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Bill Loguidice / Review Geek

It goes without saying that there’s a lot of competition for noise-canceling over-ear headphones. Anker’s Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones go directly after one of the big names in this category, Beats Studio3 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, in looks, features, and its aggressive price point.

Compared to the rest of its competition, the Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones come in at the lower end of the price spectrum at just $149.99. Despite its lower price point, features like adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC), 50 hours of playtime, and enhanced microphones are still front and center.

Although not as luxurious as some of the higher-priced headphones out there, the Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones prove a worthy alternative for those less concerned with big-name branding.

Here’s What We Like

  • Superior audio quality
  • Up to 65 hours of playtime
  • Both Bluetooth and 3.5mm connectivity
  • App for access to more features

And What We Don’t

  • Ear cushions are reasonably padded, but not luxurious
  • Ear cushions trap heat
  • Headband cushion needs more padding
  • LDAC codec is only available via Android app

Review Geek’s expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

Design and Build: Quality, Not Luxury

android

Bill Loguidice / Review Geek

  • Sound: Hi-Res Wireless, Hi-Res, LDAC (Android only)
  • Active Noise Cancellation: Adaptive ANC
  • Playtime: 65 hours (ANC off), 50 hours (ANC on)
  • Fast Charging: 5 minutes = 4 hours of battery life
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3, 3.5mm aux
  • Charging Port: USB-C

In the box, you get the headphones, a case, a 3.5mm aux audio cable, USB-C to USB-A charging cable, and a quick start guide.

With its matte finish, smooth curves, and mirror-finish details, the design brings to mind the matte black Beats Studio3 Headphones. Even the logo on the outside of each ear cup, a d-like, stylized music note, looks like a mirrored Beats b. The inner ear cups are clearly marked L and R for Left and Right ear placement, respectively.

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The interior cups are pretty well padded and clearly marked. Bill Loguidice / Review Geek

The ear cup cushions have a wide inner diameter and are pretty comfortably padded at a depth of 0.75in (19.05mm), but the headband cushion could do with some more padding as there’s barely any there.

The cushions are all made from the same non-breathable material, so they don’t work well in high-heat situations. If you work out, these are not the headphones for you—you may want to check out our picks for the Best Headphones, which feature a few options that fit in at the gym perfectly. And, to be fair to Anker, they never promised they would be a great pick for working out, either.

The included semi-hard case is bog standard and makes for a tight fit for the headphones and cables. Fortunately, the aluminum alloy hinges on the headphones instill some confidence when folding the ear cups into the case, especially when in a hurry.

The adjustable headband slides smoothly on each side to accommodate a range of head sizes, and it gives a slight tactile click as each locking point is reached.

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Physical controls are pared down to the minimum. On the left side of the headphones is the NC button, which switches between noise cancellation modes, as well as the power button, which is also used for Bluetooth device pairing. Additionally, the headphones are capable of multipoint pairing, allowing them to connect to two devices at the same time, with switching enabled by pressing the power button twice.

On the right side of the headphones are volume up/down and play/pause buttons. The USB-C charging port is on the left side, while the 3.5mm aux audio jack is on the right side.

The Best Headphones of 2022

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Best Budget Headphones

Philips SHP9600

Best Wireless Headphones

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

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Best Workout Headphones

Adidas RPT-01

Best Studio Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Headphones

Connections, App, and Battery Life: Not Everything Is Equal

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Bill Loguidice / Review Geek

You can pair the headphones through regular Bluetooth pairing or, for legacy devices, make use of the included 3.5mm aux audio port. The Soundcore app, which is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, unlocks additional options and features, as well as lets you install firmware updates. For instance, I updated to firmware 2.13, which optimized transparency mode over the previous version and took just a few minutes to install.

With the Soundcore app, you can set Ambient Sound to Noise Cancellation, Normal, or Transparency Mode, the latter of which actively passes outside sound through. You can also set the Ambient Sound switching order of the NC Button when pressed once, as well as set BassUp On/Off when pressed twice.

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Perhaps the most interesting feature of the app is being able to set the preferred audio quality to the LDAC codec, which increases power consumption, and thus, battery drain, but allows you to stream high-resolution audio up to 32-bit/96kHz over Bluetooth at up to 990kbps. Unfortunately, the LDAC codec is only available on the Android app, so iOS and iPadOS owners have to settle for the standard audio quality over Bluetooth.

When the Soundcore headphones are first powered on, a voice reads you the current battery status (such as “battery high”), which is a nice touch. This too is customizable within the app.

Overall battery life is excellent with up to 50 hours of playtime using active noise cancellation, although this figure drops if LDAC is active and you regularly switch the headphones between two different Bluetooth devices. With noise cancellation off, the battery can last as long as 65 hours. Even when you do need to charge, you can get as much as four hours of battery life from as little as five minutes of charging.

Audio Quality: Big Focus on What You Can and Can’t Hear

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Bill Loguidice / Review Geek

On an Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max with the Soundcore’s default audio profile and Spotify’s “Very high” audio quality option, music was crystal clear with balanced bass. Playing a podcast using Apple’s Podcasts app was similarly impressive with clear and balanced voice quality.

Switching to an Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ with Soundcore’s LDAC codec enabled and the same music selection on Spotify, I was hard-pressed to find a noticeable difference in sound quality.

Wired audio sounds equally good. When the 3.5mm aux audio cable is connected, Bluetooth is automatically disabled.

Between the over-ear design and some good adaptive technology, the noise cancelation works well at filtering out ambient noise like fans. Unfortunately, it does a terrible job at canceling out people’s voices when they’re speaking, particularly when the headset is not actively playing music, but this is typical for the technology.

Whether making phone calls or using the iPhone’s Voice Memos app, the two built-in microphones do a nice job of minimizing background noise and making your voice clearly heard. Using the Soundcore app, you can further optimize microphone performance to your preferences.

I recorded a microphone test on the Voice Memos app (using the headset’s default settings) that you can hear below.

Space Q45 Mic Sample With Background Noise

The Best Noise Cancelling Headphones of 2022

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Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones

Philips SHP9600

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Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $100

OneOdio A30

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Best Wired Noise Cancelling Headphones

Panasonic RP-HC800-K

Should You Buy Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones?

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Bill Loguidice / Review Geek

There’s nothing particularly innovative about Anker’s Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones, but they nailed all of the basics, particularly when it comes to sound quality. At its regular $149.99 price point, these headphones sound as good or better than the Beats Studio3 Headphones with a list price of $200 more and less than half the battery life.

The Space Q45s do need more comfort and breathability to increase their versatility in different environments, but they never purport to be something they’re not, like a listening solution for workouts. It would also be nice to have a choice of colors. Right now, it’s black or nothing.

No product is perfect and the Soundcore Space Q45 Headphones are no exception. However, in light of all of its positives, these Anker headphones represent a great value for homebodies, daily commuters, and office workers who value high-fidelity audio and excellent battery life at a fair price.

Here’s What We Like

  • Superior audio quality
  • Up to 65 hours of playtime
  • Both Bluetooth and 3.5mm connectivity
  • App for access to more features

And What We Don’t

  • Ear cushions are reasonably padded, but not luxurious
  • Ear cushions trap heat
  • Headband cushion needs more padding
  • LDAC codec is only available via Android app

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