For the last couple of years, wireless earbuds and headphones have been taking off thanks in part to companies like Samsung, Apple, Oppo and more removing the 3.5mm audio jack from their devices – although this has been more in the high-end devices but has been slowly happening to mid-range devices.
So when Soundcore, a sub-brand of Anker Innovations, announced that it was launching two of its newest Space audio devices, such as the Space A40 TWS earbuds, we wanted to see if the earbuds are worth buying and using. The company states the performance is close to or near some high-end wireless Bluetooth earbuds on the market from other companies.
What’s in the box
In the box you get the charging case with the two earbuds in them alongside the usual quick start guide manual and safety instruction booklet, 1 metre USB-A to USB-C cord and 4 rubber tips in various sizes, with two already installed on the earbuds themselves (XS, S, M, L, XL).
The case for the Space A40 TWS earbuds is very neat, and sturdy and can fit into the palm of your hand very well. The case is made of matte plastic that kind of feels a little rubberised and I have to say it does make things easier like hiding fingerprints on the case quite well.
The case at the front where the lid opens up houses an LED battery indicator. A full charge will show 3 LED lights and as the battery of the case slowly discharges to charge the earbuds, this notification will go down. At the back of the case is where you will find the USB-C charging port which is set more so into the case and cut out so as to not allow the cord to easily disconnect or get damaged. Next to the USB-C port is a pairing button which will allow you to pair the Space A40 earbuds to your device whilst you’re charging them.
Talking about the earbuds themselves, they connect magnetically to the case and to the copper charging elements on the earbuds. They are made of plastic and are quite smooth and actually sit in my ear quite well compared to some other earbuds I have which take a little bit of time to get comfortable and in the right place to hear the sound clearly.
You can use the Soundcore app which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play or App Store for iOS devices for free and I will go further into the app later in the review.
Sound quality actually is quite surprisingly good for $129 earbuds, given normally any earbuds at this price can have questionable sound quality. Though I did notice that when I activated the noise cancelling option, the bass did seem a little more flat than normal.
Furthermore, the Space A40 TWS earbuds come with an IPX4 Water rating, which is enough to protect the earbuds from sweat or light raindrops when exercising.
What do they do well?
The case itself can be charged wirelessly or via the included USB-C cord. Of course, USB-C charging is and will always be faster but when available, wireless charging can have its benefits if you don’t have enough access to a wall charger.
In terms of battery life, the Space A40 TWS earbuds do come with about 7 to 8 hours listening time with noise cancelling turned on which can be extended further by an extra hour if noise cancelling is turned off. I found having noise cancelling turned off, that a lot of background noise was diminished – not entirely gone but even with noise cancelling on there was still some noise that would come through.
Taking calls with the earbuds in is also clear, however, the caveat would be here is when there is a lot of background noise, say at a station where there are constant announcements or on a train, sometimes people would ask me to repeat what I was saying as it would seem the mics would try to reduce the background noise as much as possible but in doing so would also reduce my ability to speak and the caller to hear me in the process.
What don’t they do well
As stated earlier in the review, I noticed that when I selected the Noise Cancelling option, it made the bass but also some sound signatures sound a little flat compared to having the noise-cancelling option turned off. Furthermore, even with the noise cancelling turned on, there were times when some background noise could still be heard.
Also as noted, when taking phone calls where there was a lot of background noise would cause the earbuds to try and reduce said background noise but in the process also reduce my voice in the process leading to people asking me to repeat in some instances what I was saying. I tried looking in the Soundcore app to see if this could be adjusted to no avail.
There’s an app for that
Soundcore has a dedicated app which can be downloaded for free from either the Google Play or App Store for iOS devices. The one thing I did like with the app is the ability to not sign up for a separate account with Anker for the app unlike many other apps, so that to me is great experience as it reduces the many accounts I already have for various apps and services so thanks Anker for that!
The app enables you to help connect the Space A40 TWS earbuds to your device alongside being able to customise your EQ settings thanks to its “HearID” which when going through this, is like a hearing test which you listen to beeps at various pitch levels so as to create a much more personalised sounds experience.
In terms of controlling the earbuds, you can adjust the setting for volume control within the app which the default settings I found for each one was as follows:
|Function||Single Tap||Double Tap||Hold for 2 Seconds|
|Left Earbud||volume down||next track/song||Ambient Sound –
Switch order from noise cancelling to transparency to normal
|Right Earbud||volume up||play/pause|
Furthermore, the app also enables any firmware updates and there was an update during the review period – although it was unclear what the firmware upgrade to the earbuds was and I would like to see this information provided as part of the update process.
There is also a sound effects tab that enables you to keep the HearID sound or default where you can select from 22 preset sound effects from Soundcore Signature, Acoustic, Bass Booster, Bass reducer, Classing, Podcast, Dance, Electronic, Deep, Flat just to name a few. There is also a Custom tab which you can manually adjust to create a sound you might like over the preset options.
Should you consider buying them?
I will be honest and upfront, I am generally sceptical when it comes to earbuds at such a low cost as they are generally subject to a lot of trade-offs. So to say when the Soundscore Space A40 TWS earbuds, I was actually surprised at what the earbuds do offer.
Granted there are some trade-offs but to be honest, it is expected such as the noise cancelling issues and call taking alongside the bass issues I listed above, but I have to say I am still impressed with the Space A40 earbuds.
If you’re after some decent TWS earbuds that won’t break the bank then I can easily recommend the Soundcore Space A40 earbuds.