Anker Innovations, a power bank and Bluetooth audio products supplier that has marketed its wares under the Anker, Eufy, Zolo, Roav and Nebula labels, is targeting key segments of the audio market with a new and unified umbrella brand: Soundcore by Anker.
In late April, at an audio-dedicated line show in New York City, Anker unveiled numerous products under that umbrella that the company characterized as premium lines that “won’t break the bank” and that solve “some of the key pain points consumers have with wireless audio products.” They are rolling out over the coming months, will sell through various channels including Amazon, Walmart and Brookstone, and will include wireless speakers and headphones and a true wireless audio earbud. Also bowing are soundbar models, a Dolby Audio-certified portable speaker, and a Google Assistant-compatible model.
Here’s a rundown of some of what was introduced:
- The Space NC noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphone ($99.99; available mid-May). It is endowed with 40mm dynamic drivers and a side touchpanel on the earcup that controls music. Leveraging Anker battery technology know-how, it offers 20 hours of battery life in noise-cancelling mode and 50 hours in wired noise-cancelling mode.
- The Spirit Series earbuds are also new (three models – Spirit, Spirit Pro and Spirit X; mid-May availability; $39 to $49 range, and from eight to 12 hours of playtime, depending on model). These are engineered with Anker’s SweatGuard proprietary water-resistant technology consisting of a five-layer anti-corrosive salt-resistant nano-coating, said Keita H. Williams, Anker spokesperson; they are IPX7-rated for water resistance. Also benefiting from SweatGuard technology are the Liberty Lite true wireless earbuds (Bluetooth 5.0-compatible). They offer up to 3.5 hours of wireless playtime and their carrying case charger boosts that to 12 hours ($69; June availability).
- The IPX7-rated Mini2 pocketable ($34.99-$41.99) and Motion Q 360-degree ($45.99) Bluetooth speakers (April-May) both offer built-in mics, wireless pairing and Anker-engineered BassUp technology – which combines Neodymium drivers with specially tuned signal processors that analyze and fine-tune base frequencies to minimize distortion. The Mini2’s sound emanates from the top, while Motion Q has a treated-fabric cover surrounding its exterior, through which sound is produced; the Q also has a wrist strap. The Mini2 offers 15-hour playtime while the Motion Q offers 10 hours.
- The Flare Series IPX7 waterproof Bluetooth 360-degree speaker ($59.99, May availability) also carries BassUp technology, and an LED “beat-driven light show” that peeks out from the speaker’s base. The model is wireless stereo pairable and its light shows are customizable on both through the Soundcore app. Play time on the Flare is 12 hours. The Flare+ step-up model ($99.99) has all those features but ups the playtime to 20 hours, and adds fast pairing capability, charge out, and a built-in woofer.
- The Model Zero+ Wi-Fi speaker offers built-in Google Assistant compatibility, and boasts a striking, radial shape with an integrated handle and brushed aluminum accents ($249.99; September availability). It also benefits from Danish-made Scan-Speak tweeters and woofer, and has Dolby Audio built in – the first portable speaker certified for it, said company spokesperson Andres Munt. Its sister product, Model Zero ($199.99; October), is a Bluetooth version which is optimized for Hi-Res Audio, according to the company.
- The Infini Mini Bluetooth 40-watt soundbar ($69.99, late-May availability) is 21 inches wide, while the Infini 36-inch-wide 100-watt soundbar is equipped with a built-in subwoofer and with BassUp technology.