Price: $149 / £139 / AU$219
Colors: Black; navy blue; white
Battery life (rated): 37 hours (ANC and LDAC on); 45 hours (LDAC on); 50 hours (ANC on); 65 hours (ANC off)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 (codec support: SBC, AAC, LDAC)
Size: 6.3 x 3.4 x 7.4 inches
Weight: 10.3 ounces
Anker’s Soundcore Space Q45 is the latest addition to the electronics giant’s widely popular headphone collection. It features flagship specs at a relatively affordable price ($149), including active noise cancellation (ANC), Bluetooth 5.3 with multipoint technology, Hi-Res Audio certification, LDAC support, and some of the longest battery life in the category.
Performance-wise, these headphones deliver spacious, impactful sound, along with ANC and strong connectivity to enjoy hi-res streaming on multiple platforms (e.g., iOS/Android/Windows). They also bear some of the same flaws as previous Anker models such as a bulky design, finicky smart controls, and weak wind reduction.
Read our full Soundcore Space Q45 review to see whether Anker’s latest release can compete against the market’s best noise-cancelling headphones.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Price and availability
- Attractive price
- Currently available in black (other options arrive later in 2022)
You can purchase the Soundcore Space Q45 for $149 on Amazon or directly from Anker. Black is the only color available at launch, with navy blue and white releasing sometime later in the year. Inside the box are a carrying case, USB-C charging cable, aux cable, and a user guide.
These models join a crowded mid-range noise-cancelling headphone market, led by the fantastic Cleer Enduro ANC ($139) and well-received Urbanista Miami ($149). For more elite performance, you can always splurge on category leaders such as the Sennheiser Momentum 4 ($349) or Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399).
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Design and comfort
- Slightly clunky looks
- Solid build quality
- Mostly comfortable
Aside from the color options and Space Series branding on the left earcup, the Space Q45 look no different than the Life Q35. That’s a plus. The aluminum alloy hinge and thick-plastic yokes are of great quality, ensuring the Space Q45 won’t shatter if dropped on the ground. Details like the matte finish and embossed Soundcore logo on the front of earcup are nice touches, too.
The carrying case hasn’t changed much either, except there’s a plastic mold on the inside to easily pack up the headphones and accessories instead of a sketch showing how to place everything. I do prefer the felt material used on the case of Life Q35 over the elastic exterior of the Space Q45 case, though.
Based on the specs provided by Anker, the Space Q45 is heavier (10.3 ounces) than the Life Q35 (9.6 ounces). However, the materials make these headphones feel lighter and comfier than most ANC models. The soft, skin-friendly cushioning on the bottom headband doesn’t apply much pressure atop the skull and the earcup padding is gentle on the ears.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Controls and digital assistant
- Straightforward and reliable controls
- No touch gesture support or motion detection
- Unreliable voice assistant at times
Anker still hasn’t jumped on the touch controls bandwagon. Yet regardless of the Space Q45’s lack of touch gestures and wear detection (no auto-pause when removing the headphones), it comes with several media controls that can be activated via multifunctional buttons.
The right earcup has a play/pause button that can also turn on the digital assistant (2x press), while the volume rockers do as expected and perform other functions (skip forward/backward). The left earcup has a power/pairing button and an NC button that enables listening modes or the BassUp feature. All these buttons are easy to locate and produce solid tactility to ensure listeners of intended commands being executed.
The digital assistant acted wacky at times. Google Assistant was more serviceable than Siri. Google’s AI bot registered and performed most commands accurately (“open Spotify”), but it would often lag when given intricate demands; it took about 3 seconds to pull up the Bleacher Report website when asked. My biggest frustrations came when using Siri on my MacBook Pro, as the feature often misinterpreted basic commands like “what is my next event?” for “what is my next alarm?”
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Sound quality
- Energetic, spacious soundstage
- High-quality LDAC support from compatible devices
- Useful audio personalization tools
The Space Q45 packs some serious audio specs for a mid-range headphone. 40mm double-layer-diaphragm drivers sit underneath the hood that ramps up the low end, while also producing rich mids and crisp highs. Anker’s soundstage is wide and immersive, and the inclusion of BassUp mode adds more oomph to music; the technology sounds more refined this time around. Users can enable BassUp in the Sound Effects setting via companion app, as well as the customizable EQ and over 20+ presets that cater to different music genres and content.
Let’s get into the sound quality. The booming synths on Two Feet’s “I Feel Like I’m Drowning” slapped my eardrum with such ferocity, especially in BassUp mode, and there wasn’t any distortion. Lows were reproduced well, and I felt every pluck from the bluesy guitar. That level of realism carried over onto Jazz classics. Records like Duke Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood” were intimate listens, as the delicate drum rolls, soothing saxophone, and tinny hi-hats had a liveliness to them that placed me in the front row of the performance.
Qualcomm’s aptX codec support might be missing for AAC and SBC codecs, but the Space Q45 features high-quality LDAC codec support that's able to handle wireless streams at 990kbps from compatible playback devices. This brings the Space Q45 in line with upmarket models like the Sony WH-1000XM5.
Listening with noise cancellation on boosts the bass a smidge but doesn’t compromise other frequencies.
What about wired mode? You can expect clean, detailed audio performance, though I noticed the bass and volume levels were a little lower compared to wireless mode.
Something else the Space Q45 has that many other models do is a Safe Volume setting. This detects volume being output from the headphones in real time to determine if it’s potentially harmful to your hearing.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Active noise cancellation
- Effective ANC
- Surprisingly good wind resistance
- Great dual ambient-listening mode
Anker engineered the Space Q45 with a versatile Ambient Sound mode that features dual settings for both Noise Cancellation and Transparency settings. And they all work well when used in proper situations. The headphones claim to block out 85% of ambient noise and demonstrate satisfactory wind reduction.
Enabling the custom noise-cancelling setting in the companion app lets you adjust ANC between five different levels. The higher you go, the more noise the Space Q45 blocks out, which is a huge amount. Most low- and mid-frequency sounds went undetected, though a few high-frequency sounds (e.g., baby cries, whistles) caught my attention. There is one caveat when set at the max level, and Anker says: “the higher the noise reduction level, the stronger the low frequency noise reduction effect (in-ear pressure will be higher).” I felt that pressure after 30 minutes of use. Bringing ANC down to level 3 eased the pressure and provided adequate noise neutralization, though I could still make out certain sounds like dog barks and landscaping tools.
Switching to Adaptive was better and automatically adjusted to the noise levels around me. It did struggle with loud, blaring noises, but they were less distracting when listening to music at a high volume. Anker’s four-mic system and the Wind Noise Reduction feature also helped minimize whisking effects.
Transparency mode was just as rewarding to use. The custom setting works exactly like it does in ANC mode and increases the ambient sound pass-through effect the higher you go. Setting it to level 5 let me hear noise from nearly a block away, along with high-frequency sounds that were further out. Talk Mode served better for conversations, boosting clarity for vocals to come through loudly and clearly in different environments.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Special features and app
- Plenty of features for the price
- No Find My Headphones
As with all Anker Soundcore products, extended functionality runs through the Soundcore app. Downloading it grants you access to the numerous features previously discussed: ANC/Ambient Sound, Safe Volume, Sound Effects, Sound Mode, and Wind Noise Reduction.
Other notables include an auto power off function, battery level indicator, firmware updates, and a device list showing what current devices the headphones have paired with. There’s also a widget that can be placed on your smartphone home screen to enable listening modes without having to jump in to the app.
Oddly, Anker chose to leave out some features present in past models such as Superior Sleep, which is basically a soundscape mode with relaxing ambient sounds that help put you to sleep.
The Soundcore Space Q45 headphones are the fourth generation of Anker's noise-cancelling headphones, and they still don’t come with a Find My Headphones function.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Battery life and charging case
- Outstanding battery life
- Powerful quick charging
Anker’s never been one to cheat their consumers out of battery life. After all, they built their legacy on selling high-powered portable chargers. It should come as no surprise that the Space Q45 has some of the lengthiest playtimes in the category, no matter how you use the headphones.
A full charge gets you 50 hours with ANC on and up to 65 hours with ANC off, placing it in the same company as the Sennheiser Momentum 4 (60 hours). Bear in mind that these aren’t accurate playtimes, as high volume and select features bring them down by 2 to 3 hours, which is still fantastic. Those who use the Space Q45 moderately can get about a month of use. Music lovers like myself should get around two weeks of ANC listening before needing a recharge.
With LDAC enabled battery life depletes more rapidly and is a real drainer. However, using the feature still gets you between 37 to 45 hours. That’s still more than what the Bose 700 (20 hours) and Sony WH-1000XM5 (30 – 40 hours) can do on a full charge.
If that’s not enough, Anker’s quick-charging technology helps net you 4 hours of listening time in 5 minutes, which is very impressive indeed.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Call quality and connectivity
- Fine for voice and video calls
- Wind reduction in call mode isn’t as good as ANC
- Bluetooth 5.3 with multipoint technology operates well
This is one of Anker’s better calling headsets, though it slightly misses the cut on our best headphones for voice and video calls. The AI-enhanced mics do a decent job of identifying and picking up human voices, but the headphones’ anti-wind noise technology doesn’t work well.
Conversations sounded loud and clear, with occasional muffle coming into the mix. Any calls I took inside the house or backyard were met with positive feedback, while the ones in front of the house didn’t go over so well due to the mics picking up lots of background interference. The whooshing effects from speeding cars and wind weren’t harsh, but they made it difficult for those on the opposite end to hear me.
Bluetooth 5.3 operated well. I achieved up to 80 feet of wireless range in open spaces. Pairing wasn’t as quick as I thought it would be, sometimes connecting instantaneously with recognized devices and other times just waiting idly for me to manually pair to devices through the Bluetooth settings. Google Fast Pair would have been a nice addition for one-tap pairing with Android devices, but Anker chose to forgo it.
On the plus side, the Space Q45 comes with multipoint technology to pair with two devices simultaneously. If you’re having issues connecting to two audio sources at once, enter the Device List setting in the app and you can toggle on the secondary device. Note that you cannot use LDAC and multipoint at the same time.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 review: Verdict
The Soundcore Space Q45 drives quite the bargain. It offers remarkable battery life, quality ANC, and superb sound powered by upmarket specs and special features. Anker delivers on most of its promises, but not all, as exemplified by the poor digital assistant and wind reduction during calls. The large design might not be for everyone either.
Look past its flaws and the Space Q45 will reward with you compelling sound and noise neutralization for half the price of Bose and Sony’s flagship models.