Soundcore Motion+ – Test
A new Bluetooth box, the Soundcore Motion+, is Anker’s latest product to challenge existing brands in the market. The build quality and the features are great now, and the performance is also not that far behind. We think that Soundcore Motion+ is a good alternative to well-known brands.
The Anker company runs its audio division under the name Soundcore and mainly offers low-priced alternatives to the products of popular brands. The Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth speaker we reviewed in this test follows a slightly different path.
Priced confidently at $99.99 (See latest price here), the Soundcore Motion+ is inching closer to the well-established speakers like the JBL, Bose, etc. brands. Therefore, we were excited to see how it performs in our test and if it could stand up to the major brands in terms of features, sound, and quality. You can read our Soundcore Comparison here.
Soundcore Motion+ in the test: Robust build quality
The Soundcore Motion+ looks extremely solid right from the unpacking stage. The speaker bar by Soundcore or Anker is well-manufactured and feels nice in the hand. The weight of about 0.91 lb (0.58 kg) also plays a role.
The case of the Soundcore Motion+ is fully covered with grippy rubber. Although this provides a high-quality feel and good protection, it is also sensitive to fingerprints and dirt of any kind. All in all, the build quality remains satisfactory.
On the top of the case, you can find all the controls. Among them is a button to activate the so-called “BassUp” technology. With this technology, the Soundcore wants to help the Motion+’s low-frequency performance when it needs a bit more bass.
Hi-Res Audio Really?
In contrast to many other Bluetooth speakers, Soundcore claims that you have Hi-Res Audio with the Motion+ and advertises it with a label on the packaging and the Internet. But, there are serious concerns as to whether this is true or not: Indeed, the frequency response of 50 Hz to 40 kHz stated by the Anker theoretically meets the requirements for high-resolution music reproduction.
But the Bluetooth module of the Soundcore Motion+ only supports connections with the classic aptX codec, which is only capable of transmitting signals in CD quality. It is possible to connect a corresponding device via a 3.5 mm jack cable and theoretically listen to Hi-Res Audio. Yet, this is neither the intended use of a Bluetooth speaker nor does it make sense for a device of this size.
The sound quality of Soundcore Motion+
While the Soundcore Motion+ is a mobile speaker, you probably won’t need to worry about its Hi-Res audio capabilities, since the sound quality of aptX is already more than sufficient for use as a mobile speaker at home or on the road. The Soundcore Motion+ has the right equipment for this purpose: Two 25 mm tweeters handle the high frequencies, joined by two 50 mm bass-midrange drivers.
Two passive radiators give further support in the bass range. All drivers are aligned to the front. This provides you with the best possible sound directly in front of the speaker, and with the right distance, it can even offer a real stereo effect. But the sound suffers all on the sides or behind the speaker. While other Bluetooth speakers that are designed for all-around sound offer a more balanced sound experience, this is not the case here.
Soundcore offers an additional bass boost on-demand with the mentioned “BassUp” technology. But in our tests, it seemed as if the Motion+ lacked a bit of bass in normal use. When the Bass Boost is not activated, the speaker sounds rather thin and a bit weak. The sound is as good as you would expect from a Bluetooth speaker of this size only after activating the “BassUp” button.
The Motion+ then convinces with an activated Bass Boost; the sound is detailed, well-rounded, and powerful. It is possible to reach high volumes with the Soundcore speaker, and you can listen to music very well outdoors. It is only when you approach the upper-performance limit that the sound quality suffers at some point and the speaker starts to distort unpleasantly.
Soundcore Motion+ features: USB-C and IPX7 protection
The Soundcore Motion+’s build quality and sound are not only on the same level as well-known brands, but its features are also outstanding. Features like the option to pair two speakers into a stereo pair or the USB-C port for charging are not a matter of course in this price and device class.
The Motion+’s empty battery needs about five to six hours to be fully charged via a USB-C power adapter. That is quite long, although the Soundcore box provides a strong battery runtime of up to twelve hours. Also handy: You can continue to use the speaker during the charging. It charges slower, but you don’t have to miss out on your music during the charging.
The Motion+ has been made IPX7 waterproof by Soundcore to make it suitable for outdoor use. This is something we would never recommend, but you can completely immerse the speaker for a short time without fear of damage. A heavy rain shower can’t damage the speaker for sure.
The Equalizer app that Soundcore offers for the Motion+ and its other Bluetooth speakers is also not a matter of course for this category. You can use presets to optimize the sound or freely adjust it to your taste. With the right settings, you can take full advantage of Motion+’s sound capabilities.
Additionally, you can use the app to access your compatible Soundcore devices and update their firmware. The app does not have any other functions and is only an equalizer, but it functions perfectly. The app is available for both Android and iOS.
Anker, or rather Soundcore, does many things properly with the Motion+ and is therefore close to the established brands. The sound in normal use has a few minor weaknesses, but with “BassUp” activated and the right equalizer settings via the app, the Motion+ can produce a remarkably good sound in the right setup.
Furthermore, the Soundcore speaker impresses with a solid build and smart features. The Soundcore Motion+ does not need to hide in comparison with similarly priced Bluetooth speakers from other brands and, on the contrary, offers a very good price-performance ratio.