Despite a high price tag and somewhat underwhelming performance, Apple’s HomePod has solidified itself as the premiere Spatial Audio speaker. But Anker has an interesting proposition. Instead of dropping $300 on the HomePod, why not buy a portable Spatial Audio speaker for $200?
The Soundcore MOTION X600 is Anker’s first Spatial Audio speaker. It features two woofers and tweeters, plus an upward-firing “Sky Driver” that enables the Spatial Audio experience. Combined with Anker’s software, this upward-firing driver should widen the soundstage of basic stereo audio, especially when you pair two MOTION X600 speakers together.
And, if you haven’t noticed, the MOTION X600 is a pretty attractive speaker. It has a metal speaker grille, sports an IPX7 water-resistance rating, and comes in three flashy colors—gray, green, and light blue. There’s also an integrated handle to help you carry the MOTION X600 around, and all of the controls are plainly laid out at the top of the speaker. (A 3.5mm AUX input and USB-C charging port are located on the back of this device.)
But the Soundcore MOTION X600 isn’t a smart Wi-Fi speaker. It’s just a portable Bluetooth speaker, and as a result, it will stream audio at a lower resolution than the HomePod. It also lacks some important HomePod features, like smart home integration and the ability to connect with an Apple TV. (Of course, if you’re like me, you don’t care about smart home integration or the Apple TV.)
Anker notes that the MOTION X600 supports Sony’s LDAC wireless codec (this requires an Android phone). But I’m not sure that the LDAC codec is a serious selling point. Tests performed by SoundGuys show that while LDAC can support 24-bit 96kHz audio in 990kbps mode, it falls short of the basic aptX and SBC codecs when transmitting at lower data rates (which your phone will default to, especially if you have a poor or unstable connection).
To be fair, audio resolution and bitrate aren’t always that important. You can’t rely on a spec sheet when evaluating a speaker’s quality—you have to hear it in person. In any case, I expect the MOTION X600 to deliver high-quality audio, especially indoors (where the upward-firing speaker will really shine). I’m just not sure how it’ll stack up to other speakers in this price category.
You can reserve the Anker Soundcore MOTION X600 today at the Soundcore webstore. If you put $1 down on your reservation, you’ll save $50 on your order, bringing the price down from $200 to just $150.
Anker Soundcore MOTION X600
Anker's first Spatial Audio speaker, the Soundcore MOTION X600, offers high-res Bluetooth streaming with the LDAC codec, plus a premium design and built-in upward-firing speaker. It can pair with a second MOTION X600 for a wider soundstage.