Soundcore 3 speaker: Finally the successor of the Amazon top seller
With the Soundcore 3 Bluetooth speaker, there is finally a successor to probably one of the most popular Bluetooth speakers on Amazon. The Soundcore 2 might have been something of a milestone for ANKER’s audio division. We tested it 3 years ago and it still sells like hotcakes when it is on sale and regularly ends up in the bestseller lists. Over time, the Soundcore 2 collected more than 47,000 reviews, making its star rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars really impressive based on the amount of reviews. So the Soundcore 3 is following in big footsteps, find out if it can fill them in this review!
|Soundcore 3||Soundcore 2|
|Driver||2 x 8 watts||2 x 6 watts|
|Frequency range||20 Hz – 40 kHz||70Hz – 20kHz|
|Connectivity||USB-C charging port||Micro-USB charging port; jack input|
|Battery capacity||5200 mAh; up to 24 hours||5200 mAh; up to 24 hours|
|Weight||506 g||414 g|
|Dimensions||17.4 x 6 x 5.7 cm||16.8 x 4.7 x 5.6 cm|
Packaging & scope of delivery
The Soundcore 3 comes in a small, smartly printed box, which of course survived the shipping via Amazon undamaged. Inside, the speaker is accompanied by a user manual, warranty card, textile strap and a 60 cm long USB-C charging cable from ANKER.
New/Old Design for the New Soundcore 3
Since the Anker Soundcore 2 has been around for almost 4 years now, it still has the Anker logo emblazoned on its front (and back). With the new Anker Soundcore 3, it is now the Soundcore logo, as expected. The Chinese manufacturer has been splitting its audio division from the “ANKER” brand, which is more known for power banks and power adapters, for some time now. Soundcore is to be perceived more and more as a standalone audio brand.
With a weight of 506 g on the precision scales, the speaker is not that light in relation to its size in my personal opinion. The battery will probably contribute the most to the weight; it is about 80 g heavier than its predecessor. However, it has grown, albeit marginally, with dimensions of 17.4 x 6 x 5.7 cm.
However, the design and shape remains basically similar to the predecessor. Both speakers are only available in black and both have five control buttons on the top. Only the center play/pause icon has been replaced with the Soundcore logo on the Soundcore 3, which didn’t even exist when the Soundcore 2 was released.
Soundcore also sticks to the tried and tested material. A metal grille protects the speakers on the front, while the rest is covered with a water-resistant rubber coating, which is already familiar from the older Soundcore 2 in a similar form. The Soundcore 3 is even IPX7 certified, whereas the predecessor only had an IPX5 rating.
As expected, the Soundcore 3 Bluetooth speaker is very well made. I could not find any production defects or weaknesses in the material – very good!
Sound of the Soundcore 3 Bluetooth speaker
Comparing Soundcore 2 with its successor, there are of course a few things that can be improved on a Bluetooth speaker that is almost four years old. Let’s start with the heart, the audio drivers. The Soundcore 3 uses two speakers with titanium membranes and 8 watts of power each.
As with the Soundcore 2, a passive radiator is located between the drivers, which is supposed to provide more volume in terms of sound. The Soundcore 3 also houses a second passive radiator, which sits on the back of the speaker.
Soundcore boasts that the titanium diaphragms are supposed to be even better than the predecessor, especially in the high frequencies.
As expected for a Bluetooth speaker, it delivers a differentiated and multi-faceted high-frequency sound. Compared to the predecessor, the sound seems a bit more brilliant to me.
The new Soundcore 3 Bluetooth speaker delivers a balanced sound in the midrange. The midrange frequencies are not drowned out by the bass, so voices and vocals sound natural.
Nevertheless, a difference to the Soundcore 2 can already be heard here. The new speaker already delivers a considerably more voluminous sound in the midrange. The Soundcore 2, on the other hand, even sounds a bit too thin for me in a direct comparison. However, the standard was different back then.
The Soundcore 3 has clearly improved the low frequencies compared to its predecessor. Where there was practically nothing in the predecessor, bass is now audible! Soundcore achieves this through the slightly deeper case, which leaves more room for volume, the improved speakers, and of course the additional passive radiator on the back.
Although the Soundcore 3 now delivers a much stronger bass, it is still rather moderately tuned compared to other models. The small speaker has a hard time with sub-bass frequencies, but it reproduces upper bass frequencies much better than its predecessor.
In terms of sound, the Soundcore 3 is something like the little brother of the Soundcore Motion+ for me. Like the latter, the Soundcore 3 is not the strongest “bass miracle”, but it does a lot better than the competition in the high and mid frequencies.
So, if you’re not necessarily looking for just a “ruckus box” à la JBL as a Bluetooth speaker, but also value the most detailed sound possible in a small Bluetooth speaker, the Soundcore 3 is well advised.
Bluetooth range and connections
The Soundcore 3 is equipped with a Bluetooth 5 module. In comparison, the predecessor still has a Bluetooth 4.2 chip.
In the test, the connection remained stable over a distance of about 15 meters in open spaces. It is correspondingly less inside closed rooms due to massive obstacles, such as concrete walls. If the phone and speaker stay in the same room, however, there are no connection problems.
In terms of connections, the micro-USB charging port has been replaced by a modern USB-C port. This is, as is now often found, protected against liquid penetration even without a protective rubber cap.
The jack connector is unfortunately omitted here, just like on the Soundcore Motion Boom and many other new Bluetooth speakers. A trend that started with smartphones and now seems to be continuing in the Bluetooth speaker sector.
In terms of operation, not much has changed between the Soundcore 2 and Soundcore 3. There are still five control buttons on the top of the speaker.
Functions of the buttons
|Button||press 1x||press 2x||press 3x||long press|
|Multifunction button||Play/Pause; answer/end call||next title previous title||–||–|
|Bluetooth||pairing mode||–||–||Party pairing|
The Soundcore 3 is equipped with the “BassUp” mode, which boosts the low frequency sound. Quite handy if you want a slightly more voluminous sound at low volume or want to avoid overdriving the speaker at high volume. This can be turned on and off via the app.
Soundcore already advertised the “BassUp” technology in the days of the Soundcore 2, but it could not be turned on and off at that time.
Similar to the Soundcore Flare 2, the Soundcore 3 now also supports “PartyCast”. This not only allows two speakers to be paired as a stereo pair, but up to 100 speakers can be controlled and connected to each other via a cell phone.
Furthermore, the Soundcore 3 is now also integrated into the Soundcore App. Which in addition to the buttons, offers some additional features.
In the Soundcore app, you can do the following:
- BassUp can be turned on/off
- Set equalizer presets and custom equalizers
- Install software updates
The Soundcore app really only offers sound customization options for the speaker and enables software updates. Nothing earth-shattering, but in testing the communication between speaker and app worked well!
Battery & runtime
The battery capacity of the Soundcore 3 has remained identical to its predecessor at 5200 mAh. While some components, such as the Bluetooth 5 chip, have become more energy efficient, the more powerful speakers require a bit more power.
Thus, the battery runtime remains identical with 24 hours according to the manufacturer’s spec sheet. In the test, I was able to achieve a runtime of just under 20 hours at a volume of 50% – 70%, more than enough!
The upgrade from Soundcore 2 to Soundcore 3 turns out to be bigger than I had initially expected. In terms of sound, the new speaker already delivers a significantly better sound image in all areas. The differences are smallest in the high frequencies, since the Soundcore 2 already delivers good performance here.
However, the lower the frequencies, the more the sound improvement becomes apparent. Only in the sub-bass range the speaker is still unfortunately not the best. There are other speakers for a similar price that perform better here. For example, the 360° speakers Earfun UBOOM should be mentioned here.
However, these speakers lack app integration, which I appreciate with Soundcore here despite fewer features. It is simply an interface between my speaker and the manufacturer, who can thus ensure that my speaker will continue to work flawlessly in the future. Of course, everyone has to decide for themselves how important this aspect is to you personally.
Overall, the Soundcore 3 Bluetooth speaker is a worthy successor, a well-rounded product, with better sound, new features and top workmanship.So I can only recommend the speaker at least in the offer from a price of about 45€/ $50 or less, even if this is still a significant surcharge compared to the predecessor.To the gadget