It’s truly unbelievable how far headphones have come in the past five years. Connections are stronger than ever, batteries last for ages, and sound quality is getting better all the time. All with prices that keep dropping.
Chinese manufacturer Anker has several brands around the world, and Soundcore is one of them. This is their range of audio devices, from speakers to earbuds to headphones.
And, in my in-depth Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Review, we’re going to look at the latest generation of their flagship headphones to see how they stack up against more-established brands. So, let’s take a closer look at these affordable wireless headphones.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Overview
The Q45s is the latest generation of Space true wireless headphones from Soundcore. These are over-ear headphones with pretty big ear cups to fit over most ears easily. The cups are soft and comfortable to wear for long periods.
That is good because these headphones have incredible longevity…
According to Anker, the Q45s can give you up to 50 hours of playback on a full charge. Yes, that’s not 5.0 hours – that’s 50 hours or more than two full days. And that’s with the ANC on!
With the ANC turned off and the volume not higher than a medium level, you can extend the listening life to 65 hours. Seriously, how many times would you have to charge your phone to get it to play 65 hours’ worth of music? No wonder these are some of the longest battery life wireless headphones you can buy.
Of course, these headphones have got active noise cancellation built-in…
This is one of the features that Anker is really trying to push. Why? Because they’re done a solid job of getting it to work wonderfully. You can, of course, adjust the ANC to different strengths and modes using the control app. That way, you can block out tons of super-loud noise, let in your surroundings when you need to be aware, or just let in voices on Talk mode.
That’s not all that the ANC does…
These headphones have built-in mics for both sensing environmental sounds and identifying voices. There’s also AI voice recognition onboard, which learns to listen for your voice in particular. This, combined with environmental noise control, makes your calls very crisp and clear.
These headphones are a brand new model, and that’s why they have the latest and greatest version of Bluetooth, v5.3, onboard. They also support the Sony-developed LDAC codex, which transfers up to three times more information to make music and video streaming super-fast and perfectly detailed.
As for durability, you, unfortunately, don’t have any waterproofing or dust-proof rating here. That’s not all that unusual, since they’re not the sort of headphones you’d likely want to be wearing on your misty morning jogs. Still, a little resistance is fast becoming a standard these days.
As for the materials and build…
The outer shell here is made of durable plastic, including the headband. The swivel hinges are made of aluminum alloy. The headband is padded on top to reduce pressure on your head.
And finally, the all-so-important ear cups are made from something spongy inside covered in an ultra-soft leatherette. Feels pretty soft and smooth, like a bunny. For headphones that retail at about $150, this is about the feel you might expect.
So, that’s the Space Q45s in a nutshell. Now it’s time to crack open that shell and take a closer look inside.
Top Features of the Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones
As I always say, it doesn’t matter how great the battery is or how sharp the headphones look. If they don’t sound good, they’re not worth getting.
So what’s the sound like here?
These headphones are based on 40mm (a little more than an inch and a half) drivers, one in each ear. These drivers seem to be of pretty good quality. They’re made from silk and ceramics, allowing them to cover a frequency range of 20 Hz up to 40kHz all at once.
The sound stage here is surprisingly broad and clear. The mids are full, and the highs come in strong without being piercing. And the bass is not overly strong by any means. If you’re going to compare these to Beats, for example, they don’t have the same kick. But, honestly, most of us don’t need that much boost. I feel like the bass is enough and is well-balanced with the overall sound.
However, you can go into the app and adjust your EQ levels. That is becoming standard with Bluetooth headphones these days. Adding more bass above the factory EQ settings does work, but if you push it a lot, it can get overpowering and make things muddy.
The noise cancellation powers of these headphones are seriously good. Let’s start with just putting them on. They produce a really good seal around the ears without being uncomfortable. And, since they’re sealed headphones, they already do a very good job with passive noise isolation. But flip on the ANC, and they’re truly impressive.
Soundcore claims they block out 98% of sounds, which is an unnecessary exaggeration since they are already smashing it. With full ANC on, you get excellent blockage of both loud continual sounds (like traffic, office noise, or airplane engines). But, also sudden sounds (like shouting and dogs barking).
Using the app…
You can select up to five levels of customized ANC levels, as well as five custom levels for transparency mode. Transparency here works quite well, actually picking up lots of environmental sounds that you can’t hear even with the ANC turned off.
There’s also a Talk mode, which is really effective. Turn it on, and it allows only voices to come through, blocking out everything else and sounding like a conversation in an air-tight recording studio.
The intelligent “Adaptive” noise cancellation mode uses the built-in mics to sense where you are by recognizing environmental sounds like the wind when you’re outside or loud train or traffic noise. It will automatically turn the noise cancellation up to maximum in loud environments and reduce it when you’re in quiet indoor spaces.
On top of that…
The mics are also used by onboard AI that learns the sound of your voice. Making a few calls will train the headphones to recognize, pick out, and amplify your voice so that your callers will hear very clear and sharp audio. All told, for headphones at this price, the ANC is unbeatable. So, if you want some of the best ANC wireless headphones on the market, you just found them.
Construction and Design
I already talked through the general features of the design earlier, but there are still some things to take note of. The Space Q45s are basically made of plastics, foam, and synthetic leather, and these aren’t exactly the highest-quality materials out there. They may be what you’d expect at this price point, however.
But, there are three main things to point out…
On the positive side, the ear cups are very soft and comfortable. I mean truly comfortable. They don’t put any pressure on your ears or temples like a lot of other brands. Big plus!
On the other hand, they’re very warm, and long periods of wear will likely make you sweat. If you’re in a cool climate or air conditioning, you’re probably fine. But, in hotter climates, you might end up needing a towel.
And finally, the hinges. Here’s a point where I think Anker has made a miscalculation. The hinges seem overly loose and flimsy right out of the box. So, what’s going to happen a year from now? This seems like a likely point of failure, though I really hope I’m wrong about that. Otherwise, they are some of the most comfortable wireless headphones at this price point.
There’s still a lot to like about these headphones…
The headphones come in black, blue, and white – not enough colors to fight about. They do look nice, sharp, and clean, very much in keeping with the Beats aesthetic.
You have a lot of onboard controls based on four different buttons. The left headphone gives you power on and off, plus control of your ANC levels. The right has a play/pause button which can also control calls. There’s also a +/- button that controls both volume and track skipping. It’s all pretty inclusive, although getting used to the different combinations takes a minute.
This is the other main factor besides the ANC that gets full points. The Space Q45s charge from flat to full in two hours. That might seem like a long time until you realize that this gives you 50 hours of playback. That’s with the ANC on, and it climbs up to 65 hours with ANC off, and friends, that’s just incredible.
This is, of course, at a “moderate” volume. But, even if they only last 48 hours cranked way up, are you going to complain?
You can use a quick charge of just five minutes which gives you four hours of operating time. That’s almost as much as my first Bluetooth headphones could store. The downside is that you’re recommended not to listen while the headphones are charging. But that’s not a big deal if you only have to wait five minutes.
You’ve got Bluetooth version 5.3, the best and latest, supported here. The headphones don’t use AptX but instead support AAC and SBC, plus Sony’s LDAC codec for Android devices. LDAC uses more battery power because it provides higher-resolution sound. With this codec turned on, you can stream at up to 990kbps for lightning-fast, crystal-clear sound.
The Bluetooth connection is strong up to 49 feet (15m), which means you can leave your phone and walk just about anywhere in your house. The Space Q45s also supports multi-point connections and can pair with two devices simultaneously. In other words, you can be watching a movie on your tv and take a call from your phone all through the same headphones. Very cool.
You have a lot of flexibility with the Soundcore app (for Android and Apple), and it works well to control your device, so it’s well worth getting. It gives you control over ANC modes, LDAC, EQ, multipoint connections, and more. Overall, these are some of the most compatible wireless headphones on the market.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Review – Pros and Cons
- Competitive price.
- Excellent ANC.
- Superior 50-hour battery life.
- Good app and custom controls.
- Supports Bluetooth 5.3 and LDAC codec.
- Warm over long periods of wear.
- Can’t wear while charging.
- The hinges seem somewhat fragile.
- Not water, dust, or shock-proof.
Need a Great Pair of Headphones?
We can help. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones for Hip-Hop, the Best Wireless Headphones for TV, the Best Headphones with Volume Control, the Most Comfortable Headphones, and the Best Headphones Under $200 you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad, the Best Headphones for Big Heads, the Best JBL Wireless Headphones, and the Best Beats Headphones currently on the market.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Review – Conclusion
What do the Space Q45s offer? Good sound, excellent ANC, and superior battery life, all at a very competitive price. They might not be the most durable headphones in the world, so that’s something to consider for some users. But I think this is a very solid piece of engineering at a very competitive price.
There are still some kinks to work out with these headphones in terms of comfort and durability for sure. But, considering what you do get for the price, I don’t think you’re going to feel let down by these headphones one bit.
Until next time, happy listening.