Our Review of the Affordable Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Stefan Vazharov
·5 min read
Photo credit: Created by Bridget Clegg using images from Anker
Photo credit: Created by Bridget Clegg using images from Anker

From Best Products

We judge all headphones and earbuds on a scale of 10, analyzing and testing the categories most important for you: sound, comfort, design, battery performance, and, if applicable, special features.

Here's how the Soundcore Life Q30 wireless noise-canceling headphones stack up.

Anker’s Soundcore Life Q30 wireless noise-canceling headphones are a follow-up to the accessory maker's insanely popular Life Q20 — a reviewer-favorite since their launch in early 2019. The new iteration has a cooler design, improved audio performance, and more sophisticated noise cancellation, among other new features, while keeping a budget-friendly, sub-$100 price tag.

Scores:

• Sound: 8/10
• Comfort: 9/10
• Design: 8/10
• Battery Performance: 10/10
• Overall Score: 9/10

The Soundcore Life Q30 at a Glance:

  • Both sound and noise cancellation preferences are infinitely customizable

  • Their hardware button controls are convenient and reliable

  • The product has best-in-class battery life of up to 60 hours per charge

  • The cans have futureproof Bluetooth 5.0 with NFC for quick pairing

SOUND: 8/10

While the Soundcore Life Q30 produces crisp and detail-rich sound, the ability to customize their sound to your exact liking is what sets them apart from other noise-canceling headphones. Through the dedicated mobile app, users can browse through 22 different presents for various styles of music and types of content. There’s even an option to create a truly bespoke experience by manually tweaking the equalizer settings yourself.

If you’re not interested in customizing, the Q30 sounds pretty great right out of the box, thanks to a preset dubbed “Soundcore Signature.” With a discernible, if slightly imperfect, harmony between bass, treble, and midrange, it’s the best I have experienced in a pair of sub-$100 wireless headphones to date.

Photo credit: Stefan Vazharov
Photo credit: Stefan Vazharov

The Soundcore Life Q30’s noise cancellation is on par with their sound, in terms of both quality and customization options. Through the app, users can choose between a trio of noise-canceling modes: indoor, outdoor, and transport. Each mode is tuned to block sound frequencies that are typical for such usage scenarios. For example, in transport mode, the cans will reduce low-end din like engine and road noise.

If you’re looking for a do-it-all pair of noise-cancelling headphones, it’s worth noting that FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom calls sounded clear on the Soundcore Q30, too. The headphones’ two built-in microphones are a noteworthy improvement over their predecessor’s single unit, making them a good accessory for working from home.

The audio and noise-canceling abilities of the Soundcore Life Q30 are the best in their price range, and the headphones' sound customization tool is a worthy contender for the best at any price point. That said, spending a little more on a rival brand like Apple, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, JBL, and Sony will undoubtedly get you sound with higher fidelity, as well as superior noise cancellation, to name just a few features.

COMFORT: 9/10

The Soundcore Life Q30 headphones have a light, 9-ounce build, as well as adjustable ear cups and a headband with soft memory-foam padding. They are comfy and perfect for long listening sessions. I spent entire workdays with the cans on while I tested them without feeling any fatigue.

Photo credit: Anker
Photo credit: Anker

The headset’s volume and button controls are also more dependable than the touch-sensitive ones found in other models. I liked being able to adjust the volume with single presses and change the tracks with longer ones using the same buttons.

The headphones also have a hardware button for managing the noise-canceling experience. With a single press, I could disable it, switch to Transparency Mode, or turn it back on. Being able to activate Transparency Mode by touching the right ear cup for a couple of seconds was incredibly convenient, too.

Unlike many competitors, including pricier ones, the Soundcore Life Q30 can simultaneously connect to a couple of compatible devices. I liked being able to easily switch between taking calls on my phone and rocking out on my laptop.

Photo credit: Stefan Vazharov
Photo credit: Stefan Vazharov

By giving user the ability to create and listen to personalized soundscapes, the Soundcore mobile app also makes the Life Q30 a powerful tool for focusing. You can choose from and combine multiple ambient noises (e. g. mild forrest rain, a distant thunderstorm, ocean waves with birds chirping), and even adjust their individual intensity.

If you're like me, the soundscapes can help a lot during the work day — they are less distracting than any genre of music, not to mention podcasts. Having access to such functionality in a sub-$100 headset is remarkable. For comparison, the much pricier Bowers & Wilkins PX7 offer a less elaborate take on the feature.

DESIGN: 8/10

Design-wise, the Soundcore Life Q30 headphones are considerably more elegant than the previous generation. Sporting a metal headband and a Soundcore logo with a contrasting gold finish on each ear cup, the cans look and feel expensive. Soundcore offers the cans in black, blue, and pink.

Photo credit: Stefan Vazharov
Photo credit: Stefan Vazharov

The product’s bundled storage case is another noteworthy improvement over the soft pouch that’s included with the older Life Q20 headphones. Anker also backs its headphones with an 18-month warranty.

BATTERY PERFORMANCE: 10/10

The Soundcore Life Q30 headphones can deliver up to a whopping 40 hours of wireless playback between charges with noise cancellation switched on. Disabling the feature will extend their battery life by 50% to an insane 60 hours.

Photo credit: Anker
Photo credit: Anker

When it comes to sheer battery endurance, Anker’s latest cans are in a league of their own, even when compared to more expensive products. For reference, the AirPods Max and the Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones can deliver 20 and 30 hours' worth of wireless tunes between charges, respectively. To be fair, their audio quality and noise-canceling tech are on another level.

The USB-C connector for recharging the Q30 headphones is both convenient and fast. It can deliver enough power for 4 hours of wireless listening after only 5 minutes.

OVERALL: 9/10

The Soundcore Life Q30 are hands-down the best wireless headphones under $100. They offer a blend of easily customizable sound and noise cancellation, top-tier design and ergonomics, handy app-enabled features, as well as outstanding battery life.

Overall, the Q30 make a serious case against splurging on new wireless cans. Plus, depending on your color preference, you can snag a pair of Life Q30 for less than $70.

Shop Soundcore Life Q30

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