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A view of the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 sitting on a wooden tabletop.

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review

You can have it all for less than $150 USD.
By
October 31, 2022
8
Anker Soundcore Space Q45
The bottom line
The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 is a great pair of active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones, and the $150 USD price tag only sweetens the deal. While the sound profile doesn't quite match our platonic ideal, it's adequate for most listeners. Unlike many mid-tier wireless headphones, the Q45 microphone system rejects quite a bit of background noise, making this a great work headset too. If you're willing to put up with the mobile app and sound quality, you'll enjoy the Space Q45 from Anker's brand Soundcore.

Anker Soundcore Space Q45

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 is a great pair of active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones, and the $150 USD price tag only sweetens the deal. While the sound profile doesn't quite match our platonic ideal, it's adequate for most listeners. Unlike many mid-tier wireless headphones, the Q45 microphone system rejects quite a bit of background noise, making this a great work headset too. If you're willing to put up with the mobile app and sound quality, you'll enjoy the Space Q45 from Anker's brand Soundcore.
Release date

August 25, 2022

Price

Original: $149 USD

Weight

281g

Model Number

A3040011

Waterproof

No

Noise isolation

Yes

What we like
Bluetooth 5.3; SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs
Multipoint connectivity
Wired connection
Comfort
Battery life and efficient fast charging
Good ANC for the price
What we don't like
Finicky app experience
Average sound quality
8
SoundGuys Rating
7.7
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
9.6
7.5
8.0
Bass
9.6
8.1
8.0
Midrange
9.6
6.7
7.0
Highs
9.4
7.2
7.0
Isolation / Attenuation
4.2
8.2
8.0
Active Noise Cancelling
6.5
7.4
7.0
Durability / Build Quality
6.0
6.6
7.0
Value
7.5
8.0
8.0
Design
7.0
8.7
9.0
Connectivity
9.0
7.8
8.0
Portability
7.6
7.7
8.0
Battery Life
9.9
8.1
8.0
Feature
7.9
6.9
7.0
Comfort
8.2
8.9
9.0

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 is a new addition to Anker’s line of Soundcore Life headsets. With a strong focus on its active noise cancelling (ANC) features, this new headset has many of the same features and similar build quality. Does it manage to break free of the product line’s middling reputation for build quality and sound quality?

We spent one week with the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 and found out everything you need to know before you blast off into space with it.

Editor’s note: this review was updated on October 31, 2022, to address the Anker Soundcore Space A40 as a more compact alternative.

About this Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: We tested the Soundcore Space Q45 over one week. SoundGuys purchased the unit for this review. The original date of publication is September 7, 2022.

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 is generally best for commuters, people looking for something with decent noise cancelling at a reasonable price. It’s also a solid choice for users looking for something with a capable microphone for work or voice chat.

What’s it like to use the Anker Soundcore Space Q45?

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 sitting on a wooden table with the case in the background, the interior of the ear cups are facing the user.
Thanks to the well-made pleather padding the headset is comfortable to use for multiple hours at a time.

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 is primarily made out of plastic, featuring pleather ear cups that are comfortable but not as breathable as I typically like. Fortunately, the ear cups are reasonably adjustable and swivel to lay flat. The ear cups also fold up for easy storage in the provided case. You can throw the headset in a bag if you’re in a pinch, but the plastic doesn’t seem all too scratch resistant.

A metal-reinforced headband is the strongest part of the headset, and it has some give to it to accommodate larger noggins. Cushioning on the band mitigates any hot spots that form on the top of the wearer’s head. Overall the Space Q45 is comfortable for a couple of hours at a time. As long as you don’t work up a sweat, this pair of headphones will serve you well on your commute or for a dedicated music listening session.

We’ve heard reports of build quality issues with other Anker devices, but haven’t noticed any such problems in our testing. Plus, Anker offers an 18-month warranty on all of its headphones, so you can reach out to their customer service if an issue arises.

It’s always good to preempt problems and create a list of priorities when buying headphones. If build quality is at the top of your list, you may need something with more metal parts like the Shure AONIC 40, but this will cost you.

How do you control the Anker Soundcore Space Q45?

A closeup on the controls of the Anker Soundcore Space Q45.
The controls on the headset are small but fairly easy to understand.

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 features controls on the left and right ear cups, which are neatly divided between the two, depending on the function. Media and volume controls reside on the right ear cup, including a play/pause button and a volume rocker. On the left ear cup, you’ll feel the more general operational controls, namely a power button and a button for toggling between listening modes (ANC on, ANC off, and audio passthrough mode). You can hold down the volume up or volume down buttons for two seconds to play the next/previous song, respectively.

Should you use the Soundcore app for the Anker Soundcore Space Q45?

Although it feels like a cheaper experience than should be expected for this headset, the Soundcore app (iOS/Android) is a useful way to extend the functionality using a mobile device. It has controls for features like wind noise reduction, alternate Bluetooth codecs (depending on your phone’s support for them), as well as the ability to change other parts of the headset’s operation such as the prompt tone. It also includes a space for changing EQ presets provided by Anker, as well as using your own custom EQ preset. It’s certainly not essential to use the Anker Soundcore Space Q45, but it’s a good way to get the most out of it.

How does the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 connect?

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 sitting on a wooden table with the headset folded up.
The headset is designed to be used with Bluetooth, but does include a 3.5mm jack as a backup.

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 connects using Bluetooth, with a backup option to use a 3.5mm wired connection. The headset charges using a regular USB-C cable. For connectivity options, the headset is compatible with different Bluetooth codecs depending on your phone. The default one is AAC, but it also has support for SBC, as well as LDAC if you enable it through the Soundcore app (this requires the headset to turn itself off and on again).

  1. Hold down the power button to put the headset into pairing mode.
  2. Choose the headset in the Bluetooth menu on your phone when it shows up.

How long does the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 battery last?

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 sitting in its case.
The battery life on the headset is certainly admirable, and the addition of fast charging is a big plus.

Anker advertises a battery life of 65 hours with ANC off, and 50 hours with ANC on. In our testing we found the headset to have 55 hours, 48 minutes of battery life, which exceeds these estimates. The headset also supports fast charging, meaning you’ll likely never find yourself in a situation where the Space Q45 is rendered unusable by an empty battery.

Yes, the Soundcore Space Q45 supports fast charging: just 5 minutes of charging yields 240 minutes (4 hours) of playback.

How well does the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 cancel noise?

A chart depicts the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 isolation and noise cancelling performances, with the ANC reducing midrange frequencies by one-quarter their original perceived loudness.
The Space Q45 ANC performance is nearly identical to the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, and the Sony INZONE H7 flagship gaming headset.

In general, the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 has fairly solid noise isolation. When you put on the headset it does a decent job of masking outside conversation or low-volume music. The headset also supports active noise cancelling and a sound passthrough mode (aka “transparency mode”), all controlled by the left ear cup’s ANC button. The ANC is fairly solid, although it doesn’t compare as well to market-leading headsets like the Sony WH-1000XM5.

When I use the Soundcore Space Q45 wireless headphones on public transit, the ANC does an adequate job of blocking out the noise of the trains, as well as traffic while on the bus. This kind of real-world result requires you to get a good fit with the headphones; make sure there are no gaps between the padding and your skull.

How does the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 sound?

A chart depicts the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 frequency response relative to the SoundGuys Consumer Curve, revealing the Q45 to have a louder bass response than our house curve suggests.
If you don’t like the default sound, you can use the mobile app to equalize it.

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 sound quality is probably the headset’s biggest issue. It’s not all terrible, most users will get used to the headset’s sound after a few minutes of use, but it doesn’t hold up next to other options on the market. The frequency response curve deviates noticeably from our ideal target curve across all areas of the frequency spectrum. The sub-bass is slightly exaggerated, the midrange depressed slightly, and the higher frequencies are besieged by an undulating change in response that causes high-end elements in music to sound hissy, betraying the accuracy of the playback.

Lows, mids, and highs

By far the biggest issue with the sound on the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 is its very uneven high-end response. This can clearly be heard on songs like Brainstorm by the Arctic Monkeys, where the cymbals on the drums in particular sound notably incorrect compared to what I’m used to. On the other hand, the vocals in that same song suit the frequency response fairly well. Additionally, the mid scoop around 200 Hz to 500 Hz noticeably impacts some songs, such as Machine Gun by Noisia where a lot of the synth tones are lacking the punch I’d expect. The slight bump in the sub-bass doesn’t really transfer over to a perceptible benefit in bass-heavy genres such as house music, although the song Edge by REZZ did sound notably better than some songs of more traditional genres due to its focus on low bass.

Can you use the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 for phone calls?

A chart depicts the microphone frequency response of the Anker Soundcore Space Q45, which rolls off the extreme low and high ends.
The frequency response is good but doesn’t tell the whole story: the microphone system also does a great job of rejecting background noise.

The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 microphone system is surprisingly good, although it doesn’t stand out under ideal conditions. Instead, the dual microphone array shines under sub-optimal conditions. It effectively rejects background noise, particularly on city streets and in windy environments. Few $150 USD wireless headphones can reject unpredictable background noise, as heard in our simulated office environment, as this one from Soundcore. You can hardly hear the keyboard clicks, and the speaker remains audible throughout the clip.

This is a great ANC headphone pick for work, especially if you spend much of your days in conference calls. Don’t just take our word for it. Listen to our demonstrations, and let us know your thoughts by voting on the poll below!

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 microphone demo (Office conditions):

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 microphone demo (Street conditions):

Anker Soundcore Space Q45 microphone demo (Windy conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

1087 votes

Should you buy the Anker Soundcore Space Q45?

A handheld view of the Anker Soundcore Space Q45's ear cup.
The design, comfort, and noise cancelling is all fairly impressive, but the headset is, unfortunately, let down by the poor frequency response curve.

Overall the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 is a solid headset. It’s nice to use, the controls are well laid out and easy to command, and it feels comfortable to wear for a fair amount of time. The biggest issue is that the sound quality simply doesn’t match other headsets on the market (but you can EQ it). By default, your favorite songs will sound slightly off on this headset if you’re used to something of higher quality. If you can look past that, however, this headset is generally a good choice. Perhaps you’re looking to listen to podcasts more than music, or you need this headset for air travel and can appreciate its focus on noise cancelling. As long as you know this headset’s flaws, it’s a fine pair of wireless ANC headphones.

Anker Soundcore Space Q45
Anker Soundcore Space Q45
55-hour battery life • Good microphone • Decent ANC
A great battery life and ANC for the price
The Anker Soundcore Space Q45 headphones offer solid audio quality and moderately effective noise cancellation for a reasonable price.

If the Soundcore Space Q45 doesn’t scratch your itch and you want something more compact, we recommend the Anker Soundcore Space A40. It’s another low-cost, high-value product from Soundcore with good noise cancelling. Plus, it costs just $99.99 at Amazon, and the bass response is much more consistent than the Space Q45.

What should you get instead of the Anker Soundcore Space Q45?

Anker Soundcore Life Q35 microphone
The Anker Soundcore Life Q35 offers similar ANC and battery life performance compared to the Space Q45, but costs less.

The ANC headphones market is oversaturated, leaving you with plenty of options to consider before buying the Q45 from Soundcore. Those who want something similar should look into the Anker Soundcore Life Q35. The older Q35 headset has very similar ANC to the Space Q45 and costs $109.99 at Amazon. You can often get the Life Q35 on promotion too, which brings the price down to around $100 USD. But, the Q35 design looks a bit dated next to the Q45, so keep reading if you want something more modern.

For those willing to spend more for style points, we recommend the Jabra Elite 85h. This set of noise cancelling headphones has a water-repellant nano-coating that protects its internals from sweat, making it a viable workout headset. Unfortunately, this costs quite a bit more at $249 USD (currently $190.99 at Best Buy), but it’s a few years old, so patient listeners can wait for a deal to pop up. What are you paying for when you get the Elite 85h? Well, you get a very comfortable design with spacious, plush ear pads and nearly invisible button controls. It folds up like the Sony WH-1000XM4 and is easier to transport than the Q45.

Monoprice BT-600ANC next to lava lamp
The oblong ear pads are comfortable for two-to-three hours at a time.

Of course, you could go cheaper than the Space Q45 with the Monoprice BT-600ANC, our favorite pair of noise cancelling headphones under $100 USD. The anonymous design means you won’t get any comments on your headset, but even if you did, you wouldn’t be able to hear them; the ANC is just that good. You also get the AAC and aptX HD high-quality Bluetooth codecs to choose from, and when the battery dies, just grab the 3.5mm cable to continue rocking. It’s not perfect: you don’t get a mobile app and the sound quality is odd and bass-heavy, but you can always download a third-party EQ app to change it.

Frequently asked questions about the Soundcore Space Q45

Yes, the Space Q45 noise cancelling works in wired mode. You need to ensure the 3.5mm cable is plugged in, and then press and hold the noise cancelling button.

Unfortunately, you cannot use the headset while it’s charging, but since the 5 minutes of fast charging gets you 4 hours of playback, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Yes, the Space Q45 from Soundcore works with your phone’s native smart assistant. All you have to do is double-press the play/pause button, and then you can voice your command.