Soundcore Motion Boom Plus speaker sports sound as big as all outdoors [Review] | Cult of Mac

Soundcore Motion Boom Plus speaker sports sound as big as all outdoors [Review]

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Those bits on the end press in and out, as if moved by waves of bass. But they only seemed to move when actually pushed.★★★★☆
Those bits on the end press in and out, as if moved by waves of bass. But they only seemed to move when actually pushed.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The Soundcore Motion Boom Plus is a powerful, portable outdoor speaker you might want to nab before summer’s over. The boombox-style Bluetooth speaker brings the brawn — 80 watts of power — along with a bit more heft than some competitors.

When you factor in the excellent sound quality, some sporty features and the relatively low price of $179.99, it’s a worthy choice for outdoor use. Some folks might even use it indoors, but many never would because of its black plastic design. It might look at home in a college dorm, but probably not in most living rooms.

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Soundcore Motion Boom Plus review

So, right at the top I’ll say the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus is a good deal, whether you find it for list price or somewhat cheaper. Especially if you want the music to be heard over outdoors sounds like surf, wind and tipsy voices.

On the plus side, it pumps out 80 watts’ worth of quality sound and sports a long battery life of up to 20 hours. It comes with a convenient strap. It can power other devices. And it’s 100% waterproof, so you can drop it in the pool. Also: It floats.

On the negative side, there’s not a lot. It’s bigger and heavier than many portable speakers, but may also be more powerful. It carries a utilitarian, outdoors design, so it may not seem as stylish as some Bluetooth speakers.

Basically, it’s a modern boombox. And it’s not as if it’s going to make the yacht look bad (much). Plus, you can throw it overboard and it’ll be fine. And they’ll hear you coming from your next port of call.

Big and brawny, but made to be carried

Soundcore Motion Boom Plus review: The Bluetooth boombox will cut through the sound of crashing waves and also float on them.
Soundcore’s Motion Boom Plus will cut through the sound of crashing waves (and also float on them).
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The Motion Boom Plus has “for outdoor use” written all over it, metaphorically speaking. It has a rugged design, IP67 water and dust resistance (solid) and it can float.

It’s marketed as lightweight, but it’s not featherweight. At a size of 15.27 inches x 5.51 inches x 7.68 inches and a weight of 5.3 pounds, it’s a pretty big kid among portable speakers, though it’s a bit smaller than the standard Motion Boom.

Compare its size and weight to something like the popular, cylinder-shaped Ultimate Ears’ Boom 3 Bluetooth speaker, at about 2.9 inches x 7.2 inches and 1.3 pounds. But the Boom 3 can’t match the Motion Boom’s power in terms of sound output or power delivery.

The Soundcore device comes with a built-in 13,400mAh battery that charges in less than six hours, plus a USB-A port for charging gadgets. (That welcome addition shouldn’t be too surprising, since Anker — Soundcore’s parent brand — keeps rolling out GaN chargers like they’re going out of style.)

So, with the Motion Boom Plus, you get 20 hours of music playback, but in reality you don’t need that much for most outings. That leaves plenty of juice for topping off smartphones and such.

And despite the speaker’s size and weight, Soundcore made the Motion Boom as portable as possible. It comes with a thick handle and a detachable nylon shoulder strap.

Loud and clear sound

Soundcore Motion Boom Plus review: Physical buttons under the handle let you control playback with the app.
Physical buttons under the handle let you control playback without the app.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The Motion Bloom Plus is loud. Very loud. But it’s not just loud. It maintains clarity at maximum volume, too, rather than becoming distorted.

The only distorted thing was the worried look on my sister-in-law’s face as she considered the neighbors at a recent summer cookout when I decided to crank a Rolling Stones tune all the way up (just for a few seconds).

The volume is no shock when you look at the speaker array below the speaker’s hard shell. It packs two 30W woofers, two 10W tweeters and two passive radiators. Together, they boom 80W of sound.

The clarity benefits from two titanium-and-silk drivers that improve treble, and Soundcore’s proprietary BassUp tech that enhances the bottom end without washing out mid and high frequencies.

And take note, the capacity for high-volume clarity is also part of the value proposition here. You can find louder portable speakers, like the UE Hyperboom. But that device comes at about double the cost of the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus.

Plus, an app for EQ

Soundcore also provides you some control over the musical tones. Pair the box with the Soundcore app and you find four custom presents to choose from — Signature, Voice, Treble Boost and Balanced — or you can try your ear at setting the equalizer yourself.

I’ve heard bigger differences between custom presets in other products, but that’s not much of a quibble.

And by the way, I listened to radio news and classical music at low volume while working indoors and had no complaints.

Soundcore Motion Boom Plus controls and connections

Bluetooth boombox review: On the back, you can plug into a USB-C port for charging, other Soundcore speakers or other non-Bluetooth sound sources (via Aux).
On the back, you can charge the speaker via USB-C port, connect to other Soundcore speakers or take sound from a non-Bluetooth source via the auxiliary jack.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Several controls sit beneath the speaker’s substantial handle. They let you adjust playback without having to connect a smartphone or tablet via the Soundcore app.

On the back, you will find connectivity options behind a typical rubber stopper. There’s the USB-C port, used for charging the speaker itself. Then there’s a USB-A port for charging other devices. A 3.5mm headphone jack allows playback through the speaker from older devices that don’t support Bluetooth.

With this speaker, though, it’s pretty much all about Bluetooth. And not just some old Bluetooth from a year or more ago, but Bluetooth 5.3.

It enables stable wireless playback plus support for Soundcore’s PartyCast 2.0 tech. That lets you sync various Soundcore speakers for true stereo playback — even more than 100 of them, if you want to go berserk at your next party.

The speaker also features a built-in microphone and lets you take calls on it.

Both sound good, but the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus is perhaps six times the size of the Tribit MaxSound Plus, about five times the weight and four times as powerful, 80W versus 20W (plus the Tribit can't charge other gadgets).
Both sound good, but the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus is at least 5 times the size of the Tribit MaxSound Plus, about 5 times the weight and 3.3 times as powerful (80W versus 24W). And the Tribit can’t charge other gadgets.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Bottom-line-wise, the somewhat-hefty but great-sounding and feature-rich Soundcore Motion Boom Plus portable wireless speaker costs an affordable $179.99 (but you might see it for less). That’s a good value.

Where to buy: Soundcore or Amazon

Soundcore provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy for more information, and check out more of our in-depth reviews.

★★★★☆