There are plenty of Bluetooth speakers that try to enhance your tunes with unbalanced, bass-boomed sound. Good news, the Anker Soundcore Motion+ isn’t one of them! This compact, $100 speaker could do with a little more high-end detail, but its attention to mid-range frequencies is commendable. When it comes to delivering rich, quality sound, with an impressive foundation of bass response, the Motion+ is awesome. Plus, the app-based EQ settings, a weatherized Motion+ and aptX support sweetens the deal.
Measuring at about three inches high and thick, the 2.3-pound Soundcore Motion+ feels heavy given its size. Encased in a waterproof shell (Soundcore offers protection rating of IPX7, meaning the speaker can withstand being immersed in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes), this speaker features a black aluminum grille that reveals its twin tweeters and woofers flanking a large passive radiator.
A wedge-like design of the speaker’s enclosure aims its drivers at about a 15-degree angle relative to the surface on which the speaker is sitting. This means that the music is directed at your ears and not your chest. The rubberized sides and back of Motion+ feel super rugged, although they also accumulate oily fingerprints.
The power button is on the right side of the speaker, while the USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm analog audio input sit just beneath which is securely hidden by a water-tight rubber flap. It comes with a USB-C charging cable and an audio cable. You can find buttons on the top of the speakers for volume, Bluetooth pairing, and the speaker’s super bass-enhancing “BassUp” features.
Then there is a very cool feature: a button in the center of the speaker performs a variety of functions depending on whether you press it once, press it multiple times, or hold it down for a few seconds. Press the button once, to play and pause your music or to answer a call on your Bluetooth-connected phone (in effect, turning the Motion+ into a speakerphone). Or you can hold the button down for a couple of seconds and you’ll summon Siri or Google Assistant on your iPhone or Android phone respectively. And, hold the button for more than three seconds, and you can sync the Motion+ to a second Motion+ to create a left/right stereo pair.
Features and functionality
Aside from its Bluetooth 5.0 support, the Soundcore Motion+ also features the aptX audio codec. The aptX audio can deliver near-CD-quality sound but provided the device you’re streaming music from also supports aptX. Support for that codec is typically common on Android phones, but you won’t find support for it on any iOS device (although Macbooks do support it).
If you want to play around with the Motion+’s EQ, you can do so using the Soundcore mobile app. When the app connects to the speaker, you can switch between six EQ presets or fiddle with the app’s nine equalizer sliders.
Speaking of EQ, one of them is called “BassUp,” which is the name of Anker’s bass-boosting audio technology. You can also toggle the BassUp mode using either the Soundcore app or by pressing the BassUp button on the top of the speaker.
Additionally, the Soundcore app also lets you adjust the Anker Motion+ ‘s automatic power-off feature, which you can set for five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. A great feature, but they are the only settings available. There’s no sleep timer, either.
The Motion+ does a good job at filling your living room with sound, especially given its size, particularly when if placed on the floor. And when connected to an iPhone, the Motion+ will get quite loud if you crank the volume all the way up.
Since it’s not an omnidirectional speaker, the sound becomes a bit muffled when you’re behind the speaker, so you should be sure to point it toward any listeners rather than sticking it somewhere in the middle of a crowd.
As you switch the speaker to the custom EQ mode and stick with a flat frequency response, the Motion+ speaker sounds pretty great actually! But, users would have liked more high-end detail from the speaker’s twin tweeters. Many have appreciated the Motion+’s powerful bass, even if the boomy BassUp feature was overkill for most of the tracks. Crucially, the Motion+’s robust mid-range has kept the sound from feeling too thin.
If you were to play the title track of Bruce Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad, the sound of the plucking acoustic guitar scenes, while the rising synth should sound just warm without being overbearing (that’s with the BassUp feature turned off). Many wish the Motion+ delivered finer high-end detail, but they prefer its sound to cheaper Bluetooth speakers that sacrifice mid-range sound for a shrill yet thumpy mixture of thunderous bass and an overly brassy high end. Because of its solid mid-range sound, this speaker actually sounds better further you crank the volume, making it ideal for outdoor playback. You can get 12 hours of playback time from its battery, which is actually pretty good.
Final Verdict – Should you buy it?
You can’t expect mid-range speakers to sound great when you turn the volume up, but the Anker Motion+ does. Keep in mind that you can’t fully expect a 10 out of 10 sound quality from this Bluetooth speaker, but Anker wisely chose a solid middle ground when it came to the Soundcore Motion+. With a compact and IPX7 waterproofed casing, the speaker offers a flashy sound (in spite of the BassUp mode) for robust mid-range performance.
Now that doesn’t mean that a little more high-end detail wouldn’t have been nice, but at this price point, the Anker Soundcore Motion+ delivers sound quality that we typically associate with high-end speakers.