Potato chips (wavy-cut, of course), sunny day on the deck, and “Borrow” by Josh Wilson playing on the powerful little Anker Soundcore Flare 2 makes for a pretty relaxing Saturday afternoon. In the midst of all the craziness of life, it’s great to sit back and tune out the world. The Flare 2 does a pretty good job of aiding that.
The speaker’s sound quality is great when kept at lower to middle-level volumes — like if you were trying to tune out some loud neighborhood kids. Unfortunately, like most speakers, the music does lose clarity as the speaker gets louder, and at the highest volume, I preferred to keep the bass booster off.
Soundcore has an app that goes with the speaker, which adds a few extra features, such as an equalizer and light effects. It even has a power-off button!
The light effects weren’t a huge draw for me, but I suspect I’m just the wrong type of person to enjoy them. There are several different settings, all of which sync to the beat of your music, and if you are using the innovative Partycast mode it will sync across all linked speakers. It also has a “spin the bottle” type of game called “Who’s Next” which was interesting. I eventually turned off the lights and continued eating my chips. Fortunately, the lack of a light show did not change how great the speaker sounded.
My playlist hit a track I wanted to skip and I instinctively held down the “volume +” button. This unfortunately just made the track louder. After digging my phone out of my pocket and skipping the track I pulled out the quick start guide to see how I could do this on the speaker’s buttons. Lo and behold, there is a way I never would have guessed.
Anker’s multi-function button, which I thought just handled play/pause and the voice assistant, does much more. Press once for play/pause, press and hold for voice assistant — so far, so good. Press twice for skip forward — this was a little clumsy. Press three times to skip backward — Ok, I really didn’t care for that.
After doing some research, it looks like the “extremely versatile” multi-function button is an Anker thing, which is alright, I guess. The rubberized top that makes the speaker waterproof also makes it clumsy to press their multi-function button that many times in succession, but it wasn’t impossible.
To see if I could get used to the skip function I jumped into Taylor Swift’s album, “Lover”. By the time I got to the title song I was a track-skipping master — I even skipped each track all the way to the end just for fun!
Clumsy button-pressing aside, the Soundcore Flare 2 really is a decent little speaker. I love using the app, especially when I am able to jump in and modify equalizer presets. I didn’t get anything out of the light show, but I can definitely see myself pulling it out the next time my brother’s kids are over and having a party — and that’s what this upbeat little speaker is all about.