Sup guys as the title suggests this is my Flare Mini Review. I got this speaker in the Anker community Auction House which started on July 26th and I officially won on August 6th for 1560 powerbucks. Anyway, enough of that so let me start the review.
Let me start by saying that I’ve owned this for about 3 months now and it’s fantastic.
Let me get some specs out of the way first. Flare Mini has 2 5W speakers on each side which gives it a total of 10W of output. The claimed battery life from the 2600 mAh battery is 12 hours on 60% volume and lights on (which I confirmed in my testing). It has a capability of pairing with 1 more Flare Mini or Flare (1) for stereo sound. And finally the most disappointing part of this speaker is charging… Micro-USB charging that takes this speaker 3-4 hours to charge from dead to full.
In the box comes the standard Anker/Soundcore Happy/Not Happy card, Manual, USB-A to Micro charging cable, and the speaker itself (of course).
I really like the sound from this little speaker. The bass is something you’ll notice first and it is pretty clean and not too overpowering. I tried to listen to some songs and the clarity matches or exceeds wired earbuds and headphones. It is very good for the size and beats my TV, laptop, iPhone 7, and Apple Watch 3 speakers hands down. It also beats my Life 2 (wired and wireless) in terms of bass and clarity. Flare Mini and Life 2 both have BassUp technology but in Mini, it comes standard so you can’t control that on the speaker itself whereas on Life 2 I can enable and disable without having to mess with EQ.
1 thing to note, however, is that this is not the best for watching movies with family (especially not a single unit). The experience is not great since you can’t have to too close to you but relatively close to everyone watching. The 360 degree sound also mean that you lose part of the sound being directed away from you. This is advertised as a party speaker and it is how you should use it unless you’re using it for watching something alone. I don’t have a second speaker to pair and test the difference but I’m assuming it wouldn’t be the best choice for movies either (again because of 360 degree sound).
To my surprise this little thing has a mic built in to it. I’m sure it’s just 1 mic since they don’t advertise it but it’s pretty bad. The sound is very muffled. Here are the clips from Flare Mini and my iPhone 7 for comparison.
Battery Life and Charging
Finally the last section that really surprised me (in a good and a bad way). So in terms of charging speed, I charged using the cable provided through USB 3.0 plug on my laptop and the speaker took a little over 4 hours to charge from dead to full. A little slow but I assume if I plugged it in using the Apple 5W charger, I could’ve gotten closer to 3 to 3.5 hours.
In terms of battery life, keep in mind that I listened to music, used it for Youtube and shows and even during lecture when I didn’t have to use my mic. I don’t listen to anything at 60% volume so the numbers you’ll see are not unexpected but I, using the speaker at 15-30% volume on different light modes, got about 12 hrs 47 mins of playback time. The light mode really makes a huge difference when it comes to playback time and I’ll come back to this in the next paragraph. But without the lights, I got a ridiculous number. The number was so different that I had to double check the times in my Excel spreadsheet but it is correct. The number I got was 38 hours. YES, 38 FREAKING HOURS!!
The reason behind such a low number with lights on was probably because of the processing power needed to change lights. The LED themselves shouldn’t have made such a huge difference since it is LED (pretty power efficient) rather, again, the processing required to run the beat-driven lightshow. This was evident in my testing where I was trying to get the last bit of juice out of this speaker and it ran for 3 minutes on the mode where a red/orange light just changes brightness versus about 1 minute on any other setting which required changing light colors.
That’s my review for the Flare Mini. Would I recommend this to someone? Of course without a doubt! But it’s not for everyone and there are several other products that Soundcore makes that might be better suited for someone. So keep things in mind when comparing this to other products out there. I also have not tested Flare and Flare 2 so they could be worth the extra price sound quality wise. If you know you won’t be stereo pairing these, then maybe (just maybe) Flare 2 could be better for you. I’m saying that because Flare 2 has a decent price bump over these and again I’ve not tested them to see if it is really worth the price increase. If you think you might buy this, then be patient as it is normally on sale. Some price drops are better than others but I wouldn’t suggest paying full $43 or $44 (mainly because they’re on sale so frequently).
I know it’s a long time coming but I was busy with classes. But anyway, here it is and if you have anything else you would like me to clarify, let me know down below . Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this review! Hope you have a great day/night ahead