The Flare is one of the new speaker that Anker has introduced under its new Soundcore brand. Unlike its previous no-frills portable speakers like Soundcore 2 and Boost, the Flare spots a ambient LED light ring and a IPX7 water protection.The Soundcore Flare has 5 different pre-set color themes (Bedtime, Spring, Chill, Energy and Party) and 5 adjustable illumination patterns to customise your speaker’s lightshow for every mood.
Looks-wise, the Flare departs from the usual metallic-industrialize look that you will find with most Anker speakers. This time, Anker chose to cover up most of the speaker with a dark grey fabric, giving it a less intimidating, more home-friendly look.
Unlike other LED lightshow speaker in the market like the JBL Pulse, the Flare has an understated ring LED lighting at the bottom of the speaker that provides a 360 degree illumination. The textured rubber base at the bottom also ensures that the speaker stays in place when playing at high volume.
Anker is claiming 12 hours of playback time for the Flare but that is with the LED turned off. In our testing, the Flare lasted a little over 5 hours with the LED turn on in medium intensity, playing at 70% volume. With the LED turned off, the speaker managed a 12.5-hour battery life, which is pretty impressive.The controls and connectivity ports on the Soundcore Flare is pretty standard. You have a power and Bluetooth pairing button at the back, with a 3.5mm aux-in port and microUSB charging port at the bottom that is covered by a rubberised waterproof flap. At the top, you will find the volume, play/pause, lightning and Bass Boost buttons. Although it might seem like they are touch sensitive buttons, they are in fact rubberised tactile buttons.One of the key selling points of the Soundcore Flare is the light effect. You can choose from 5 color themes to create the lighting ambience to suit whatever occasion you are using the speaker for. There are also 5 adjustable illumination patterns: Party, Energy, Chill, Spring and Bedtime if you’re too lazy to create your own effects.
The speaker also comes with a very capable Soundcore – for Flare&Flare+ App for iOS and Android. Using the app, you can adjut the lighting effects, customize the equaliser settings for the audio, perform firmware updates/rename the speaker and also pair a second speaker for boost or stereo mode.The Anker Soundcore Flare is also IPX7 waterproof, allowing you to use it in wet conditions and even to completely submerged it in water. While its debatable whether this is a useful feature, most new portable speakers in the market now come with some level of water-resistance. Therefore, this should tick one feature off your checklist when buying your next portable speaker.With much being said about the Flare’s design and lighting system, does the speaker actually sounds good? At its size and price point, I have to say that the Anker Flare delivers more than one would expect.
For a speaker this size, it is quite impressive how much bass it produces and how it handles the lower frequencies. On a bass heavy track like The Sam Willows’ Papa Money, the bass is deep and tight, with a good range of middle notes. If your go-to genre is pop or vocal tracks, the Anker Flare will perform pretty well. The all-round design of the speaker also gives you an immersive 360-like audio projection, which is great for gatherings.
That said, the Flare fares best at low to mid volume. At high volume, some tracks turned out to be too high and piercing with some distortions when the speaker struggles to keep up. So should you get the Anker Flare? I think it would be an easy recommendation if you’re looking for a great sounding, waterproof speaker with lighting display. At about S$80, the Flare is one of the cheapest Bluetooth speaker with this feature set. The LED lighting system and app support also provides some fun frills that you would not expect from a S$80 speaker, frills which get people talking at gathering or parties. Also, the ability to link another Flare might also appeal to some.