A couple weeks ago, Mike posted an article about his search for the best field-portable amplified speaker.
His top pick was the Anker Soundcore Mini.
I must say: he was spot-on!
I know Mike well enough to trust his evaluation, so I purchased an Anker Soundcore Mini quite literally as I was formatting his article for QRPer.com.
It arrived via Amazon, but I had such a busy week, I didn’t get a chance to truly test it until this weekend when I hooked it up to my Elecraft K2 in the shack. I feel like the K2 has a very decent speaker, but the Anker is even better.
This afternoon, I did a POTA activation at K-6856 and, to properly test the Anker Soundcore Mini, I paired it with my Elecraft KX3.
While the KX3 is one of the finest field radios on the market, its built-in speaker isn’t its strong suit. The audio is pretty anemic (especially if you’re K4SWL and do real-time, real-life activation videos–!) 🙂 Truth be told, it’s one of the reasons I don’t take the KX3 to the field more often. I’d rather not do a separate audio recording (line-out) then harmonize it in post-production.
I used the Anker Soundcore Mini for the full activation and it worked beautifully. I love the audio, the size, the run time (something like 14 hours per charge, supposedly), and the overall build quality. I’ve never been disappointed with Anker products and I feel like this one is a great value at $24.99 via Amazon (affiliate link!).
Thanks so much for the suggestion, Mike!
FYI: the field report and video of this activation will be posted in three weeks or so!
22 thoughts on “Truly an amazing portable speaker for your favorite QRP radio”
I will second (third?) this. I used it for an activation today with an MTR4B and it sounded wonderful. Disappeared into the pack for the radio, too. Used it at home on Saturday for a nice CW ragchew while I was testing out the MTR4B (just got it Friday) and the tone was full and made for easy copy. Surprisingly good for music, too. Thanks for the recommendation, I am glad I picked it up.
I ordered one last week after seeing your recommendation and I’m certainly happy with it. The search is over and my Mountain Topper has a permanent mate now. Thanks Mike! And thanks Thomas for making the info available. Best wishes!
Question: does the amplifier go into a powersave mode if the aux in level drops for a short time?
This is a problem I’ve had with several portable speakers, including other Ankers. The time it takes to open the gate chops off the bit of audio which ruins CW copyability.
I’ve not experienced audio drop-out from a “power save mode” with this speaker. I’ve tested it with audio from a laptop and the sidetone from my radio on a dummy load to try to isolate the input to just my sidetone for a “audio-drop” test duration of 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 1 hour between keying up and it never went into “power save mode” like others I’ve tried in the past. Each time I introduce an input (keying up) all characters were audible (no clipping off the first characters of my call) and it did not clip the front end of audio files from my laptop after those timed intervals as well. Using it on the air, I have not experienced audio drop out either. I hope this helps. Best wishes.
Yes, nice speaker/radio! I did not realize it came with an FM radio included! Nice little package with very nice sound. I’m enjoying it in the field and in the shack with my K3, KX3 and KX2, and as a desk FM radio.
When I attach an external speaker to my KX3 it interferes with the CW keying, what am I missing? Thanks for any help…..NG4S
That’s strange. Perhaps try an audio patch cords with in-line chokes? I haven’t had this happen to me before, but I do tend to use audio cables with ferrites.
Tommy, I’ll play with it soon and report back.
The speaker problem used with the KX3 is a SONY SKA-XB12. The problem was solved when I eliminated the SONEY speaker. Tried other SONY Speakers models and had no problem. Thanks to all for your replies…..Tommy…..NG4S
I also bought one of these speakers and it very good. Now to get it connected to my IC705. Thanks for posting it. 73 Ron n9ee
You might want to look into the JBL GO2. Bluetooth or line input and internal rechargeable battery. I used it with my Afedri LAN-IQ and my LNR Mountain Topper quite a bit.
About $23 on Amazon.
73, Kevin K3OX
Thanks! I just ordered one. My little Altec Lansing BT speaker w/aux in is still working but has taken a beating from travel and deployments. This one looks bigger but still a convenient size. 73 de ve3bwp
How does this Anker speaker compare to the Sony XB-12 that you have used in past videos?
73 Paul w2eck
They’re both excellent speakers.
The Sony speaker is slightly larger and has more bass in the audio. The Anker is, in my opinion, a little better suited for CW and SSB. It also sounds great playing music, but the Sony has a bit more audio depth for music. The Anker has better battery life.
They’re actually very comparable. If you already have the Sony, then I wouldn’t get the Anker. If I had neither, then I’d go for the Anker.
Thanks so much for feedback.
I have the Sony but may still try the Anker.
Have others Anker products and they are top drawer
If u want a hard case. Go for ltgem one . Its about a inch longer than the speaker and has a pocket where u can put the charge cable, audio cable, and inst sheet. Amazon is source and 11.99 ea. 73 john
Thomas, after your comments and review of the Anker Soundcore Mini I immediately ordered one from Amazon.
I agree with your assessment of this speaker; it’s all you said and more. Lately I had been struggling with finding a replacement speaker for my existing small amplified speakers; battery life on them had become compromised and real short.
This Anker speaker reminds me of a Japanese Sony product in it’s fit and finish and “feel”. I’ll never use it for anything except as a speaker for one of my small CW rigs. Nice tone, lots of volume and I’m really appreciating the rubber anti-slip base.
Thanks again for highlighting quality equipment.
72, Brent VA3YG
I recently purchased one of the Mini Anker speakers for the field activations. Works great. No lag. I also use it in SUV and at home. Love all the features also. Use them all. Phone,Radio, micro SD card. All functions work great. 73 KQ4CW
Thanks for the review, I just put one of these on order. I want to test it with my Ft-891, at a club POTA activation to see how it fares.
You will love it
What is the use?
Is this for portable use?
Correct. Portable use when your radio lacks a speaker, or simply has a weak speaker.