When it comes to wireless speakers or Bluetooth-enabled speakers, JBL is no stranger to the audio game. The company caters to an array of use-cases and offer several budget and premium speakers. One of the new speakers to join this lineup is the JBL Flip 5. This is a portable speaker and packs quite a few exciting features. Another portable Bluetooth speaker that has been doing the round is the Anker Soundcore 2. And well, quite a few have wondered if this budget speaker is a good choice over the JBL Flip 5.
However, when it comes to the price-point, things are hugely different. While the Anker Soundcore 2 is available in the sub-$50 price range, the Flip 5 caters to the sub-$100 price range.
Hence we are comparing both Bluetooth speakers and highlighting their differences to see which wireless Bluetooth speaker is better.
The Anker Soundcore 2 sports a simple and straightforward design with rectangular shape and a black metallic grille covering the drivers at the front. Since it's an IPX7 waterproof speaker, the charging port and the AUX port has a rubber flap for protection.
All the buttons are located at the top of the bar, thereby making them easily accessible. One good thing about this speaker is that the rubber coating provides a good grip even when your hands are wet.
On the other hand, the JBL Flip 5 sports a cylindrical look, synonymous with most JBL speakers. You will find the same side-firing passive radiators on the edges.
The buttons give off tactile feedback and are located at the top of the device. They are responsive and give off a tactile response when pressed. Oddly enough, the spine running along the speaker's length gives it a unique and premium look, something the Soundcore 2 lacks.
As you may have expected, it's quite the opposite when it comes to the Anker's speaker. You'll find the AUX port on the body. Unfortunately, JBL yanked out the mic from this model. Bummer, I know.
Both Bluetooth speakers are compact enough to carry it around or toss in your handbag easily.
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2. Battery Life
When it comes to wireless and portable electronics, your primary concern is battery life. After all, you wouldn't want to lug around something that doesn't offer a reliable run time.
So when it comes to battery life, the Soundcore 2 wins hands down. It brings a 24-hour playback time to the table. In fact, it's one of the best Bluetooth speakers with long battery life in the affordable segment.
It's worth noting that the battery life will take a plunge when you blast songs at full volume. That's the deal with any wireless speaker.
As opposed to it, Flip 5 doesn't bundle any fancy battery life. It has a run-time of around 12 hours, which is half the runtime of the Soundcore 2. But if you have a habit of charging your electronic peripherals regularly, it should not be a huge issue.
Thankfully, Flip 5 has a neat battery indicator at the top and lets you know the amount of juice left.
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3. Sound Quality and Performance
Let's get one thing straight. The Soundcore 2 costs almost half that of the Flip 5, and it would be safe to consider the former as a budget speaker. Hence, it would be wrong to expect a small budget speaker to eke premium sound.
On that now, the Anker Soundcore 2 delivers a balanced audio output and sounds a lot better than your phone's speaker. However, the lack of bass and loudness seems to work against it. The folks at Techradar opines that the weak bass becomes prominent if you play hip-hop music. In a nutshell, it's best good only for indoor usage.
Interestingly, the 20W speaker of Flip 5 packs a punch. It sounds crisp, clear and is accompanied by deep resonating bass. At the same time, Flip 5 translates into a distortion-free bass even at high volumes.
Interestingly, Flip 5 also bundles a new tech named PartyBoost, enabling you to pair your speaker with other compatible speakers to amplify the sound.
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Amp up the Volume
So which one should you buy? Well, if you have a tight budget and a small indoor speaker will do, the Anker Soundcore 2 will do just fine. It's priced just under $50, and for the price, it gets you the support for Google Assistant and Apple's Siri.
On the other hand, the Flip 5 compact form factor and the fact that it's fairly loud lets you use it both as an outdoor and an indoor speaker. This means you will be able to take it out for hikes and other outdoor adventures. And the lightweight nature adds to it.