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Anker SoundCore Motion vs. Bose SoundLink Flex vs. JBL Flip 6

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John Ruiz

John Ruiz

Soundcore motion speaker review IMG_4241

If there is one tricky thing about recommending speakers, its determining which speaker gives you the best bang for the buck. Bang for the buck often points to midrange pricing which is under $200 USD or $270 CAD and even then, you have various speakers to pick from. We reviewed three of the speakers in this price range – the Anker SoundCore Motion, the Bose SoundLink Flex, and the JBL Flip 6. Crowning a winner here is impossible given the unique strengths of each speaker so I’ll compare them across five metrics to help you find the best speaker for your needs.

Design

JBL Flip 6 review

All speakers have impressive build quality, but the JBL Flip 6 is the most rugged with its IP67 rating. The Bose SoundLink Flex has an IP67 rating too but the Flip 6’s speaker grille effectively prevents saltwater and even sand from penetrating. The SoundCore Motion only has an IPX7 rating which means that the speaker isn’t dustproof.

However, the SoundCore Motion remains in a class of its own because of its sheer size and moderate use of premium materials. It weighs close to 2 kg which is more than triple the weight of the JBL Flip 6 or Bose SoundLink Flex.

Each speaker takes a slightly different approach to portability though. The JBL Flip 6 is the kind of speaker you could toss in a bag and not worry so much thanks to the plastic bumpers. The Bose SoundLink Flex has a built-in carrying strap which you may hook on to your bag when heading out. The SoundCore Motion has a grooved metal handle which adds both comfort and stability when carrying the speaker with one hand.

Connectivity

When it comes to wired connectivity, all speakers rely on a USB-C port for charging which is great as most devices have shunned the microUSB port. The SoundCore Motion comes with a USB-C to C cable while the other speakers include a USB-C to A cable. Also exclusive to the SoundCore Motion is the AUX port allowing the speaker to bypass Bluetooth connectivity if you have a 3.5mm cable and the device has a 3.5mm jack.

Naturally, all speakers have Bluetooth as well with no built-in Wi-Fi given their prices. However, you should pay close attention to the Bluetooth version of each speaker if you plan on pairing your device with it from a greater distance. The SoundCore Motion, being the newest product of the bunch, features the latest Bluetooth 5.3 standard. Compared to the 5.1 and 4.2 Bluetooth versions of the JBL Flip 6 and Bose SoundLink Flex respectively, the SoundCore Motion enjoys an exponential increase in range and throughput. Just remember that the range benefits you’ll get depends on the Bluetooth version of your device, so you’ll need a modern device like an iPhone 14 or a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 to reap the SoundCore Motion’s Bluetooth advantage.

Performance

Soundcore motion speaker

If you have an average-sized living room, any of the speakers should fill the room with sound even without hitting those distortion-inducing max volume levels. But if you want full stereo sound in a larger environment, the SoundCore Motion is the one to lean towards. Not only is the speaker bigger but the five drivers and five amps totaling a 50-watt output power really give it a performance advantage. It also has spatial audio as well as LDAC support, so you don’t notice much of an audio quality penalty when streaming music via Bluetooth compared to wired via AUX in. The JBL Flip 6 falls in the middle with 30 watts in a mono configuration while the SoundLink Flex has slightly weaker bass but still sounds quite good despite the 20-watt spec.

Features

Bose SoundLink Flex, portable, wireless, bluetooth, speaker, review

All speakers come with a feature that lets you wirelessly pair them with an identical speaker to get true stereo separation resulting to a wider soundstage. However, JBL gets the upper hand here if you happen to own other JBL speakers that support PartyBoost. JBL lets you pair up to 100 speakers allowing you to stream music to all of them at once. Even if the feature sounds gimmicky, PartyBoost could let you pair a JBL speaker with a friend’s JBL speaker resulting in a nice boost in volume.

The Bose SoundLink Flex has its own advantage too being the only speaker in this comparison to have a built-in mic. JBL dropped that feature in the Flip 5 and unfortunately, it hasn’t returned with the JBL Flip 6.

Price

The SoundCore Motion looks like a clear winner considering the audio specs and features, but its $199 USD / $269 CAD price allows the other two speakers to compete. The JBL Flip 6 and Bose SoundLink Flex compete at around $129 USD but in Canada, the Flex is a bit pricier at $189 CAD compared to the $169 MSRP. Both speakers are also approaching their second birthday so you should factor in potential discounts as well. The JBL Flip 6 sold for as low as $89 USD or $129 CAD not too long ago and the SoundLink Flex enjoyed smaller $20 discounts. This means you could buy a pair of JBL Flip 6’s on sale and still save compared to buying a SoundCore Motion.

Our verdict

Bose SoundLink Flex box

This speaker comparison is a reminder that even older, discounted speakers can stand out in a highly crowded Bluetooth speaker space. Spending extra on a newer product like the SoundCore Motion is worthwhile if you value audio performance above all but always factor in the minor advantages the smaller speakers have before spending that hard-earned $200.

Shop Anker Soundcore Motion, JBL Flip 6, or the Bose SoundLink Flex portable speakers on Amazon.


**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

John Ruiz

John Ruiz

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