Wireless audio devices are becoming more and more common lately, given that smartphone and tablet makers are slowly moving away from having 3.5mm audio jack in their devices but we still want to be able to listen to our music, audiobooks or podcasts on the go.
So when Soundcore, a sub-brand of Anker Innovations, announced that it was launching two of its newest Space audio devices, the Space Q45 wireless headphones, we wanted to see what they offer.
What’s in the box?
In the box, you get the headphones in a case which is made from a faux leather, which can help keep your headphones safe. Granted the case does not double as a charging case.
Within the case you get a 1-meter USB-C to USB-A charging cord, 1 Meter 3.5mm aux cable, alongside the usual quick start guide manual and safety instruction booklet.
The Space Q45 wireless headphones are of course made from plastic and there don’t seem to be any sharp edges which is a great result, as some plastics easily sharpen.
The Space Q45 wireless headphones on each cuff have various controls. For example, the media controls such as the volume control alongside the next track/pause/play and pairing function buttons and the 3.5mm aux audio cable port and two microphones are located on the right ear cup, whilst the left ear houses the USB-C charging port alongside the ANC (active noise cancelling) buttons and the single microphone. The right-hand side also contains a small LED light that changes colour either turning on or off, pairing or other functions.
The ear cups themselves are quite comfortable and soft. This is thanks to the faux leather, utilising memory foam around the outer edges — quite generously I might add — which is very much welcomed.
The top of the headband section has some memory foam covered in a faux leather covering which again is nice but I probably would have liked to have some more padding. More than anything this is simply because if I did bump my head, I would certainly feel the band dig in.
The Space Q45 over-ear headphones are driven by a 40mm double-layer diaphragm driver with silk and metal-ceramic material, which the company states, elevates the audio performance over all frequencies for a balanced sound profile while producing an immersive sound stage and improved sound clarity.
Soundcore has stated the Space Q45 Wireless Headphones support the AAC, SBC, and LDAC codecs.
The Space Q45 wireless headphones also come with Bluetooth version 5.3 so you will need to make sure your device does support this version of Bluetooth before considering buying them.
Lastly, in terms of battery life, the Space Q45 over-ear headphones can offer users ultra-long playtime with 50 hours of battery life with ANC turned on and 65 hours of playtime with ANC turned off, delivering potentially up to a week or so listening on the go or while travelling between charges.
What’s it good at?
When you turn the headphones on and are wearing them or have them close enough to hear the voice saying connected and whether the battery is high, medium or low – I like that touch very much. I also like the ability of the app, which I will go further into down in the review, to be able to control settings and features but also obtain firmware and security updates.
The sound quality is great however I did find at higher volume I did lose some clarity and bass at times. Furthermore, the ANC mode did filter about 85% up to 95% of background noise but depending on the volume levels and where the background noise was, this did cause some issues which I have explained in the next section.
Taking calls is great, albeit I found I did have to have my phone nearby to be able to answer and end calls if I forgot to press the right button, so maybe this is something Soundcore should look at for any further additional firmware updates to the software or future new headphones.
What’s it not so good at?
Trying to remember which button function is available on either ear cup can be a little confusing as I have on a few occasions turned the wireless headphones off or deactivated the ANC to transparency mode or off. Same with the volume rocker, trying to remember which one is the up or down function can also be a little confusing and I would like to see something like a notification of some sort of little voice telling me what button I might have pressed before anything happened.
The app sadly has no way of finding the headphones should you misplace or have them stolen and for me, given say with Apple and their latest AirPods Pro, there is the option to be able to track and find your earbuds should they get misplaced or stolen and I would
The ANC can filter out about 85-93% possibly 95% of noise however there were times especially on public transport I could hear some loud conversations or the announcements made on the train or if on the older Sydney Intercity train sets (for those who are train fans, the V Sets) in the vestibule door area, could hear some the usual train noises with the track.
Again at times, I did find that at higher volume levels or in active noise cancelling mode that the Bass did suffer at times. This could have been because the 3 microphones on the headphones tried to compensate for the additional background noise.
There’s an app for that
Soundcore has a dedicated app that can be downloaded for free from either 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 a great experience as it reduces the many accounts I already have for various apps and services so thanks Anker for that!
The Soundcore app has additional features which you can switch on or off or utilise to make your experience even greater. For example with the Space Q45 headphones you can set a safe volume so if you accidentally let your kids, nephews, nieces or friends use the headphones and you want to protect those precious ears, you can set a minimum and maximum volume level.
You can also set ambient sound preferences to either Noise Cancellation, Normal and Transparency mode. There is also the ability to set effects to either a default setting mode that can be from 22 preset sound effects from Soundcore Signature, Acoustic, Bass Booster, Bass reducer, Classical, 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.
There is also the ability to set the controls with the Noise Cancelling button as to what the button will be able to do like switch between ANC modes for a single tap and for a double tap you select the ability to turn on or off the BassUp feature to nothing at all.
Of course, the app also acts as a way to keep the Space Q45 Wireless headphones up to date via security and firmware updates, alongside also receiving technical support and providing feedback about the headphones.
Should you consider buying one?
Despite the issues I found, I have to say I am impressed by the Soundcore Space Q45 wireless headphones and I could easily recommend these headphones to anyone who prefers and wants wireless headphones over wireless earbuds but doesn’t want to break the bank.
I would like to see some updates to the app to enable to another button to maybe have some additional functionality so that it’s not limited to just one of two buttons, but also the ability to customise the buttons to the features you want and like to have, but that just my own personal opinion at the end of the day.
The Soundcore Space Q45 wireless headphones can be purchased from Amazon Australian, Kogan and directly through the Soundcore websites for $219.99.