Soundcore Life Q30 review: solid wireless ANC headphones for less

Affordable audio model Soundcore is again with a brand new pair of over-ear ANC headphones that will not break the financial institution. The Life sequence has been praised on NextPit up to now, however how shut can the brand new Life Q30 cans get to the top-end of the market for less than a 3rd of the value of the flagship headphones from Sony and Bose? So much nearer than you’d suppose…

Soundcore Life Q30 launch date and value

The newest over-ear Active Noise Cancelling headphones from Soundcore, a sister-brand of Anker, can be found now for a value of £79.99. They solely are available in black. The value stays unchanged from the earlier Soundcore Life 2 headphones at launch, however you get much more for cash in 2020 than you probably did again in late 2018.

 

What I like in regards to the Soundcore Life Q30…

There’s lots to love in regards to the

Soundcore Life Q30 headphones
, particularly when you think about the £80 price ticket. The new cans are one of many few pairs of over-ears at this value level to come back with licensed Hi-res sound high quality, and the battery life is above common in comparison with the competitors. Here’s what I like most in regards to the new headphones.

The Digital Hybrid ANC Multi-Mode Noise Cancellation

The Soundcore Life Q30 headphones pack twin noise-detecting microphones for what the model is asking its ‘superior hybrid noise-cancelling expertise’. Microphones on every earcup are designed to choose up 95% of low-frequency sound to filter out all the things you do not wish to hear, delivering solely the audio to your eardrums.

The hinges are new and improved from the Life 2 headphones. / © NextPit

For the primary time on a pair of Soundcore over-ears, a number of ANC modes can be found. An outside mode tunes out site visitors noise and, in my case, the screaming kids from the Kindergarten behind my constructing. Transport mode is designed for commuters and, specifically, the engine noise on planes, while indoor mode is tailor-made to filter out that chatting drone you get in busy espresso retailers. A clear mode can amplify ambient sounds so that you could hear the world round you with out taking the headphones off. The modes are switchable through the Soundcore app.

I just like the ANC on the Soundcore Life Q30 headphones total. The superior hybrid noise-cancelling did an excelled job after I was out and about strolling the streets of Berlin. Naturally, I used to be unable to check how effectively these headphones carry out on a flight, however I did take a look at the transport mode on the U-Bahn and was glad that these would stand as much as aircraft noise. After all, even the Life 2 headphones, which I’ve owned for some time, carried out effectively on the flights I wore them on.

NextPit Soundcore Life Q30 top
The ANC works effectively in most conditions. / © NextPit

So the ANC is a win for Anker and Soundcore, then. It simply goes to point out that you do not have to spend £300 on a pair of over-ear headphones to have solid noise-cancelling in 2020.

The total design and construct high quality

Design-wise, the Life Q30 make some important enhancements on the Life 2 from late-2018. The plastics have gotten firmer, and the hinges tighter. The plastic headband has been changed with a steel one, and the soft-protein leather-based earcups really feel a lot larger high quality now. The chunky buttons for playback, energy, and ANC have gone on a weight-reduction plan and at the moment are a lot simpler to search out when fumbling across the earcups while sporting the headphones. The microUSB port has been upgraded to USB-C. The gold-styling of the Soundcore emblem on the earcups is the one design change that might doubtlessly disappoint. The previous Life 2 have been extra unassuming when it comes to branding.

NextPit Soundcore Life Q30 headphones
The Life Q30 headphones are very snug to put on. / © NextPit

Overall, nonetheless, the Life Q30 characterize a worthy improve for anybody who owns a pair of Life 2 headphones. Even the carry case, which has grown in dimension barely, feels extra strong this yr. The weight (260g) is extra or less the identical because the earlier mannequin however is barely heavier than among the direct competitors.

The in-app EQ presets and customisation

Also new for 2020 is an improved Soundcore app to go with your Life Q30 expertise. As effectively as with the ability to tweak the ANC, there are EQ controls in right here too. Having a customisable equaliser is at all times a giant win for me, a music nerd who is aware of what he likes and the right way to get that sound. There are 22 preset EQ settings for completely different genres and audio types, in addition to a totally customizable 8-band EQ.

soundcore app
The EQ will be customised within the new Soundcore app. / © NextPit

You can even activate a white noise soundscape designed to assist wearers obtain superior sleep. Clearly, this isn’t a characteristic that has been constructed for the model’s over-ear headphones, however it’s accessible anyway. It’s of questionable worth, to be sincere, other than possibly when on a protracted flight or prepare journey whenever you wish to get some shut-eye.

The lengthy battery life

Battery life is one other of the robust factors of the Soundcore Life Q30. You rise up to 60 hours of playback with the ANC turned off and the quantity at 60%. With noise-cancelling on, you possibly can anticipate nearer to 40 hours. As common readers will know, I hear at larger than 60% quantity more often than not and use ANC at any time when I’m outdoors of the home. I nonetheless acquired effectively over 35 hours of playback day trip of the Life Q30 earlier than needing to cost them.

NextPit Soundcore Life Q30 buttons closeup
The buttons are simpler to search out on the brand new Life Q30 headphones. / © NextPit

What I do not like in regards to the Soundcore Life Q30…

Whilst there may be actually lots to love in regards to the Soundcore Life Q30 headphones, I did not fall in love with them immediately. Allow me to elucidate.

The out-of-the-box sound

The Soundcore Life 30 are one of many few pairs of wireless headphones on this value vary to come back with licensed Hi-res audio. Powered by twin 40mm Silk Diaphragm Drivers, that the model says have been precision-tuned, I had excessive hopes for these. However, the out-of-the-box first hear left me wanting.

I’m not a fan of the default Soundcore Signature sound in any respect. Whilst listening to the primary tracks, the headphones sounded flat and lifeless. It’s just like the EQ has been set as much as be optimum for all musical types, with out actually doing any of them justice. Once I switched to Rock, the Life Q30 got here alive!

The criticism right here just isn’t that the Life Q30 do not sound nice, it is that there is a bit of labor to do earlier than you get there. Plenty of customers will not even trouble downloading the companion app, and could be left disenchanted by the sound high quality because of this. I might advocate altering the EQ because the very very first thing you do in the event you get your fingers on a pair of those. For the audiophiles on the market, the frequency response is from 16Hz to 40kHz.

NextPit Soundcore Life Q30 inside l r
 40mm Silk Diaphragm Drivers sit within the new Life Q30s. / © NextPit

The max quantity might be larger

This is one other nitpicking level, however I’m going to make it anyway. Straight out of the field, the utmost quantity stage achieved by the Life Q30 feels a bit of weak. However, due to that highly effective EQ within the app, you possibly can enhance it to extra ear-bursting ranges. The downside once more just isn’t that these cans don’t go loud sufficient, it is that it’s not immediately recognisable the right way to get what you’re looking for.

The bass response can also be a bit of lacklustre. It’s high quality on some EQ settings, however for those that prefer to really feel the bass, the Life Q30 might depart you disenchanted. When activating the Bass Booster EQ preset, issues simply acquired muddy, slightly than that good thumpy sensation you get with actually good bass response. Once once more you possibly can enhance this marginally by tweaking the EQ your self, however it nonetheless by no means actually will get to the place you need it to be if you’re listening to hip hop.

Final verdict

The Soundcore Life Q30 are a very solid pair of wireless over-ear ANC headphones in comparison with even among the merchandise that price double this RRP. When you issue within the value and check out the competitors going for across the eighty-quid mark, these are a no brainer.

NextPit Soundcore Life Q30 power
Charging is finished through USB-C. / © NextPit

The construct high quality and end are wonderful, the ANC does a great job in most conditions, and the battery is greater than sufficient to get you thru three to 4 days value of commuting or a long-haul flight. The solely actual disadvantage is that, until you go into the app and begin tinkering, the sound might initially disappoint. I urge you to persevere although. Once you get your EQ proper, the Life Q30 sound incredible.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive pair of wireless over-ear ANC headphones that may final your a few years no less than, I can simply advocate the Soundcore Life Q30.

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