Anker targets Apple HomePod 2 with a cheaper Spatial Audio Bluetooth speaker 2023
At this time of year, box-fresh Bluetooth speakers flood TechRadar, but not all deserve a news piece. Why is it different? Is it comparable to top Bluetooth speakers?
Not always. Anker is better renowned for power banks than speakers, but its Soundcore 2 was disappointing.
Introducing the’sky driver’ inexpensive portable speaker.
The new Anker Soundcore Motion X600 is not a smart speaker. It has a “sky driver” for upward firing Spatial Audio compatibility and LDAC (from an Android device), Sony’s wireless audio codec that transmits three times more data than Bluetooth. If you pair the speaker with a device that supports either codec, this resolution is closer to CD-quality audio than lossless. They’re special here.
Why? due to cost. Our Apple HomePod 2 review shows that Apple’s Spatial Audio-capable speaker costs $299 / £299 / AU$479 (the Apple HomePod mini doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, LDAC, or Spatial Audio), while the Sonos Era 300, which has an upfiring driver like the Anker, costs $449 / £449 / AU$749. My model cuts $100 off the HomePod and $250 off the Sonos—or more if you get a deal.
The Motion X600 is Anker Soundcore’s most premium-looking loudspeaker, with a metal grille, a handle, and a simple yet elegant design, but it’s what’s inside that’s fascinating.
Anker Soundcore has a winner if the Motion X600 sounds as excellent as its specs.
Two woofers, two tweeters, and one full-range, upward-firing Sky Driver comprise this speaker. This unique speaker array and Soundcore’s audio algorithm create a portable, high-fidelity audio experience.
The Motion X600, the brand’s first speaker to accept and decode Hi-Res LDAC sources (Android only), has a nine-band custom EQ accessible via the Soundcore app (iOS and Android).
For a richer stereo soundstage, you can wirelessly pair two Motion X600 speakers. Its 6400 mAh (7.2v) internal battery provides up to 12 hours of playback (at 50% volume) and is IPX7 waterproof.
The Anker Soundcore X600 is available in Polar Gray, Aurora Green, and Lunar Blue for $199.99 / £199.99 / €199.99 and $269.00 (CAD) on Amazon.com (AU$299.99) via soundcore.com(opens in new tab) and other retail partners on May 6.
Pre-ordering saves $50 if you’re serious. The Motion X600 may be pre-ordered on Soundcore’s website until May 9 for $149.99, £149.99, €149.99, and $199.99 CAD in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada.
Since March 2022, when Astell&Kern debuted the BE100, the world’s first LDAC and aptX HD Bluetooth speaker, I haven’t seen anything as exciting in Bluetooth. That speaker cost $499/£449/AU$549.
The $150 Anker Soundcore X600 with Spatial Audio and LDAC may be a hit. If it’s any good, Apple, Sonos, and JBL should be worried—or busy building a new competitor.