Anker Soundcore Motion X600 Review Rating
I really like the Anker Soundcore Motion X600, and if you can get it for the early bird discount price, I can strongly recommend it.
Overall - 85%
- Excellent sound quality overall
- Spatial audio does genuinely sound better (whether it is 3D or not is another question)
- Some people may find the bass a bit lacking
- Battery is quite poor
The Soundcore Motion X600 was announced earlier this month and will go on sale on the 6th of May. There is an excellent pre-order bonus where if you pay a £1 deposit (not refundable), you will be emailed a voucher between the 9th and 24th of May for £50 off. You then have 14 days to redeem it. The discount code can be used on the Soundcore website or Amazon.
Soundcore is advertising this as their first high-fidelity portable speaker which has a combination of Hi-Res sound and spatial audio.
- Drivers: Five audio drivers (two woofers, two tweeters and one upwards-facing “sky” full-range driver)
- Amp: 2x 20W & 1x10W for the sky driver. 50W total.
- Codecs: LDAC
- Bluetooth: 5.3
- App & Customisation: Soudcore app with EQ
- Additional Connectivity: 3.5mm aux
- Battery: 6,400 mAh / 12 hours / USB-C charging
- IP Rating: IPX7
- Dimensions: 30 cm x 8.1 cm x 12 cm
- Weight: 1.98 kilograms
- Colours: Polar Gray, Aurora Green, and Lunar Blue.
It is hard to get enthused about the design of speakers, but Soundcore has done a good job of making this relatively attractive. I'd say this is much more attractive than the other Soundcore speakers.
The design is pleasantly sleek and modern looking, and the Aurora Green colour I was sent is attractive without being too bright and drawing attention (like some of the bright Soundcore speakers).
The main thing worth noting is the circular speaker grill on the top of the speaker, which the sky driver directs audio upwards for a more immersive sound.
I think I may prefer the retro design of the Marshal speakers, but it is a close call, and the built-in handle of this is handy.
This is IPX7 rated, so you can drop it in the bath or pool and not worry too much. Most of the body is a hard metal material, so you probably don't want to be throwing this around too much. It will be less durable, or at least scratch resistant, than the rubber-coated Soundcoree speakers.
Set Up and App
With Android, when you power up the speaker, you should be greeted with a pop-and-up pair dialogue. However, you will need to install and log in to the Soundcore app if you want to customise the EQ, update the firmware or switch to LDAC.
I had to install a beta version of the Soundcore app, so things may change by the time the speaker launches.
The app has fewer settings for this speaker than earbuds such as the Soundcore Liberty 4. In particular, there are only four pre-set EQ options, then the ability to enable/disable bass up. You can also set up a custom EQ.
Apart from updating the firmware, the only other setting you will likely want to use is the sound mode which allows you to use the higher-resolution LDAC.
It is worth noting that this does not appear to have multipoint Bluetooth pairing. So only one person can use the speaker at a time. It is not a feature I'd often use for a speaker, but it could be useful at a party/bbq/social event.
You can use this speaker with standard Bluetooth codecs, or you can update it to use the superior high-resolution LDAC Bluetooth codec. My review sample says lossless audio down the side of the speaker, but this was a mistake on early review samples. It is not lossless, but it is high resolution. I doubt I could tell the difference between high-res and lossless on a portable Bluetooth speaker anyway.
This is not the most bass-forward of speakers. With the bass boost off, I personally find that the bass is lacking for my tastes. At lower volumes, it is still quite enjoyable for more critical listening; it allows more detail to come through on the mids and highs. I am quite sensitive to high frequencies, so at higher volumes and with the lack of bass, it can become a little sharp, but it doesn't distort.
Bass boost significantly improves the bass, giving you a richer sound, but it is certainly not the most bassy of speakers. I am concurrently reviewing the much more expensive Marshall Middleton, and which is in a different league with the bass. However, it can be a bit unbalanced with some genres.
The Soundcore signature appears to be the bassiest, and I find this setting is enjoyable for most of the genres I listen to. With things like dance music or hip-hop, the speaker is capable of producing excellent bass without distorting or muddying the other frequencies.
On paper, 50W is not incredibly powerful for a speaker, but I found that this speaker performs well in a wide range of scenarios. I initially used it in my kitchen/dining room which is a large space and this was capable of providing room-filling audio without sounding distorted.
It is possible to pair up two Motion X600 speakers for a wider stereo soundstage which is a feature that has become quite common with portable speakers.
The spatial audio on this speaker is a bit like the spatial audio on the Soundcore Liberty 4 earbuds, it is more like virtual spatial audio. It is not officially compatible with spatial audio formats like Dolby Atmos Music.
I was stupidly confused about how to enable/disable spatial at first, thinking it was an option in the app. Then I noticed it had a dedicated button on the speaker itself.
It is hard to put my finger on how the spatial audio sounds. As I unknowingly listened to the speaker with it enabled by default, I can't say I ever noticed the sound having any sort of 3D effect. However, toggling it on and off makes you realise there is quite a bit of difference. Perhaps it is just the fact you are switching one of the drivers off, but I found with spatial audio off, the speaker sounded a bit boring in comparison. With the speaker on my office table an arm's length away, when listening to some tracks, I guess it did feel more immersive, a bit like the sound was more in my head rather than the object sitting in front of me. In a larger room, that effect is lost, but it still sounds better with spatial on.
The battery is rated for 12 hours when playing it at 50% volume and with spatial and bass boost switched off. When listening to the speaker in my office with it close by, I played it at closer to 25 to 33% volume, but in my kitchen, it was probably 70% or so. I always had bass boost enabled, though.
That's generally on the lower end of the spectrum. It seems like 20 hours is the standard performance, including the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus. The standard Motion Boom is 24 hours.
I didn't drain the battery during any of the times I used it, but with that endurance, it is certainly possible if you have a long day outside in the sun. You could, of course, keep it running with a portable power bank.
Price and Alternative Options
The Motion X600 will be available for purchase on the 6th of May for $199.99 in the US, £199.99 in the UK; €199.99 EUR in Germany and Europe and $269.00 CAD in Canada on Amazon.com, soundcore.com and other retail partners.
The Motion X600 will also be available for pre-order through to the 9th of May on Soundcore's website at: www.soundcore.com in the US as well as in each market in UK, Germany or Canada for $149.99, £149.99, €149.99 and $199.99 CAD respectively. You will need to pay a £1 deposit to receive the discount code.
There is the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus which has a lower RRP and more powerful speakers, and a better battery. But it weighs more, is not as attractive, lacks spatial audio and LDAC.
The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is another good option if you want a loud waterproof Bluetooth speaker, and it can be paired up with other Ultimate Ears speakers. Annoyingly, this uses micro USB, but there is also an optional charging base.
As far as I can tell, there are no other portable Bluetooth speakers that claim to do spatial audio. There are, however, quite a few wireless speakers, such as the Echo Studio and Apple HomePod. Though these lack upwards-firing speakers, you'd have to get a more premium speaker like the Sony SRS-RA5000 or Sonos Era 300.
Personally, I really like the Anker Soundcore Motion X600, and if you can get it for the early bird discount price, I can strongly recommend it.
I have to admit I have limited recent experience with portable Bluetooth speakers at this price point/size.
The Soundcore Motion Boom Plus seems like a logical alternative choice, I have not used it, but it is well-reviewed and much more powerful at a similar price point (if not cheaper). It is kind of ugly, and I am not sure my partner would appreciate this sitting on the shelf in our kitchen.
The Tronsmart Bang Mini has the same 50W power but is a lot cheaper and predictably sounds nowhere near as good. I think the Marshall Middleton sounds better if you want some additional bass, but it is also £70-120 more expensive.
Originally posted on mightygadget.com – Follow on Twitter – Instagram – Facebook – Mighty Gadget Latest Reviews
I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over 10 years now, running Mighty Gadget and its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web. I am passionate about all tech, including mobile, wearables, and home automation. I am also a fitness fanatic, so I cover as much fitness tech as possible.