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Anker Soundcore Space A40
August 24, 2022
Case: 68 x 44 x 29mm
Earbud: 30 x 20mm
Ear tips: 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm
Anker recently released the new Anker Soundcore Space A40 earbuds, highlighting active noise cancelling (ANC) capabilities, long battery life, and sound quality. For a pair of $99 USD earbuds, that’s an impressive feat, and we want to see if the Space A40 lives up to that hype.
Editor’s note: this review was published on October 31, 2022, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.
What’s it like to use the Anker Soundcore Space A40?
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 comes with five different ear tip options, making it easier to get the right in-ear fit. The earbuds don’t have stabilizing wings or anything like that, so you’ll need a perfect fit to make sure the earbuds don’t fall out of your ears. The earbuds are light and don’t hurt my ears at all after hours of wearing them. The Sound Space A40 is IPX4 rated, meaning it can withstand some rain or sweat with no issues.
The case fits easily in a jacket pocket or a bag, but since the hinges aren’t very tight and there isn’t a magnet to snap the lid closed, I find myself losing an earbud in my bag quite often since the case accidentally opens very easily.
How do you control the Anker Soundcore Space A40?
Controlling the Anker Soundcore Space A40 is much like other true wireless earbuds, using tap gestures on a touch panel on each bud. In the Soundcore app, you can change playback and noise controls, and toggle on volume controls, since those are not automatically enabled.
|INPUT||ACTION (left)||ACTION (right)||ACTION (both)|
Answer/Hang up phone call
Press and hold
Should you use the Soundcore app for the Anker Soundcore Space A40?
The Soundcore app (iOS/Android) is simple to use and adds great functionality to the Soundcore Space A40. At the very least, you’ll want this app to access firmware updates. In the app, you will find the battery level for each earbud and the ability to toggle between listening modes (ANC, transparency, off). You can further control customization by selecting an EQ preset and using a custom equalizer. There are a lot of EQ presets to choose from, 22 specifically, which is more than I’ve seen in an app like this before. It covers different media and genres, from podcasts and classical music to jazz and R&B.
How does the Anker Soundcore Space A40 connect?
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 connects using Bluetooth 5.2, and it supports the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. It also has Bluetooth multipoint, allowing you to connect the earbuds to two devices and switch between them seamlessly.
Pairing it is easy, much like other Bluetooth earbuds.
- Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on the device you want to connect to.
- Open the case with the earbuds still inside, and it will enter pairing mode automatically.
- Select “Soundcore Space A40” from the Bluetooth list on your device.
To pair with a second device, hold the touchpad on both earbuds for 3 seconds while wearing them, and it will show up in the Bluetooth menu of the second device to connect.
How long does the battery last on the Soundcore Space A40?
In our battery testing, using constant playback of audio peaking at 75dB(SPL), the earbuds lasted 7 hours, 55 minutes with ANC on. This is more than 2 hours less than Anker’s maximum battery life specification, but the official store page doesn’t specify whether that’s with ANC on or off. This is a pretty solid battery life, nonetheless, and the charging case adds another four full charges to the earbuds. Even with this shorter-than-expected battery life, you will still get well over 24 hours of playtime from the buds and case before recharging the case via USB-C cable.
In terms of the total lifetime, no true wireless batteries last for very long. This is because as you go through more charge cycles, the battery’s capacity decreases. Devices with shorter battery life, like true wireless earbuds, won’t last very long due to this. This can create battery e-waste, so environmentally conscious people should keep this in mind.
Yes, charging it for 10 minutes provides 4 extra hours of playback.
How well does the Anker Soundcore Space A40 cancel out noise?
The Soundcore Space A40 does a great job cancelling out noise, especially in the lower end between 40-100Hz. Traffic, the rumbling of trains and buses, and other droning noises will be significantly reduced. The isolation is good too, but taps, mechanical keys, and other incidental noises will still be noticeable, though dampened.
To get the most out of the noise cancelling and isolation from the Soundcore Space A40, as well as any other in-ears, you will need to make sure you have a proper fit. This means choosing the right ear tips and fitting the earbuds securely inside your ears to seal off any outside noise. Without this, noise will leak in and render the ANC and isolation significantly worse, which may compel you to increase the volume. Turning your volume up to dangerous levels could cause noise-induced hearing loss.
How does the Anker Soundcore Space A40 sound?
The default frequency response, called Soundcore Signature in the Soundcore app, sounds pretty good. It comes fairly close to our target curve, though it is under-emphasized in the highs and lows. This frequency response is inoffensive regardless, with none of the typical dramatic bass boosting or high-end emphasis we are used to hearing in this category. You can change the sound in the Soundcore app, where you can find a lot of sound profiles to choose from to fit your personal preferences.
Lows, mids, highs
When I listen to Blue Monday by New Order using the default Soundcore Signature EQ setting, the punchy low synth rhythm sounds great; it’s loud and noticeable, but not overpowering the rest of the track. All the synth elements throughout the song complement each other nicely. Using the bass booster EQ makes the bass too overpowering relative to the rest of the sounds, and the flat EQ, while very neutral, makes the track lose some of its fun by rendering the bass a little too quiet for my liking.
Fancy Footwork by Chromeo also sounds great using the Soundcore Signature EQ. The bass is prominent but not too loud, and the ambient synth is still audible among the busy percussion and vocals. Using the electronic EQ preset boosts the sub-bass a bit too much for my liking, and the flat EQ makes the bass feel like an afterthought. Overall, I find that the Soundcore Signature EQ fits most genres well, and there isn’t much need to change it with well-produced music.
The podcast and spoken word EQ presets work well for the intended content since they under-emphasize bass a bit to make voices sound clearer.
Can you use the Soundcore Space A40 for phone calls?
The microphone on the Anker Soundcore Space A40 is pretty average for earbuds. It doesn’t handle sibilant sounds well, but it’s fairly clear with no big issues in ideal conditions. It’s mostly effective at suppressing street noise, only occasionally cutting into the voice instead of the noise. In the presence of wind noise the end caller will hear major processing artifacts, which interferes with speech intelligibility. This microphone is perfectly adequate for phone calls, and you’ll be most audible indoors with very little background noise. Take a listen for yourself:
Anker Soundcore Space A40 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Anker Soundcore Space A40 microphone demo (Street conditions):
Anker Soundcore Space A40 microphone demo (Windy conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the Anker Soundcore Space A40?
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 is an excellent deal if you want affordable noise cancelling earbuds with great sound. The baseline frequency response is enjoyable, and the many EQ presets to choose from plus the ability to customize your sound profile makes it good for pretty much anyone. The noise cancelling is quite good, and the many ear tips to choose from ensure a good fit for the noise cancelling and isolation to do its job. Bluetooth multipoint and LDAC support elevate the earbuds even more. For only $99 USD, the Soundcore Space A40 is a great buy.
What should you get instead of the Soundcore Space A40?
For the same price, the Nothing Ear 1 also has noise cancelling and transparency (though it’s not quite as good), an IPX4 rating, and a pleasant sound profile. It doesn’t have much EQ customization, and it doesn’t support LDAC or any other high-bitrate codecs. It does have a great design with its cool transparent look, and it’s very light and comfortable. You can find it for $53.99 at Amazon.
The JLab Epic Air Sport ANC is a great option for athletes looking for ANC and transparency in a stable pair of earbuds. The ear hook design ensures it’ll stay in your ear, and the ANC is pretty good too. It’s IP66 rated so it’ll withstand lots of water and dust, making it great for outdoorsy people. It’s the same price as the Soundcore Space A40 and costs $89.98 at Amazon, but it can go on sale even lower from time to time.
If you don’t care as much about noise cancelling but want aptX support, the Jabra Elite 3 has just that and more. It’s IP55 rated, it has great sound quality, and it’s even more affordable ($79.99 at Amazon).
Frequently asked questions
Yes, the Anker Soundcore Space A40 comes in black, white, and navy blue.
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 doesn’t have a location tracker for finding lost earbuds.