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Anker Soundcore Motion+
February 20, 2019
May 2022: $106 USD
257 x 79 x 81 mm
With the Soundcore Motion+, Anker aims to take on the tightly competitive Bluetooth speaker market. While it may not have fancy features such as the ability to charge your phone, or an optical input, the Anker Soundcore Motion+ aims to deliver good sound in a waterproof and portable package for everyday use.
Editor’s note: this Anker Soundcore Motion+ review was updated on October 20, 2022, to address an FAQ about the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom and to update the formatting.
The Motion+ is a great speaker for students, as it’s loud enough for dorm room parties but durable and portable enough to be taken out during the day for a lunch picnic. If you like to listen to lossless audio via a wired connection and also want an on-the-go speaker, the Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a good option due to its 3.5mm aux input.
What’s it like to use the Anker Soundcore Motion+?
Weighing in at just over a kilogram, the Anker Soundcore Motion+ is not the most portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s still small enough to fit in a backpack, but I prefer to use it at home. The wired and Bluetooth connectivity options provide easy mobility between a variety of rooms and devices, and the size of the speaker means it easily gets loud enough for small gatherings and parties.
With an IPX7 rating, the Anker Soundcore Motion+ also makes for a great pool party companion. However, without any dust resistance, you’ll want to be careful bringing this speaker to a beach. Hikers, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts should probably look for something smaller like the JBL Clip 4 (which also has a dust-proof rating).
The rubberized silicone backing of the speaker provides grip for easy carrying in one hand or stable resting on any flat surface. Meanwhile, the metal grille encasing the speaker components provides a durable and premium feel beyond that of the fabric enclosures that encompass many similar waterproof speakers.
Unlike speakers with 360-degree sound like the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II, the Anker Soundcore Motion+ only aims audio in a single direction. This means you need to be a little nitpicky about speaker placement. However, you can connect two Motion+ speakers together via wireless stereo pairing, which provides a much louder and more immersive sound.
You can choose from black, blue, and red for this Anker Bluetooth speaker.
How do you control the Anker Soundcore Motion+?
You control this speaker from the Soundcore app or directly with the buttons on the top of it. While not backlit, the buttons protrude from the speaker as clearly identifiable shapes, which makes it easy to operate without looking down. We’ve outlined all the different combinations of button taps below.
|Power button||Bluetooth button||Multifunction logo button||Bass button|
Connect to device
|Multifunction logo button|
Play/pause, or answer/end call
Activate/deactivate increased Bass EQ
|Power button||Bluetooth button||Multifunction logo button|
|Power button||Bluetooth button||Multifunction logo button|
Press and hold
Enter stereo pairing mode
|Multifunction logo button|
Switch audio source between phone and speaker, or end call
Activate voice assistant
Should you download the Soundcore app?
The Soundcore app (iOS/Android) experience for the Motion+ is relatively simple, though it provides key features like an equalizer and firmware updates. Anker includes a selection of EQ presets within the app, including the bass boost preset. In fact, you can quickly trigger the bass boost mode from a button on the speaker. There’s also a fully custom nine-band equalizer built into the app, so you can tweak the sound of the speaker to your exact liking.
There’s not much else to experience within the app, though that may be a good thing. You probably don’t want to be digging around countless menus while on the go anyways.
What Bluetooth codecs does the Anker Soundcore Motion+ support?
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ uses Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC and aptX support. In theory, Bluetooth 5.0 supports a connection range up to 243m, but you’re unlikely to ever hit this metric. Still, you don’t have to worry about connection dropouts with the Anker Soundcore Motion+, especially within a standard 10m range even with physical barriers. The aptX Bluetooth codec offers superior transfer rates compared to SBC, though Apple devices can’t use it.
You can always use the fallback 3.5mm connection instead, assuming your phone has a headphone jack or you have a dongle.
Yes! To enable Bluetooth multipoint, follow these steps:
- Connect the speaker to your first device by clicking the Bluetooth button on the speaker and “pairing” in your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
- Then, press the Bluetooth button on the speaker again to pair to your second device.
- Once connected to your second device, the speaker will disconnect from the first device.
- When you go back into the Bluetooth settings on your first device and click on the speaker, it will re-pair to your first device.
- The speaker is now paired to both of your devices via Bluetooth multipoint.
How long does the battery last on the Anker Soundcore Motion+?
Anker promises 12 hours of battery life with the Soundcore Motion+, which is slightly less than the top competition at this price point. However, in our battery test of constant music playback peaking at 75dB(SPL), the speaker lasted 16 hours and 13 minutes. Seems Anker has taken an under-promise and over-deliver approach, which means you don’t have to worry about running out of charge during a day trip with this speaker.
It takes approximately four hours to charge the speaker using the included USB-C cable. There is no fast charging with the Soundcore Motion Plus.
How does the Anker Soundcore Motion+ sound?
Out of the box (chart above), the speaker leaves most sub-bass notes absent from the mix with a narrow 5dB boost from 55-100Hz relative to the red dotted line representing the ideal. This small boost is pretty normal for a portable speaker and necessary given how frequencies below 50Hz are virtually non-existent. It’s quite difficult for any portable speaker of this size to reproduce those low frequencies at a reasonable volume.
Since the Anker Soundcore Motion+ features a fully custom EQ within the Soundcore app, you can adjust the speaker’s sound to your liking. The speaker has dual tweeters and woofers angled upwards at a 15-degree angle to project the sound up and out. The maximum volume is loud enough for a small indoor or outdoor party—in most listening instances, I rarely have to increase the volume above 50%.
Lows, mids, and highs
Clicking the “BassUp” button on the speaker, or simply increasing the low-frequency response within the EQ, provides a more enjoyable music listening experience for bass heads. With “BassUp” enabled, 55-100Hz frequencies will sound 10-15dB louder than mids that range from 200-600Hz. This may seem extreme but it makes it easier for you to hear bass lines over the sound of wind or traffic. You still won’t feel the deep rumbles of a Hans Zimmer track like you would with a dedicated sub-woofer speaker setup though.
When you turn on “BassUp,” the Anker Soundcore Motion+ slightly under-emphasizes treble (3kHz and higher), which leaves hi-hats and other cymbals sounding quiet in tracks such as Daydreaming by Milky Chance. Still, this is easy enough to remedy with a slight boost to the highest frequency bands within the Soundcore equalizer.
Can you use the Anker Soundcore Motion+ for phone calls?
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ has a microphone located next to the “BassUp” button on the top of the speaker, which you can use to answer calls without your phone. Your voice won’t sound very clear to the person on the other end of the call, especially if you aren’t close to and directly facing the speaker, though this is pretty typical for this type of product.
Anker Soundcore Motion+ microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Anker Soundcore Motion+ microphone demo (Street conditions):
How does this microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the Anker Soundcore Motion+?
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is one of the best jack-of-all-trades Bluetooth speakers you can buy. It doesn’t have a single standout feature, but it’s good at pretty much everything that matters. Speakers from competitors may be more durable, louder, sound better, or more portable, but none bring together as complete a package as Anker has with the Soundcore Motion+.
Beyond a solid design and good sound, Anker throws in tons of bonus features such as Bluetooth multipoint, aptX, a custom EQ, a microphone with voice assistant support, and stereo pairing. The fact that you can now find the speaker on sale for around $100 USD makes the Anker Soundcore Motion+ a no-brainer.
We like the Motion Plus for its aptX support, 3.5mm audio input for wired playback, and its integrated microphone. You don’t get any of these things with the JBL Flip 6. However, the Flip 6 does have an IP67 rating, 360-degree audio, and passive bass radiators for optimal bass output.
Like many JBL speakers, you can find the Flip 6 for $129 USD but it occasionally dips below that around the holidays or general sale seasons.
What should you get instead of the Anker Soundcore Motion+?
For only a little more money, you could get the JBL Charge 5 instead. This Bluetooth speaker has an IP67 rating for full water and dust protection, loud sound, and the ability to charge your phone using the speaker’s massive battery. However, you will have to compromise on its lack of a microphone and inability to play music wired.
If you love the Anker brand but aren’t sold on the Soundcore Motion+, there are a couple of other speakers worth checking out. The Anker Motion Boom is best for rugged adventures, with its carrying handle and ability to float. Then there’s the Anker Soundcore 3, which is smaller and quieter but costs only half as much as the Soundcore Motion+. You can also check out our full list of the best Bluetooth speakers to find the perfect speaker for your needs.
Frequently asked questions about the Anker Soundcore Motion+
It’s hard to determine which is better without more information, but we can tell you that the Motion+ from Soundcore is more portable than the Soundcore Motion Boom. The Motion Boom (and Motion Boom+) is made to go toe-to-toe with the JBL Xtreme series, while the Motion+ gives the JBL Flip series a run for its money. We like the Anker Soundcore Motion+ because it can do almost everything and is an unobtrusive companion. Travel with the Motion Boom speaker will be a bit more cumbersome but you do get louder audio out of it, so perhaps it’s worth it. Currently, the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom costs $99 at Amazon.
Follow these directions to pair two Motion+ speakers together:
- First, turn both speakers on.
- Then, press the Bluetooth button on both speakers at the same time for 5-8 seconds until the Bluetooth light flashes white.
- Release the Bluetooth button for both speakers and wait a couple of seconds for the speakers to pair together.
- Once a connection is established, you’re ready to go.
Connect the speaker to your device and press “Update Firmware” within the app. The speaker will restart twice during the update process, so hold tight until the app says the update is complete.