I recently had received the flare mini as part of an Anker community mystery box, and have been putting it through the paces for the last couple of weeks.
Here are my thoughts about the mini and how it compares to the triplets.
Initial impressions - 8 / 10
The mini is not much smaller than its bigger brother the flare 2. True to the series name, both have the flared shape. The fabric seems different covering the speaker between the two. The mini seems to share the fabric that can be found on the soundcore motion q speaker, grey with a more tactile feel.
The mini has only one led ring, and it’s on the bottom. A full suite of soft touch controls on the top allow for control of volume, light patterns, tracks, power, pairing and accessing a voice assistant.
There is a waterproof rubber cover on the back, which helps with the ipx7 rating. Underneath the cover, a micro USB charging port?!?
Battery life - 12 / 10
This lil gaffer came almost fully charged. Upon topping it up, I did attempt rundown test. 25% volume, and a classical music playlist from Spotify. The first day, ran well past the stated battery life of 12 hrs and hadn’t yet reached the 50% mark. Day 2, another go… and another 12 hours of classical music…still showing better than 50%… no lights on so perhaps with the music choice it’s minimal battery draw down. Day 3 update, changed music and the battery is starting to get closer to 0…I’m sure if I changed genres or added lights the battery would deplete at a quicker rate. All said, battery life close to 30 hrs… although keep in mind it was at minimal volume [25%] classical music [90%] and no lights… your experience / mileage will vary depending on these variables and maybe mine’s a naught dud?
Sound quality - 10 / 10
Although small in size, the sound quality is very good, just like the flare 2. I’m running through my test playlist: imagine dragons - radioactive shows little distortion at higher volume. During the battery rundown test, I had taken the mini down to the beach, and cranked the volume to full. The classical music sounded very clean and almost concert hall like. Very impressive soundstage. Too bad nobody around to enjoy.
I have a few flare 2s as well, and I cannot tell much of a difference between the 2s and the mini in terms of sound quality. Even though the mini is only 10w in comparison to the flare 2 at 20w, the differences would maybe be seen at top end volume in terms of loudness. Both are still incredibly clean sounding.
Pairing - 7 / 10
This pairs incredibly easy and fast with my igadgets (phone and tablet).
One of the main differences between this and the flare 2, is that the mini doesn’t support partycast. That isn’t to say you can’t pair two flare minis together, you can using TWS and have a great stereo sound setup, you just can’t connect with those supporting partycast.
App integration - 2 / 10
Unfortunately, the flare mini does not fit into the products supported by the soundcore app. This is too bad, as the functionality the app offers is quite good (controls, eq, firmware updates and led light customization), yes I enjoy the app greatly with the flare 2s.
Conclusions - 8 / 10
The mini definitely has a place in my collection as a general use speaker. For me, not having partycast capability, lack of integration into the app and micro USB to charge knock it down a bit. However, a wireless speaker needs to have great sound quality and tight BT pairing (ver 4.2). Something that the mini, like the flare 2, excel at imho. Throw in superb battery life on the mini and you have a great choice to consider.
If you are contemplating either this or the flare 2, you can’t go wrong with either. If you want to connect more than 2, I’d recommend getting the flare 2. Otherwise the flare mini is a great choice for everyday general use and can often be found for about half the cost of the flare 2 if patient.
Thanks for taking the time to read this far