In my first review for Soundcore by Anker, we have the surprisingly impressive Life Q30…
Neither Soundcore or Anker have paid or sponsored me for this review.
This is an unbiased review and the views and opinions in this publication are my own.
I’d like to thank Lorna & Soundcore for kindly sending these headphones out to The Audiophile Cafe for review.
The Life Q30 currently retail at £79.99
You can find them and other products here:
Review equipment and software:
Soundcore Life Q30.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
For all your High Res music needs please take a look at our partner Qobuz and give it a try:
Various playlists and genres on Spotify Premium.
What’s in the box:
Soundcore Life Q30 wireless headphones.
USB Type cable.
Stereo 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable.
Hard travel case.
- Upgraded Noise Cancellation with Multiple Modes
- Hi-Res Certified Audio with Remarkable Clarity and Detail
- Clear Calls via Built-In Microphones
- Extended 40-Hour Playtime
- 5-Minute Charge = 4-Hour Playtime
- Lighter Build and More Comfortable Fit
- Customizable EQ with Soundcore App
- Transparency Mode
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Driver (Full Range): 2 × 40mm
- Frequency Response: 16Hz – 40kHz
- Range: 15 m / 49.21 ft
Build and finish:
Soundcore have created a good solid headphone that is on par with brands such as Sennheiser and Bose. For a relatively new player on the scene they’ve designed a capable and competitive product here. The plastic used is high quality and I don’t hear or feel any noticeable creaking when I wear them.
Zero sharp edges or burs could be found anywhere, so it’s safe to say Soundcore’s quality control is on point.
The power and control buttons are firm and have a nice positive click. They’re also clearly marked and easy to read, which was something lacking on a more expensive pair of wireless Sennheiser headphones I reviewed last year. Kudos where kudos are due!
The USB type C port is well situated, is a nice solid fit and has no wobble.
The same can be said for the 3.5mm wired audio port.
The touch pad on the right cup is brilliant and works every time.
A very positive addition is the hard travel case. Something sorely missing from every headphone I’ve reviewed to date with the exception of Meze Audio.
Bear in mind these are by far the cheapest headphones I’ve reviewed to date. Other brands could learn a thing or two from Soundcore and Meze Audio in this respect!
My only complaints about the Q30 are the ear and head pads, and the lack of water resistance.
The ear and head pads are a funny thing. On the downside they feel flimsy and not very robust. However they are extremely comfortable and the headband has robust but buttery smooth positioning with the slightest but secure click.
As for the water resistance, They’re a £79.99 wireless headphone with ANC. And they pack a lot in to a very affordable package. I just can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t have been too far of a push to include water resistance?
The battery power and charge time stated are so far true after 3 full charges and listening sessions.
And finally, the folding mechanism is flawless, easy to utilise, allowing the Q30’s to be placed in the hard case easily. And they don’t feel like they’re going to break any moment like I’ve seen with other similarly priced headphones.
One thing though Soundcore…
Please, next time you design a hard travel case, Please sew the internal accessory pocket/pouch in the right way up.
Setup, software and ease of use:
Pairing the Life Q30 with my phone was easy peasy. And installing and connecting the Soundcore app was straight forward.
Once the Soundcore app is installed you have a lot of features available including ANC settings and an eight band EQ.
The addition of fully functional EQ is brilliant and something I wish the likes of B&O and Sennheiser would embrace and include for their end users.
The app is frequently kept up to date through software updates as is the firmware on the Q30’s.
As mentioned before, the controls on the headphones are clearly marked and positioned in a way that is easy and intuitive to use.
The control to switch between ANC modes is incorporated via the touch control built into the right ear cup.
Bixby activates every time by voice. No button presses or touches required here.
After some time with some products that have lacked the use of additional software, this has been a welcome change here at The Audiophile Cafe HQ.
The Life Q30’s surprised me. It’s no lie. When I initially unboxed them and noted the “flimsy” ear and head pads, I didn’t expect much from these headphones by the way of comfort.
I was wrong. VERY wrong!
Ok, so I just recently reviewed the STAX SR-L300 and am in the midst of reviewing some Sennheiser HD820S’s. It’s going to be pretty obvious that the Q30’s aren’t in the same league as these high end ear speakers and headphones, however, what I imagined would be a massive degradation in comfort, was in fact only a minor step back.
They’re closer fitting due to their size and the clamping force of the Q30 is quite strong. But they’re extremely comfortable. So much so I put them on par with the Meze Audio Classic 99’s and the Beyerdynamic T70p.
I was able to wear these for hours at a time with no discomfort or fatigue.
Sound, voice and ANC:
Alright, they’re built really well with minor complaints, they’re good to go in the comfort department and they’ve got the software and functionality down to a T.
But do they have what it takes in the audio realm?
ANC and voice:
The active noise cancelling works very well. Easily switchable modes with one touch, and impressive noise cancelling. The transparency mode is good. It’s not as good as the Airpods Pro, currently my go to ANC based device, but it’s still good. Good enough for me to use these headphones more and more as a daily beater when I’m out and about with my Samsung phone.
After several phone and video calls it’s safe to say the mic works as well as you would expect. The reports are in that my voice, as annoying as it can be, comes through crystal clear and without any harshness or sounding muffled.
Sound: ( EQ set to zero across all frequencies. )
The Life Q30 have a focused soundstage.
Imaging is good and I would liken the overall image akin to being sat in a studio or listening room.
Bass is full bodied and forward, if a little loose.
The Q30 reach deep frequencies with ease and don’t distort when doing so.
Mids are neutral, clear and detailed.
And the highs are crisp and airy, however they’re a touch rolled off at the top end.
All of this being said, with some tweaks in the EQ, The bass can be tightened up quite noticeably and the highs can be lifted by cranking up the higher frequencies.
With these tweaks in place the Q30 are a pleasure to listen to and easily on par with the Sennheiser HD450 BT.
Anker USB Type C fast charge plug:
I must mention quickly that Soundcore were kind enough to include the Anker fast charge plug with the Q30’s and I used it to charge the headphones throughout this review.
It works as expected. Doesn’t get overly hot and does what it says on the tin.
I hope soon, they design a charger with retractable pins as other brands are doing. This would be a very welcome improvement in the next iteration.
Final thoughts and recommendation:
For £79.99, I can’t not recommend these. When considering how I feel they’re on par with and in some cases better than a £159 more expensive offering from Sennheiser…
There’s not one argument I can pit against them.
ANC, Robust design, full bodied lively sound, full EQ customisation, extremely comfortable and did I mention they were on sale on Amazon for £59.99???
Go get a pair already and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share. 😉
All my thanks to you all. All my best. Paul.
Thank you again to my sponsors who make everything so much easier and help me to provide better and continuous content.
This publications sponsor is our newest sponsor.
I’d like to thank and welcome AFAudio onboard. Andrew makes superb cables and accessories.
He’s also an exceptionally decent and kind chap to talk with.
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