Anker SoundCore Motion X600 Speaker Review

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Erin Lawrence

Bose SoundLink Flex box

Anyone who remembers the term “boombox” will find the looks of this new speaker familiar. Anker SoundCore’s new Motion X600 speaker is at once both super slick and modern, but with a hint of retro vibes.  Unlike the more popular Sony, Bose, and JBL brands, SoundCore tends to lean more towards affordable products that try to punch above their weight class. But SoundCore has a checkered history depending on the gadget you look at and in my experience I wasn’t wholly impressed with their original Anker SoundCore portable speaker. What has intrigued me though is the new Anker SoundCore Motion X600 breaks the budget tradition and chases the contentious high-fidelity crowd. So in this review I’ll try out the speaker and tell you how it sounds, and about its special spatial audio feature. I’ll round up the pros and cons and let you know if I think this $199 USD / $269 CAD speaker is a sound deal.

Anker SoundCore Motion X600
4.8

Summary

The SoundCore Motion X600 offers great value for its price, with excellent sound quality and effective spatial audio in a compact design.

 

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • compact design
  • Spatial audio works well

Cons

  • Handle doesn’t fold down

What is the Anker SoundCore Motion x600?

Anker is synonymous with premium power banks, but the nearly 12-year company has a few sub-brands under their belt too including the audio-focused SoundCore brand.
The Anker SoundCore Motion X600 is the company’s very first portable speaker to feature spatial audio. It isn’t, however, their first foray into the technology itself as they implemented it to their Anker SoundCore Liberty 4 wireless earbuds last year. Anker’s big pitch with the SoundCore Motion is to offer a speaker that is large and lightweight while having enough oomph to fill a living room with high-fidelity audio. It’s also waterproof.

Watch my video review of SoundCore Motion x600

What’s in the Box?

Anker soundcore motion x600 reviewAnker sticks to the modern connectivity standard by including a 60 cm USB-C to USB-C cable in the package along with the speaker itself. Also included is a quick start guide and safety card.

Look and Feel

The SoundCore Motion comes in three color variants – Polar Gray, Lunar Blue, and Aurora Green. The overall speaker design doesn’t look particularly flashy but if you are seeking that natural chill look, I’d pick the Aurora Green model.
It measures a bit more than 12 inches wide, 7 inches tall including the built-in handle, and 3 inches thick. The 4.2-pound weight of the speaker gives it a bit of heft considering the dimensions, but Anker used a decent amount of metal on the outer frame. Anker also added some subtle grooves underneath the long handle to make it grippier ( though I don’t actually think it does). The handle doesn’t fold down.

Controls and Ports

Seven buttons grace the top of the speaker and while these icons resemble touch-sensitive buttons, they are actually clickable with a nice tick to them when pressed.
Left of the upward-firing speaker containing the SoundCore logo is the Power button which lights up the rest of the buttons when turned on, a Bluetooth pairing button, a spatial audio toggle, and a BassUp button.
The other group of buttons on the opposite end is the usual volume and play/pause controls.
To help attain the SoundCore Motion’s IPX7 waterproof rating, Anker covered the rear USB-C and aux in ports behind a peelable rubber tab.

Audio Features

Spatial audio is the key selling point for the SoundCore Motion X600 and it’s a convenient one for Anker because spatial audio is quite the craze if you are into music streaming services. However, it is important to peel back that marketing layer and examine what SoundCore Motion’s approach to spatial audio is and the answer is a double-edged sword.

Part of the magic involves the Motion X600’s driver configuration as it includes a pair of woofers and tweeters across the front as well as a single full range speaker up top.

Powered by a trio of amps, the total power output stacks up to 50 watts which is 25% more than the JBL Charge 5. This also means that you can enjoy some degree of stereo sound playback without requiring to pair the SoundCore Motion with an identical speaker (although you can if you wish by long pressing the Bluetooth button for at least 2 seconds. Since I only had the one test speaker I did not try it out dual stereo pairing).

Anker has developed a special algorithm which gives any music track you feed it with a spatial audio effect. This is good for folks who have large music collections in their device and want to hear some added depth to the audio experience or sound stage. However, the overall audio quality may not hold up to the experience you get with speakers that come with proprietary technologies like Sony 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos Music which enriches certain tracks featured in some streaming services.

Speaking of proprietary, the SoundCore Motion supports LDAC encoding which when enabled, will improve the wireless audio quality if device supports it and has it enabled too. Modern devices running Android 8 or above should support it natively and Windows users can take advantage of it as well via third-party software. Unfortunately, iPhone and iPad users miss out. You need to install the SoundCore app to your mobile device to use this feature. The app also lets you fine tune the EQ of the speaker.

Sound Quality

Anker soundcore motion x600 reviewI’m glad to say the speaker sounds gorgeous. I put on a chill playlist while I was working one day and the subtleties of the sound were noticeable. I was able to hear a lot of intricacy in the music and quite enjoyed the experience. After work I decided to put on some more upbeat tunes; some Alice Merton (No Roots), and Florence and the Machine led me into some serious beats which gave the Motion X600 a chance to show off its bass. The bass is impressively strong but not buzzy or zappy, just really well balanced. I cranked things up to full boom with a Foo Fighters Essentials playlist, where the sound leaned more towards the snare and electric guitar, and less on the kick. 50 Cent’s In Da Club took over and properly rattled the credenza.

Moving to a few less familiar tracks Ana Tijoux’s 1977 let me tap into the more delicate higher end, with its Latino backbeat.

The speaker gets plenty loud and can be both room filling or more subtle.

How does spatial audio sound?

To test the Spatial Audio capabilities I used Apple Music’s Made for Spatial Audio Playlist.

Anker soundcore motion x600 reviewFeaturing specially tuned tracks from Earth Wind and Fire, Demi Lovato, Ciara and the Stones, there was a lot to sample. I can say there does seem to be a noticeable effect; for example you can seem to hear certain sounds or instruments coming from different areas of the speaker; a lead guitar emanating from the top of the speaker with other guitar elements coming from one side or the other. Some tracks like Diddy and The Weeknd’s Another One of Me seemed to have a rolling wave-like effect. It’s not quite the same as wearing headphones, but it does give the sound a more 3D effect that was really nice for listening.
In short, this speaker is a powerful, great sounding piece of work that I think will please both the design-minded and the audiophiles, and the Spatial Audio effects add a lot.

Battery life & charging

SoundCore Motion X600 has a 6,400mAh rechargeable battery. A full charge can gives you 12 hours of music play (with the speaker at about 50% volume). That’s not exactly the greatest battery life for a speaker like this, but it would be enough to get you through a day. A full recharge will take about 6 hours, which is on the long side.

Overall Review: Anker SoundCore Motion X600

Soundcore motion speaker review IMG_4241

Considering both the materials and the speaker array, the SoundCore Motion offers great value for its price.
On the pro side, the sound quality is outstanding across a wide variety of different musical genres. The design of the speaker itself is both portable and some thing you can keep tucked away in a corner of your house. The spatial audio option is a nice extra and it delivers surprisingly well. The speaker is waterproof too which it always good.
Downsides? There’s not a lot to dislike on this. I suppose the biggest crack I could make about it is that the handle doesn’t fold down if you do need to make it more compact. That’s seriously about it.

For that reason I can absolutely recommend the Soundcore Motion X 600 speaker to you if you’re looking for a great-sounding portable speaker.

Shop the SoundCore Motion X600 speaker on Amazon

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