Anker has recently introduced some new portable Bluetooth speakers into their line up in the form of the Soundcore Icon and the Soundcore Icon Mini. Priced at £54.99 and £29.99 respectively these new speakers are designed to be ultra-portable and rugged, perfect for taking out on adventurous days, camping and holidays.
The larger of the two models, the Soundcore Icon has a capsule shape with a detachable rubber strap that can be used to hang it on things or securely attach it to places.
As you would expect for a travel speaker, this is very rugged with a rubber coating giving it IP67 water resistance and a durable enough design that will protect it from most drops and bangs.
You can get 12 hours charge which should keep you going for most days out, and the speaker has a microphone built in allowing you to use it for phone calls.
As with most Bluetooth speakers, this is easy to set up, you power it on, pair it, and away you go. You can alternatively use the 3.5mm jack. It is also possible to pair up two of the speakers and get double the sound in stereo.
For such a small speaker the sound quality is superb, in particular, there is much more bass than you would expect from a portable speaker. While it can’t compete with larger devices such as the Anker Soundcore Flare Plus, this has a perfect balance of all-day portability and sound quality. It is surprisingly loud too, so this should be more than capable for any beach day or camping trip you may go on. Its petite size means that I will probably use it for press trips so I can use this for a computer speaker when watching movies in my hotel room rather than the tinny built-in speakers of a laptop. This design of this means the speakers work from both sides so when listening to something you need to have it sat upright properly, or dangling from something to get the best sound form it. This does seem obvious, but its capsule shape means it is quite easy to place it with one speaker side facing down.
Pricing is sensible too, it has superior sound to the cheaper Anker SoundCore I previously reviewed, while not being able to perform as well as the much larger and more expensive Flare Plus.
Soundcore Icon Mini
If you need something a little more portable, then the Icon Mini could be the option for you, priced at just £29.99 this can easily fit into your pocket or using the attached cord you can tie it to bags, bikes, tents or anything else you can think of.
With this pocketable little speaker, you can get 8 hours of use out of it, and just like its bigger brother you have full IP67 water resistance which will make it great for festivals in the rain or beach/pool days. That rating makes it good against dust, dirt and full submersion in water (up to 1 meter).
It features the same pairing mode that the full-size one has, allowing you to get double the sound from two speakers, and you also have the same 3.5mm jack and microphone built-in.
With this being so much smaller it is no surprise that the sound quality can not match the larger speaker. For its diminutive size, the sound quality is excellent, but it just doesn’t have the ability to produce as much bass or volume that the larger model can do. However, for such a small speaker it does go surprisingly loud, when on my office desk you can feel the pulse of the sound coming off it, and overall I am impressed with its ability to produce good quality sound.
As always, with pretty much everything Anker does, these speakers are great. They offer superb performance at an attractive price point which many big-name brands can’t compete with.
Each speaker fits its particular niche, and you should choose one based on your intended use. Personally, I prefer the Soundcore Icon as the sound quality is far superior, I also can’t imagine many scenarios where I need something quite as portable as the Mini.
For others, the Mini will be a great choice, it is particularly suited for camping or festivals where you may want to keep the bulk down while still being able to enjoy your music with decent sound quality.
Anker Soundcore Icon & Icon Mini Review
Overall - 85%
Two ultra-portable speakers with fantastic sound for their size at affordable price points.