and the manufacturer promises a lot of power with the so-called BassUp technology, the loudspeaker proves that five watts of power are not enough for a halfway acceptable sound. We noticed the device’s tinny sound as soon as we started the speaker by pressing the power button.

When we played various music from different genres (pop, rock, metal, classic), the loudspeaker destroyed all hopes of a good sound. No matter what kind of music or speech we played back via the Flare Mini, the sound always sounded dull and tinny, sometimes with an audible reverberation. This was particularly evident in dynamic and treble-heavy music, but bass and lower tones mixed into a muddy mush of sound.

Overall, the Flare Mini still surpasses the speakers of most mid-range smartphones in terms of sound, if only because of the stronger bass. However, the Flare Mini has to compete against strong competition in the market for Bluetooth speakers – and the Soundcore device falls short when it comes to sound.

Extras

Soundcore has not equipped the Flare Mini with any extras besides the already mentioned LED lighting. A jack connection is missing, as is an equalizer or the possibility of attaching the speaker somewhere (e.g., with a carabiner). However, we can get over this shortcoming given the low price.

Conclusion

So, it’s not a bargain because the loudspeaker stood out in our test with various small and large problems that make a purchase recommendation practically impossible. First and foremost, the sound goes without saying that you shouldn’t expect too much in the entry-level segment and given the small size of the Flare Mini. Nevertheless, other outdoor speakers in the same price range that we tested have combined a better sound with more features – such as the Tronsmart Element force.

During testing, we couldn’t shake the feeling that Soundcore had somehow lost sight of the essentials with the Flare Mini. For example, why does an outdoor speaker in the final entry-level segment need LED lighting in five different modes? And at the same time, does a reasonable control panel or a halfway acceptable sound – the core components of a usable loudspeaker in every price category?

Because the Flare Mini looks like an immature lifestyle product in every respect, which cannot convince in various points, we cannot recommend buying this outdoor speaker despite the low price and strong competition. The Anker Soundcore Flare Mini is at best suitable for party-goers who are looking for an expensive glow stick with a speaker function.

 

Anker Soundcore Flare Mini Review
Anker Soundcore Flare Mini Review

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