The Anker Soundcore Mini 3 is a waterproof Bluetooth speaker that offers a lot of value for just $ 39.99. For example, you can customize its equalizer through the Soundcore app, which most other options in the under $ 50 outdoor speaker category can’t claim. Whether you actually need an equalizer for a speaker of this size is debatable, but even without it the Soundcore mini 3 offers solid audio performance for its size and price, as well as good speaker quality. speaker. That said, the $ 59.99 Sony SRS-XB12 remains our editor’s choice winner for slightly superior performance overall.
A compact and waterproof design
Measuring 3.3 x 2.8 inches (HD) and weighing 8 ounces, the Cylindrical Soundcore Mini 3 has an eggshell-shaped exterior and is only available in black. The top-firing 6-watt speaker is complemented by a bottom-firing passive radiator, which adds a sense of bass depth to the sound signature. The base of the speaker is rubberized to prevent it from dancing on flat surfaces and it appears to have a slight suction ability on some surfaces; however, this property can create vibrations which affect the sound somewhat. An integrated strap allows you to hang up the speaker to avoid this potential problem.
Around the exterior panel and just above the base are buttons for power, volume, and Bluetooth pairing, as well as a multi-function control that manages playback, track navigation, call handling and more. voice assistants depending on the number of times you press them. Along the base is also a covered USB-C port for charging; Anker includes a USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable in the box.
The Soundcore Mini 3’s IPX7 rating means it’s fully waterproof, so you can expose it to splashes, rinse it under a tap, and even submerge it in up to a meter of water. Bluetooth signals do not work underwater, but the Soundcore Mini 3 is otherwise an ideal option for outdoor environments and can withstand wet weather or splashing poolside.
Anker estimates that the battery life of the Soundcore Mini 3 is around 15 hours, but your results will vary depending on your volume levels.
The Anker Soundcore app for Android and iOS lets you update the speaker firmware and adjust nine impressive bands of customizable EQ (or select from preset options). You can argue that this feature is overkill for a 6 watt single driver speaker and you might not even be able to detect a major difference most of the time, but as I say in the next section, l A customizable equalizer can be useful in some cases.
The app also has a Bass Up option, which I left for testing as the setting is on by default. From the app, you can control playback and volume, as well as adjust auto power off settings and voice prompt. In Partycast mode, the Soundcore Mini 3 can connect to several other Anker speakers.
Clear sound, clear pickups
The Mini 3’s nine-band EQ is much more efficient at adjusting higher frequencies than bass that the speaker can barely muster, which is not surprising. I tested the Soundcore Mini 3 with the equalizer set to the Soundcore Signature setting, which is the default.
On tracks with intense subwoofer content, like “Silent Shout” by The Knife, the Soundcore Mini 3 tries to produce strong bass, but both the bass at the start of the song and the low hits that kick in. around the 15-second mark. are a little out of reach for its driver. The good news is that the speaker doesn’t distort. But especially when the really deep bass kicks in, there’s noticeable Digital Signal Processing (DSP) that dramatically fine-tunes things to reduce distortion.
Find out how we test the speakers
Bill Callahan’s “Drover”, a track with much shallower bass in the mix, better reveals the sound signature of the Soundcore Mini 3. The drums amplify the bass; I wouldn’t expect much bass depth from this driver, but you get a slight feel of extra body. Callahan’s baritone voice also gets a little boost – a certain crispness in the upper mids complements their richness in the lower mids. The driver does a good job providing clear mono sound with a slightly lower response than you would expect. It’s not a loud speaker, but it can get quite loud for its size. Like most small speakers, the sound is best when you are nearby.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild”, the bass drum loop receives a lot of presence in the upper mids, allowing its attack to retain its punch. The speaker delivers the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat with admirable body, but not at a level that approaches true bass depth. You can hear the raspy top notes and some of the midrange, but none of the real deep lows. That said, the passive radiator gives a rumble feel and gives the drum loop a bit of noise. The Mini 3 presents the vocals on this track cleanly and clearly, without a lot of whistling.
On orchestral tracks, like the John Adams opening scene The Gospel According to the Other Mary, the Mini 3 produces crisp, bright sound with added bass depth. Again, this is something you feel more than hearing because of the passive radiator sending vibrations through surfaces.
The speaker microphone provides solid intelligibility. I tested it with the Voice Memos app on an iPhone and was able to understand every word I recorded. The speaker is able to maintain a strong Bluetooth signal and minimize audio artifacts. So, with sufficient cell signal, callers should have no problem understanding you.
A little speaker with punch
The Anker Soundcore Mini 3 delivers full-bodied sound for its size, although its companion app with user-adjustable EQ is what sets it apart from most others in this price range. It’s a bit whimsical considering the speaker’s small size, but if you’re in an environment where more treble would help with clarity, the EQ is beneficial. The Soundcore Mini 3 has a lot of competition in its price range, however, including the JBL Go 3 and the Tribit XSound Go under $ 40, both of which offer their own perks. And for a little more money, our Editors’ Choice pick for affordable Bluetooth speakers remains the Sony SRS-XB12 at $ 59.99.
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