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Hello, I'm Thomas and today, I will be reviewing the Soundcore Flare 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. I did receive this product for free through Best Buy's Tech Insider program in exchange for an unbiased written review on Best Buy.com, but out of my own volition, I decided to do a video review. I received a retail product in retail packaging and was not provided any information on the product, so everything said in today's review is from my own research, so my thoughts and opinions are my own.
Moving on to build quality/aesthetics, the entire middle of the Soundcore Flare 2 is covered in a cloth type material. The top and bottom have 360-degree RGB lighting and are covered in rubber. The bottom has a bit more grip than the top does. The top has your main controls such as power on/off, increase/decrease volume, multifunction button, and change lighting button. All of these buttons require severe force with very little give to notify you it has been pressed, so I'm not the biggest fan of them. On the back of the device, you have your Bluetooth button for pairing along with a button for bass boost. These buttons require light force and easily notify you that they have been pressed with a crisp click, which I quite enjoy.
Last, under the flap that is labeled Flare 2, you have your USB-C charging port. Even in a well-lit room, these buttons are extremely hard to see. It would have been nice if all of them had LEDs under them. The power button does have a small LED to notify you it is the power button. There is also a tactile raise to each of the buttons, but they are a bit hard to feel. Overall, it is a simple design that I find very aesthetically pleasing and feels high quality and solid in the hand. It is lightweight, and the height is about the same as my iPhone 12 Pro, and the width is just a bit wider. Add that to an IPX7 waterproof rating that allows it to be fully submerged in water, and you've got yourself an extremely portable wireless Bluetooth speaker.
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Moving on to the control/pairing, you power on the device by holding the button for less than 2 seconds. Once it turns on, it will make a little jingle along with turning on the LEDs. I wish it would automatically mention how much batteries it has left as that is missing, and there is nowhere to check that except on the device you have it connected to, and even that only shows a battery indicator without a percentage. To turn it off, you press the power button for more than 2 seconds. Pairing is simple and straightforward on the Soundcore Flare 2. First time I powered it on, it automatically went into pairing mode. If that doesn't work, you just press the Bluetooth button. The Bluetooth LED will then flash blue and make a little jingle.
Then, you turn on whatever device you want to connect it to, select it from the list, and it will make another jingle, notifying you it is paired, and the Bluetooth LED will turn solid blue. If you're wanting to connect the Flare 2 to another Soundcore device via PartyCast, you'll need a speaker to already be connected to a device. Then, you will hold the Bluetooth button for greater than 3 seconds. The LED will go from blue to flashing white and this will repeat the process for however many devices you have. This supports over 100 devices to be paired together at the same time, which is crazy. However, the good old Bluetooth can only be paired to one device at a time. It connects very quickly to the previously connected device.
To switch devices quickly, it's faster to press the Bluetooth button and then select it from the new device that you are wanting to use. Selecting the Soundcore Flare 2 while it is already paired to another device will bring up the message that it cannot be connected. The multifunction button is on the top of the device with their logo of the fancy d. If you press it once, it will play/pause, twice, it will skip forward, and three times, it will skip backwards. If you hold it for greater than 2 seconds, it will activate your Smart Assistant. if someone is calling, if you press it, it will answer the call. If you press it again during the call, it will hang up. To decline the call, you hold it for greater than 2 seconds. Volume up and Volume down have no special functions. To turn on Bass Boost, the LED will be on. With it off, the LED will be off.
This leaves the final button on the Soundcore Flare 2, which is the Light button. If you hold the button for greater than 2 seconds, it will turn off the lighting. If you press the Lighting button, it will cycle between several presets, which are labeled Party Time, Phasing Beats, Bouncing Beats, Circle Beam, Cool Breath, and off. If you go into their Soundcore app, you can select these presets instead of cycling through them to save time. If you press the preset in the app, it will take you to another screen that allows for some customizability. This only gives you preset colors, and you do not have a color wheel you can select from. The closest to static lighting it gives you is the Cool Breath setting that will light up and then go dark like it's breathing, which is unfortunate as I think most people would enjoy being able to select a static color of their own choosing that wouldn't turn off.
This brings us to the Soundcore Flare 2 app itself. It is called Soundcore. It's a simple and basic app, but it's aesthetically pleasing, intuitive, and easy to operate. When you first open it up, you will be greeted with the device you are connected to in the upper left. Just below that is a battery indicator, and then you have a picture of the device. On the bottom, you have volume, play/pause, along with an equalizer on the bottom left, and light effect on the bottom right. You can press these buttons or simply just swipe left or right. Since we've already talked about the lighting, if you swipe left, it will bring you into the equalizer. There, you have different presets such as Default, Voice, Chill, Flat, and Custom.
If you go into Custom, it will show you nine adjustments from 80 to 12 kHz, and you can increase that from plus or minus 6dB. Personally, I didn't notice much difference between the presets. You can also turn off bass boost in the screen. Last, you have a power button on the top right, which will turn off the Soundcore Flare 2 speaker with a long press along with three dots for more settings, so you can adjust the auto power off for either 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes, or you can plug it in and the device will not automatically shut off. You'll also be able to update the firmware here. Like I said at the beginning, it's simple, and it works well, no complaints here.
Moving on to the sound quality, I was quite surprised by the sound quality of the Soundcore Flare 2 as it can trade some blows with speakers that cost $300, which means they are punching way above their weight class, which is not to say that more expensive speakers are better. It's just that these guys do a great job for their price point. I found that for vocals, they were a lot better if you turn off the bass boost and change the equalizer to voice. Otherwise, I left the EQ at default. Overall, sound was slightly better with bass boost off, but if you were listening to a song with a lot of bass, it will hit a lot harder with it on.
For the price point, and with the Soundcore Flare 2 being a Bluetooth speaker, I think they sound excellent. In audiophile terms, they sound airy with good balance, crisp sound, and good detail. Sounds are natural with a mild amount of processing. Imaging isn't nearly non-existent. The sound stage is small, but it fills the room. Sound is more forward with a fun tuning. It focuses mostly on vocals and then instruments, which you can hear both with mild focus. Highs and mids sounds good, but the mids have a bit of bloat and congestion, and highs are ever so slightly UNCLEAR.
Bass is present and accurate. It doesn't bleed over into the other sounds, but it will not be considered good for those bass heads out there. The Soundcore Flare 2 is more enjoyable with bass boost on, but it can cause increased muddiness/bloat in some vocals, but only mildly. I didn't notice any bloat or brightness and only mild congestion, muddiness, harshness, and semblance. Again, for it being a Bluetooth speaker at around $70 (prices may change), it performed extremely good. You won't be doing any critical listening with this guy. That isn't his purpose. It's to add ambience and get people pumped up, which it does well and makes a perfect companion next to a pool or in the shower.
Moving on to the conclusion, for about $70 (prices may change), I think the Soundcore Flare 2 bring quite a punch. It feels and looks like a premium product. The RGB lighting is bright and accurate. The sound you get out of it hits above its weight class. It gets plenty loud and is extremely portable. Battery life is good. It has good customization along with an equalizer. I really don't have anything negative to say about it except for the buttons on the top being very hard to press and hard to differentiate. If you like this review leave a like. If you didn't like the video review, leave a dislike, and of course, if you've been following my content for a while, please subscribe, and I will see you and your beautiful face on the next one. Peace out, and God bless.
Hello, I’m Thomas and I provide high-tier tech reviews with a focus on gaming peripherals that are delivered in an entertaining, humorous, and easily understood way that provides the information you need to decide if it is the right product for you or not. Additionally, my reviews are filled with direct examples, valuable information, and break down difficult tech terms into easily understood ways. I promise you will not find better reviews anywhere.