by Gregg Ellman
It’s the perfect time for price-friendly Anker’s updated Soundcore Flare 2 portable waterproof wireless speaker.
The sound just rocks with a 360-degree design pumping 20 watt sound in all directions from the cylinder shaped speaker (3.50-by-3.50-by-6.31-inches). A cloth grille covers the outside of the speaker, allowing the sound from dual drivers and passive radiators to pass through.
The sound of a single Flare 2 is great, go ahead and get 100 more of them. I’m serious, the Flare 2 is built with PartyCast Technology allowing for 100 Flare 2’s to be synced off of a single smartphone for an incredible sounding socially distant party atmosphere. Add Anker’s BassUp technology and the bass-driven audio is even better.
Syncing 100 speakers is simple. Just pari one speaker via Bluetooth to your music source and the others take 3 seconds each with the press of a button to sync with the first speaker. With any numbers of speakers you choose to sync, make the main one as centered in are area as possible to reach the others efficiently.
Once you have the audio set, with the free Soundcore companion app the rainbow light show begins with built-in light rings built into the top and bottom of the speaker. The rings create an unmatched Bluetooth speaker atmosphere, pulsing and shining to the beat of your music from the app’s six lighting modes.
A 5,200 mAh Li-ion battery recharges with the included USB-C cable for up to 12 hours of use. The number of hours before a charge will depend on the Bassup technology, volume and light shows.
The speaker is built with an IXP7 waterproof rating, so splashes and even being submerged in shallow water of 3.3-feet for up to 30 minutes won’t hurt. BUT IF water is in the area, make sure the port to expose the USB-C charging port is closed.
Anker has an entertaining video on their site, setting up 100 Flare 2 speakers with placement of eight in each room of a house — all synced with music and a light show. As they mentioned, 100 isn’t really practical, but a half dozen might be.
One of the best parts might be getting all this for just $69.99 each and quick math shows 100 for $6,900.
An Anker representative tipped me off that they are launching a new speaker on the June 21 called Rave Neo, which can be paired with the Flare 2 (and also 100 of them). A few features include a 4-inch woofer, 2-inch tweeter and Bluetooth 5.0. I should have one soon for a more in depth review. The Rave Neo will be available at Walmart and walmart.com for $99.99.
Lump me in the same group of smartwatch fans who primarily use the device for time and fitness tracking. For the most part, every one I’ve tried works great for these features but they are not what you would consider a fashionable time piece.
Enter the Motorola Moto 360 (3rd generation) premium smartwatch, developed and distributed by eBuyNow and powered by Wear OS by Google, making it perfect for features such as fitness, music, ride hailing, dating and mapping apps.
After unpacking the Moto 360, instantly you can see the fashion and style in the watch before pressing a button, by far the nicest and most elegant I’ve seen.
I’m not a hard core fitness person, but I do keep in shape, eating somewhat healthy, counting my daily steps and taking daily bike rides. So getting instant, accurate information, including tracking my heart rate from the built-in sensors with Google Fit during and immediately after workouts is critical and was delivered.
The watch has a classic look with an ambient mode to have the 1.2-inch circular display made with crystal clear and durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
It’s loaded with features including customizable action button, extended battery life (355mAh) for up to up to three days of time. Inside is Bluetooth 4.2 for pairing with a smartphone, GPS, Wi-Fi and it’s water resistance for casual swimming and splashes.
Paying at retailers securely with Google Play is easy and contactless, a critical feature these days. Quick access gives you do not disturb, theater and airplane modes.
According to the Moto 360 site, compatibility is listed with Android 6.0 (excluding Go edition) or higher and iOS 10.0 or higher. Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory. This is perfect for fitness, music, Uber, dating and mapping apps available at The Play Store.
The Moto 360 is paired via Bluetooth with a smartphone and will let you answer calls, but talking has to be done with the phone or connected headphones.
My review sample had a gray brushed stainless steel finish (rose gold and phantom black also available) with a coating for increased scratch-protection. Both 20 mm leather and silicone straps are included and it only takes a second to swap them on or off for water activities. There’s also a large selection of other color bands available for purchase to personalize your style.
Moto 360 has started a promotion (June 1-21) for Father’s Day that marks the device down from $269.99, the regular price is $299.99 after the sale ends.