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Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Review

Last updated: 4 months ago
9 min read
Editor
rating
4.1
Anker Soundcore Life Q35 on the case

Anker Soundcore Life Q35 are an upgraded Life Q30 with an extra LDAC codec, different earpads, carrying case, and a marginally better default tuning.

Visually, the Soundcore Life Q35 and Life Q30 are identical. The only difference is in slightly different earpads and the color. The new Q35 come in obsidian blue instead of black.

Even internally, not much has changed. Both share the same decent ANC and transparency mode performance and exceptional Bluetooth range and battery life.

That being said, a couple of things are indeed different. The Soundcore Life Q35 support both hi-res audio and LDAC Bluetooth codec and have a slightly flatter tuning.

However, despite that, the sound is still overly bassy and a tad too bright. And the worst thing is that you can’t fully correct it inside the Soundcore app.

That begs the question: are they worth paying $130, which is $50 more than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30? Find the answer in the review below.

  • Great sound quality (after EQ)
  • Comfortable design with good stability
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent Bluetooth connectivity
  • Impressive battery life (40h per charge)
  • Companion app with custom EQ
  • Hard-shell carrying case
  • Underwhelming ANC performance for the price
  • Competition provides better value
Editor
rating
4.1
By HeadphonesAddict
User
ratings
4
User Ratings: 8
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Table of Contents

    Sound

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    The new high-res model offers a very precise sound but only after some EQ tweaks. However, even after that, they can still sound a bit harsh on certain songs.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Sound Test

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    The idea behind Anker Soundcore Life Q35 is that they offer hi-res audio for pristine sound quality. However, high-res audio is only a marketing term for a wider frequency range and nothing else.

    While they have a better default sound profile than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30, they still suffer from overpowering bass and a dip around 3.2kHz. Therefore, it’s advisable to apply your own EQ settings.

    Strangely, while our measurements show a big difference in sub-bass between ANC on and ANC off, in practice, both modes sound pretty much the same.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Frequency Response

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 measurement
    The difference in bass boost between ANC on/off isn’t that noticeable in real world.

    Bass

    Out of the box, the bass is on the boomy side. It’s less so than the Q30, but it still muddies the midrange and lacks control for genres like metal or punk. Drums sound big but mushed together.

    Lowering the bass for -6dB helps the sound breathe and tightens up the drum kick. Instruments like bass guitars also come to life and start sounding more transparent.

    You can’t make it sound neutral, though. The bass quantity is still above ideal, but at least it’s much better than before.

    Midrange

    The mids are relatively balanced but with a few peaks and dips, the most significant at 3.2kHz (as you can see from the graph below).

    While you can tweak the midrange to sound somewhat neutral, the graphic EQ isn’t precise enough, so it also boosts other unwanted frequencies.

    Consequently, there’s some harshness present when listening to specific songs. I’ve noticed it throughout the song “Emotion Detector” from Rush.

    The same song on the Life Q30 sounded smoother and more bearable in comparison.

    Treble

    The high-end rendition is good and reasonably detailed. Lowering the treble by -1dB helps avoid harshness when listening at higher volumes.

    Cymbal crashes are nice and clean and have a good texture. There’s a decent sense of air, although not as much as with the Q30 or even Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 EQ Presets Comparison

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 EQ Presets Comparison – HeadphonesAddict

    The soundstage is open, so you don’t feel congested, which is standard for closed-back headphones.

    The imaging is decent, but there are some blurry spots between the center and left/right image.

    As a whole, Anker Soundcore Life Q35 provide an almost identical sound quality to the Life Q30. However, they sound slightly harsher in comparison, which could be bothersome to some users.

    Though, unless you want to blast them on the highest volume, they are great for all kinds of music genres.

    Also, due to the bass boost, they aren’t the best option for critical listening or hardcore audiophiles but cater to a casual consumer who likes a bit more bump.

    There’s also a difference between wireless and wired mode. The latter sounds more natural in the mids and less bassy.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Sufficiently thick and soft earpads provide excellent comfort, while a moderate clamping force prevents headphones from falling off your head.

    The new Anker Soundcore Life Q35 have ever so slightly thicker earpads than the Life Q30.

    Memory foam padded earcups feel a bit stiffer in comparison but offer the same comfort level.

    Thanks to the over-ear design, headphones don’t squeeze your ears, which is essential for long-lasting comfort.

    The top of the headband is also nicely padded with a thick piece of memory foam.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 on magazines
    Headphones can fold and lay flat down to save space in your backpack.

    Since headphones are mostly plastic (apart from an aluminum headband), you don’t feel their weight pushing down on your head.

    Furthermore, the clamping force is strong enough to keep the over-ear headphones in place but not too strong to cause headaches.

    They will stay on your head during regular use and can even endure some sprinting when trying to catch a bus.

    In contrast, if you like to clumsily hit things when listening to music, pick one of the most durable earbuds instead.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Headphones feel pretty solid in hand, despite making slight rattling noises when shaken. They come with a hard-shell case with a suede finish.

    The headphones are mostly plastic, apart from the aluminum headband. The latter is exposed and gives the premium headphones a shiny look.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 hinge
    The folding hinges on Anker Soundcore Life Q35.

    Earcups can fold inward to save space and rotate for 90°, so you can lay them flat on your chest or desk.

    Hinges are also plastic but look reinforced, so they shouldn’t break with proper care.

    The new leatherette earpads are slightly stiffer than the ones from the Life Q30 model. Not sure why they have extra stitching, but they should last you for at least a couple of years. If you learn how to keep your headphones clean.

    Sadly, you can’t replace earpads by yourself. For a product that costs more than $100, that should be the norm.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 also come with a hard-shell carrying case. It’s the same as the one for the Q30 but with a soft finish that resembles suede.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 case comparison
    The only difference between the Q30 case (right) and the Q35 case (left) is that the latter has a suede finish.

    Also, the “new” case lacks a piece of foam for the headband to rest on.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    5.0 Perfect

    With up to 60 hours on a single charge (35 hours if you enable ANC), the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 are hard to beat. On top of that, the fast charging feature is super quick.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Battery Comparison

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 battery graph

    If you need a reliable and long battery life, Anker Soundcore Life Q35 are one of the best on the market.

    On their own, they last for 60 hours of playtime, which is two and a half days of constant playing.

    Of course, active noise cancellation does take its toll, reducing the battery life to 35 hours on a single charge (35 hours and 5 minutes in our test).

    The latter is still impressive and much better than the competition.

    Headphones charge via a USB type C port and support fast charging.

    • A mere 5-minute charge adds extra 4 hours of battery life.

    If you end up with an empty battery, headphones also support an AUX connection for wired mode. The audio cable with a 3.5mm jack comes in the box.

    Features

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 offer a good selection of features and reliable controls that help you enjoy the experience. Headphones also sport smart wearing detection.

    As it’s suitable for more expensive products, you get a good selection of features, from multi-mode noise cancelling (with 3 separate modes) to ambient sound mode.

    Additionally, headphones also come with the Soundcore app. From there, you can update firmware, tweak custom EQ or select from built-in preset EQ settings (listening modes), or play with Sleeping mode.

    The latter is a sound generator, where you select the sound (birds chipping, sea waves, wind, rain) and its intensity.

    That supposedly helps you fall asleep if you live in a noisy area or want to take a nap on your travel.

    A built-in sensor detects when you take your headphones off and automatically play/pause the music playback.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 cable with mic
    The detachable cable that comes with Anker Soundcore Life Q35 has a remote button and built-in mic.

    Moving to controls, they primarily consist of physical ones. There are dedicated on/off, ANC, volume up and down, and play/pause buttons.

    A touch-sensitive area on the right ear cup enables transparency mode if you touch it for 1 second. Sadly, you can’t remap the command; you can only disable it.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 buttons
    Physical buttons located on the bottom of the earcups: volume up/down, play/pause, power on/off, and an ambient sound toggle.

    Microphone Quality

    Surprisingly, the Soundcore Life Q35 offer a worse call quality than the cheaper Life Q30 model.

    The call quality from the beamforming microphones is passable in a quiet room. Phone calls sound crisp and clean. There are some popping sounds, though, which hurts the overall clarity.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 microphone test

    Adding distracting noises into the mix only makes matters worse. Your voice gets muffled to a point where it’s hard to understand. It seems headphones are using overly aggressive ANC, which also reduces vocals.

    Therefore, it isn’t advisable to use Anker Soundcore Life Q35 for anything but quick replies.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    Passive noise isolation is good enough to muffle down most annoying sounds that would interfere with your music, but don’t expect a night and day difference.

    The new earpads don’t do much to improve the overall passive isolation from unwanted noise. It’s practically identical to the Q30.

    Of course, that means it’s sufficient enough to reduce background noise to a point where it no longer mixes with your music.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 in the case
    The hard-shell carrying case protects the headphones during transport and accidental drops.

    You can listen to your favorite tunes on a bus without needing to turn on the active noise cancellation. Be aware that there’s some sound leakage when listening to music at a high volume.

    The latter becomes useful when you’re in a really noisy environment, where passive isolation simply isn’t enough.

    Noise Cancelling

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    While headphones can block most low-end frequencies, they let too much higher frequencies pass through. They’re pretty average for the price.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 noise cancelling test

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 ANC Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Like most things, the active noise cancelling performance is the same as the Q30. It does a great job with lower frequencies, blocking them almost entirely.

    However, they’re struggling with mid and high frequencies. The overall traffic noise reduction isn’t bad, but you still hear a shimmer coming from tires.

    From 3 available noise cancelling modes (Transport, Indoor, Outdoor), the first one is the strongest and, therefore, the best option.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 ANC app
    Ambient Sound section to switch between ANC modes inside the Soundcore app.

    There’s no adaptive ANC feature for tailored noise cancelling experience like with Anker premium true wireless earbuds, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.

    Overall, while I understand that the Life Q30 don’t have an excellent ANC for their price, it’s harder to swallow the same kind of average performance from Anker Soundcore Life Q35.

    Nonetheless, they cost $50 more and should provide a better experience.

    Even the ambient sound mode, which boosts the surrounding noise, is uninspiring. It focuses primarily on vocals but forgets the lower end, making the sound thin and hollow.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    5.0 Perfect

    Simply spotless Bluetooth connection without stutters, even when using the LDAC codec. There’s no lag during videos, but you might see some in mobile games.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 offer a complete experience for Bluetooth connectivity.

    Usually, headphones’ connection range suffers when using the LDAC Bluetooth codec. However, not with the Soundcore Life Q35.

    They maintained a stable connection throughout the house, lasting for more than 65 feet and 2 brick walls in between.

    You can easily leave your smartphone on a desk and walk around your house with headphones on.

    How to pair the Soundcore Life Q35?

    • The first pairing is easy. You only hold the power button to turn them on, and they should appear in a Bluetooth menu on your smartphone.
    • For the second pairing, turn the headphones off and then back on. Only this time, hold the button for 5 seconds or until you see a small blue light blinking.

    Also, Anker Soundcore Life Q35 support multipoint. They can connect to 2 devices simultaneously, so you can seamlessly switch between them.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 on a tree
    The exposed aluminum headband provides sturdiness and shiny looks.

    You get support for NFC pairing by simply tapping your smartphone against the right earcup.

    But, since the standard pairing process is so simple, hardly anyone will use the NFC method.

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    Headphones use standard SBC, an Apple-friendly AAC, and an LDAC for high-resolution audio streaming. It also covers a wide frequency range (16-40.000Hz instead of 20-20.000Hz).

    • To enable the codec, you have to go into the Bluetooth menu, find the Soundcore Life Q35, click on the Settings button, and allow the LDAC codec. Otherwise, headphones will use AAC instead.
    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 LDAC enable
    How to enable LDAC audio codec.

    Note that the LDAC codec only works on an Android phone.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    When watching YouTube, the audio is perfectly in sync with the video. That’s even when you use LDAC, which is heavier on the bandwidth and usually causes a noticeable delay.

    Even mobile games are playable with LDAC, although the lag is noticeable. Therefore, these headphones aren’t suitable for users who demand zero-latency audio.

    Should You Get Anker Soundcore Life Q35?

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    Whereas the Q30 is an easy recommendation, for an additional $50, the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 noise cancelling headphones are a bit harder to sell.

    That’s because you get an almost identical product but with a few additions like LDAC support, different feeling carrying case, and slightly different tuning.

    While the latter is more palatable out of the box, it’s also harsher when trying to achieve the neutral sound in EQ.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 earpads
    The leatherette earpads appear stiffer than the ones on the Q30 but equally comfy, nevertheless.

    Of course, headphones retain the same brilliant battery life and Bluetooth capabilities, but they also share the average active noise cancellation and transparency mode as the Q30.

    In conclusion, it’s hard to recommend Anker Soundcore Life Q35 while the Life Q30 exist. Save $50 and get the cheaper ones instead.

    How do Anker Soundcore Life Q35 compare to the competition?

    • They have comparable sound quality to other headphones above the $100 mark.
    • The battery life is longer-lasting even compared to more premium models.
    • Headphones have exceptional Bluetooth strength and range, far better than their competition.
    • The ANC performance is only average and a bit underwhelming for the price.
    • Build quality isn’t as good as with competitive headphones above $100.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Alternatives

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 noise cancelling headphones

    Overall smoother-sounding ANC headphones with a less harsh midrange (after sound customization. However, they only support standard Bluetooth codecs.

    Both headphones share the same build quality, strong Bluetooth, ANC and transparency mode performance, and battery life.

    Even accessories are the same, but the Q30 come with a “simpler” carrying case.

    Anker Soundcore Life Q30 review

    OneOdio A30

    OneOdio A30 on a branch

    Much cheaper yet overall better-sounding headphones with a slightly V-shaped sound signature.

    Due to smaller ear cups, they aren’t as comfy and aren’t as well built. Also, they don’t support other Bluetooth codecs than SBC and AAC.

    The battery life is also worse, but the ANC is pretty comparable. But they lack transparency modes.

    Both can fold, but the A30 only come with a carrying pouch.

    OneOdio A30 review

    What’s in the Box?

    Anker Soundcore Life Q35 accessories
    • Anker Soundcore Life Q35 wireless headphones
    • Carrying case
    • USB-C charging cable
    • 3.5mm audio cable with a remote & mic
    • Airplane adapter
    • Small carrying pouch
    • User manual

    Specifications

    Type: Over-ear
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 40mm dynamic
    Frequency range: 16-40.000Hz
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Weight: 9.45 oz (268 g)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: None
    Battery life: 60 hours (40h w/ ANC)
    Charging time: 2h + Quick charge – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: Yes
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
    Wireless range: 65ft (20m)
    Microphone: 2 microphones w/ AI-enhanced uplink noise reduction