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Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Review

Last updated: 6 months ago
9 min read
Editor
rating
4.1
Anker Soundcore Life Q30 in a bush

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are excellent all-around wireless headphones packed with useful features. Even the sound quality is impressive if you play with EQ.

Every once in a while, headphones with an excellent price/performance ratio arrive that truly deserves all attention. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are one of those headphones.

Of course, they aren’t perfect, but they do most things better than their competition. Or they give you the option to make them better.

As a whole, the Life Q30 are okay-looking Bluetooth headphones with good build quality, foldable hinges, and a hard-shell carrying case for easy transportation.

They’re lightweight and comfy, with sufficient padding inside over-ear earpads. Physical buttons located on the bottom of both earcups are snappy and offer a reassuring way to control the Anker headphones, even in colder weather.

Furthermore, noise cancellation headphones pack an insane battery life of 60 hours for long listening sessions, good active noise cancellation performance, Transparency mode, and a companion app with custom EQ.

However, I said they aren’t perfect. Want to know why? Find the reasons in the review below.

  • Excellent sound quality (after EQ)
  • Great ANC with 3 modes
  • Comfortable fit
  • Companion app with EQ
  • Outstanding battery life
  • The bass isn't very fast
  • Looks bulky on your head
Editor
rating
4.1
By HeadphonesAddict
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4.1
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Table of Contents

    Sound

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    By default, the sound signature is boomy and muddy. Fortunately, they start sounding very close to neutral with some equalizing (EQ).

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Sound Test

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    Out of the box, Anker Soundcore Life Q30 have a sound profile just like any other consumer-focused headphone: huge bass boost and nothing else. Despite their High-Res audio badge on the box.

    You can dramatically change the way headphones reproduce frequencies and make them extremely balanced, thanks to the custom EQ inside the app. It isn’t perfectly neutral, but you can hardly beat it for the price.

    Bass

    As mentioned, by default, the bass is boosted to the point of being muddy. There’s very little control or definition of the bass, and you hardly distinguish an individual bass kick.

    Reducing the sub-bass all the way down in the app (-6dB) helps eliminate the overwhelming muddiness, allowing the sound to breathe.

    Of course, there’s still an emphasis on lower frequencies, and the bass gets only marginally more controlled.

    It works fine for rock music or EDM, but anything with faster bass kicks (metal, drum ‘n’ bass) is still too challenging.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 sounds app
    My custom EQ on the left sounds pretty natural, whereas, on the right, there’s a random sounds generator (Sleep mode) in the app.

    Midrange

    Mids are relatively balanced, with only a massive dip around 3.2kHz. Interestingly, that’s the exact frequency you can boost in the app.

    Of course, by doing so, both vocals and instruments gain a bit more fullness and sound more natural.

    The only thing that’s a bit off are electric guitars. They sound a bit harsh with specific tracks, and you can’t entirely correct them with EQ.

    Treble

    High frequencies are clear and sparkly, giving instruments like cymbals a nice texture.

    The response is smooth and sibilance-free, even when listening at higher volumes.

    As with many over-ear headphones, the sense of soundstage is pretty good so that music doesn’t feel trapped in your head. It isn’t vast, either.

    Furthermore, the imaging is good, and you can fairly accurately pinpoint where the sounds are coming from.

    Since Anker likes to talk about having an army of Grammy-awarded producers that recommend their audio products, most of their Bluetooth headphones have an obnoxiously bassy sound.

    Thankfully, you can correct their mistakes within the EQ settings and get surprisingly balanced and dynamic sounding headphones for under $100.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 EQ Preset Comparison

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 EQ Presets Comparison – HeadphonesAddict

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Frequency Response

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 measurement (with & without ANC)
    Enabling ANC boosts the region between 400-550Hz.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    For headphones with light construction and clamping force they stay on your head even when you jump or run. Moreso, thick padding makes for a comfortable listening experience, too.

    While Anker Soundcore Life Q30 look quite bulky at first glance, that doesn’t reflect their weight.

    Due to their plastic construction (with only an aluminum headband), they don’t cause your neck to hurt, like with Apple AirPods Max, for example.

    Oval-shaped earpads are filled with plush memory foam. Pads perfectly enclose your ears, which are touching the foam covering the drivers.

    However, you don’t feel it unless you really think about it.

    Stability is also great, despite a relatively gentle clamping force. Running or jumping with Anker Soundcore Life Q30 isn’t a problem.

    Headphones can also endure leaning your head forward and backward, just don’t do it too quickly.

    Of course, they will come off if you start headbanging like you’re on a metal concert. But which headphones won’t?

    Durability

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    While they’re mostly plastic, Anker Soundcore Life Q30 have a stiff aluminum frame and come with a hard-shell carrying case for drop protection. No sweat resistance or an IP rating, though.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 don’t look reassuring at first glance. Everything from earcups, yolks, hinges is made of plastic.

    However, the parts that are susceptible to breaking are reinforced, and the ANC headphones feel sturdy.

    While they do rattle a bit when shaken, you don’t hear any crackling noises when you wear them on your head.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 in the case
    A Hard-shell carrying case is sturdy enough to protect your headphones during long trips.

    On top, there’s an exposed aluminum frame that provides some rigidness and gives headphones a slightly more premium look.

    Size adjustment is plastic but doesn’t extend on its own, even when you shake the headphones.

    The included carrying case adds to the overall durability. Its stiff walls give headphones protection against drops and scratches.

    Sadly, Anker Soundcore Life Q30 aren’t suitable for gym use. They lack basic IPX rating, so sweat can be harmful.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    5.0 Perfect

    The Soundcore Life Q30 excel at battery life. Typically, they last up to 60 hours of listening time, while ANC reduces that number to “only” 44 hours per charge according to our test.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Battery Comparison

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 battery graph

    Anker took the extra space inside over-ear headphones and filled it with batteries. Nothing else can explain the excellent battery performance.

    On their own, without ANC, they can last around 60 hours. You could use them for a whole week and only charge them once.

    The ANC takes its toll, reducing the battery life down to 44 hours and 11 minutes on a single charge (from our test).

    However, that’s still more than excellent since most flagship ANC headphones last around 30 hours.

    Even the fast-charging feature over USB-C is super quick.

    • You get an additional 4 hours of playtime in a mere 5-minute charge.

    While you can use the app to monitor the battery capacity, it only shows the battery icon but no percentage.

    To find out the latter, you have to check the Bluetooth menu on your smartphone.

    Also, there’s a voice prompt telling you the battery status every time you turn on the headphones.

    As an alternative for an empty battery, these active noise cancelling headphones also offer a wired connection. The cable is included in the box.

    Features

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    For headphones that cost $80, you get a surprisingly feature-packed, premium experience. Active noise cancellation, ambient sound mode, app, EQ, even the mic quality is good.

    Anker certainly didn’t skimp on features with the Soundcore Life Q30.

    On their own, headphones provide 5 physical controls and one touch-sensitive area on the right earcup.

    You get a button for:

    • ANC
    • on/off & voice assistant activation
    • Volume adjustment
    • Play/pause
    • And touch surface to quickly activate transparency mode

    Physical buttons are easily distinguishable underneath your fingers and provide tactile feedback, no mushiness whatsoever.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 buttons
    All the physical buttons are located on the bottom of the earcups.

    Downloading the Soundcore app adds even more features. With it, you can toggle between a different noise cancelling mode and play around with numerous EQ presets or make a custom one.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 ANC app
    For quicker access to the three sound modes, you can put the Ambient Sound widget on your phone’s home screen (image on the right).

    There’s even the Sleep mode where you can choose the intensity of various sounds of nature or things like trains or home appliances.

    It’s a neat little feature that might be useful if you live in a noisy place and have trouble sleeping.

    The companion app doesn’t allow you to change controls (at least the touch-sensitive one). Also, there’s no play/pause sensor.

    Microphone Quality

    Mic performance during phone calls is better than average, with good performance in quiet and noisy places.

    Starting with quiet places, there’s little to no distortion, and your voice comes through nice and clean. It might lack some fullness in lower registers, but at least you’re understandable.

    Speaking in a noisier environment, the voice quality stays the same. Due to heavy noise reduction, there are a few more artifacts and distortion in the background.

    Thankfully, headphones know how to keep your voice understandable. Therefore, you can easily use them when walking near a busy road with lots of outside noise.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 microphone test

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    Passive noise isolation is only average, so enabling ANC would be a good idea if you plan to listen to them in a louder environment.

    For noise cancelling headphones, the overall passive noise isolation is nothing to write home about.

    Headphones do a decent job blocking the external noise but not to the same extent as basic earbuds. Lower frequencies stay pretty much intact, with only a slight reduction of the higher ones.

    It seems like the plastic ear cups aren’t thick enough to muffle down the background noise sufficiently.

    Thankfully, ambient sounds hardly bother you if you also play some music. Walking on a street or working in the office should be fine.

    However, you will want to enable active noise cancellation if you plan to use them for commuting.

    Noise Cancelling

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    Active noise cancellation performance is great for the price, but some inconsistencies ruin the experience. There’s a slight bass rumble audible from the right driver.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 ANC Test

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 ANC Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Over-ears were always better at active noise cancelling. Their bigger earcups cover a larger surface area, and the active noise cancellation chips are also of higher quality.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are great in this regard, especially for the price. In the Soundcore app, you can toggle between 3 ANC modes, each suitable for a different situation.

    • Transport mode focuses on lower-frequencies like engines
    • Indoor mode on mid-frequencies like speech
    • Outdoor mode reduces street sounds like traffic, etc.

    By default, you use Transport mode, which, at least on our unit, works a bit strange. While the left channel is clean and quiet, I can hear a faint rumble from the right channel.

    Even if I twist my head or move around the room, the sound doesn’t go away. It isn’t super annoying; however, it does ruin the overall excellent ANC performance.

    If both channels worked like the left one, these would be close to the Sony WH-1000XM4.

    The other 2 modes don’t share the same problem, but they do pass through more lower frequencies, which isn’t ideal.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 on a desk
    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 offer all the features of the flagship models, but for a much more affordable price.

    Still, Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are, so far, the best noise cancelling headphones under $100. If you need this feature, you can’t get any better for the price.

    On the other hand, Transparency mode helps boost the ambient sound, and it does that with decent results.

    Headphones primarily boost the midrange and speech, so they don’t sound as natural as more premium headphones.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    5.0 Perfect

    You can expect a fantastic Bluetooth range with no audio stutters, multipoint support, and no audio delay when watching videos.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 use an older Bluetooth 5.0 standard, which is still more than sufficient if you want a reliable Bluetooth connection and excellent Bluetooth range.

    The latter is by far the strongest out of any Bluetooth headphones that I’ve tested.

    While most of them at least stuttered for a bit when they reached the other end of my house, the Soundcore Life Q30 play perfectly from one side to the other.

    That means at least 65 feet of areal distance and 2 brick walls in practice.

    Active noise cancelling headphones were connected to Samsung Galaxy S21, which also uses Bluetooth 5.0.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 on a table
    Headphones provide an excellent connection range, surpassing 65 feet when walking around the house.

    Apart from a dependable connection, you can also pair them with 2 Bluetooth devices simultaneously (multipoint). When paired to one device, press the power button twice to initiate pairing for a second device.

    Otherwise, if you want to pair headphones to a new device, turn them on and hold the power button until you see blue flashing LED.

    As a bonus, Anker Soundcore Life Q30 support NFC pairing by simply touching them with an NFC-enabled smartphone.

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 only use SBC and AAC audio codecs.

    There’s a more expensive version of these active noise cancelling headphones, the Anker Soundcore Life Q35, with LDAC and Hi-Res audio certification, but they also have worse stock sound.

    While the selection of Bluetooth codecs isn’t huge, it’s more than sufficient for transferring high-quality audio and ensuring minimal delay.

    Is There an Audio Delay?

    Speaking of delay, there is none if you plan to watch videos and Youtube on Android and iOS devices.

    Playing mobile games shows a tiny bit of delay, which isn’t too distracting. You can use Anker Soundcore Life Q30 for playing competitive mobile games.

    Should You Get Anker Soundcore Life Q30?

    These active noise cancelling headphones aren’t perfect, but they offer the best overall package at their price range.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 on a chair
    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are overall excellent performing budget-friendly headphones that are an absolute steal for the price.

    They’re well-made, comfortable, have fantastic battery life, good ANC and transparency mode, and excellent sound if you take some time to tweak it.

    Sure, the sound quality isn’t suitable for everyone since metalheads will miss that double-pedal action, and the noise cancelling headphones might look a bit bulky on your head.

    But for the price, there’s simply nothing else that can get close to their performance. Anker Soundcore Life Q30 deserve HeadphonesAddict’s recommendation.

    How do Anker Soundcore Life Q30 compare to the competition?

    • After some EQ, they have a better sound quality and a more balanced response.
    • The battery life of 44 hours on a single charge with ANC wipes away the competition, which usually lasts around 30 hours or less.
    • Bluetooth range and strength are far better, with no stutters and at least 65 feet of coverage.
    • Noise cancelling performance is only slightly better than what the competition offers.
    • Build quality is about the same as the rest in this price range. However, the carrying case provides better longevity.
    • While they’re more natural, the bass feels sloppier and less controlled than competitive models.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Alternatives

    Aukey EP-N12

    Aukey EP-N12 Bluetooth headphones

    The audio quality is noticeably worse, with a very uneven frequency response. It gets better in wired mode, but you also lose a lot of bass.

    Otherwise, the build quality of the ANC headphones is similar, with foldable hinges but only a carrying pouch and not a case.

    Noise cancelling performance is slightly worse, along with lower battery life (28 hours compared to 44 hours).

    Aukey EP-N12 review

    OneOdio A30

    OneOdio A30 on a branch

    Energetic-sounding budget headphones with balanced mids and bright treble. A pretty comparable performance.

    Plush earpads are comfy but don’t fully enclose your ears. ANC also can’t match the Anker headphones.

    Battery life is worse, too, and they come with only a carrying pouch. However, the A30 easily beat the Life Q30 in microphone quality.

    OneOdio A30 review

    Treblab Z2

    Treblab Z2 wireless headphones

    Bassy without ANC, crystal clear with ANC. The Life Q30 are more consistent with their response.

    The over-ear design is comfy but not like the Anker headphones. Both come with a hard-shell carrying case, but the Z2 can’t fold earcups.

    Treblab headphones have an IPX4 rating, which means they’re sweatproof and perfect for working out.

    Treblab Z2 review

    What’s in the Box?

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 accessories
    • Anker Soundcore Life Q30 wireless headphones
    • Carrying case
    • USB-C cable
    • 3.5mm audio cable
    • Small carrying pouch
    • User manual

    Specifications

    Type: Over-ear
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 40mm
    Frequency range: 16-24.000Hz
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Weight: 9.31 oz (264 g)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: None
    Battery life: 60h (40h with ANC)
    Charging time: 2h + Quick charge – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: Yes, hybrid
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 65ft (20m)
    Microphone: Yes, noise canceling