Soundcore Rave Mini review
For its low price tag, the Soundcore Rave Mini is hard to beat for a loud outdoor speaker… the catch is that you may not be so impressed with its audio quality and detail.
- Great price for a powerful outdoor speaker
- Bass you can feel
- Can link to other Rave Minis
- Incredible built-in light show
- Great buttons and controls
- Sounds muffled and overly bassy indoors
- Proprietary charger
- No EQ tuning customizations
- Could use an extra USB port for charging
- One of the tweeters is fake
Portable speakers large enough to power an outdoor party don’t come cheap, so it’s great to see Anker’s Soundcore brand come out with a modern boombox at an affordable price. The Soundcore Rave Mini is a “portable” Bluetooth speaker with built-in vertical handle, snazzy LED light show, USB charging port, and serious volume.
The Rave Mini is not so mini, but it’s easy enough for anyone to walk it around the house or party. It would take up most of a backpack if it even fits. It weighs almost 8 lbs and is over a foot tall. The handle and the rubber feet on the bottom and sides make it really easy to plop anywhere, standing up or laying down. While we’d call it a boombox, it doesn’t look like your classic boombox, mainly because the handle has the speaker standing tall and vertical as opposed to wide and horizontal. It’s also not boxy like a boombox; it has nice rounded corners and sides. Behind a black metal grill on one side of Rave Mini, you can see a large 5.25-inch center woofer with tweeters above and below (unfortunately one of these tweeters is just for show). The tweeters are surrounded by some wild party-ready LEDs.
You wouldn’t suspect it, but Rave Mini is IPX7 Waterproof. That means you can party in the rain, or at a pool. On the back, you’ll find a waterproof rubber-sealed flap that reveals a full-sized USB port, an auxiliary input, and the DC-in charging port. The USB can be used to charge any USB device, like a phone or tablet, and Rave Mini packs a beefy 10,000 mAh battery. Unfortunately, you can’t charge Rave Mini with a USB cable, but it does boast an 18-hour battery.
On the top of the unit, under the handle, you’ll find a 4-LED battery status meter and a circle of buttons that cover your standard functions and then some. There are dedicated buttons for everything — volume, track controls, power, Bluetooth, and even for the LEDs. We love not having to rely on annoying press-and-hold or double and triple-tap functions for regular usage. You can do everything you’d need from the Rave Mini device itself, and there’s an app to make it a little easier.
The LED lights pulsate, rotate, and strobe around the two tweeters and there are 6 different modes you can cycle through, and you can shut it off. The presets range from a calming “breath” to a go-nuts “party” mode. The lights are fun and mesmerizing, but as of now, there’s no way to customize presets. There is, however, a gimmicky “light DJ” mode where you can manually control the lights with your finger and add some sound effects. We can’t see anyone using this feature longer than a couple of minutes. There’s another gimmicky feature in the app that’s potentially a little more useful – party games. The 3 games currently involve a spinner in the app (i.e. spin the bottle or truth or dare), but the speaker itself doesn’t do anything other than play sounds and flash some lights.
Rave Mini is meant to be a party/outdoor speaker. While there’s an “indoor” audio mode, it’s not a great indoor speaker. The size and aesthetic doesn’t scream “indoor”, but the bigger issue is the audio is too loud and bassy for an indoor environment. The bass muffles the mids and highs and you lose a lot of details at low-to-normal volumes – it needs to be loud to really hear the music. We’re picky, it’s still listenable inside, but our ears have a tough time adjusting to it. Now, if loud and bassy is what you’re looking for then Rave Mini definitely has you covered. Outside, music sounds a little more balanced and is much more enjoyable. The only tuning options are indoor/outdoor and extra bass. Even without the extra bass option, there’s a lot of bass you can feel. With more EQ tuning customizations we think it could be both great indoors and outdoors.
There are a few other features that may not be used as much. You can link together multiple Rave Minis. You can mount the speaker onto a tripod using a universal mount. And, there’s a built-in microphone. The microphone quality isn’t the best if you were planning on making or taking phone calls, but at least you can access your voice assistant with a press-and-hold of the play button.
The Soundcore Rave Mini isn’t the indoor speaker we were hoping for, but it’s an excellent and affordable outdoor speaker. Pricing in at $150, it will be hard to find another speaker as loud or suitable for outdoor use. The IPX7 waterproofing and durable build make it ideal for any outdoor environment, plus it packs its own party with the LED light show. The Soundcore Rave Mini is currently available at Amazon for $149.