When you are shopping for a new smart speaker, you want a device that has excellent sound, outstanding price, and plenty of connectivity features and a good user experience. Usually, you only get to pick two or three of those. However, both Anker and Bose have managed to create a smart speaker that delivers on all of those fronts and more.
Anker Soundcore 2 vs Bose SoundLink Mini 2
The Anker Soundcore 2 is the more affordable smart speaker option compared to the Bose SoundLink Mini 2, but we would not be making this comparison if it was not worthy of consideration. Bose has a reputation for outstanding audio performance and with an equally high price, but the Anker Soundcore 2 gives the Bose some substantial competition in both sound quality, price, and connectivity features.
You want any portable speaker in your daily carry bag to be light enough not to be a hassle, which gives the Soundcore 2 an edge. It weighs only 12.6 ounces, whereas the SoundLink Mini 2 is nearly double that at 24 ounces. You can bet you will feel the difference on your back if you are lugging it around all day.
The Anker Soundcore 2 also has the Bose speaker beat when it comes to battery life, too. It features a whopping 24-hour or 500 songs play time. The SoundLink Mini 2 only boasts of 10 hours on its product page, and online reviews say that estimate should be closer to 8 hours. So where does the Bose speaker win out?
You guessed it; it sounds incredible. It is double the price, weight, and has less battery life than the Anker Soundcore 2, but it makes up for those faults with booming bass, and a deep resonate sound that you will not get in just any portable speaker. The Soundcore 2’s 12W speaker just can’t give you the same deep, resonating base that has made Bose speakers famous.
The Soundcore 2 has a few more points in its favour as it is a water-resistant speaker that’s designed to be portable so if you are willing to sacrifice audio quality, you can still have a great-sounding speaker that you can throw in your bag and take it anywhere. The Bose speaker features a bulkier design and is obviously designed to be used as a stationary home speaker to handle requests from smart digital assistants like Alexa.
Despite its smaller 12-watt speaker, the Soundcore 2 features BassUp technology, which Anker says helps the device boost low-end frequencies to produce a more vibrant bass sound. The device also comes in a handful of colours including black, red, and blue. The SoundLink Mini 2 follows Henry Ford’s mantra in that you can have it any colour you want, as long as it is black.
Another point in the Bose speaker’s favour is its smart connectivity features. It features support for Amazon Alexa, so you can ask the digital assistant to play your music directly through the speaker. You can even ask it basic questions like, “What’s the best tennis racket for beginners, Alexa?” and she will read some popular results from the web. The Soundcore 2 doesn’t have this functionality, so you will have to pick your songs the old-fashioned way.
Both speakers feature Bluetooth connectivity and can be recharged using a micro-USB cable.
Which Should You Buy?
Now that you know the ins and outs of both of these speakers, you are probably wondering which one you should buy. It all depends on the primary purpose you have in mind for the speaker. If you want a speaker that can be used on the go and lasts all day with great sound, the Anker Soundcore 2 is probably the better device.
However, if you are looking for a smart speaker to add to your home to play music and allow you to communicate with Alexa, then the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 is much more suited to that purpose. You could also use it as a portable speaker since it is designed to be moved, but it feels much more like a speaker that you would take around your house as needed, rather than something you would take with you on the go.
The Bose SoundLink Mini 2 has a better bass profile than the Anker Soundcore 2, but don’t let that dissuade you from considering Anker’s much cheaper option unless you absolutely must have smart speaker functionality. The BassUp technology seems to help this smaller speaker deliver punchy bass that doesn’t sound hollow, as smaller speakers tend to do. Anker is also a bit more playful in their colours since the Soundcore 2 is designed to be taken with you.
Overall we are pleased with the sound delivered from the Bose SoundLink Mini 2, but it is questionable whether that fantastic sound is worth such a higher premium over the Anker Soundcore 2. The only real mark in the Bose speaker’s favour is that it is fully compatible with any smart home digital assistant.