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Anker expand their in-house headphone range with the Soundcore Life Q30, portable, wireless over-ears, which have flexible sound adjustment via app connection and offer a choice of three noise reduction modes for indoor or outdoor activities and for travelling.
The comfortable fit of these headphones is very successful and is neither too tight nor too loose. This means that even when worn for longer periods of time, there is no unpleasant feeling of pressure, while on the move you can burst into a sprint without these over-ears slipping. The size adjustment of the headband has a wide range, and so it is very adaptable, covering all head shapes from small to large. The swivelling tiltable ear cups with soft padding, which can also be folded up to save space, contribute to this. In addition, the wearing comfort of these headphones benefits from the fact that the Soundcore Life Q30, with a weight of 263 grams, are by no means heavy. These over-ears, which are primarily made of plastic, are flawlessly manufactured and look quite robust.
In our battery endurance test, these wireless headphones delivered an excellent result with a runtime of more than 64 hours. In pure ANC mode, this is virtually halved to not quite 32 hours, which is still a passable result. If the battery is empty, recharging via the USB-C connection takes exactly one hour and 45 minutes. When travelling or for spontaneous use, a quick-charge function is also available which, after a five-minute power-on, provides capacity for a good four hours of listening time without noise suppression and 130 minutes in ANC mode. In addition, these over-ears are equipped with a high-quality 3.5 mm audio input with Hi-Res audio certification and an upper cut-off frequency of 40,000 Hz, which also gives you the option of using these Bluetooth headphones as a wired alternative for stationary Hi-Fi systems or mobile HiRes players. However, a headphone adapter from 3.5 to 6.3mm is not supplied, while a corresponding mini jack cable and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable are included in the package.
Pairing these over-ears, which support multi-pairing with two devices simultaneously, is done by holding down the power button on the left side, which turns the system on and puts it in pairing mode. NFC-compatible devices can also be connected by lightly tapping the right ear cup surface. Once a wireless connection has been established, the 3-button remote control on the right-hand side is available for controlling the device. Pressing and holding the plus button allows you to skip to the next track, while the minus button jumps back to the previous track. Playback can be controlled using the smaller multifunction button, which is also used to answer and end calls, and which activates voice assistants when pressed and held, and works perfectly in practice. However, speech intelligibility on the phone seemed to be somewhat limited as the person on the other end sounds rather muffled, while one’s own voice is perceived as if you are speaking from the depths of a large room. The stability of the Bluetooth connection, on the other hand, gave a positive impression. It did not break down even when passing through several rooms and had a range of ten metres in combination with various Android and iOS devices.
The basic sound of these wireless headphones is tuned to the bass and offers a round, powerful bass response that goes deep. However, the low frequency range loses precision towards the bottom, which makes the base sound spongy and dull at times. Although the bass foundation appears quite lush and substantial, the appealingly clear mid-range is not over-layered. Vocals or lead instruments do not sound thin but have a certain fullness and a soft, warm rounding. At the same time, there is good intelligibility of voices. The reproduction also benefits from clear trebles, especially since the high frequencies do not show any hardness or sharpness and do not drop off. The audio codecs support Bluetooth standard SBC as well as the higher quality AAC format, while aptX has been omitted.
Extensive sound adjustments are possible via the app connection, which is a good feature as they can also be saved permanently on the headphones and used independently of the app. For this purpose, a selection of more than 20 ready-made presets is available, which either influence the basic orientation of the sound in general or target specific music styles, with a setting for podcasts and audiobooks also available. In addition, the equalizer offers eight bands for custom settings, which in turn can be saved as presets. In this respect, the Soundcore Life Q30 is very flexible and can be adapted to different content and your own listening habits.
Outside perception and noise suppression
The transparency mode is used to improve the perception of your environment and amplifies high-frequency external noise via the microphones, while the reproduction of the bass range is slightly reduced. As a result, voices are clearly intelligible despite the rather high shielding of these over-ears when playback is paused, so that conversation is possible. Even at low volume, intelligibility of the immediate surroundings is still possible, while at medium volume announcements are perceived but can no longer be understood. However, orientation in urban areas is still possible. Another advantage is that the touch-sensitive surface of the right-hand ear cup provides direct access to the transparency mode, which is activated by briefly holding it. In addition, switching can also be carried out via the NC button on the left-hand side, simply pressing it switches between basic sound, ANC and environment mode.
You can set which ANC mode is activated by the NC button on the over-ears in the app. While the transport mode is intended for air travel and the outdoor mode is used to suppress road noise and wind, the indoor mode is intended to help with office noise and background conversations. In everyday use, the outdoor mode was particularly impressive, as it noticeably reduced complex sources by filtering low and high frequency components. From a sonic point of view, all three modes reduce the bass range, resulting in a brighter sound image, especially as dullness in the low frequencies is minimised. In indoor mode, the mid to high frequencies also seemed slightly boosted.
In addition to sound adjustment and noise reduction selection, the clearly structured Soundcore app offers a so-called sleep mode with freely configurable ambient sounds, access to the quick guide and a battery status display, but it only allows a rough estimate as exact percentages are not given. Firmware updates to refresh the headphones can also be made via the app. If you like, you can also set up a widget that can be used as an alternative to the app to change the ANC mode and switch between noise reduction, transparency mode and basic sound.