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Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth speaker review: Big sound in a rugged, compact package

We’ve heard plenty of middle-of-the-road Bluetooth speakers that try to juice your tunes with brassy, boomy sound. The Anker Soundcore Motion+ isn’t one of them, but this compact, $100 speaker could do with a little more high-end detail. Its attention to mid-range frequencies, on the other hand, pays dividends when it comes to delivering rich, robust sound, with an impressive (but not overbearing, provided a certain feature is turned off) foundation of bass response . The Motion+’s weatherized design, app-based EQ settings, and aptX support sweeten the deal.

Design

Measuring a little shy of a foot wide, about three inches high and thick, the 2.3-pound Soundcore Motion+ feels heavy given its size. Encased in a virtually waterproof shell (Anker claims an ingress protection rating of IPX7, meaning the speaker can withsetand being immersed in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes), the Motion+ features a black aluminum grille that reveals its twin tweeters and woofers flanking a large passive radiator. The wedge-like design of the Motion+’s enclosure aims its drivers at about a 15-degree angle relative to the surface on which the speaker is sitting, so the music is directed at your ears and not your chest. The rubberized sides and back of the speaker feel reassuringly rugged, although they also accumulate oily fingerprints.

anker soundcore motionplus top buttons Ben Patterson/IDG

The rubberized shell of the Anker Soundcore Motion+ (seen here with its embedded playback controls) feels reassuringly rugged, but it also attracts oily fingerprints.

The Motion+’s power button is on the right side of the speaker, while the USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm analog audio input sit just beneath, securely hidden by a water-tight rubber flap. (A USB-C charging cable and an audio cable are both included.) You’ll find buttons along the top of the speakers for volume, Bluetooth pairing, and the speaker’s bass-boosting “BassUp” features (which I’ll get to in a moment).

A button in the center of the speaker–between the volume-down and volume-up buttons– performs a variety of functions depending on whether you press it once, press it multiple times, or hoild it down for a few seconds. Press the button once, for example, to play and pause your music or to answer a call on your Bluetooth-connected cellphone (in effect, turning the Motion+ into a speakerphone). Hold the button down for a couple of seconds and you’ll summon Siri or Google Assistant on your iPhone or Android phone respectively. Hold the button for more than three seconds, and you can sync the Motion+ to a second Motion+ to create a left/right stereo pair.

anker soundcore motionplus side ports Ben Patterson/IDG

A rubber flap with a watertight seal hides a USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm analog audio input.

Features and functionality

Besides its Bluetooth 5.0 support, the Soundcore Motion+ also features the aptX audio codec, which can deliver near-CD-quality sound–provided you’re the device you’re streaming music from also supports aptX. Support for that codec is relatively common on Android phones, but you won’t find support for it on any iOS device (although Macbooks do support it). That’s unfortunate, as we like aptX (and we like aptX HD even more).

anker soundcore motionplus eq Ben Patterson/IDG

You can fiddle with the Anker Soundcore Motion+’s EQ settings using the Soundcore mobile app.

If you want to tinker with the Motion+’s EQ, you can do so using the Soundcore mobile app. Once the app connects to the speaker, you can switch between six EQ presets or fiddle with the app’s nine equalizer sliders.

One of the EQ presets is called “BassUp,” which is the name of Anker’s bass-boosting audio technology. We’ll cover the Motion+’s BassUp performance in a moment; for now, just know that you can toggle the BassUp mode using either the Soundcore app or by pressing the BassUp button on the top of the speaker.

The Soundcore app also lets you adjust the Motion+’s automatic power-off feature, which you can set for five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. That’s a nice feature, but those are the only settings available. There’s no sleep timer, either.

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