soundcore Motion X600 Portable Speaker Review
There are a lot of Bluetooth speakers on the market right now. If you want to stand out, you have to bring something different to the table. Soundcore is hanging their hats on spatial audio. The soundcore Motion X600 portable speaker is the first to sport the “spatial audio” moniker. What does this mean for your listening experience? Let’s test it out!
soundcore Motion X600 Specs
- Immersive Spatial Audio: Inspired by theater acoustics, Motion X600 has 5 drivers and 5 amplifiers that are positioned to deliver sound all around you.
- 50W Room-Filling Sound
- Take lmmersive Music Anywhere: Portable and lightweight, Motion X600 is easy to carry between rooms to transform any part of your home into an immersive listening space.
- 12-Hour Playtime: Keep listening to music and podcasts for days at a time- with zero battery anxiety.
- Fully Waterproof: Features IPX7 waterproof protection so you can simply relax and listen without worrying about the speaker getting wet.
Motion X600 Unboxing
I’m constantly impressed by how small Bluetooth speakers are. The Motion X600 is no expectation. The speaker is about 12″ x 6.5″ x 3.25″ by my measurements (including the handle). It weighs in at just over 4.25 pounds. This is a speaker that is easy to carry around. It comes with only a USB-C charging cable (no wall plug) and a small manual.
Looking over the soundcore Motion X600, the first thing you’ll notice is the handle. It’s prominent and unmoveable. It doesn’t push to the side or detach in any way. I didn’t mind this as it made grabbing the X600 an easy affair. It did add quite a bit to the height of the speaker, however. If you are tight on space, you may wish you could remove the handle in some way.
The top has all the controls and a small rubber cover on the back hides and protects the ports. There is a single “input” port for charging. From what I can tell, you can’t play audio from that input. You can only get audio from the Bluetooth connection or the Aux 3.5mm input for those that still have a headphone jack on their phones.
soundcore Motion X600 Controls
You can connect directly to the Motion X600 via Bluetooth from your phone as soon as you turn on the speaker the first time. My connection was steady and solid. Of course, you are going to want to download the soundcore App as soon as you can. This gives you access to some preset EQ modes as well as a custom EQ. I really like that soundcore included a larger window for the EQ with the Motion X600 version of their app. This made adjusting the EQ much easier.
You can control the X600 somewhat from the app (there are play/pause controls on the homepage of the app as well as volume adjustments). Otherwise, you can use the buttons on the top of the speaker or your phone. The buttons are fairly self-explanatory though there are some things you’ll want to know. From left to right you have a power button (on/off), Bluetooth, Spatial Audio (on/off), Bass Boost (on/off), volume down, play/pause, and volume up.
The Bluetooth button allows you to pair/re-pair the speaker with a device (one click), but also has additional functions. A long-press will allow you to connect two soundcore Motion X600 in “True Wireless Stereo Mode.” You will need to hold the Bluetooth button on both speakers at the same time to enable this mode. This will allow the two Motion X600 speakers to act as left and right speakers. One will have the Bluetooth button illuminated blue and the other white. While not specifically stated in the manual, the graphics suggest that the blue speaker will be your left speaker with the white speaker acting as the right.
The last control that isn’t obvious is the skip function. We thought that the volume up/down buttons might be used to skip tracks. Instead, soundcore has opted for the play/pause button. A double-press will skip forward while a triple-press will skip back. The play/pause button also allows you to answer calls with the included microphone.
Using the Motion X600
The soundcore Motion X600 sports an IPX7 waterproof rating. This means that the speaker is completely waterproof but is not rated for dust ingress. If you are using the Motion X600 near the pool, it should be completely safe (it floats!). If you are planning on going to the beach, the X600 is probably not for you. You can take it, but you’ll want to be very careful of sand.
In the app, there is the option to enable LDAC. This is a high-bitrate codec for Bluetooth that is only available for Android 8.0 devices (sorry iPhone users!). You enable this through the settings button on the app. This will reduce the battery life of the speaker and force you to place the phone much closer to the speaker (if you are using 990 LDAC the phone will have to be within 0.5 meters).
soundcore promises up to 12-hour battery life. This is with the speaker at 1/4 power and with Bass Mode off. Expect less than 12 hours with normal use. If you enable LDAC, you can expect that to go down significantly.
Spatial Audio and Bass Boost
We’ve talked about spatial audio here before. The idea is that your speakers or headphones create a 3D sound experience that replicates more speakers than you are actually using. Most recently, Apple’s spatial audio has made popular the headphone version. This spatial audio keeps sounds coming from one direction no matter where you turn your head. It simulates being in a room with a set of speakers that are located around a screen with headphones.
The soundcore Motion X600 spatial audio is not this.
When you enable spatial audio on the Motion X600, think more along the lines of an AV receiver’s DSP modes than Apple’s spatial audio. What you are getting is a wider (and theoretically more immersive) sound experience. The soundcore marketing shows the sounds coming from all around you, but my experience was less impressive. More like a slightly more diffuse sound rather than one that is clearly coming from the speaker.
The bass boost is just that. More bass.
Both these modes were enabled as soon as I turned on the speaker. These modes are separate from the EQ adjustments on the app. They can only be controlled from the top of the speaker and are independent of any other controls. When you make EQ adjustments, you’ll want to make sure the speaker is in the mode you plan on using.
Motion X600 Sound Quality
The soundcore Motion X600 sports five drivers. There are left and right channels with a tweeter and woofer each (to the left and right on the front panel of the speaker). The third channel is a full-range driver that is angled upwards on the top panel of the speaker.
As always, I disabled all the processing (bass boost and spatial audio) and set the EQ to flat before testing. When playing a sweep, the soundcore Motion X600 kicked in around 55Hz and stayed flat throughout the entire frequency range. I found that the volume set less than 50% on my volume dial was more than enough to fill my open-concept kitchen.
I didn’t find that LDAC added much to the sound quality so I left it in SBC mode. The top end of the X600 was well-delineated and clear. Much more so than I would expect from a speaker of this size. The bass was clear but somewhat underwhelming. Of course, that bass boost button called out to me and I couldn’t help but try it out.
With bass boost enabled, the low end was slightly overaccentuated but not unpleasantly so. Where the bass boost ended, you could tell that some of the higher notes were overshadowed. Could I have gotten the same effect with the EQ? Probably, but the button is just so much easier.
The spatial audio DSP was much less impressive to me. While I could tell that it was making the sound more diffuse, I could get a similar effect from simply putting the speaker farther away. At no point did I feel like the music was surrounding me as the marketing suggested.
If I were to judge the soundcore Motion X600 on its performance without the benefits of EQ, bass boost, or spatial audio, I’d heartily recommend it. It sounds great. Add in the bass boost and EQ adjustments, and you’ve got a fantastic speaker that is small, portable, and waterproof. It’s easily worth the $200 asking price.
There are a lot of Bluetooth speakers out there and it can be hard to choose which is right for you. The soundcore Motion X600 has a lot to offer. Their amazing app will help you dial in your sound exactly to your liking. It has more than enough volume to fill your home or outdoor area with sound. The bass boost is a convenient way to add some low-end kick. Spatial audio is…a thing it also has. Add in the fact that it is truly waterproof and you’ve got a perfect home indoor/outdoor speaker solution. Recommended!