In the test: Soundcore Life Q30 - over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation

In the test: Anker Soundcore Life Q30 ANC headphones

I have been able to test a few headphones over the past few weeks, such as the one Soundcore Liberty 2 or the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 - which are in-ear headphones. The construction is actually not my thing, which is why I prefer to use the normal AirPods or the Bose QuietComfort 35 every day.

For longer periods of wear, I like over-ear headphones much more and that's exactly how I got one from Anker die Tage. The Soundcore Life Q30. It has only been on the market for a few hours, but Anker was kind enough to provide me with a copy a few weeks before the market launch so that I can test it for you.

The Soundcore Life Q30 promises effective noise suppression with different modes - optimized for travel, office calls or outdoor noise.

The Soundcore Life Q30 promises effective noise suppression with different modes - optimized for travel, office calls or outdoor noise.

Attention Deal: Life Q30 with 25% discount

For the market launch, Anker is releasing the Soundcore Life Q30 with a discount of 25%. This means you pay only 79,99 EUR instead of 59,99 EUR. I think the 79,99 EUR is a hammer price for the headphones, as they are in a league with the Bose QC35 and cost themselves with a 40% discount at Amazon still 207 EUR.

You get the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Soundcore Life Q30 you get right now for 59,99 EUR. This is actually a "Nobrainer" - that means: Don't think twice, just buy, because the headphones would still be a bargain even for twice the price.

Almost forgotten: The 25% discount code that you can redeem at the Amazon checkout is: DESCLIFEQ30

Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 Bluetooth headphones, Hybrid Active noise isolation, Individual ...
  • HI-RES AUDIO: Balanced tone mids, crystal clear highs with 40mm audio drivers for deep, intense Hi-Res ...
  • ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION: Effectively reduces up to 95% of all external noises, such as cars ...
  • INDIVIDUAL MODES: “Transport” for aircraft noises, “Outdoor” for road traffic and wind, as well as ...

Soundcore Life Q30 and Bose QC35 in comparison

The icing on the cake with the Life Q30 is that it is an ANC headphone - a model with active noise cancellation. This puts them - technically speaking - in a league with the much more expensive Bose headphones. So there is a comparison that I would like to tick off here in the review. The Bose QC35 Series 2 has only been improved slightly, so I think my comparison holds up against the Bose QC35 II.

I made a direct comparison between the Soundcore Life Q30 and the Bose QC35 for you - you can read the result below (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

I made a direct comparison between the Soundcore Life Q30 and the Bose QC35 for you - you can read the result below (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

Specs: The technical details of the Life Q30

Understandably, I was not able to check all the technical data, but from experience with other products from the manufacturer Anker I can say that realistic figures are given here.

  • Manufacturer: Anker
  • Model: Soundcore Q30
  • Bluetooth: V 5.0
  • Noise Cancellation: Digital Hybrid ANC / Multi Mode Noise Cancellation
  • Transparency mode: yes
  • Audio driver: 40 mm
  • Hi-Res sound: yes
  • Duration: 40 h with ANC; 60 h without ANC
  • NFC: yes
  • Fast charging: 5 minutes of charging = 4 hours of playing time
  • Microphones: yes, two
  • App: yes (Soundcore App)
  • Charging port: USB-C
  • Cable connection: yes, 3,5 mm jack
  • Scope of delivery: headphones, hard case with fabric; Jack cable, USB-C charging cable, instructions
The ANC headphones also come with a transport box in which you can pack the charging and jack cable in addition to the Life Q30.

The ANC headphones also come with a transport box in which you can pack the charging and jack cable in addition to the Life Q30.

Cheers to USB-C

I'm really excited that more and more manufacturers are jumping on the USB-C port. When it comes to charging devices, it offers two advantages over the usual micro-USB:

  1. the charging process can be accelerated (USB-PD)
  2. the connection is symmetrical so that there is not just "one" correct way to plug in the cable

The Life Q30 comes with a USB-C charging port and a charging cable that converts from USB-A to USB-C. This way, both USB-A followers and USB-C fans should be happy.

The Life Q30 is charged via a USB-C port. The button for switching the noise suppression can be seen on the right in the picture.

The Life Q30 is charged via a USB-C port. The button for switching the noise suppression can be seen on the right in the picture.

Comparison with the competition

On Product page Anker has an interesting comparison table. It compares the technical data of the Soundcore Life Q30 with the models of the competitors:

None of them have the same long battery life as the Life Q30, none of them charges as quickly and none of them support Hi-Res sound.

This comparison table can be found on the product page for the over-ear headphones from Anker / Soundcore.

This comparison table can be found on the product page for the over-ear headphones from Anker / Soundcore.

What is hi-res audio anyway?

What is hi-res audio? I didn't know that either, but according to the description it is a certification that a product must go through in order to be allowed to advertise with the Hi-Res Audio logo. This includes, among other things, the following requirements:

  • a microphone with a response of 40 kHz or higher
  • it must be able to decode and play 96 kHz / 24 bit formats
  • the power of the amplification must be 40 kHz or higher

The bottom line is that the sound is clearer, crisper and you can hear more details. Interesting: Hi-Res audio is not limited to a specific format: FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV, and DSD with FLAC can store Hi-Res audio.

The over-ear headphones from Anker have 40 hours of playtime, fast charging, transparency mode and many other features in stock.

The over-ear headphones from Anker have 40 hours of playtime, fast charging, transparency mode and many other features in stock.

Different ANC modes available

You can activate different modes for noise suppression in the Life Q30 via the Soundcore app. You can choose between the following settings:

  • Transport
  • Indoor
  • Outdoor

"Transport" is supposed to filter out the sounds of means of transport such as buses, trains, cars or planes, while the outdoor mode suppresses general noise from outside. The "Indoor" setting, on the other hand, is designed for conversations in the office and is intended to effectively shield them.

Unfortunately, there is little noise outside here in the country and I also don't work in an open-plan office or take the bus or train. For this reason I was unfortunately unable to try out the various settings.

Active noise cancellation (ANC) is the main feature of the Soundcore Life Q30 and it works really well.

Active noise cancellation (ANC) is the main feature of the Soundcore Life Q30 and it works really well.

How good is the noise cancellation?

I have a pretty good candidate for comparison, because the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 has not yet been surpassed by any other headphones in terms of the ANC. Neither various Sony headphones nor the AirPods Pro can hold a candle to it.

So I was all the more astonished when I was able to test the Life Q30 in various situations, because the ANC can really be heard. I would go as far as to say it is on par with the Bose QC 35.

The sound image differs in direct comparison, as both headphones filter slightly differently and the sound that still comes through is a bit different, but in terms of the incoming volume, they are equal.

Both headphones filter out interfering frequencies very well and even if you have an industrial vacuum cleaner, a power cutter or other noisemaker next to you, you can continue to listen to podcasts or music in a relaxed manner. A great achievement by Anker.

The SOundcore Life Q30's transport box is covered with fabric, looks quite classy and also feels good.

The SOundcore Life Q30's transport box is covered with fabric, looks quite classy and also feels good.

ANC can also be activated without music

Good news for all fans of noise cancellation: The ANC can also be activated without playing music. This is helpful, for example, when you want to work in a focused manner, but the children in the background absolutely have to watch Sponge Bob.

I don't really use this feature as I usually always listen to podcasts or music, but I know that some people care.

Design and optics of the Life Q30

In these two “disciplines” I can only give the Soundcore Life Q30 top marks. The look is elegant and reserved. The entire headphones are black and only the lettering on the controls and the Soundcore logo are printed in gold.

The supplied transport bag is also very practical and looks very elegant thanks to the fabric covering. A small side compartment offers storage space for the charging and audio cables - certainly very practical in an emergency.

Coupling the Life Q30 is very easy via Bluetooth. If you want to reconnect them, hold the button down longer when switching on until you hear a kind of sonar tone.

Coupling the Life Q30 is very easy via Bluetooth. If you want to reconnect them, hold the button down longer when switching on until you hear a kind of sonar tone.

Operation of the headphones - successful!

When it comes to operation, after the sound, I always worry most about the fact that the manufacturers “screw it up”. Too often I've had touch controls that don't work reliably. For this reason, I am delighted that Anker has relied on real buttons here - no touch frills.

On the left side you will find the charging port, the on / off button and the ANC button. The pause-play button and the two buttons that are responsible for volume control are on the right earbud.

All buttons can be felt blindly and reliably operated even when wearing gloves. The volume control is synced with the iPhone, which is very nice.

I am so happy that Anker has planned real keys correctly in the operating concept. This means that the headphones can be operated reliably even when working in the garden when wearing gloves - great!

I am so glad that Anker has planned real keys correctly in the operating concept. This means that the headphones can be operated reliably even when working in the garden when wearing gloves - great!

Another feature is that you hold the palm of your hand on the auricle and this activates the transparency mode. This should make it easier if you have to have a brief conversation in between. One or the other may be familiar with this functionality from Sony ANC headphones.

On the other hand, I was the first to really appreciate the transparency mode with the AirPods Pro, because in-ear headphones cannot be removed and put on again so quickly.

Sound quality of the Soundcore Q30

I'm almost embarrassed that I have nothing to complain about, but in the end I have two small points of criticism, but we'll get to that later.

Regarding the sound quality: I think it's great. Even without any settings in the Soundcore app, which you can usually make with the Soundcore speakers, the sound is voluminous and detailed. The bass is crisp and clear - perhaps too crisp for some clean audio enthusiasts. But I suppose that is not the target group that Anker is targeting here anyway.

For the "normal" user, the sound should be convincing. Even my Bose QC 35 is no better.

From my point of view, the design of the Life Q30 is also successful. Personally, I like simple shapes and little color ... but that's a matter of taste, of course.

From my point of view, the design of the Life Q30 is also successful. Personally, I like simple shapes and little color ... but that's a matter of taste, of course.

Sound adjustment and white noise via the Soundcore app

With the Soundcore app, various things can be used with the Life Q30 that you would otherwise not have access to. The noise suppression can be set to a certain mode (outdoor, conversations, etc.) and an equalizer can be set up, which then lives "in" the headphones and works independently of the app and the device that is connected to the headphones. A super practical solution that Anker also offers with many other Soundcore speakers and headphones.

On the left you can see the presets of the equalizer, in the middle the setting options for the noise suppression and on the right the options for the white noise generator - everything can be found in the Soundcore app.

On the left you can see the presets of the equalizer, in the middle the setting options for the noise suppression and on the right the options for the white noise generator - everything can be found in the Soundcore app.

Furthermore, the Soundcore Life Q30 has a great function for friends of white noise, who one or the other may already have heard of Soundcore Wakey knows: The app can be used to mix a soundscape made up of various natural noises, which then runs in a continuous loop. Whether you can then listen to this mix depends mainly on whether the samples are well made and yes - they are. You don't hear any obvious repetitions with waves or birds chirping, and the selection is quite good.

[appbox appstore id1331876603]

Multipoint Bluetooth - extremely practical

One feature that I find very useful on the Bose QC35 is the multi-point Bluetooth connection. This allows me to switch the headphones with multiple devices and then switch through the individual devices with a button on the Bose headphones.

The Life Q30 offers exactly this feature. There is no separate button for it, but pressing the power button twice does exactly the same thing.

The Life Q30 is very comfortable to wear. The padding allows you to use it for several hours without feeling any pressure on your ears (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The Life Q30 is very comfortable to wear. The padding allows you to use it for several hours without feeling any pressure on your ears (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Activate Siri and send requests

Of course, you can also activate the voice assistant with the Soundcore Life Q30. On the iOS devices this is Siri and it worked reliably in my tests. To do this, hold down the play button for a second until the Siri-is-there sound can be heard.

The speech recognition was also flawless and the commands were recognized correctly. Unfortunately, it sometimes depends on the correct implementation, but the problem is more with Siri and unfortunately cannot be blamed on any headphones in the world.

My only criticism: Faster switching to transparency mode

Despite all the sunshine, I have one small point of criticism about the Life Q30 headphones and that concerns the brief switch to transparency mode, for example when someone speaks to you.

The Soundcore Life Q30 offers a simple switch to the transparency mode thanks to the hand-on-headphone function, but unfortunately switching to the mode takes a good three seconds. Switching back also takes another three seconds.

Personally, I think that's too long, because if someone speaks to you and doesn't hear anything for three seconds, the first sentence is definitely lost.

The Bose QC35 does not offer any function in this direction, so my behavior is “whining at a high level”, but we are talking about nice-to-have features. And in this case, a quick toggle would definitely be a thing I would like to have.

In the foreground is the Bose QC35 (yes, it has been through a lot ... from renovations to mowing the lawn, it is always there!) And behind it is the Soundcore Q30. Both are similarly convenient and have similar controls (photos: Sir Apfelot).

In the foreground is the Bose QC35 (yes, it has been through a lot ... from renovations to mowing the lawn, it is always there!) And behind it is the Soundcore Q30. Both are similarly convenient and have similar controls (photos: Sir Apfelot).

My conclusion on the Soundcore Life Q30

The Soundcore Life 30 impresses me with its reliable operation, very good sound and excellent noise suppression. If you then consider the price of 79 euros, the new over-ear ANC headphones from Soundcore actually have to be ordered immediately. In my opinion, there is nothing comparable on the market at this price.

I have rarely tested headphones that were as successful across the board as the Soundcore Life Q30. From my point of view, they are definitely a recommendation for anyone who does not have good ANC headphones yet. I am enthusiastic about this type of loudspeaker and use it when mowing the lawn, vacuuming, sanding down furniture and when sawing with a chainsaw. It's a great thing to be able to suppress annoying noises enough that you can listen to podcasts at normal volume.

If you want to take a look at the Soundcore Life Q30, you will find it here on amazon or via this product box (and don't forget the discount code: "DESCLIFEQ30"):

Soundcore by Anker Life Q30 Bluetooth headphones, Hybrid Active noise isolation, Individual ...
  • HI-RES AUDIO: Balanced tone mids, crystal clear highs with 40mm audio drivers for deep, intense Hi-Res ...
  • ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION: Effectively reduces up to 95% of all external noises, such as cars ...
  • INDIVIDUAL MODES: “Transport” for aircraft noises, “Outdoor” for road traffic and wind, as well as ...

Pairing, reset and operation with the buttons

This paragraph may not be so important for the test report, but sometimes years later I look for instructions on how to trigger certain things on the headphones and then of course the crouched paper is long in the waste paper. For this reason - and for everyone who is also looking - here are the brief instructions for the Soundcore Life Q30 over-ear headphones:

Start pairing

If you want to pair the headphones with a new device, you switch the headphones off and then on again, but keep the power button pressed until you hear a tone that confirms pairing mode. The blue LED should blink.

The iPhone is paired as usual via the Bluetooth settings.

The iPhone is paired as usual via the Bluetooth settings.

Factory reset

If you want to perform a complete reset of the headphones, hold the power button and the volume up button at the same time for 5 seconds.

Switch on transparency mode

This works either via the ANC button or by placing the palm of your hand on the right earbud for 2 seconds.

One song forward / one song back

If you want to jump one track forward in the playlist, hold the volume up button for a second. If you want to jump back one track, hold the volume down button for a second.

Answer and hang up calls

To answer a call, press the play / pause button on the right earbud. If you want to hang up, you hold this button for a second.

Activate the voice assistant or Siri

This works by holding down the Play / Pause button for a second.

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6 comments

  1. Eva-Maria says:

    Hello Jens, thank you very much for your detailed report. I've been looking for over-ear headphones for a long time, but I didn't want to spend too much money on them. I ordered it. They won't be delivered until late November, but that's fine with me

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Eva-Maria! Ah, so late? I suppose they didn't expect the response and demand. But it's definitely worth the wait. I'm really excited about the headphones ... I like this ANC thing especially when the kids are making noise or watching TV and you still want to work in peace. Works fine.

      • Eva-Maria Beckemeyer says:

        Hello Jens, they were sold out very quickly on Amazon. But my headphones were delivered last Thursday. The setup was very easy thanks to your explanations. I really like them for listening to music. The ANC works really well. Even without music :-)
        I just don't think they're so good for making phone calls. My interlocutors can understand me well, and so can I. But I don't hear myself through the headphones, but from "outside". I think that takes a lot of getting used to. Maybe that's normal too. I have no comparison with other headphones.

        • Jens Kleinholz says:

          Hello Eva-Maria! I think that weird hearing of one's own voice is the case with all ANC headphones. I had the same thing with the AirPods Pro. But that works better if you switch to transparency mode. Then you can hear yourself as usual. LG, Jens

          • Eva-Maria Beckemeyer says:

            Hi Jens, I almost thought so. I had also tested the transparency mode. But didn't find it so pleasant either. I will probably have to get used to it first. Otherwise I often use the AirPods for phone calls until the AirPods Pro is updated :-). Thank you for your answer. I really like your site. LG Eva-Maria

          • Jens Kleinholz says:

            Hello Eva-Maria! Yes, I think the AirPods Pro update won't be long in coming. And thank you for your praise. I am pleased! LG

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