Spatial Audio, for a long time, was the feature of the expensive smart speaker. The territory of the larger Sonos Speakers, costly soundbars, and the HomePod 2. SoundCore, the audio offshoot of Anker, shifted the dial on the Spatial audio availability matrix and brought the standard to the masses with the excellent Motion X600, a Bluetooth speaker with a premium build, wicked audio, and that all-important Spatial audio.
Now, the firm has turned the dial again, and given us more budget brilliance in the form of the Motion X500, a speaker that also packs in Spatial audio for a slightly lower price and a smaller footprint.
Soundcore Motion X500: Price and availability
The Soundcore Motion X500 is available from the Soundcore store for $169. That’s around $30 less than the $199 Motion X600 and puts it in a great place when you look at the Bluetooth speaker landscape.
That stacks it up against speakers from the likes of UE, which don’t come equipped with Spatial audio — something that comes very much in the favor of the Soundcore. You can also grab one from Amazon, for the same price.
Soundcore Motion X500: Build and style
Like the X600 that came before it, I really like the way that the X500 looks. It’s got a retro style with its handle and metallic finish that sets it apart from its competition, and the buttons on top blend in with a flush surface.
The coolest thing to look at is the lit-up Spatial upfiring speaker grill. It’s got a kind of three-dimensional lighting effect that has to be seen to be believed — and I think it looks phenomenal.
It helps that the speaker is built well too. There are metal bits all over the place to make it feel premium, and the plastic that the rest of it is made out feels sturdy and chunky. In some parts (the bits that you touch) it’s covered with a pleasing soft-touch coating to make it feel even better under the finger — and it succeeds.
It all adds up to a speaker that looks great in a room and feels like something that costs far more than it actually does. The Motion X line is shaping up to be a very attractive lineup indeed.
Soundcore Motion X500: Features
First and foremost is that Spatial Audio — and like last time, it works a treat. No, it might not be quite as impressive as that which comes from the HomePod 2 or the Sonos Era 300, but it does add an extra element to your music that makes it sound much bigger than it actually is. Music is widened to a nice degree, giving it that ‘Spatial’ moniker.
This time you can’t turn the Spatial Audio off — only use the button to sort through a series of preset EQs. There’s a warm one, a more neutral one, and a super warm one. A nice touch — the light in the up-firing grill changes color to tell you which EQ you’re using. The EQs are well built, if a little bassy, but most will be pleased by the ‘bigger than it looks’ Spatial Audio.
Bluetooth connection is as easy as entering pairing mode with the Bluetooth button and connecting through the settings on your iPhone. Once paired, you can access the speaker’s extra features using the continuously excellent Soundcore app. Here, you can change the EQ, and more importantly, customize it to your liking, alongside checking and changing power settings and other gubbins. It really is a great app, and if you’ve got lots of different Soundcore kit then you can manage it all in one place. You can even change the color of the light on top to anything you want. Nice.
Soundcore Motion X500: Sound Quality
Let’s get one thing out of the way first — the Motion X500 is not HiFi. It’s very good, it’s very fun, it’s very engaging, but you wouldn’t hand it to the local audio enthusiast and say ‘This is the best thing I’ve ever heard!’. Instead, you’ll play it at parties and gatherings, and everyone will tell you “WOW! That much clear, bassy sound coming from a small box like that? That’s pretty cool”.
The X500 is extremely bassy. While this isn’t to my taste, everyone else I played it for loved its rich lower tones and punchy bass. I don’t mind the bass being so forward in this case — because the mids and the higher register is so clear. Sure, it’s not as emphasized as I might like, but there’s enough to make me feel like I’ve been somewhat catered to. I even managed to make an EQ that I really enjoyed — even if it is on the bassier end of the spectrum.
Give it a whirl with some drum and bass and you’ll soon see what I mean. The hi-hats in Jonny Ls Piper are just as tight and crisp as you would hope, and yet the bass notes still pump away for that ‘I can feel it in my chest… Wait, that thing’s the size of a small toaster!’ feeling that makes listening to devices like this so much fun.
Avoid classical music, and head straight for some more fun with Biceps Glue, and you’ll find more of the same. The drums are enough to not be completely overtaken by the massive bass, and then it kicks in for some bouncing fun. Love it.
Other genres are good too — pop is another strong point here. Lady Gaga’s iconic ‘Rain on Me’ sounds huge, and hits in all the right ways. The vocals are crystal clear, and the bass is big. Sure, there’s not much detail, but when it’s this much fun, you won’t mind. And neither will the rest of the party, as the tunes play at top volume and annoy the neighbors.
Soundcore Motion X500: Competition
There is some tough competition, not least from the Motion line itself. The X600 only costs around $30 more, but does sound better and goes louder. It’s not quite got as much bass behind it, but it is the more dynamic of the two speakers. If you’re looking for a great speaker for everything, go for the X600. Want something big, brash, and perfect for a party? Grab the X500.
It compares well to other party speakers as well — the UE line is equally bassy and ‘big’ sounding, but the UE Boom and MegaBoom lack the spatial audio of the X500. You can connect two of the X500 through the app, but the points there go to the UE models — you can connect up to 100 speakers together for the ultimate party experience. That’s all well and good, but you’ve all got to have UE speakers, and everyone gets access to the playlist when you connect them together like that. “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, as they say.
Soundcore Motion X500: Should you buy it?
You should buy it if…
- You LOVE bass
- You really really LOVE bass
- You want accessible Spatial audio
- You want a great party speaker
You shouldn’t buy it if…
- You don’t like too much bass
- You want to connect hundreds of speakers together
Soundcore Motion X500: Verdict
The Soundcore Motion X500 is a great speaker if you’re looking for something with loads of low-end grunt. The looks, build quality, and otherwise impressive sound quality is by the by, if you want bass and lots of it, then this is the speaker for you.
It’s priced really well, and loads of fun to listen to. Just don’t put Mozart through it — it doesn’t do well with Classical music.
Spatial audio for all
While not the most delicate speaker in the world, the Soundcore Motion X500 is still a super solid Bluetooth speaker that gives you big sound from a small box.