Soundcore has a whole series of earbuds and headphones under their life brand including the Life Q30’s which if how much they are talked about on the Anker subreddit are extremely popular. Well, today Soundcore is launching a new lineup they are calling Space and while some of the Life models have adaptive noise canceling both the Space A40 and Space Q45 launched today have stepped that up a notch with upgraded adaptive noise canceling that is advertised to reduce noises by up to 98%. That is a step up from the Q30’s for example that could do up to 95% and would explain the new Space branding. So today I’m going to check out both the Space Q45 and Space A40s to see what they are all about.

Product Names: Soundcore Space A40

Soundcore Space Q45

Review Sample Provided by: Soundcore

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Links:

Soundcore Space A40

Soundcore Space Q45

 

Because this is a launch Soundcore did send the A40 and Q45 together in a cool box. The outside of the box has a note asking if you are always distracted by noise and in the background the entire box is covered in white text of different distracting noises. They have the Soundcore logo with a note to open to discover Space which pulls down and says “every journey sounds good” and lets you pull the front of the box up. This has an introduction to the space series which points out that this lineup is focused on noise canceling and long battery life because peace and quiet are a luxury.

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Inside has both the A40 and Q45 boxes in their own spots and a little notepad as well. None of this is something that will go to retail, but someone spent a lot of time on this so I thought I would show it and anytime there is anything beyond the reviewed product itself included which in this case is the small notebook I like to note it, not that it would ever influence how I review things.

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Specifications

Soundcore Space A40

Soundcore Space Q45

Category

TWS

Over-ear headphone

Product Dimensions

(Length*Wideth*Height)

Earbuds: 68*44*28mm

Case: 108*108*49.5mm

161mm* 88mm * 190mm

Net Weight

earbud: 4.9g x 2

charging case:48.4g

292g

Bluetooth Version

BT Ver. 5.2

BT Ver. 5.3

Supported Bluetooth Profiles

AVRCP1.6

A2DP1.3

HFP1.7

AVRCP1.6

A2DP1.3

HFP1.7

Supported Bluetooth Codec

AAC

SBC

LDAC

AAC

SBCL

LDAC

Bluetooth Range

10m

15m

Type of Noise Cancelling

Adaptive Noise Cancelling

Adaptive Noise Cancelling

Water Resistance

IPX4

N/A

Total Music Play Time

@ 60% volume

(Playtime varies according to volume level and audio content)

10H / 50H with charging case(ANC off)

8H / 40H with charging case(ANC on)

LDAC on (Normal): 6H/30H

LDAC on (ANC on): 5H/25H

65H (ANC off)

50H (ANC on)

LDAC on (Normal): 45H

LDAC on (ANC on): 37H

Battery Type

Lithium Polymer Battery

Lithium Polymer Battery

Battery Capacity

Earbuds: 53mAh*2

Charging Case: 800mAh

750mAh

Battery Voltage

earbuds:3.4-4.4V

charging case:3.4-4.4V

3.8V

Battery Power

earbuds:0.024W

charging case:0.067W

2.85

Charging Time (from 0 to 100%)

2H

2H

Fast Charging

10-Minute Charge =4-Hour Playtime

5-Minute Charge =4-Hour Playtime

Wireless charging

Yes

No

Driver Size

10mm

40mm

Type of Driver

Double-layer diaphragm drivers

Double-layer diaphragm drivers

Maximum Volume

95dB

93dB

Sensitivity/SPL

104dB

117dB @1KHz 1mW

Speaker Impedance

16Ω

16Ω

Harmonic Distortion

50Hz-8KHz≤3%

<3%

Frequency Range

20Hz~40KHz

20Hz~40KHz

AptX Compatibility

No

No

SBC Compatibility

Yes

Yes

AAC Compatibility

Yes

Yes

LDAC Compatibility

Yes (Android Only)

Yes (Android Only)

Transparency

Yes (Customizable)

Yes (Customizable)

Multi-Point Connection

Yes

Yes

Voice Assistant Compatibility

Only Siri

Only Siri

App support(IOS/Android)

Yes

Yes

Warranty

18 Months

18 Months

 

 


Soundcore Space A40 Photos and Features

The box for the Space A40s has the same white background as the Soundcore Bluetooth speakers I previously took a look at as well as the Soundcore by Anker branding up in the top left corner. The Soundcore logo is changed up a little with what I would call a haircut, cutting the d shorter as well as the little accent above that sitting lower now. The front of the box focuses on the adaptive noise canceling with “less noise, longer listening” in a big font on the front as well as what looks like a noise graph going into the picture of the A40 with a lot of noise and coming out lower. The model name is in the top right corner with true wireless noise-canceling earbuds below that, adaptive ANC is mentioned down at the bottom, and they also note the 98% noise reduction on the front as well. The back of the box is similar with AND mentioned twice again as well as the battery life and the hi-res sound along with a picture of the A40s inside of their charging/carrying case.

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When you pull the top of the box off the case for the A40s is right up on top with tissue paper wrapped around it to prevent any scratches sitting in a formed tray. Under that tray, you have a bundle with the documentation and then another tray which has the charging cable and each of the swappable silicone rubber earbud tips in their own spot.

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Up until now every Anker product I’ve had also comes with a small card asking how they did so I was surprised to see that the A40s didn’t come with this. They do come with the legal / warranty info paper and a quick start guide though.

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For accessories, the A40’s come with a USB charging cable that has the standard Type-A connection on one end and Type-C on the other end. This isn’t too long of a cable but given that these are earbuds they don’t need a long cord. You also get four additional pairs of silicone rubber earbud tips in different sizes including the earbud tips you get 5 sizes in total.

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The A40s, like any wireless earbuds, come with a carrying case. The case helps keep you from losing them in between uses but most importantly it is also how they are charged back up. The case for the A40s has its own batteries for charging on the go. The A40s have a total playtime listed at 10 hours from a single charge but with the case included you can get up to 50 hours which means the case can store up to 4 four recharges and they have it listed that with 10 minutes of charge time you can get four hours of playtime which is great for example if you are using them at work and take them out at lunch or on a break. The case for the A40s is oval and has very rounded corners and is color matched to your A40s which right now are only available in black but have navy blue and white options coming soon. It has the Soundcore D logo on top with a chromed finish and the bottom does have all of the normally required info printed on it

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At the back of the charger/case, you have a Type-C connection for charging and a small button for repairing the A40s. The front of the case has a small recessed glossy area which is where you can get a grip to flip the top open. This is also where the three status LEDs are which show the battery level and when charging let you know when things are charged.

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The Soundcore A40s as well as the case come in at 58 grams in total weight.

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When you open the case up the lid is spring-loaded and is held closed by magnets. The underside of the top has a rubber finish which helps push the A40s down into their perfectly shaped openings to keep the contact pads in contact. The rest of the inside has a gloss finish and Soundcore did label the left and right sides even though it should be obvious your left earbud is on the left and your right is on the right. If you look closely at the back edge they tucked your serial number away back into the hinge on the top of the case. Under the A40s each side has two spring-loaded contact pins to connect with the earbuds. Remember to remove the stickers on the back side of each earbud that they ship with to keep the contact pads from touching.

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The Soundcore A40s themselves are surprisingly compact and they have a glossy finish that immediately picked up my fingerprints as you can see. Each earbud has a kidney shape on the back with labels for which side earbud you have and the two contact pads for charging. The silicone earbud tips are removable behind those you have their 10mm, double-layer diaphragm drivers. The design is IPX4 rated which means it will handle water splashes but they aren’t waterproof.

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The outside of the A40s has a silver section that faces out which has the Soundcore logo in the center and Soundcore edged into the side as well. You can see openings for the microphones on each ear which pull double duty for the adaptive noise canceling as well as for phone use with a total of 6 microphones for beamforming to help try to reduce background noise on the microphone just like ANC does on what you hear. Soundcore is advertising these as 25% smaller than their past models which I haven’t taken a look at in person but that does look to be the case from the pictures. Overall my initial impression was that they look a lot like Raycons but now having seen them in person they are smaller than the Jaybird Vista and Vista 2’s which I use day to day and are smaller than the Creative Outlier Gold Wireless In Ears.

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For total weight, each Space A40 earbud came in at 5 grams on our scale for reference an Airpod is 3 grams but an Airpod Pro which is more in line with the adaptive noise canceling is 5.4 grams so the Space A40 is in line with that.

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Soundcore Space Q45 Photos and Features

The Soundcore Space Q45s may be in a much larger box than the Space A40s but the box itself has the same look. They have a large picture of the headphones across the front with a white background. The new Soundcore logo is in the top left corner and they have the noise canceling repeatedly used across the front of the box with it in the description in the top right under the model name, the large font that says “noise canceled playtime extended” in the center, Adaptive ANC logo, and the 98% noise reduction mentioned down at the bottom right. That doesn’t even include the sound waves in the background that go into the headphones and come out tamed down as well. The back of the box has a few pictures of the Q45s being used and then Soundcore lists out a few of the main features.

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Inside the box, the Soundcore Q45’s come in their carrying case which means very little extra packaging is needed. Up under that, they do have a layer with the documentation which is all bagged up. Like with the A40, the Q45s don’t have the usual card asking for your feedback but you do get the legal info paper and a quick start guide specific to the Space Q45.

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The Soundcore Q45’s carrying case is a hard carrying case that should keep the headphones safe and have a black faux leather finish with the sound core logo on the front in Chrome. They do have a loop to hang them on the side near the zipper and the zipper wraps all the way around so that the case opens up. Inside Soundcore has put a plastic tray in to help you position the Q45’s so they fit in the case and keep everything from moving around and there's a small section in the bottom right corner so you can store the charging cable and the included male to male headphone cable. The top has a soft fabric finish but there isn't any padding so the hard case must keep things safe. The Soundcore Space Q45 headphones and the carrying case together weigh 503 grams and while the case is perfect for being tossed into a backpack or luggage the case isn’t exactly pocketable, not that I would expect a full-sized headphone to be pocketable.

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Here are the two cables that Soundcore ships the Space Q45 with. You get the same USB Type-A to Type-C cable that the Space A40s came with which is relatively short, at least not long enough to charge them while using them. Then you get a 1/8” or 3.5mm TPS cable with male connections on each end which will turn the Space Q45’s into a wired headset.

 

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As for the actual Soundcore Space Q45s are what I would consider to be a mid-sized over-ear headphone meaning just barely large enough to go around your ears not sitting on them. They share some of their styling with the Soundcore Life Q35s that came before them like the headband design. The outside of the earcups however only share having the Soundcore logo on the outside of the cup and even that is changed with their new shorter logo. If you look closely they also have Space Series printed on the left earcup as well. They have a flat black plastic housing and a glossy ring around the outside. The Q45, like the A40, is only available in black right now but they have white and navy blue options coming later this year. One of the big changes is how the headband meats the earcup with the round aluminum hinge which can turn flat in one direction and close to 45 degrees in the other direction. It can also fold in towards the headband as well.

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The headband design looks similar to the Q35 with an aluminum band in the middle which is what absorbs the flexibility when you pull the earcups apart and then plastic sleeves on the ends that pull out an inch on each side for adjustability. The underside of the headband is plastic on the sides and has a faux leather section in the middle with a ¼ inch of padding on the underside of the aluminum band. 

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The underside of the earcups is where most of the action is, the left earcup has a USB Type-C connection on the bottom for recharging the Space Q45’s back up. Soundcore has the total playtime for the Q45s at 50 hours from a full charge with adaptive noise canceling on and 65 hours with it turned off. They also have fast charging with 5 minutes of charging providing 4 hours of playtime which is twice as fast as the fast charge for the Space A40s. The left earcup has the power button which is also the Bluetooth connection button and has a small status LED behind it as well as a second button around on the back that lets you flip through the noise canceling options. The left earcup has one microphone section which you can see from the array of pinholes near the status LED. The right earcup has a 1/8 headphone jack and two microphone sections. Officially the Q45 uses two microphones for its actual microphone with what they call AI-enhanced clear calls to help pick out voices and cut back on wind noise but the hybrid adaptive noise canceling system uses four microphones in total to help cut out background noise. For buttons, the right earcups (left in the picture below) has a small play/pause button and then your volume up and down button which is on the back side and is much longer.

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Both earcups have a thick memory foam padding and faux leather which helps cut out outside noise. I love that the left and right labels are printed on the inside of each earcup out of view when you don’t need them but are extremely visible for when you look. For drivers, they have 40mm drives which is the same size that the Life Q35s have but like the A40 these are what they are calling double-layer-diaphragm drivers with a metal-ceramic material.

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Earlier the Space Q45s inside of their case came in at 503 grams, well without the case the headphones alone weigh 295 grams which for a point of reference the Sony WH-1000XM4’s are 254 grams so the Space Q45s are a little heavier but not completely out of line.

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Performance

To put both of the new Soundcore Space products to use I have been switching between them for testing with them paired up with my PC and my phone. This brings me to a feature that both the Space A40 and Space Q45s have that has come in handy. Both support connecting to two different devices at the same time. Whichever device is playing audio will take priority and in the case of phone calls that will take priority over any music. So with either device, you could keep them paired with your phone but when working on your PC or laptop have the audio from that playing.

Because I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week at my PC when doing that I spent more time with the Space Q45 headphones so let's start with how they have performed first. When given any option an over-ear headphone is my preferred choice over in-ear earbuds or smaller headphones and the Q45’s fit that bill. They are smaller than I would prefer for at my desk, I normally run a large headset which gives a lot of room around my ears, and the Space Q45’s fit around my ears but I would consider them to be a mid-size. The memory foam padding in the earcups was comfortable and even with the size, they had the thickness to keep up off of my ears which makes a huge difference for me in comfort. In extended testing, the Space Q45s were great on my ears and the smaller size helped some with heat even with the sealed design and faux leather padding which can be hot. The headband had the adjustment I needed and the metal top band would stretch when needed but they could use a little more padding across the top. It was comfortable initially but with extended use, the headband does lose some of its padding.

When using the Space Q45s I found the controls to be easy to pick up and use. You have the buttons you need but nothing else to complicate things. This is important for quick access to the volume or to the ANC button which turns the adaptive noise canceling on or off and lets you also turn on transparency which will use the mics to pipe noise from around you in. This is important because the headphones themselves cut out noise as well so even with ANC turned off you may have a hard time hearing things. Being able to turn transparency on means you can listen for something while wearing your headphones and with the push of a button cut the audio when you don’t want to hear anything. This is adjustable with five different levels in the Soundcore app but as of my testing my app hasn’t updated to support the Q45 or A40 yet so I can’t comment on how well this works.

This leads me to the main feature of the Soundcore Space lineup which is the adaptive noise canceling. When I see ANC active noise canceling comes to mind but in this case, it is adaptive noise canceling which is similar but doesn’t just blast canceling audio at full blast all of the time, it changes the noise canceling depending on how much is needed. As someone who has had issues with ANC in the past causing pressure in my ears this makes a big difference, I didn’t have any pressure issues but the performance is there to cancel louder noises like if you are on a flight. The Q45 and the A40 do have a three-stage adjustment which is in the software (that I couldn’t get working pre-launch) this lets you change the ANC differently for low, mid, and high frequencies depending on what you are hoping to cut out.

With the default setting, I was very impressed with the ANC, especially with low frequencies. Just putting ANC on would cut out the sound of the fan on my desk and the noise from our fridge. Playing around with it it can be creepy when you are tapping on your desk which without ANC on is loud but with it on I could only feel it but not hear it. Tapping with a fingernail was slightly audible but significantly cut back. We have a new kitten which sometimes is terrorizing our entire house and other cats, the ANC did a great job of cutting out the running around, clawing of scratching posts, and the full-on fighting even. I tested ANC when playing a TV show on my PC as well (without the Q45s hooked up to the PC) and I was surprised that while watching Street Outlaws it cut out most of the car noise but talking was still audible. I should also point out all of this testing was done without music being played at the same time, what noise that was left like the higher pitched sound when typing on a mechanical (all of the lows were cut out) vanished once I had even low volume music playing.

As far as audio performance goes, the Space Q45s weren’t bad and were in line with what Bluetooth wireless headphones can do. Compared to a high-end pair of headphones wired mids were a little muffled and bass and highs didn’t have the kick that I wanted but they were clear. Hooking up directly wired helped some with the bass but wasn’t perfect.

As far as battery life goes the Space Q45’s have 50 hours of battery life when running ANC and 65 hours without it which is enough to get a full work week of use without charging which is more than enough. Having a Type-C connection for charging means easy compatibility with phone and other device chargers all over the house/office and the Space Q45’s have a fast charge which 5 minutes of charging gets you 4 hours (with ANC off I assume) which is crazy. You could top off the charge to finish the second half of a day on a quick break. As far as the travel case goes, it does look like it will keep the headphones protected but packing the headphones into the case can be a pain, even with the insert that shows you the layout.

As far as the Space A40’s go a majority of the same features that I loved with the Space Q45 apply to them as well. Namely being able to connect to more than one device at a time and they of course have the same adaptive noise canceling. While the A40s are in-ear not over the ear the ANC performance was similar between the two devices. It cut out all of the base background noise in my office and did a great job of hanging things like the kitten running around, playing with toys, scratching her scratching posts/pads, and even the cats playing and fighting. The small amount not cut out which was normally on the higher frequencies was then handled by playing low volume music. I didn’t have to blast my music to cover up any background noise which long term will be a lot better for my hearing.

As far as comfort goes, like I mentioned earlier in-ear isn’t my preferred headphone type but I do use them at least once a week when outside doing law work which typically is with the Jaybird Vista or Vista 2’s so for my testing in addition to using the Space A40’s around the office I put them to use outside. Being more active they stayed in my ears when moving around which can be a concern when mowing because the vibration will sometimes cause them to work their way out but that didn’t happen here. They were easier to install than the Vistas because I didn’t have to work around the wing, you just push the A40s in you don’t need to twist them to lock the wing into place. They also provide a wide variety of earbud tip options so you can play around to find what fits you best which for me the stock medium size worked. Overall though they were more comfortable than I expected. The rounded carry case was nice as well, it would drop into my picket easily and wasn’t big enough for me to notice when carrying them around.

When using the Space A40s I did find the controls to be a little weird because they are touch and you don’t get any indication that things have worked. This is an issue with most earbuds for me really but the A40’s controls had a slight delay which exaggerated the issue. I would press play/pause and because nothing would happen right away I would press it again and then my music would play then pause again as it caught up. As far as battery life goes the Space A40’s have 10 hours of playtime on the earbud charge which is more than a full workday which means you don’t need to charge them mid-day though I imagine most people would take them out at some point. You do have a quick charge as well which 10 minutes of charge gets you four hours of use so even if you did need to charge them in the middle of your work day you could get enough time to finish the day out with a quick break time charge. Then the case itself holds 40 hours of use for recharges before needing to plug back in. If you do need to plug back in they use Type-C which should be easy to find as well. The charging case also supports Qi charging for even easier charging as well.

As for audio performance, I found the A40’s to sound noticeably better than the Q45s which had a few problems. The 10mm drivers had the kick I wanted on the low end and didn’t muddy up the mids or highs. I was surprised to see that the Q45s and A40s both had the same 20Hz~40KHz frequency range because it felt like the A40s had that and the Q45s are closer to 40Hz~30KHz

 


Overall and Final Verdict

One thing is for sure with both the Soundcore Space A40s and the Space Q45s is that the choice to use the Space branding is spot on. I was extremely impressed with the adaptive noise canceling on both devices and that is coming from someone who in the past has had issues with ANC causing discomfort, especially with extended use. What I found with both headphones is that being able to cut out almost all of the background noise that it created the feeling of space, even in situations where you physically don’t have much. The other half of that was for me it also meant that I didn’t need to run my music as loud to cover up background noise which should be a lot better for my hearing long term. Both the A40s and the Q45s also supported connection to two devices at the same time which initially I didn’t think would be that useful but it helps a lot if you are working on something at your PC that requires you to listen and you can still receive calls or play music from your phone in between things.

Another big push with the Space lineup was battery life and both headphones have more than needed now. You can go through a full work day without even docking the A40s which is a lot longer than I would ever want to keep earbuds in personally and the Q45s can go a full work week without charging. Both also have quick charge capabilities which can get you 4 more hours of use in 10 minutes of charging for the A40s and in 5 minutes with the Q45s. You also have Type-C support which means a charging cable will be near you often and the A40s can also use Qi charging.

As far as audio performance goes I loved the A40s which stood out between the two and didn’t have any issues. The Q45s weren’t bad, but did lack some punch and were a little muffled in the mid-range. It takes a lot less battery power to push the smaller earbud drivers, I’ve run into similar issues with other wireless headphones. Beyond that, the Q45s were surprisingly comfortable on the earcups which I was initially worried that they would be too small for me but they could use a little more padding in the headband which was more noticeable with longer use. The A40s were a lot more comfortable than expected and the only issue I ran into with them was that their controls were a little laggy and didn’t give feedback when using them.

As far as pricing goes the Space A40s have an MSRP of $99.99 and the Space Q45s are 149.99. For the Q45s we can compare them with the Soundcore Life Q30s which when they launched were $129, given inflation the Q45s are in line with that same pricing. The Space A40’s come in a lot cheaper than Soundcore’s flagship Liberty 3 Pros and at a price that while I wouldn’t call it cheap because there are a lot of “ANC” earbuds on Amazon for low low prices I do think you get a good value at $99.99 for what you are getting.

fv6 a40tophonors

Live Pricing: HERE

fv6 q45recommended

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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