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Side view of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 on a mossy rock.
Dave Carr / SoundGuys

Anker Soundcore Boom 2 review

Putting the "Boom" back in "Boombox."
By

Published onMarch 6, 2024

The bottom line
The Anker Soundcore Boom 2 is the life of the party. With plenty of bass on tap, customizable dual LED lights and a floatable design, the Boom 2 brings a little something extra to your next outdoor gathering. 

The Anker Soundcore Boom 2 is the life of the party. With plenty of bass on tap, customizable dual LED lights and a floatable design, the Boom 2 brings a little something extra to your next outdoor gathering. 
Product release date
March 6th 2024
Price
$129.99
Dimensions
295 x 94 x 184 mm
Weight
1.7kg
Model Number
A3138
Waterproof
IPX7
What we like
Lightweight
IPX7
Companion app with customizable EQ
Floats
Price
What we don't like
No 3.5mm wired input
No dust rating

Building on the success of their Motion Boom speaker, the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 is the latest addition to Anker’s expanding lineup of outdoor-oriented portable Bluetooth speakers. Boasting a 2.1-channel stereo design capable of pushing 80 watts and dual LED lights on the passive radiators, this floatable speaker aims to keep your beach or pool party going well into the night. We enjoyed our time with the Soundcore Motion 300 and Motion X500, so read on to find out if the Soundcore Boom 2 can help turn SoundGuys into PartyGuys.

Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

About this Anker Soundcore Boom 2 review: We tested the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 over one week. The Soundcore app ran version 1.08. The company provided the unit for this review.

Considering its built-in subwoofer, rhythmic LEDs and an IPX7 water resistance rating, the Soundcore Boom 2 is for those who like to party, especially outdoors.

What’s it like to use the Anker Soundcore Boom 2?

Photo of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 with blue lighting effect and water droplets
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
The LED lights will pulse in sync with the beat of your music.

With its robust plastic housing, the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 is built to handle adventure life and travel with all its bumps and bruises. Considering this speaker is designed to float on water, it’s safe to say it will also survive a rainy camping trip or a day at the lake. A lightweight aluminum grill protects the two tweeters and subwoofer, the buttons sit almost flush in the housing, and even the LED light passive radiators on the side are recessed for protection.

Thanks to Hoffman’s Iron Law, you won’t get any deep bass from a small enclosure; though the Boom 2 isn’t the most compact Bluetooth speaker, it is still reasonably portable with a built-in handle. You’ll find the USB-C charge port and a USB-A courtesy outlet socket on the back of the speaker. Once powered up, it connects quickly to your device, and the side LEDs will fire up. While the lighting effects are a fun addition when using the speaker outdoors, some modes can get slightly distracting in a more intimate indoor setting. If so, you can dim or turn them off via the companion app.

How do you control the Anker Soundcore Boom 2?

Top view of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 handle and controls
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
It’s officially a party once BassUP mode is engaged.

The Soundcore Boom 2 controls are located along the top of the speaker’s enclosure. Once the speaker is turned on, the power and Bluetooth buttons are nicely backlit, but the volume and play/pause buttons are not. While perhaps just a clever way to prevent any party attendees from adjusting your volume, I would prefer them to be backlit as well. Below is a breakdown of how the buttons operate.

Power button Bluetooth button Volume -Play / pause Volume +PartyCast pairingBass UP button
One press
Power button
Power on
Bluetooth button
Bluetooth pairing mode
Volume -
Volume down
Play / pause
Play / Pause / Answer / End Call
Volume +
Volume up
PartyCast pairing
Enter / Exit PartyCast Pairing Mode
Bass UP button
Bass UP on / off
Two presses
Power button

Bluetooth button

Volume -

Play / pause
Next track
Volume +

PartyCast pairing

Bass UP button

Three presses
Power button

Bluetooth button

Volume -

Play / pause
Previous track
Volume +

PartyCast pairing

Bass UP button

Press and hold for 2 seconds
Power button
Power off
Bluetooth button
Enter TWS pairing
Volume -

Play / pause
Reject a call
Volume +

PartyCast pairing

Bass UP button

You can also control various features through the Soundcore app, including volume, EQ settings, LED settings, and the brightness of the backlit controls. If you have two Boom 2 speakers, you can pair them together by long pressing the Bluetooth pairing button. But wait, there’s more!

The Boom 2 also features PartyCast 2.0, which allows you to connect up to 100 Soundcore PartyCast 2.0-supported products simultaneously. Now there’s a party I don’t want to miss!

Should you use the app for the Anker Soundcore Boom 2?

Screen shot of three different pages from the Soundcore app
Customize your EQ or your light show via the Soundcore app.

Downloading and installing the Soundcore app allows you to customize your Boom 2 settings and features. You can select from four preset EQ options or fine-tune your sound with the 9-band custom EQ. You can also modify the lighting settings. While there are seven different types of lighting effects available, you also have the option to dim or turn them off entirely if you want to preserve your battery life.

What Bluetooth codecs does the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 support?

The Soundcore Boom 2 connects to your device via Bluetooth 5.3 and is SBC only.

The Soundcore Boom 2 connects to your source device via Bluetooth 5.3 with the usual steps.

  1. Press the power once to turn on the Boom 2
  2. Open Bluetooth settings on your device
  3. Press the Bluetooth pairing button on the speaker
  4. Select “Soundcore Boom 2”

How long does the Anker Soundcore Boom 2’s battery last?

Top view of the back of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2, showing the charging ports.
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
You can charge your phone with the Boom 2’s 7.3v/4900 mAh built-in battery.

Anker states a 5.5-hour charge time and is advertising a 24-hour playback time with the Soundcore Boom 2 at 50% volume, without Bass UP or lighting effects engaged.

In our standardized battery test, we were able to squeeze a whopping 27 hours and 8 minutes of playback time out of the Boom 2 using those same settings.

How does the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 sound?

Side view of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 with water droplets
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
You can go ahead and drop it in the pool if you want. It’ll float!

Thanks to the low-end provided by the built-in subwoofer and the “Bass UP” technology, the Soundcore Boom 2 will keep a sizeable outdoor gathering moving. Engaging Bass UP mode will boost the subwoofer’s output from 40 to 50 watts and the dual tweeters from 10 watts to 15 each, offering 80w of output total.

However, even with Bass UP engaged, there is still room for more. The stock “Soundcore Signature” EQ preset is a great place to start your listening experience, but the key to unlocking an extra dose of bass out of the Boom 2 is in the 9-band EQ. This full-band EQ allows you to select and boost frequencies as low as 48Hz, so there is room to tweak; it’s worth experimenting if you want to squeeze even more low-end from the 50-watt subwoofer.

This greatly impacted the bass response while listening to Lose Yourself to Dance by Daft Punk. Even with a full and rumbling low end, Nile Rodgers’s clean yet percussive rhythm guitar still cuts through the center of the mix, but again, diving into the full-band EQ and adding a boost to the treble frequencies around 8kHz helped add some sonic clarity to the hi-hats and cymbals, as well as the classic accompanying hand claps accents sprinkled throughout the track.

Side profile view of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 with blue lighting effect
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
You can dim the LED lights via the companion if you find them too distracting.

Of course, all parties wind down eventually. Los Padres is a laid-back tune by Tommy Guerrero that gives off more of a chill, sitting around the campfire vibe. Returning to the Soundcore Signature with Bass UP engaged in this setting provided a complete and reasonably even sound without any overpowering or distracting low end.

While this party speaker isn’t meant for critical listening, with the custom EQ, you can easily dial in the Boom 2 to your taste, regardless of party vibe.

Can you use the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 for phone calls?

With a single press of the Play/Pause button, you can take and end a phone call thanks to the speaker’s built-in microphone. Most of us would instead pick up the phone, but you can use it for a quick chat with a friend if you need to.

Should you buy the Anker Soundcore Boom 2?

Photo of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 showing the side lighting effect
Dave Carr / SoundGuys
If you have two Boom 2 speakers, you can pair them together for an authentic stereo-listening experience.

The Boom 2 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a speaker to take on outdoor adventures or even just for backyard BBQs. It’s built to survive the elements, deliver decent sound with plenty of low-end, and at $129.99 $89.99 at Amazon, it won’t break the bank either. The LED lights also do a great job of adding to the party vibes.

Anker Soundcore Boom 2Anker Soundcore Boom 2
Anker Soundcore Boom 2
Lightweight • IPX7 • Companion app with customizable EQ
MSRP: $129.99

What should you get instead of the Anker Soundcore Boom 2?

Anker Soundcore Motion X500 in a park setting
The Motion X500 is ready for the outdoors with an IPX7 protection rating.

If you have some wiggle room in your budget and you’re after something a little more stylish in appearance that can still handle the outdoors, the Anker Soundcore Motion X500 $169.99 at Amazon is worth a look. While it’s not floatable like the Boom 2, it’s still portable with an IPX7 water resistance rating. Its unique 3-driver layout includes an upward-firing driver that helps provide a full listening experience in group settings, and you’ll still be able to take advantage of the multi-band EQ in the Soundcore app to fine-tune your sound.

You can check out the JBL Charge 5 $149 at Amazon if you need something even more portable. With an IP67 protection rating, it’s ready to take on the outdoors, and it also features a courtesy USB-A port to charge your device around camp. However, it only offers 40 watts of output, and it does not have stereo sound or a full-band equalizer either, so your options are limited if you like to tweak.

Frequently asked questions

The Soundcore Boom 2 puts out 80w of power with Bass UP engaged.

Yes, the Soundcore Boom 2 has an IPX7 water resistance rating and is even floatable.

Yes, the Boom 2 features a built-in subwoofer for excellent bass response.

Both companies make great sounding outdoor-oriented speakers; it really comes down to personal preference.

Yes, the Boom 2 has a microphone.

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