Any links to online stores should be assumed to be affiliates. The company or PR agency provides all or most review samples. They have no control over my content, and I provide my honest opinion.

Anker Soundcore launched the Soundcore Motion X600 earlier this year which was their first high-fidelity portable speaker, which has a combination of Hi-Res sound and spatial audio. It is also the first portable Bluetooth speaker with spatial audio that I am aware of.

It was widely well-reviewed, and I personally liked it, but it drew some criticism for being lacking with some of the low-end bass.

The Soundcore Motion X500 is the latest model equipped with spatial audio thanks to the sky” full-range driver. This is a smaller and more affordable speaker. However, it is also tuned quite differently than the X600. So, for those who were underwhelmed with the bass on the X600, then the Soundcore Motion X600 could be much more appealing.

Soundcore Motion X500 Key Features

  • 40W total output with 3 full range drivers
  • Spatial audio with customised algorithm
  • Hi-Res Audio certified with LDAC support
  • 9-band EQ for sound customization
  • Sleek, compact aluminium design
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Built-in 7.2V/6400mAh battery with 12 hour longevity
  • LED lights on Sky Channel
  • £40 off pre-orders

Soundcore Motion X500 vs Motion X600 Specification

Soundcore Motion X500Soundcore Motion X600
DriversThree full range drivers
Left + Right Full Range
one upwards-facing “sky” full-range driver
Five audio drivers
two woofers
two tweeters
one upwards-facing “sky” full-range driver
Amp2x 15W
1x 10W Sky
40W total
2x 20W
1x10W for the sky driver
50W total.
CodecsLDAC/ SBC / MPEG2 AAC LCLDAC/ SBC / MPEG2 AAC LC
Bluetooth5.35.3
Additional Connectivity3.5mm aux3.5mm aux
Multi SpeakerYesYes
BassUpYesYes
Battery6,400 mAh / 12 hours / USB-C charging6,400 mAh / 12 hours / USB-C charging
IP RatingIPX7IPX7
Dimensions191 x 81 x 228 mm300 x 81 x 120 mm
Weight1.63 kiligrams1.98 kilograms
RRP£200

Design

The Soundcore Motion X500 has a similar aesthetic to the X600 with the same attractive colourway, grilled front, carry handle and the upwards-facing “sky” full-range driver.

Rather than making it exactly the same but smaller, the Motion X500 has been squashed into a taller but less wide speaker, making it take up less desk space.

Overall, the build quality is excellent, and the overall aesthetic is more attractive than most portable speakers. From the brands I have personally reviewed, it is only the more expensive Marshall speakers that also have an attractive design.

Set Up and App

The setup is just like all other Bluetooth speakers, but this also supports pop-up and pair.

The Soundcore app allows you to change the EQ, switch the audio to LDAC and upgrade the firmware.

If you speaker is already paired to the phone, when you go into the Soundcore app, it should automatically recognise it and allow you to add the speaker.

The EQ pre-set settings are somewhat limited with just three options including:

  • Spatial Dynamic
  • Bass Boost

These are different to the presets that were available on the X600.

You can also set up custom EQ options. Interestingly, there is a scan QR code function which allows you to copy other people’s EQ options. I think this is quite a good idea as I neither have the patience nor knowledge to optimise an EQ (though I did have to do a bit with this speaker).

Sound Quality

Out of the box, the speaker uses the Spatial Signature pre-set, which is unusually flat for Soundcore. When I first tried the speaker in my kitchen, which is quite a large open space with lots of hard surfaces, I was a bit disappointed with the sound. It sounded like it lacked enough bass, and I initially assumed this was just because it is less powerful than the X600.

The following day, I moved it into my office, which is smaller. I then used the Soundcore app to switch through the presets with me, initially settling for Spatial Dynamic.

In my office, with this EQ, it was completely different. It is very bass-forward, to the point where I would say it was a bit excessive. It worked well with electronica and hip hop, where you often want some thumping bass, but moving between genres, I found the bass would overwhelm the other frequencies.

I then switched back to Spatial Signature, and it sounded significantly better. The bass was dialled back, and the overall sound was much more balanced.

With Spatial Signature, the mids were well-balanced, with vocals and instruments having good clarity. The treble is rolled off, which avoids any sharpness but at the loss of some detail in the higher end.

Spatial Audio

Just like the Motion X600, this doesn’t have real special audio in the same way you’d get from the Sonos Era 300, it is more virtual spatial audio.

Similarly, the overall effect of the spatial audio doesn’t really provide a 3D experience, but it does seem to add a bit more of an immersive sound than without it on.

There is clearly a difference in sound; the bass seems to have a slight boost and the overall sound is better.

Soundcore Motion X500 vs Motion X600 Sound Quality

I dug my Soundcore Motion X600 out and placed them side to side to see how they compared. The X600 has an additional 10W of power, with its two woofers being 20W vs 15W.

Naturally, I assumed the X600 would be better and louder, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. The presets are completely different, with the X600 having Soundcore Signature as default and the option for bass boost.

Even with bass boost enabled, the bass on the X600 is much more recessed than the X500.

Attempting to get a more accurate comparison, I used a custom EQ for them both and left the settings completely flat. Things balance out with this, and it is clear that the EQ is playing a big role in the sound differences.

With the EQ flat and bass boost off, the X600 and X500 have a similar bass level, but the X600 sounds a bit brighter.

It is a bit hard to say exactly how I feel about the X500 vs the X600 or which is better. The EQ plays a big role, but using the default pre-set EQ on each speaker, I think the X600 is more of a refined speaker overall, with the bass being dialled back, it is a much more balanced sound.

However, I know the X600 has received some flack on Reddit, and a common criticism is that it lacks an extended low bass. For people who want more punch to their bass, the X500 does a surprisingly good job. I’d say it might be a bit excessive with the bass at times (certainly with the dynamic EQ), but in general, I found the Spatial Signature achieved a sound profile that was enjoyable to listen to. It may be less accurate, but it is a more lively, fun sound.

Of course, if you are willing to play around with the EQ then you should be able to get either speaker to sound the way you want.

Battery

The Soundcore Motion X500 is rated to have a 12-hour battery, but this will be reduced if you select LDAC and/or listen to high volumes.

I have not timed it, but I would say I have easily got over 10 hours per charge.

While I don’t personally have a problem with this battery life, it does fall short compared to many alternative options. The Soundcore Motion Boom can last 24 hours, and the Motion Boom Plus lasts 20 hours.

Price and Alternative Options

The Soundcore Motion X500 has an RRP of £170 / $200, and if you pre-order it before 9th November, you can get £40 off, taking it down to £130.

The Soundcore Motion X600 is listed at £200, and this also has a discount available to purchase for £1. The discount code will be emailed on the 16th of November and is for £60, taking it down to £140.

The recently announced Motion 300 isn’t really comparable as it is quite small, but this is available for £90.

There are a lot of amazing portable Bluetooth speakers at around the £150 price point, but I am not aware of any other brand that has spatial audio on a portable Bluetooth speaker.

Some excellent options include:

  • Soundcore Motion Boom Plus
    • RRP: £170 – Regularly available for £130
    • 2x 30w woofer + 2x 10w tweeter for 80W output
    • If you don’t care about looks, then you can’t go wrong with the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus. It is big, waterproof, durable, loud and sounds fantastic. It is probably the best bang for your buck portable Bluetooth speaker out there if you want something quite powerful.
  • Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore
    • RRP: £170 – Rarely discounted but has been as low as £150
    • 2x 1.8” Full Range Drivers with 2 × 30 W Class D For Full Range amp for 60W output
    • Well reviewed and durable, with an excellent battery life and a relatively attractive design.
  • Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
    • RRP: £170 – Regularly discounted to around £150
    • Two 50mm (2 in), 4 ohm full range drivers and two 55mm x 86mm passive radiators. Power is not listed.
    • Another popular, well-reviewed portable Bluetooth speaker. It is less attractive but has good battery life and is very durable.

Overall

This speaker was a good case of don’t judge a book by its cover. I went into the review knowing the price and specs and thought I would definitely recommend the Soundcore Motion X600 over the X500 based on current discounts.

The X600 is only £10 more at the time of writing (5th of November), so it felt logical to think it was going to be a better buy.

After using both speakers, I’m left undecided on which I prefer. I’d argue the X600 is a technically better speaker with a more balanced and accurate sound profile, but technically, better doesn’t always mean you will enjoy it more. The lack of extended low bass and a slight uplift in the treble, it can sound a little sharp.

The X500 has a much more bass-forward V-shaped profile that I think many people will find more enjoyable. It can be unbalanced at times, in my office, the dynamic EQ was only enjoyable for certain genres, but I found the Spatial Signature was excellent for most genres.

Overall, I think the Soundcore Motion X500 is an excellent portable speaker with an attractive design that has a good balance of portability and power. I have enjoyed the overall sound, with it being a more lively and warmer sound compared to the X600.

Soundcore Motion X500 Review

Summary

I think the Soundcore Motion X500 is an excellent portable speaker with an attractive design that has a good balance of portability and power. I have enjoyed the overall sound, with it being a more lively and warmer sound compared to the X600.

Overall
85%
85%
  • Overall - 85%
    85%

Pros

  • Enjoyable sound, with the preset EQs providing a richer bass than the X600
  • Spatial audio does add a bit of immersion and certainly improves the sound
  • Attractive design that’s also IPX7 rated

Cons

  • Spatial Dynamic EQ sounded unbalanced with the bass muddying other frequencies
  • Poor battery compared to alternative options

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *