Soundcore Motion X500 review (2024)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Anker Soundcore Motion X500 delivers quality spatial audio, but it falls short on low battery life and features.

Pros

  • +

    Immersive spatial audio modes

  • +

    Strong wireless performance

  • +

    Responsive controls

  • +

    Serviceable call quality

Cons

  • -

    Disappointing playtimes

  • -

    Missing preset EQ

  • -

    No extra inputs or portable charging

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Jump to:

  • Price and availability
  • Design
  • Controls and connectivity
  • Sound quality
  • Battery life
  • Verdict

Soundcore Motion X500: Specifications

Price:$169 / £169 / AU$269
Colors:Black; blue; pink
Size:8.66 x 7.95 x 3.19 inches
Weight:4.66 pounds
Battery life (rated): 12 hours
Connectivity:Bluetooth 5.3 (codec: SBC, AAC, and LDAC)
Durability:IPX7-rated

Spatial audio is a great way to get immersive sound experiences with your favorite music on the best Bluetooth speakers. One of the latest speakers to receive the spatial audio treatment is the Anker Soundcore Motion X500, a mid-range entry in the Soundcore lineup that boasts other enhanced audio features, including a customizable EQ and Sony’s LDAC hi-res audio codec.

Impressively designed and relatively affordable, this mid-priced bass blaster provides an excellent balance of connectivity and wireless sound for the price. If only the battery life and feature set were stronger.

Despite some flaws, the Motion X500 delivers on its promise of impactful 3D sound in a portable package. Keep scrolling to see where this latest Soundcore speaker ranks among the competition.

Soundcore Motion X500 review (1)

Soundcore Motion X500 review: Price and availability

The Soundcore Motion X500 retails for $169 / £169 / AU$269 and is available directly from the Anker website or at online retailers such as Amazon and Crutchfield where it can regularly be found discounted. You can purchase the speaker in three color options including black, blue, or pink.

Soundcore Motion X500 review: Design

Soundcore Motion X500 review (2)

The Motion X500 is one of the heavier Bluetooth portable speakers out there at 4.66 pounds, it weighs slightly more than the Ultimate Ears Epicboom at 4.4 pounds but is less than the Sonos Move 2 home portable at 6.6 pounds. Build quality is high and uses premium materials for a ruggedly handsome look. Lightweight aluminum was employed for the casing and handle, and the back has a thick rubberized cap that covers the USB-C port to protect from splashes; it's rated IPX7 for water resistance. An upward-firing speaker with a customizable LED sits atop flanked by a rubberized control panel.

The entire speaker is covered in a smooth matte finish that has a nice shine factor when exposed to light. Every component looks and feels extremely durable. The handle has textured grooves on the bottom for optimal grip. Rubberized feet on the bottom dock it steadily and neatly on any surface. The air-brushed Soundcore logo on the front and laser-etched copy on each side are chic touches as well.

Soundcore Motion X500 review: Controls and connectivity

Soundcore Motion X500 review (3)

Six flat buttons enable different functions: power on/off, Bluetooth pairing, EQ selection, volume, and playback (play/pause/skip/previous). The play button also triggers the digital assistant function when held down for 3 seconds. It’s a simple setup with a minimal learning curve. Tactility is solid and every input method registers intended commands accurately. Siri and Google Assistant perform well for hands-free voice commands.

Bluetooth 5.3 provides instantaneous pairing with recognized devices and supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs, the latter producing higher sound quality over Bluetooth from supported devices. Multipoint technology was left off the spec sheet, meaning you can’t pair the speaker to two devices at the same time.

Soundcore Motion X500 review: Sound and call quality

Soundcore Motion X500 review (4)

Expect spacious, loud sound from the Motion X500. There’s an emphasis on bass, which is Soundcore's forte, and the two spatial EQs — Spatial Signature and Spatial Dynamic — are effective for immersive listening.

The standard sound signature is called Soundcore Classic, and the grumbling bassline on Thundercat’s “Dragonball Durag” had a wide trajectory that was heard from the far end of the pool while playing the Motion X500 outdoors. Distortion was surprisingly low when blasting music, showing how well Anker has engineered its Classic EQ. Mids also shined bright on the psychedelic funk track. The singer’s harmonic vocals sounded crystal clear over the lush synths. I even heard adlibs and effects much more clearly than I have on other Bluetooth speakers.

Switching to Spatial Signature dropped the low end to create a more neutral soundstage. It’s perfect for orchestral recordings. I recommend playing jazz classics like Ahmad Jamal Trio’s “Dolphin Dance” because the instrumental clarity makes it feel like the band is performing live in your listening space. Bass lovers won’t get the oomph they desire, but receive plenty of it when enabling Spatial Dynamic, the speaker’s killer feature. The synth progressions on Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” had a cosmic energy to them, while the pounding drums knocked viciously, and melodic strings soothed the backdrop.

Soundcore Motion X500 review (5)

Bluetooth streams via LDAC devices perform well, resulting in greater richness from the higher data rate transfer between devices. SBC and AAC are reliable when indulging in playlists on the best music streaming services.

One thing I found disappointing though was the numerous EQ presets missing form the Soundcore app that are typically available on the brand’s headphones and earbuds. It’s something Anker should seriously consider including in a future update, though I’m sure these exclusions were on purpose (they wanted more focus on the speaker’s spatial audio capabilities). At least you can still tweak the 9-band EQ in the Soundcore app for personalized sound.

The Motion X500 serves well for voice calls. I used it for several business conversations and received positive feedback every time. Calls sounded loud and clear on both ends. Callers said that they could tell that I wasn’t speaking from my smartphone, but that didn’t affect the overall quality.

Soundcore Motion X500 review: Battery life

Soundcore Motion X500 review (6)

Anker rates battery life at 12 hours on a full charge, which is even less than the same the $100 Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3. Enabling spatial audio and listening at high volume drastically drains juice. My testing saw the speaker require a charge after 8 hours of use. By comparison, household favorites like the Sonos Move 2 hold up to 24 hours and tiny portable speakers like the Tribit StormBox Flow provide more than double the Motion X500’s battery life at 30 hours.

Several speakers this size double as portable chargers to power up mobile devices. Not this one.

Soundcore Motion X500 review: Verdict

There’s a lot to like about the Motion X500. Anker’s Spatial Dynamic EQ pumps out balanced frequencies and thumping bass that enlivens music and movies. Build quality is some of the finest at this price point. The backlit controls are easy to operate and add flair to the speaker’s presentation. Speakerphone performance is also much better than anticipated.

The extra weight can be cumbersome for long commutes and the low battery life means you’ll be immediately recharging the speaker after long outings, especially when using spatial audio. However, the pros outweigh the cons, making the Motion X500 a solid pickup for music lovers wanting energetic sound in a gorgeous design.

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Soundcore Motion X500 review (7)

Alex Bracetti

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.

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