Anker Soundcore H30i review

These $39 wireless headphones offer strong performance at the price, but expect compromises

Anker Soundcore H30i held aloft outdoors and covered in rain drops
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Anker Soundcore H30i sound great and last longer than any luxury wireless headphones out there, but they also lack several basics.


  • +

    Wide sound with thumping bass

  • +

    Very long battery life

  • +

    Impressive build quality

  • +

    Soundcore app support


  • -

    Weak noise isolation

  • -

    Uncomfortable after long listening stretches

  • -

    Missing many flagship features

  • -

    Unfavorable control scheme

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Anker Soundcore H30i: Specifications

Price: $39 / £39 / AU$89
Colors: Black; red; white
Battery life (rated): Up to 70 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 (codec support: SBC, AAC)
Size: Not specified
Weight: 6.4 ounces (183g) 

These Soundcore H30i over-ear headphones last up to 70 hours, pump out monstrous bass, and host premium wireless features including Bluetooth 5.3 with multipoint technology and a companion app. Priced at under $40, they're one of the cheapest headphones I've seen. Despite the low price through, you're in good hands with Soundcore by Anker. It has a strong reputation among the best cheap wireless headphones, with numerous models across multiple categories and all kinds of price points from entry- to mid-level models. 

Anker is known for its stealth launches — putting out products with no marketing behind them — and the Soundcore H30i over headphones are one of them. Some flaws are to be expected at the low price, but the H30i are a worthy investment for anyone wanting terrific audio quality with long battery life at a great price.

Anker Soundcore H30i held in hand showing controls

(Image credit: Future)

Anker Soundcore H30i review: Price & availability

  • Sold through Amazon at $39
  • Available in black, red, and white color options

The Soundcore H30i wireless headphones have a retail price of $39, but they’ve been  spotted with a 20% discount bring them down to $32 at Amazon in recent sales. The H30i come in three colors: black, red, and white. These headphones are exclusive to Amazon, and why Anker doesn’t list the product on its website remains a mystery. 

The pricing puts the H30i in the same league as the $54 1More SonoFlow SE and $89 Soundpeats Space, two noise-canceling models with similar features. Those seeking a more expansive spec sheet and stronger performance may want to spend a few dollars more on their sibling, the $99 Space One, which carry more signature Soundcore features in a chicer package.

Anker Soundcore H30i review: Design

Anker Soundcore H30i held aloft outdoors and covered in rain drops

(Image credit: Future)
  • Adequate craftsmanship
  • Tight clamp force causes discomfort
  • Inconvenient controls

The H30i don’t match the polished, sleek construction of other Soundcore over-ears, but they look and feel better than most sub-$50 headphones. Solid plastic is wrapped around the exterior, while soft foam padding covers the earcups and cushion below the headband. Aluminum-built extenders and silver accents add some flare to a basic design. Fit is fine, though the tight clamp force makes these headphones an uncomfortable wear after 2 to 3 hours of use. 

The H30i’s control scheme feels botched. Programming the power button and volume rockers for multifunctional use was not a wise idea. Listeners must memorize a longer-than-usual list of multi-press gestures to execute basic commands (e.g., playback/call management). There’s no way to customize the control scheme. I would never have known about BassUp mode (press the power button 3x) had I not consulted the manual; most headphones have a dedicated button for this type of feature. Furthermore, the buttons are too small and difficult to locate. Adding insult to injury is the lack of digital assistant support (Google Assistant/Siri).

Anker Soundcore H30i review: Features

Anker Soundcore H30i with app

(Image credit: Future)
  • Serviceable features via mobile app
  • Missing a few coveted functions

All functionality runs through the Soundcore app (iOS/Android), which provides access to multiple features: custom EQ, Dual Connections (aka multipoint technology), and over 20 music presets. Other notables include a battery level indicator, firmware updates, product registration, and a low battery prompt toggle. The app is also user friendly and well designed.

This is a reasonable feature set for wireless cans this inexpensive. At the same time, I can’t help but think that Soundcore could have added more upscaled features (e.g., ANC, LDAC, Safe Volume) if it wanted to. The Space One headphones are proof. There doesn’t seem to be an auto-timer function to place the H30i in sleep mode when inactive. Wear detection isn’t available for auto-pausing music when taking off the headphones. Anker doesn’t let you enable the BassUp feature in the companion app. And as previously mentioned, Google Assistant and Siri are not compatible with the H30i.

Anker Soundcore H30i review: Sound quality

Anker Soundcore H30i with smartphone accessing sound quality

(Image credit: Future)
  • Bass-forward sound that becomes neutral in wired mode
  • Several well-engineered presets
  • On-ear design lets in a lot of ambient noise

The H30i comes with warm, pleasant sound that can personalized via BassUp mode or multiple presets in the Soundcore app. Frequencies are nicely balanced. Lows tend to override the soundstage on bass-heavy tracks, but there’s still plenty of mids and highs to consume. 

I loved how clean and impactful the snares sounded on Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream.” Synergy was high, thanks to the vibrant combination of motion-driven synths, smooth guitar strums, and striking drum effects, which were all reproduced well. Moving onto more boomy selections, Missy Elliot’s “Lose Control” rattled my skull with its bombastic and bubbling low end. It’s rare to find headphones this low in price that can handle emphatic bass response and produce minimal distortion, but the H30i did just that. 

A handful of presets don’t hit the same as they do on Anker’s over-ear models; Deep and Small Speaker create bloated messes. However, the majority are effective and complement their respective music genres or content.

Anker Soundcore H30i placed on a wall outside

(Image credit: Future)

Recent listening experiences on low-priced wired headphones have been poor, but the H30i were a breath of fresh air. Plugging in the aux cable dropped bass levels, but the flat frequency presentation cleared up the soundstage and placed more emphasis on mids and highs.

Anker is one of the few budget headphone makers to utilize Sony’s LDAC audio codec, which is featured on the Space One and can provide smooth, clear-sounding streams at higher bitrates than aptX. The H30i doesn’t come with LDAC. Instead, it supports AAC and SBC codecs to stream music on iOS/macOS and Android devices at steady bit rates.

Noise isolation is arguably the H30i’s biggest weakness. On-ear headphones don’t block out ambient noise the same way most over-ear or the best noise-canceling headphones do, resulting in unwanted sounds creeping onto your favorite tracks. The amount of audible noise heard when walking through urban settings wasn’t so bad, but construction sites and the occasional blazing siren-blaring firetruck interrupted my listening sessions.

Anker Soundcore H30i review: Battery life

Anker Soundcore H30i

(Image credit: Future)
  • Lengthier playtime than any Bose or Sony headphone
  • Powerful quick charging

The H30i holds a maximum of 70 hours fully charged, which is much higher than triple-A releases like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones (24 hours) and Sony WH-1000XM5 (30 to 40 hours). I only know of one model in the same price class that offers more playtime: the Soundpeats Space (123 hours). A 5-minute quick charge generates 4 hours of listening time. 

There is no wireless charging, and the H30i must be charged using the USB port on the right earcup.

Anker Soundcore H30i review: Verdict

In a market flooded with highly affordable options, the Soundcore H30i hold their own and put the pressure on many midrange models offering similar performance and specs at steeper prices. Anker nailed battery life, giving users up to 70 hours of playtime on a single charge, along with some of the strongest quick charging in the category. Build quality is impressive and sound is surprisingly great as well.

At $39, you can’t fault the H30i’s feature omissions such as ANC and better codec support, but you can criticize the brand for functional missteps and standard exclusions like voice assistance and wear detection.

Shortcomings aside, the H30i do exactly what they’re meant to, which is dish out solid sound for lengthy stretches. Those are hallmarks well worth their asking price.

Alex Bracetti

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.