Soundcore’s attractive new Bluetooth speaker brings spatial audio [Review] ★★★★★

Soundcore’s new Movement X600 Hello-Res Bluetooth Speaker is a keeper should you’re after a fantastic-looking moveable speaker with convincing-enough spatial audio.

It begins transport Might 9, and should you pay simply $1 for an early-bird coupon Monday — earlier than the preorder promotion ends early Tuesday morning — you get the X600 for $149 as a substitute of $199 at launch. That’s a unbelievable worth for anybody not sure they wish to pony up twice as a lot for a second-gen HomePod.

Soundcore Movement X600 evaluate

Soundcore known as its new Movement X600 Bluetooth speaker “the world’s first moveable high-fidelity Bluetooth speaker with Sky Channel spatial audio” once I initially wrote about its launch.

The little speaker appeared promising then, and I’m pleased to say it doesn’t disappoint in particular person. It’s attractive out of the field. It’s out there in a good-looking and solid-feeling aluminum and plastic casing in grey, inexperienced or blue colours.

It has a reassuring heft to it, however not a lot so you’d hesitate to take it poolside (it’s waterproof, with an IPX7 score, however not dust-proof, so the seaside won’t be a terrific concept). The speaker is not any HomePod 2 killer, but it surely’s a terrific moveable speaker that may actually fill a room with sound.

Easy setup

Though it weights just over 4 pounds, the speaker is easy enough to carry around.
Although it weighs simply over 4 kilos, the speaker is simple sufficient to hold round.
Picture: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Establishing the speaker couldn’t be a lot simpler. Simply prime off the battery with the included USB-C cable, obtain the Soundcore app to your gadget and get acquainted with the easy onboard controls.

Beneath the stable psychological deal with, on both aspect of the round grill for the upward-firing driver, you could have illuminated buttons for energy, Bluetooth pairing, spatial audio, BassUp (or off), play/pause and quantity up/down.

On the again of the gadget, a bit silicone panel opens to let you plug in a USB-C cable from an influence supply and a 3.5mm aux cable from an audio supply apart from Bluetooth. Talking of which, it could be great if the gadget supported lossless Wi-Fi playback along with Bluetooth, however you may’t have every little thing for simply $199.

Utilizing the app

The Soundcore app helps you tweak the sounds you hear. And with this speaker, it’s greatest to benefit from the choices. However your first merchandise of enterprise will most likely be accepting the newest firmware replace and putting in it with simply a few faucets.

On the principle web page of the app, you get a play/pause/skip tracks button, a fundamental quantity bar and an equalizer button that you could click on to decide on both presets or customized (guide) equalizer settings.

Presets are Soundcore Signature (glorious for lots of tunes), Voice, Treble Increase and Balanced. Customized is a nine-band, expandable equalizer that provides numerous room for experimentation should you want a passion.

And also you’ll additionally discover the Bass Up button, which is a straightforward on/off to intensify the bass or maintain it mellow. It’s nice to have that selection, relying on the music choice, and it’s helpful that it’s additionally a button on the speaker itself.

Wonderful sound high quality (with the correct settings)

The Soundcore Motion X600 sports an impressive feature list.
The Soundcore Movement X600 sports activities a powerful characteristic record.
Picture: Soundcore

Although I’m not one to all the time crank the bass, I appreciated the fullness of sound BassUp supplied with the X600 Soundcore despatched me to check out. The audio can truly sound a bit skinny with out it.

And even on recordings that includes acoustic/upright bass, like Taj Mahal’s new album of jazz requirements, Savoy, upping the bass didn’t take away a lot if any nuance. I felt like I may nearly hear the man’s fingernails on the fretboard.

For that matter, the second I turned on the X600, even the startup trilling sounds made me say “whoah.” One is a bass observe that basically will get your consideration, making you surprise how a small speaker may be so forceful if you haven’t even began a tune but.

And that readability of sound was solely made extra attention-grabbing by the spatial audio characteristic. The little speaker makes use of 5 drivers, together with two woofers, two tweeters and one upward-firing driver to assist throw sound round a room, bouncing it off the ceiling. The speaker’s three amps generate 50 watts — left at 20W, proper at 20W and “Sky Channel” at 10W.

Pounding bass and spatial audio

Collectively, BassUp and Spatial Audio actually convey out the speaker’s greatest. It’s not truly suitable with spatial audio codecs like Dolby Atmos, and its sound could not obtain the 3D impact of a pricier HomePod 2 or Sonos speaker, however the X600 does create an immersive impact.

The speaker array, mixed with Soundcore’s audio algorithm and digital sign processor, “helps create a large (and tall) soundstage for listening to any kind of music, whether or not at dwelling or on the go,” Soundcore stated when it introduced the upcoming launch.

I can’t inform you firsthand precisely how the X600’s spatial audio and general sound high quality evaluate to HomePod 2 as a result of I don’t have one Apple’s good audio system. Nevertheless, I can inform you the X600 sounds nice. I used to be instantly impressed by its articulation and talent to fill a room (far more so than my M1 MacBook Professional with spatial audio, for what that’s price).

And in contrast to HomePod 2, X600 offers you wi-fi portability, aux in for playback from gadgets like turntables and MP3 gamers, plus the flexibility to play from any Bluetooth gadget, not simply Apple gear.

LDAC and hi-res streaming certification

By the way in which, the X600 helps Sony’s proprietary LDAC codec for licensed hi-res streaming, which is nice for these operating Android gadgets geared up with LDAC.

And for a fuller stereo sound, you might pair a few X600s. That may be fairly a pleasant stereo system for an condominium or small home. And you might all the time take one to go. (For those who want extra uncooked energy, strive Soundcore’s glorious 180-watt Movement Growth Plus, which is extra of a growth field).

OK battery life and different notes

A protect panel on the back allows you to plug in for USB-C power or AUX-in sound.
A protecting panel on the again lets you plug in for USB-C energy or aux-in sound.
Picture: David Snow/Cult of Mac

In relation to battery life, Soundcore’s said 12 hours for the Movement X600 on a cost is nice — however solely applies to playback at half quantity with the excellent BassUp and spatial audio options turned off. Playback at louder volumes with the options turned on can lower that point roughly in half, which quantities to comparatively quick battery life for a conveyable Bluetooth speaker.

Just a few different options present in some Bluetooth audio system aren’t current within the X600, in case these concern you. It lacks speakerphone functionality (no microphone), it doesn’t cost different gadgets, it’s not a sensible speaker with voice-assistant capabilities and you may’t hyperlink an entire bunch of the gadgets for a wall of sound.

That stated, although, you will get nice sound out of it by way of BassUp, spatial audio and equalizer tweaks. It’s waterproof and moveable. And it’s attractive. For those who handle to attain the $50-off early-bird promo — and even should you pay the complete $200 — try to be pleased with it.

Be aware that almost all Soundcore merchandise can be found on Amazon, however this one wasn’t as of Might 8.

Value: $149 (early chook) or $199 as a daily worth

The place to purchase: Soundcore

Soundcore offered Cult of Mac with a evaluate unit for this text. See our opinions coverage, and take a look at different in-depth opinions of Apple-related gadgets.


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