Music is a huge part of our lives. We listen to it at work, in the car, and at home. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that would say they dislike music. The job of a musician is to deliver songs that inspire, move, and challenge us, and the job of a speaker is to deliver those songs to our ears. Some speakers are built for intimate, small rooms, while others are made to fire up the party. That’s where the Anker Soundcore Rave Neo comes in.
There are plenty of party speakers making their way to the market with the Soundcore Rave Neo being just one of them. There’s plenty to love about the Soundcore Rave Neo and we’re going to go over everything in this review, so read on!
Anker gives little information on specifications of the Soundcore Rave Neo, but here is what we found on its website:
- Unleash Powerful Sound: Press play to unleash a huge wave of sound up to 98dB. Intense bass is delivered via a passive radiator and exclusive BassUp technology to enhance the low frequencies in real-time for an even greater punch.
- PartyCast Technology: Link 100+ Soundcore PartyCast compatible speakers via a single device to sync up music and lights across them all.
- Beat-Driven Light Show: The built-in LED lights sync to the beat of every song to create an intoxicating visual experience.
- Fully-Waterproof: Rave Neo’s IPX7 waterproof casing ensures it can withstand full submersion in water.
- 18-Hour Playtime: Soundtrack multiple events and use the built-in USB port to conveniently charge other devices while you party.
- Soundcore App: Choose from multiple light modes and customize the EQ by creating your own mix or using one of the 3 preset modes to tailor the sound to your event.
What’s In The Box
- Soundcore Rave Neo
- USB-C charging cable
- Manual and documentation
The Soundcore Rave Neo design is rather interesting with its sort of rounded square aesthetic. I like this look, but I do wish it came in different color options. Currently, it is available only in black. It would be nice to see white, pink, blue, or other versions.
Let’s start on the bottom of the Soundcore Rave Neo. Here, there are 4 ample rubber feet that do an excellent job of keeping the speaker planted on the surface. I know, just rubber feet and all, but these are really well made and I was impressed with them. Usually, parts like this are just an afterthought, but I feel like Anker made some intentional choices here, really well done.
Around the back of the speaker, you’ll find the Soundcore branding and a robust rubber door. This door flips open revealing the USB-C port, USB-A port, and AUX port. The USB-A port allows for charging a smartphone or connecting an mp3 player. The door itself is very thick and seals really nicely which helps with preventing water from entering these ports. Of course, if you have it open and something plugged in, this will not protect the ports.
At the top of the Soundcore Rave Neo are the controls. These are covered in the same sort of rubber the back door is covered in. This covering is there for protection from water and dust. The buttons themselves are tactile and have a good response to them. They are also clearly marked and easy to understand. Here’s what to expect in terms of buttons and functions:
- Power button: Press and hold for 2-seconds to power on or off
- Bass button: Press to activate/deactivate Bass Up Mode or hold for 2-seconds to switch between indoor/outdoor mode
- Light mode button: Press to turn on light mode and switch between modes or hold for 2-seconds to turn off light mode
- PartyCast button: Pairs other Soundcore speakers together and switches between them
- Bluetooth button: Press and hold to enter pairing
- Multi-function button: This button serves as the play/pause button and call pickup/hangup button.
- Volume button: Adjust the volume up or down
The front of the Soundcore Rave Neo has a metal grill that you can easily see right through. Here you’ll find the speaker element and subwoofer element. Around the speaker is the neon LED light which can be controlled via the app or the button on top.
There isn’t much on the sides other than the anchor points for the carrying strap. The strap itself is short but functional. It serves as more of a handle and is made of a canvas-like material. It’s fairly comfortable and makes moving the Soundcore Rave Neo around very easy.
Overall, the design is nice. It’s sturdy and robust, built nicely for water and dust resistance, is appealing to the eye, and isn’t overly heavy or awkward. I am curious how water resistance is added to the actual speaker elements. Maybe I’ll dive into that more some other time.
Ease of Use
Using the Soundcore Rave Neo is as simple as using any other Bluetooth speaker. There are some differences with the light mode and PartyCast mode but nothing most people can’t figure out. You can use the speaker without the included app but you won’t get the EQ capability of the app. Most everyone should be able to operate the Soundcore Rave Neo very easily.
The Soundcore app is basically a hub for all Soundcore speaker products. If one of their speakers has app capabilities, it will use this app. Once you pair your Rave Neo to your Bluetooth on your device, you can open the app and choose your speaker from the list of devices. The app will scan for the speaker and when it finds it, add it to the app.
From here you can make several adjustments to the speaker as well as control play and pause. In the app you can adjust the lighting scheme, you can choose from:
- Neon City
- Full-Moon Party
- Jazz Bar
- Blue Moon Cafe
- Street Fiesta
All of these settings produce different light patterns and colors. You can also choose between rotation and radiation of the pattern.
You can turn the Bass Up feature on and off here as well as access the EQ. You can choose from three different EQ settings which are, Outdoor, Indoor, and Bang. You can also tweak the EQ to your custom liking by dragging the line in ten different zones between the bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. The EQ actually does work really well and you can get the sound you’re looking for using this feature.
Two interesting features that I didn’t care for but kids are probably going to love are the Light DJ and Party Games features. The Light DJ lets you manipulate the light on the speaker and add scratches and such. The Party Games feature 3 games you can play, Truth or Dare, Spin the Bottle, and Categories.
Overall, the app isn’t really needed and the key feature I found to be of most use is the EQ. But that doesn’t make it a bad app, it’s fine and many will love some of the other features.
The sound quality coming from the Soundcore Rave Neo is excellent. While they have their own idea of what sort of tuning they wanted, you can tweak it with the EQ. The base soundstage leans slightly to the low-end and you can bump that up even further using the Bass Up function.
I actually liked their “Bang” EQ setting which bumps the mids and highs up while bringing the bass up slightly.
The volume can get pretty loud, but I do think after 70-80% volume you do start getting some breakup. This is a mono speaker so if you want stereo you can buy two of these and use the TWS button to connect them together. I imagine two of these will really be more than enough for a mid-sized party in terms of sound. One of them is probably enough for a small party depending on how loud you want it.
Overall, at this price point, the Soundcore Rave Neo has some excellent sound.
The Soundcore Rave Neo is supposed to have 18-hours of battery life and honestly, I did not fully test this. I was able to use the speaker for a week, on and off, with only half the battery drained after a week of use. I have no doubt that 18-hours is achievable depending on how loud you have the music.
The Soundcore Rave Neo is US$99 which we think is an excellent price for a party speaker. You get excellent sound, great build quality, and your own light show.
I have no problem recommending the Soundcore Rave Neo for those seeking a party speaker. The lights are probably not for everyone but the sound quality is good. You can turn the lights off if you wish so everyone is happy. The Rave Neo is a nice party speaker built for the outdoors and ready to light up your party.
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Anker Soundcore Rave NeoUS$99
Ease of Use9.0/10
- Nice looking design
- Great functional carrying handle
- Easy to use and setup
- Fun LED lighting if you're into that
- Produces good sound
- Good battery life
- Priced under $100
- Color options would have been nice. Like white, pink, blue etc...