Small speaker, big sound: Soundcore Motion 100 review

An affordable speaker with punchy sound

from Anker
RRP  £59.99
Small speaker, big sound: Soundcore Motion 100 review

by Kyle Purves |
Published on

Soundcore is a reliable name that's bound to provide you with quality speakers, but with so many options available, you may be wondering what makes the Motion 100 stand out. This little speaker seems like the runt of the litter at first, but that size may be to its advantage.

If you're a frequent traveller or just like to bring your speaker with you on the go, then budget Bluetooth speakers are your ideal choice. Lightweight, plenty of battery life, and often waterproof, these are the speakers you choose for versatility and reliability. If you want the best sound quality to enhance your room, you're usually better off with floor-standing speakers, but that doesn't mean a smaller speaker can't impress.

The Motion 100 aims to provide listeners with rich sound quality at an affordable price. It's everything you want in a budget speaker, with an impressive degree of waterproofing on top. Still, can it really pull all that off in such a small package, and is the Motion 100 really worth your money?

One of our resident tech experts, Kyle Purves, has been hands-on with the Motion 100. Using our testing method, they've become familiar with the speaker's ins and outs and know what to expect from it. Kyle has previously tested many other Anker speakers, so the Motion line is no stranger to them. They've experimented with different music genres, examined the effects of its bass boost feature, and even judged its performance as a shower speaker. Now that they've got a good grasp of what it's like to use the Motion 100, they're ready to share their findings.

The Quick Version

As one of Soundcore's smaller speakers, the Motion 100 is an excellent Bluetooth speaker for those looking to travel or simply have a compact option that doesn't take up too much surface space. When it comes to the outdoors, the durable and waterproof build protects it from the elements, and the battery life ensures you never have to keep a power bank nearby. Once indoors, the full-range drivers and 20W audio output certainly impress, providing the Motion 100 with the type of performance you would expect from a speaker twice its size.

Soundcore Motion 100Anker Soundcore

Rrp: $67.99

Price: $59.99

Pros

  • Compact shape and size
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Great waterproofing
  • Consistently rich audio
  • Reliable Bluetooth 5.3 connection

Cons

  • Other Soundcore speakers do bass better
  • Performance
    4.0
  • Build
    5.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
DriversTwo full-range drivers
Audio power20W
Battery life12 hours
Charging timeApprox. 5 hours
WaterproofingIPX7
Dimensions6.6 x 20 x 8.8 cm
Weight0.689 kg

The Performance

Motion 100 1
©Kyle Purves, What's The Best

Soundcore speakers tend to provide reliably high-quality listening experiences, and I found the Motion 100 to be no different. I was concerned that the budget price of this speaker would result in lesser sound quality but I was pleased and impressed to find that it holds up well to its more expensive siblings. The audio has great clarity, making it suitable for both music and video dialogue, so the Motion 100 is versatile enough to be suitable as a desk speaker.

What really impressed me was the sound projection. I've previously been wowed by the Motion X500 with how well it maintains a solid listening experience regardless of where you are in a room or how far away you are from it, and I'm surprised to find that Motion 100 matches this. Despite being a very compact speaker, the two full-range drivers and 20W output ensure that noise is pushed throughout the entire room. Often, smaller speakers struggle with this, but the Motion 100 packs large sound into a small package.

As with most Soundcore speakers, this one comes with a bass boost mode. Although I have a few reservations about it, which I will discuss in a larger section, I found it to be fairly good for the most part. Since the Motion 100's projection and power are so good, I ended up using it less often than I expected.

For those wanting to play around with settings, the speaker is compatible with the Soundcore companion app, allowing you to adjust the nine-band EQ to your liking. I tended to stick to the default settings, but I can see myself fine-tuning things to my exact prefences in future.

You might assume that, as a budget Bluetooth speaker, the Motion 100 might struggle with connection issues, but I'm pleased to report that isn't the case. In all of my testing, the Bluetooth 5.3 never faltered. While some find that Bluetooth connections can muddy audio quality, I noticed no negative difference in my use. It was even able to stay connected to my phone from across the house and through multiple thick walls, so it's highly unlikely that it will ever drop off in standard use.

Battery life is also always worth discussing. The Motion 100 has a playtime of around 12 hours, which is very solid for a speaker of this size. I didn't need to charge it too regularly, being able to go about four or five days before the battery needed a top-up. Even when that did happen, the charging time of approximately five hours was reasonable and in line with other Soundcore speakers. I felt confident enough to take the Motion 100 out with me for a day, safe in the knowledge that it wasn't going to run out of charge within a few hours.

The Build

Motion 100 2
©Kyle Purves, What's The Best

When it comes to the Motion 100's build, portability is absolutely its priority. It's relatively slim and easily one of the lightest speakers I've encountered, so it would be no trouble carrying anywhere. It reaches about 20cm across, making it absolutely compact. I've had issues in the past with trying to pack speakers into a stuffed backpack, but the minute size of the Motion 100 ensures there is almost always room available for it. Even if you can't find room inside a bag for it, the small strap means it can attach to the outside of a backpack, so it's also a great speaker for those looking to do a picnic or some camping.

As is to be expected of a portable speaker, the Motion 100 is notably durable. It can safely take a drop without getting damaged, so you don't need to be afraid of elevating it. Despite how solid it feels, it's also fairly soft to the touch, with no edges that could damage anything next to it while inside a bag. There is also a set of rubber soles on the bottom to support it. Although they are not non-slip, they help to keep the speaker from moving too much while still being able to push it with a slight nudge.

The buttons are on top of the speaker and are clearly labelled and visible. Each button lights up when enabled. The volume, pause/play and bass controls are on one side of the Soundcore logo, with the power and Bluetooth on the other. All of the controls are reasonably sized and feel responsive, with a slight click giving some tactile feedback when pressed.

The charging port is hidden behind a waterproof seal. It was quite tricky to get to it at first, but that made me feel more secure about the overall waterproofing of the speaker.

Speaking of waterproofing, that's certainly a highlight of the Motion 100. It has a rating of IPX7, meaning that so long as the seal is in, it can be safely submerged for a time. As such, this speaker stands out as a summer hit, whether it's at the poolside, brought along with you to the beach, or used as a shower speaker. I tested the latter, and sure enough, the Motion 100 did not disappoint. The impressive performance had no trouble staying audible over the noisy shower, and I could adjust the volume and use the controls without issue. This is another point where the small stature of the Motion 100 plays in its favour, as it was easy to find enough surface space to place it.

Any downsides?

Motion 100 3
©Kyle Purves, What's The Best

Soundcore speakers tend to be excellent for bass, but the Motion 100 doesn't seem to pack quite the same punch as usual. That's partially to be expected when you choose a model this small and affordability, but I feel it's still worth noting that this falls behind its peers.

Even so, the bass issues aren't major, and in fact, they may not be present for you. In my testing, I found that using the bass boost mode on already bass-heavy music, such as rock songs, would lead to muddy audio. In these cases, I much preferred to leave the bass boost turned off. However, with other genres and plenty of pop songs, the bass boost did its job very well and enhanced my listening experience.

So ultimately, the audio clarity with bass comes down to your preference in music genres. It was a bit of a letdown for me, but once again, I can't begrudge it much when I remember the budget-friendly nature of the Motion 100.

Price and competition

At just under £60, the Motion 100 is a fantastic sub-£100 speaker and is truly budget-friendly. No part about this speaker feels held back by its price tag, and even the bass still performs better than many other models. That all said, if you're curious about what other Soundcore speakers are available, or wonder what a slightly cheaper speaker would be like, we've included a couple that we have previously reviewed.

Anker alternative

Soundcore Motion X500Anker Soundcore
Price: $169.99

If you're interested in other Anker Soundcore options, then the Motion X500 is one of the best. Although it's a bit bigger than the Motion 100, it's still lightweight and is easy to carry thanks to the handle. With its powerful sound projection and excellent audio quality, it's a fantastic speaker to have with you, whether that's by your desk or outdoors.

Read our full Motion X500 review here.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality, volume, and projection
  • Brilliant battery life
  • Very portable size and shape

Cons

  • The upwards-facing driver would be better if a bit bigger
  • Performance
    5.0
  • Build
    5.0
  • Features
    5.0
  • Value
    4.5
DriversFull-range drivers x 2, upward-firing driver x 1
Audio power40W
Battery life12 hours
Charging timeApprox. 5 hours
WaterproofingIPX7
Dimensions22 x 20.2 x 8.1 cm
Weight2.12 kg

JBL alternative

JBL Clip 4JBL
Price: $79.95
Alternative retailers
Lowe's$39.97View offer
Walmart$46.49View offer
B&H Photo Video$59.95View offer
Macy's$79.95View offer

For those looking for another speaker at a similar price, we think you may appreciate the JBL Clip 4. It's not as powerful, with only 5W of audio output, but that's forgivable when accounting for its size and portability. The Clip 4 is designed to easily attach to any backpack straps, making it super convenient for taking with you on any travels. Plus, the swift charging time means you'll never be without it for long.

Read our full JBL Clip 4 review here.

Pros

  • Ultra lightweight and compact
  • Charges quite quickly
  • Attaches easily to backpack straps

Cons

  • Less powerful compared to other speakers
  • Performance
    4.0
  • Build
    5.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Drivers40mm transducer
Audio power5W
Battery life10 hours
Charging timeApprox. 3 hours
WaterproofingIP67
Dimensions8.6 x 13.5 x 4.6 cm
Weight0.239 kg

Final Thoughts

Soundcore speakers have often been my go-to choice for mid-budget speakers, but the Motion 100 has completely brought me around to the true budget side. While it doesn't quite have the bass coverage of other speakers, it still does a fairly good job, and it's a factor I'm willing to forgive when factoring in the price and size. For your money, you get an exceedingly reliable Bluetooth speaker that is lightweight, very portable, and plenty powerful.

Who is it for?

The Motion 100 is well suited for just about anyone, but especially those who are looking for an affordable speaker that punches above its price tag. The audio quality is excellent and the bass boost feature is much appreciated, even if it doesn't always work well with every song. Whether you're a frequent traveller in need of a lightweight speaker or are looking for a budget-friendly speaker in the house, you can rely on this design.

Would we recommend it?

We would definitely recommend the Motion 100. Although the bass performance isn't as impressive as the regular Soundcore standard, that's easily forgiven when you account for its size, build, and affordability. This is a budget Bluetooth speaker that you can rely on and that we'll be getting plenty of use out of.

Soundcore Motion 100Anker Soundcore

Rrp: $67.99

Price: $59.99

Pros

  • Compact shape and size
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Great waterproofing
  • Consistently rich audio
  • Reliable Bluetooth 5.3 connection

Cons

  • Other Soundcore speakers do bass better
  • Performance
    4.0
  • Build
    5.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
DriversTwo full-range drivers
Audio power20W
Battery life12 hours
Charging timeApprox. 5 hours
WaterproofingIPX7
Dimensions6.6 x 20 x 8.8 cm
Weight0.689 kg

Kyle Purvesis a Tech Writer and Reviewer for What’s The Best, with an avid interest in all things gaming and tech.

They’re well-versed in reviewing a variety of tech products, with a soft spot for speakers and earphones. They’re also no stranger to hunting down the best savings, always wanting to get the best deal possible. Outside of work, they can often be found playing through an RPG, listening to Japanese noise rock, or trying to catch up with their ever-expanding list of shows and anime to watch. If possible, they try to play Dungeons and Dragons a couple of times a week, but getting six adults to be free at the same time is easier said than done.

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