Anker Soundcore Q30

General Information

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  • Hi-Res Certified Music: Hear every detail of your favorite songs thanks to Life Q30’s 40mm drivers. The highly-flexible silk diaphragms reproduce thumping bass and crisp treble that extends up to 40kHz for improved clarity.
  • Advanced Noise Cancellation Technology: Maintain your focus with Life Q30’s hybrid active noise cancellation. Dual noise-detecting microphones pick up and filter out up to 95% of low-frequency ambient sound to ensure nothing distracts you from your music.
  • Ultimate Noise Cancellation Experience: Customize Life Q30’s noise cancellation with 3 modes—Transport minimizes airplane engine noise, Outdoor reduces traffic and wind, and Indoor dampens the sound of busy offices with people talking in the background.
  • Enhanced Call Clarity: Life Q30 pairs 2 microphones with a noise reduction algorithm to accurately pick up and enhance your voice while suppressing other noises for clearer calls.
  • 40-Hour Playtime: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones play up to 40 hours of music in noise cancelling mode. Standard mode extends the playtime to 60 hours, while a short 5-minute charge gives you 4 hours of listening.

Model Number: A3028

Hi-Res Certified Sound: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones have 40mm drivers that reproduce treble up to 40kHz for full-bodied sound with excellent clarity.

Multiple Noise Cancellation Modes: Choose from Transport, Indoor, or Outdoor modes to maximize the active noise cancellation’s effect depending on where you’re listening.

Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation: Low and mid-frequency ambient sounds and up to 95% of engine noise are detected and filtered out by a digital active noise cancellation chipset, as well as external and internal microphones on each earcup.

Calls with Excellent Clarity: Enhanced voice pick-up and noise reduction ensure you’re heard clearly while using Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones for calls.

40-Hour Playtime: Listen for up to 40 hours in noise cancellation mode and 60 hours in standard mode. Get 4 hours of listening from a quick 5-minute charge.

Lightweight Build: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones weigh just over 9oz (260g) and have memory foam earcups with a protein leather cover for all-day comfort.

Ergonomic Design: Life Q30’s earcups rotate by up to 15° to adjust to the shape of your head and its headband can also be adjusted for a more comfortable, secure fit.

Transparency Mode: Press the touch control on Life Q30’s right earcup for 1-2 seconds to activate Transparency mode to allow you to hear voices and traffic at a natural level when needed.

Soundcore App: Select an active noise cancellation mode, update firmware, customize the EQ or choose a preset, and create a soothing white noise soundscape when you want to relax.

NFC Fast Pairing: Tap your Android phone on Life Q30’s right earcup for extra-fast pairing.

Multi-Point Connection: Life Q30 Bluetooth headphones can be connected to 2 devices at once for easy switching.

Note: According to regulations, the maximum volume of headphones should not exceed 100dB. In order to protect your hearing, Life Q30’s maximum volume has been set to around 95dB. It is recommended that you do not listen to excessively loud volumes for long periods of time.

For optimal noise cancellation, make sure the earcups create a tight seal around your ears.

Playtime varies according to volume and audio content.

This product is compliant with CP65, RoHS, and REACH requirements. However, certain people may develop skin irritation due to allergies or sensitivities. To reduce the risk of skin irritation: Clean your device regularly; Avoid using lotions or other products under the portions of the device that contact your skin; Do not wear over injured skin; Where applicable, tighten the adjustment until snug, but not uncomfortably tight; If your skin becomes irritated, stop using device. If symptoms are severe or persist, consult your physician.

Specifications

Impedance: 16Ω

Driver (Full Range): 2 × 40mm

Frequency Response: 16Hz - 40kHz

Range: 15 m / 49.21 ft

What’s In The Box

Soundcore Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones

USB-C Cable; 3.5mm AUX Cable;

Travel Case

User Manual

Note: According to regulations, the maximum volume of headphones should not exceed 100dB. In order to protect your hearing, Life Q30’s maximum volume has been set to around 95dB. It is recommended that you do not listen to excessively loud volumes for long periods of time.

For optimal noise cancellation, make sure the earcups create a tight seal around your ears.

Playtime varies according to volume and audio content

This product is compliant with CP65, RoHS, and REACH requirements. However, certain people may develop skin irritation due to allergies or sensitivities. To reduce the risk of skin irritation: Clean your device regularly; Avoid using lotions or other products under the portions of the device that contact your skin; Do not wear over injured skin; Where applicable, tighten the adjustment until snug, but not uncomfortably tight; If your skin becomes irritated, stop using device. If symptoms are severe or persist, consult your physician.

Latest reviews

regancipher

100+ Head-Fier
Solid, but odd-looking all-rounders that tick most of the boxes
Pros: Build Quality, App Support, Aux, NFC, ANC, Multipoint
Cons: Muddy mids, (Too) Soft Cups and Band Padding, Some Glitches
How I review: (See Previous Reviews)

Model: Anker Soundcore Life Q30
Price: MSRP £89.99
Distributor: Amazon, Anker Direct
Link: Amazon
Vendor Website: Here

Manufacturer Blurb:
  • Brand Name: Anker
  • Model: Life Q30
  • With Microphone: Yes
  • Connectors: Type C
  • Sensitivity: 95dB
  • Impedence: 16 ohms
  • Frequency Response Range: 16-40000Hz
  • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio Decode: AAC, SBC
  • Bluetooth Profile: AVRCP 1.5/HFP 1.6/HSP 1.2/A2DP1.2
  • Bluetooth Chipset: Not known
  • Maximum Working Range: 10-15m(no obstacle)
  • Earbud Weight: 263g
  • Driver: 40mm
  • Playtime: 40 hours
  • ANC: 35db, 3 modes (Transport, Indoor, Outdoor)
Includes:

1 x pair wireless headphones
1 x Carry Case
1 x Type-C USB charging cables
1 x User manual, quick guide, warranty card

Real Life Experience

This is the first review of an Anker product I have published, despite owning several models prior. In my experience I have found them to be a shade overpriced and usually lacking some features that are important to me, and in the case of the Q20, to which this is the predecessor, I simply couldn't get them to fit me well.

The Q30 was launched in October 2020 and I refrained initially from buying them after seeing a lot of negative reviews regarding the ANC and mic quality. It is not unusual for Anker to release half-ready products - and this isn't too much of a problem because their support thereafter is excellent, with frequent firmware updates and ongoing dialogue.

Sadly Anker do not provide me with any samples, so this has been procured out of my own pocket, but as always I will offer a frank and honest assessment based on benchmarks of over 100 reviews of earbuds and headphones, and a long (former) career in the music industry, using objective and subjective methodologies.

The Unboxing - 7/10

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For a premium product, the box seemed a shade underwhelming. We are used to the likes of the Tronsmart Apollo Bold and Whizzer E3 in the earbud world carrying the presentation of a reasonably luxurious timepiece, but this was more a thin cardboard affair, albeit with clear identification of the key areas - namely the headline, the ANC.

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The back elaborates further, indicating the multiple modes of ANC - hint - you don't just get on, off and ambient.

Once inside, you are simply presented with the carry case.

The Case - 8/10

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At 220 x 180 x 58 this is one of the larger carry cases I've sampled, and noticeably larger than the Avantree Aria Pro, especially in depth.

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Inside the case are the headphones, a manual, feedback form and some cables - a USB Type-C charge cable and a jack for the aux.

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Getting the headphones back in the case isn't always easy but they remain extremely secure once inside. Ancillary items can be stored in the convenient pocket, and it has the usual strap at the top and the Soundcore logo in the middle.

With many vendors cutting the case out, it was a welcome addition.

The Ergonomics - 7/10

Usually I bundle ergonomics and build quality into one, but with over-ears I think it's important to differentiate them. With earbuds there is generally little difference in the build, but with headphones it can vary wildly. With the Q30 it is a real mixed bag. Available in Black, Blue and Pink, I chose the reduced-price black version.

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Firstly, they do not track with your head, unless you're ET. At 200 x 180 x 80 they are amongst the biggest headphones I've ever tested.

Whilst this does give some added flexibility in movement of the cups, meaning you can lighten the clamp quite nicely, it doesn't really give the user any great benefit other than looking a bit silly in all honesty. I have a pretty fat head and yet they still protrude even further. When we are back to some kind of normality, you won't have charity direct-debit pushers approaching you - they will see you coming a mile away!

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The hinges are decent quality but only allow limited movement of just over 90 degrees in and out, and this can add to the sound leakage. This can be annoying in a shared home office environment.

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The button array is not overly intuitive - I prefer a minimal button scheme, but for others who like controls, they are there, and the button presses are firm. Track controls on the right cup, ANC and power on the left.

I found at times play and pause wouldn't work when paired with windows.

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The cups are matte, and this can get a bit grubby, more so than the Q20's, with finger marks quickly manifesting.

NFC works fine (tested with Android) and putting your hand over the right cup initiates transparency mode (ambient to the rest of us).

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The headband is clearly well padded, although this does soften out quite easily, but is fine for those with receding hairlines, although if you wear them too tight then the padding does thin out, exposing you to the solid band if you like practising headstands, or lying up in bed.

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The outer cups are quite large with the vertical diameter at 95mm, and the horizontal at 83mm.

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This reduces on the inside to 68x53mm, making them one of the largest cups around. Unfortunately this can feel a bit spacious at times, and the soft memory foam padding spreads rather easily. On the flip side it does reduce your ears getting sweaty and never feels too tight.

The build quality, which is excellent, means they can feel a bit uncomfortable if lying on your side due to the robust outer materials. It also results in substantial sound leakage, as alluded to prior.

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At around 265g, they are rather heavy, albeit due to sturdy materials. Anker have put some thought into the weight displacement, but they are noticeably heavy for prolonged use if you're used to lighter cans.

Build Quality - 8.5/10

As strange as the ergonomics are, it is unquestionable that Anker have not cut too many corners with the build.

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The band in particular is robust, with the plastic base reinforced with a metallic insert throughout, although if on tight, this can at times be felt through the padding at the top, hence why you see me wearing them loose.

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There are supportive screws almost everywhere and whilst this does bode well for longevity, it adds weight as a result.

Unfortunately, I could not find any IP rating for the headphones, likely down to the jack and charge ports being open to the elements.

Audio Quality - 7/10 (for the price paid), 7/10 (raw score)

Like with most budget headphones, there is an over-emphasis on the lows and mid-lows, and this can sound muddy on complex tracks. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears for Fears sounded a bit disappointing as a first reference track. Less complex tracks like Calvin Harris' Summer were far better presented, and vocals in general are reasonably well proportioned.

Note - I noticed a discernible improvement when balanced through Wavelet.

Like with most closed-back headphones, the struggle for soundstage is real. They've opened the cups up to try and give the impression of the sound bouncing around a little but in reality it is pretty narrow. These will not replace your wired Sennies put it that way.

Still, at the price it is hard to grumble. With a bit of EQ'ing they can sound acceptable, and the app gives loads of options to do just that even on IOS.

Mic Quality - 7.5/10 indoors, 7/10 outdoors

I understand there were major issues on release, but Anker seem to have resolved these on FW 1.90. Your voice can sound a little hollow at times, and it varies dependent on how you wear them.

The mics are on the outer and inner, and the swivel design encourages the inner mics to be more open to the elements than most. This would no doubt have implications on the IP rating. They do a reasonable job of compressing sounds, but your voice also sounds compressed outside, which can make it difficult to differentiate you from other low frequency sounds.

ANC - 7.5/10

The headline feature - the ANC - is OK. There are the usual three modes - ANC off, on and transparent, but also a transport, indoor and outdoor mode.

Anker claim that each environment is specifically tailored, but I noticed little difference - transport seems to be strongest, but more annoying was the loud glitch when changing mode.

I tested against the Q20, Apollo Q10 from Tronsmart and TT-BH060 from Taotronics, and the Q30 are marginally stronger than the others, but do result in a touch of vertigo, at least for me.

Battery Life - 8.5/10

The headline 40 hours was fairly accurate. Even with ANC on I'm getting almost 40 hours. This eclipses my Avantree Aria Pro, although it falls a little short of the Tronsmart Q10.

Connectivity - 9/10

No connectivity issues at all, and like with most headphones the range seems stronger than earbuds.

Controls - 7/10

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Button controls can at times be a little frustrating. Having just tested the Apollo Q10, where everything was gesture-based, this felt like a step backwards. Voice assistant seemed to work fine, by holding down play, and the buttons are arranged reasonably well for such an array.

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Transparency is a cool feature that works well.

Other Features - 8.5/10

Anker's app is first class, with lots of customization, including EQ, ANC and even white noise to help you fall asleep, although they aren't the comfiest for side sleepers.

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Another excellent and very welcome feature is the addition of multipoint connectivity, although it seemed a little hit and miss when used with PC. Nevertheless it is a feature often overlooked and one that didn't work too well on the Q20, but no issues here.

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The lack of Apt-x is always a bit annoying with Anker, and it resulted in higher than usual latency, with 225Ms on Windows 10 with an AX200 receiver.

The addition of a headphone jack, NFC and fast charge - giving 4 hours from 5 minutes charging - are also very welcome features that enhance the value of the cans.

Final Comments

It is always a challenge reviewing over-ears for me - the bar is high as I've always owned Sennheisers. Thus, when I'm reviewing low-cost products I have to try to remember that they are just that - low cost.

The Anker Soundcore Q30 are robust and at times awkward headphones that compromise portability for build quality, and the abundance of screws and reinforced areas demonstrate a maturity in product development from an engineering perspective, if not quite so much in the tuning.

Sound is not going to blow your mind, but for the reduced price (which seems to be becoming the normal price) of around £63.99, it is adequate. Bass performance is a little bloated, and the low mids in particular are troublesome for the Q30. Again, I think there is a compromise here - audiophile quality sound is rarely witnessed in all-rounders that do lots of things 'rather well'.

The app is great and gives lots of additional features, and for multipoint connectivity, NFC and the fast charge feature alone,

So a real mixed bag as expected with plenty to work on for the Q40, but Anker deserve credit for a decent release and certainly an upgrade on the Q20.

Price Weighted Score: 84%

Raw Score: 81%

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