The Anker Soundcore Motion Boom is a 30W portable speaker with enough volume for use outdoors, up to 24 hours of battery life and an IPX7 waterproof rating.
It costs around $90 or £90 – a third of the price of the JBL Xtreme 3 I’ll be comparing it to in a sound test, together with several other speakers.
How does it sound and does it have all the features you need?
Inside the box you get the speaker itself, an Anker branded USB-C charging cable and a quick start guide.
Picking up the speaker by its large carry handle I was expecting it to be a lot heavier than it is. It weighs 1546g, only 500g heavier than its significantly smaller Motion+ sibling and lighter than the JBL Xtreme 3 and budget W-King D8.
It’s similar in size to the JBL and W-King although the carry handle makes it a fair bit taller. It measures 300mm x 115mm and is 170mm tall.
The build quality is ok but it doesn’t feel particularly rugged despite its IPX7 waterproof rating. The casing is made from a slightly mottled hard black plastic with a metal grille covering the mid-range drivers.
The sides of the speaker have two unprotected Soundcore branded passive radiators.
Around the back is a rubber flap revealing the USB-C charging port and a standard USB-A port to charge your gadgets. There’s no 3.5mm audio-in port so you can only use the speaker wirelessly. This is something all the speakers I’m comparing it to have, so it’s an odd omission.
The top of the speaker has the partially rubberised carry handle and rubberised buttons to control the speaker. There’s no NFC sensor like on the W-King. The bottom of the speaker has two rubber feet.
The sizeable 10,000mAh battery takes up to 4 hours to charge at up to 2.1A via its USB-C port, and supports both single and double ended USB-C charging cables. The power button lights a steady red when charging, and turns white when fully charged. The button flashes red when the battery is low.
But there’s no way to see the current battery level without using your phone which is disappointing.
The USB-A charging port only has a 1A or 5W output which I confirmed with a USB load tester. That’s not enough to charge a tablet – I would have liked to have seen at least 2A output that even the W-King has.
But it’ll still charge an iPhone in around 3 hours up to 3 times.
The speaker has to be turned on for this to work, but it will work even if the speaker is being charged at the same time. This charging port only works when the battery has over 20% of charge remaining.
Hold the power button for 2 seconds to turn on the speaker and initiate Bluetooth pairing. The Bluetooth button flashes. Tap on Soundcore Motion Boom in your Bluetooth settings. The Bluetooth light goes steady. You can disable all the accompanying sound prompts in the Soundcore app.
Unlike the Motion+ you can only pair to one device at a time which is inconvenient. To switch to another device press the Bluetooth button. The LED will again flash and you can again tap on the speaker in Bluetooth settings. I hope they might improve this functionality via a firmware update.
To reset the speaker and clear any paired devices, with the speaker on press and hold the Bluetooth and Volume up buttons for around 5 seconds until all the buttons light up. Then turn it back on.
If you have two Motion Boom speakers you can set them up as a stereo pair. Press the TWS buttons on both speakers and wait until both their buttons stop flashing. A 2 second press of the TWS button exits this mode. I only have one speaker so can’t test this, but I would have liked to have seen a party mode feature to connect multiple speakers in Soundcore’s range like the Motion+. JBL, LG and many other manufacturer’s support this feature on many of their speakers.
The Soundcore button has multiple functions which I’m never hugely keen on. A single press will play or pause your music or answer or end a phone call. A double press will play the next track, a triple press the previous track and a 2 second press will activate your voice assistant. There’s plenty of space to have separate buttons for at least some of these functions especially since there’s the TWS button that most people will never use. At least there’s a separate Bluetooth pairing button.
There’s also the bass boost BassUP button which is on and lit by default.
Sound quality and performance
The two 15W 2.5” full range woofers with titanium diaphragms together with the passive radiators, deliver a pleasing sound for a lot of the music I listened to. The Motion Boom is missing the tweeters of the smaller Motion+ but still has a good range and a well rounded sound. Despite its name it’s not massively boomy even with the BassUp turned on, which offers a noticeable but subtle boost to the lower frequencies. I mostly left this default setting on when playing music since it doesn’t overpower the midtones and treble which maintain their clarity.
And there’s impressively little distortion even at high volumes – I preferred its sound over the Motion+ at higher volumes, when the smaller speaker can sound quite harsh.
Using a sound level meter one metre from the speaker grille I measured the Motion Boom at maximum and 75% volume. You can see how it compares to the other speakers in the test – each tested in their loudest mode. The W-King had outdoor mode turned on, the Soundcore speakers were a little louder with BassUp off.
It’s not quite as loud as the W-King D8, but it’ll fill a medium sized room and as advertised makes a decent outdoor speaker. Indoors it’s uncomfortably loud at maximum volume if you’re within a couple of meters of it.
Using the Soundcore app, which is getting more and more slick with each update, you can easily adjust EQ settings which are remembered on the unit itself. The interface is much clearer with the Motion Boom compared to the Motion+. There aren’t loads of EQ presets, but you can hear the difference between them and you can see how they affect the frequency curve with the extra bass on and off or you can create your own custom preset configured to your particular tastes.
The app also lets you turn off the audio prompts, adjust the auto-power off from the default 30 minutes and update the firmware.
In the accompanying video, you can hear for yourself how the speaker sounds with BassUP on and off and compared to the JBL Xtreme 3, W-King D8, Minirig 3, Soundcore Motion+ and the LG PL7. I also have full reviews of some of these speakers playing various tracks on my YouTube channel, so please take a look if you’re interested.
I’ve recorded the sound test with binaural microphones that capture stereo sound, to try and provide the closest representation of what I’m hearing. Please listen with headphones for the best experience. Use the video chapters in the timeline or the timestamps below to skip ahead if you like.
All the speakers sound pretty good and. The Motion Boom actually sounds better to my ear than the far more expensive JBL Xtreme 3, not just with this track but with a lot of music I listened to. But the JBL does have the typically bright JBL sound and is a little louder than the Soundcore.
The Minirig 3 speaker deserves a mention. With only a single driver it doesn’t have the soundstage of the other speakers, but it’s impressive just how good it sounds for such a small speaker. And how loud it is. I hope to have a full review of this speaker soon.
There was barely any audio delay watching YouTube on iOS – which is an welcome improvement over the Motion+. [19th April 2021 – the latest firmware update seems seems to have introduced some audio delay].
The built in microphone is good enough for phone calls and improves the closer you get to the speaker.
The Motion Boom uses Bluetooth 5.0 and the connection was reliable and the range was good reaching the far end of the next room of my house over 10 metres away.
But there’s no support for any higher quality Bluetooth codecs like aptX that the Motion+ supports or even AAC. And with no 3.5mm output there’s no option for a wired connection for better sound quality. But with most of the portable speakers I’ve tested around this price point it’s difficult to hear any differences between these higher quality codecs and SBC anyway.
Battery life is quoted at an impressive 24 hours – but there’s no details specifying what volume this is at and whether BassUp is enabled. But playing at between 60-80% volume with BassUp on I got at least a full day’s usage.
The Anker Soundcore Motion Boom sounds very good for the price and the supporting Soundcore App makes it easy to adjust EQ to your tastes. And it’s pretty loud too with plenty of battery life.
But it is a fairly large speaker and although the carry handle is useful for moving it around with one hand, it’s not all together necessary considering its relatively light weight and it does make it more bulky. And although the build quality is fine it feels less premium than all the other speakers I compared it against except the W-King D8.
And I really would expect a speaker like this to support at least two simultaneous Bluetooth connections.
But it does have an IPX7 waterproof rating and it can charge your phone with its hefty 10,000mAh battery.
If you don’t need something quite as loud and have a little more to spend, consider the far more portable Soundcore Motion+. If you have even more money to spend and want a loud and very portable speaker look no further than the Minirig 3. And if you want even louder at a similar price, take a look at the W-King D8, but the Soundcore Motion Boom is a little more refined.
Don’t forget to take a look at my YouTube video at the top of the page, and subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’m releasing videos every week on the latest technology and how to get the most out of it. If you tap the bell icon when you subscribe you’ll get a notification as soon as I release a video, and there’ll be a link to my site here for the written article. YouTube is also the best place to leave a comment. I read all of them and respond to as many as I can!
Soundcore Motion Boom: https://amzn.to/3dvdb8Z