It’s no secret that the larger the audio driver, the beefier the sound output will be. But, many people don’t like the idea of having big and bulky speakers that also require to be plugged into a wall outlet. If you are one of them, a portable Bluetooth speaker should suit your needs. They aim to deliver balanced loudness and clarity while also retaining maximum portability.
In case you are in the market for a new portable speaker, chances are you have stumbled upon two worthy options: The Anker Soundcore 2 and Bose SoundLink Mini 2 (Special Edition). Both are sold at different price points, but their general form factor is basically the same. Thus, you might think if it’s any good to pay almost triple the money for the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 (SE) over the Anker Soundcore 2.
In this guide, we will take a deep dive into the technical specifications of the following portable speakers and compare them (Anker Soundcore 2 Vs Bose SoundLink Mini 2) against each other so that you can make a purchase decision.
- 1 Anker Soundcore 2: What does it offer?
- 2 Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE: Is it any Good?
- 3 Anker Soundcore 2 vs Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE: What are the Differences?
- 4 Final Verdict: Anker Soundcore 2 Vs Bose SoundLink Mini 2
Anker Soundcore 2: What does it offer?
Anker is a renowned brand that offers charging peripherals, smart home appliances, video projectors, earphones, speakers, and other accessories. The Anker Soundcore 2 costs only £39.99, but it definitely packs a punch above its weight.
Let’s start with its design. With its 6.5 x 2.2 x 1.8 in dimensions and 357 g weight, the Soundcore 2 is surprisingly portable for a 12W speaker. It has a rugged and outdoor-proof IPX7-certified casing that protects the internals from rain, dust, snow, mud, spills, etc. It can also withstand up to 1 metre of immersion in the water for 30 minutes.
In terms of audio quality, the dual 6W neodymium drivers inside produce rich and clear sounds. The integrated signal processor ensures distortion-free audio at higher volumes and dynamically adjusts the bass. On the subject of bass, Soundcore’s patented spiral bass port boosts the low-end frequencies, delivering deep and thumping bass to give every beat new depths of intensity.
Thanks to its 5200mAh Li-ion battery and Anker’s power-saving tech, the Soundcore 2 can deliver up to 24 hours of non-stop playtime at 60% volume. Plus, it has Bluetooth 5 connectivity, which consumes several times less power than its predecessor.
In case you didn’t know, Bluetooth 5 has four times the operating range of Bluetooth 4.2, meaning you can have your phone several metres away from the Soundcore 2 without experiencing dropouts. The audio latency is also significantly lower. In addition, you get wireless stereo pairing with the speaker.
Apart from wireless connectivity, you can use the speaker in wired mode by connecting your phone and other devices directly to its 3.5mm AUX port. The Soundcore 2 comes with a built-in microphone as well, enabling hands-free voice calling. You also get access to physical power, playback, volume, and pairing buttons.
It’s worth mentioning that the Anker Soundcore 2 has two variants. The one we just discussed is the upgraded version, which comes with a bigger battery and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
Overall, it’s an excellent portable speaker in its class. You also get 18 months of warranty and Anker’s exceptional customer support.
Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE: Is it any Good?
Bose is predominantly famous for its audio systems, but its products are also quite expensive compared to the competition. The SoundLink Mini II Special Edition is an upgrade to the standard model, and it costs around £150.
This portable 10W speaker from Bose comes in two colors: Triple Black and Luxe Silver. It has a low-profile design and weighs in at 680 grams. The anodised aluminum casing has a premium finish, which also makes it withstand external abuse in the long term. Its classy design blends in anywhere you decide to place it.
Considering how small the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE is, the audio output from it is simply phenomenal. It has dual passive radiators that produce deep low frequencies without rattling. The transducers inside the speaker are also capable of moving double the amount of air for their size as regular transducers, which dictates to a broader sound stage.
While Bose doesn’t specify its battery capacity, the SoundLink Mini 2 SE delivers up to 12 hours of playtime compared to the 10 hours battery life on the standard version. The speaker has Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, giving it an ample operating range of about nine meters.
The SoundLink Mini 2 SE also has a microphone built-in, allowing you to use it as a speakerphone. Apart from the power, pairing, and volume controls, it also has a multi-function button you can press to take calls and activate Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri on your phone or tablet over Bluetooth.
You can use the SoundLink Mini 2 SE in wired mode as well, thanks to the addition of a 3.5 AUX port on the side. It even has a USB-C charging port, so you can charge it easily with your phone or laptop charger. There’s also a multi-color LED on the speaker that indicates its battery life.
Note that the following speaker is backed by a standard 1-year warranty. Bose also provides lifetime customer support and has an active online forum.
Anker Soundcore 2 vs Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE: What are the Differences?
As you can see, there’s plenty of similarities and dissimilarities between the Anker Soundcore 2 and Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE, even though they share the same form factor. Here’s a detailed comparison between the following portable speakers:
Design & Weight
When it comes to the design, both portable speakers take a different approach. The Soundcore 2 is focused more on rigidity and durability, while the SoundLink Mini 2 SE is visually appealing with its one-piece aluminum housing.
That doesn’t mean it’s less durable than the Soundcore 2, but it’s more prone to show dents and scratches over time. Note that it doesn’t have the same IPX7 rating as the Soundcore 2, meaning it isn’t water-resistant at all.
You can carry both of them in a backpack, but the SoundLink Mini 2 SE’s dense metal construction makes it nearly two times heavier than the Soundcore 2. If you travel with your backpack all day, the weight of the portable speaker is something you should be aware of.
If you only care about audio quality, the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE singlehandedly decimates the Anker Soundcore 2. Don’t get us wrong; the Soundcore 2’s 12W speaker system produces distortion-free sound and punchy bass, but it’s not even close to the SoundLink Mini 2 SE’s vibrant sound stage and resonating bass delivery.
The folks at Bose clearly have more experience in fine-tuning and calibrating audio equipment than anyone else in the industry, which is also a reason why their products cost so much. Anker still has a long way to go in the audio department.
Connectivity & Battery Life
Where the Anker Soundcore 2 shines is its wireless operating range and battery life. It has Bluetooth 5 compared to the SoundLink Mini 2 SE’s Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity.
The newer Bluetooth standard consumes less power and provides an extended range. Fortunately, both speakers can be used in wired mode thanks to the addition of the 3.5 AUX port.
The Soundcore 2’s bigger battery gives it 24-hour playtime, which is literally double of the SoundLink Mini 2 SE’s mere 12-hour playtime. Having said that, you have to rely on the obsolete Micro-USB port for charging the Soundcore, whereas the Bose counterpart supports the newer USB-C standard for charging.
Both speakers have a built-in microphone that allows you to make hands-free voice calls. They also have physical volume and playback buttons, but the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE has an extra multi-function button.
When you have an Android phone/tablet, iPhone, or iPad connected to the speaker, you can press the multi-function button to activate the device’s default voice assistant, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. You can then ask it to play music or do other things without reaching out to your device.
The Anker Soundcore 2 also has a trick up its sleeve. It supports wireless stereo pairing, which lets you pair a second Soundcore 2 (of the same upgraded model) with the first one for double the volume and a better stereo effect.
It’s worth noting that both portable speakers support FW updates, but you will need a PC to flash the latest firmware. Such QOL updates come with bug fixes and improvements, ensuring that the speakers stay functional for an extended period.
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Final Verdict: Anker Soundcore 2 Vs Bose SoundLink Mini 2
Comparing the Anker Soundcore 2 against the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 Special Edition doesn’t make much sense, primarily because of the £100+ price difference. It all comes down to the requirements you have in mind for a speaker.
If you are shopping for a portable Bluetooth speaker that offers above-average sound quality and long-lasting battery life at a reasonable price point, the upgraded Anker Soundcore 2 is your best bet.
However, if you have a heavy wallet and want the best-in-class music listening experience from a speaker of the same portable form factor, consider buying the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 SE.
In case you are looking for specific features, we recommend going through the details in the in-depth comparison above once again before you make your final purchase decision.
Before you leave, remember that the all-new Anker Soundcore 3 does indeed exist, and it’s available for purchase on Amazon UK at the time of writing. Priced at £15-20 more than its predecessor, it has a set of vastly improved dual 8W titanium drivers and uses the new generation of Soundcore’s BassUp technology.
On top of that, it has a USB-C charging port. You can also connect it to the Soundcore mobile app and adjust the sound quality by choosing between different EQ presets. The rest of it has remained the same as the Anker Soundcore 2, from the rugged design down to the 24-hour playtime.