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Anker’s Soundcore division has upgraded its popular Motion Boom wireless Bluetooth speaker with the introduction of the Motion Boom Plus. Besides the larger size, what’s the “plus” in this equation? The Plus offers discrete tweeters and woofers, creating a massive amount of sound that’s far greater than what you’d expect from a speaker this size—or one at this price.
This speaker isn’t flashy. There aren’t any pulsing disco lights, and the case itself is either a black rectangle with rounded corners or a black tube with squared-off corners, depending on your point of view. There’s a relatively small Soundcore logo across the front grille, but no design touches that will make the Motion Boom Plus stand out from the crowd.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best Bluetooth speakers, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
The Soundcore Motion Boom Plus is available in black and measures 15.31 x 5.51 x 7.7 inches (WxHxD) and weighs just 5.29 lbs. That’s a bit of an in-between size. It’s big enough to require a handle for easy carriage, and the high-quality, adjustable strap makes sense even though this speaker is a lot smaller than many other speakers that come with a strap.
The Motion Boom Plus is also surprisingly light in weight for its size. Based on its dimensions, it looks like a 7 or 8 pound speaker, but it actually weighs just 5.3 pounds. It’s IP67, which means it’s impervious to dust and that withstand an accidental dunk in the pool. In fact, Soundcore claims that the Motion Boom Plus will float back to the surface when dropped in water. You can learn everything you need to know about IP codes at the article in the preceding link.
What you get with the large—but not especially—heavy form factor is 80 watts of output, with a pair of woofers getting 30 watts each and two tweeters getting 10 watts each. These active drivers are supported by passive bass radiators on each end. The speaker uses the latest Bluetooth 5.3 standard, but it supports the SBC codec only (i.e., there is no aptX or AAC support).
A 13,400mAh battery delivers 20 hours of playback on a full charge, and a USB-A port on the rear of the speaker allows you to use the Motion Boom Plus as a power bank. Also tucked behind a rubber cover on the back are a USB-C port for charging the speaker and n 3.5mm AUX input if you want to bypass Bluetooth playback.
One unexpected feature on a speaker this large is the ability to use it as a speakerphone. The Motion Boom Plus has a built-in microphone and does a better-than-expected job of handling incoming calls. If you’re outdoors and streaming music from your phone, it works as a more-than-adequate stopgap if a business call interrupts your party.
The Soundcore app
Soundcore has an app that supports its speakers and headphones. Its primary function is to deliver firmware updates to the speaker. It also allows a listener to choose from several equalization presets designed by Soundcore and control volume and the Extra Bass function from within the app.
If you’re really into tweaking the sound to your exact specifications, there’s a Custom panel where you can adjust the EQ in any way you prefer. You can even name and save those custom profiles for later use.
If you have a collection of Soundcore speakers, you can use the PartyCast 2.0 function to synchronize more than 100 units for an overwhelming wall of sound. A more practical bonus is that a pair of Motion Boom Plus speakers can be connected in TWS (True Wireless Stereo) mode, so that each speaker can be assigned the left or right channel for a stereo effect.
Soundcore Motion Boom Plus controls
A strip of controls across the top of the speaker includes a button for the Soundcore’s BassUp low-end boost technology, a Bluetooth button for connecting to a streaming source or setting up TWS, a power on/off button and a button for setting up PartyCast. The buttons are illuminated when their function is engaged.
The center rubber strip has volume up/down controls and a Soundcore logo for play/pause and answering or hanging up a phone call. None of the buttons are designed to be identified solely by touch, so you’ll likely need light to control the speaker, at least at first.
Audio performance of the Motion Boom Plus
Ultimately, Soundcore has built its brand on delivering high-quality sound at reasonable prices. The Motion Boom Plus continues that tradition, with an impressive amount of low-end thump for a speaker its size, plus the tweeters give the high end far more definition than you’d expect.
Drake’s new album Honestly, Nevermind proved to be the right kind of summer listening test to show off what this speaker can do. With BassUp engaged and using the Soundcore Signature EQ preset, a song like “Texts Go Green” reverberates around a backyard with notably little distortion when cranked to its top volume. You can certainly buy louder speakers, but they’re going to be far larger and quite a bit heavier. At this price level, there’s not really anything that can compete with the Motion Boom Plus. Add that to the impressive durability and battery life that Soundcore speakers are known for, and this begins to look like an excellent, easy-to- carry party-speaker option.