Anker SoundCore Life Q20 Headphones Review

Anker SoundCore Life Q20 Headphones Review
9.1 Total Score

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Anker SoundCore Life Q20 Headphones Review
Anker SoundCore Life Q20 Headphones Review
  • Great sound quality
  • Up to 60 hours of battery life
  • Improved Active Noise Cancellation

Design

The over-the-ear design of the SoundCore Life Q20 resembles a similar design as the Bose QuietComfort line of headphones, although at a slighter larger size.

The Life Q20 headphones are mostly plastic, but there is a metal sheet in the headband that neither makes the headphones too tight or too loose on my head. The headband also has some extra cushioning so they rest comfortably on the top of my head.

The ear-cups are soft and I’ve found them comfortable when wearing them for extended periods of time. However, like many headphones in this style, there is little “breathability” for your ears and can result in the “ear sweats” over time.

What’s new since the Soundcore Life 2 headphones?

If you’ve been following the Soundcore brand, you may notices the the Life Q20 closely resembles the Life 2. So what’s new?

The Soundcore Life Q20 now uses 4 microphones (compared to 2 microphones on the Life 2) for the Active Noise Cancellation system. On each ear cup, there is now a microphone on both the inside and the outside to help the system “hear” what the listener can hear and what the listener can’t hear to further improve the Active Noise Cancellation system’s effectiveness.

Soundcore Life Q20 and the Soundcore Life 2 look basically the same

Performance

As is typical with Soundcore’s products, the sound quality on the Soundcore Life Q20 headphones is excellent. Bass is strong and mids and highs come through well.

Those who like extra bass can enable the “BassUP” feature by double-pressing the Play button on the right ear cup. However, I found the BassUP feature a little too muddy and overpowers the mids and highs. Even though I like bass, I’m actually happy with the performance when the BassUP feature is off.

One issue I’ve noticed with Active Noise Cancellation enabled is the fluctuation of volume on some songs. It does not seem to occur when Active Noise Cancellation is off, so I’m assuming it is part of the headphone’s system for canceling outside noises. The volume fluctuations are not huge, but I have noticed this on more than one occasion.

Bluetooth range was also impressive, as I was able to walk around my house with my iPhone in a different room and I didn’t notice any blips until I got about 50 feet away indoors.

Compared to the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II

The Soundcore Life Q20 is a contender against the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II. When comparing the Bose QC 35 vs the SoundCore Life Q20, keep the following in mind:

  • The noise cancellation on the Soundcore Life Q20 is not quite as effective as the Bose QC 35 II. While the Life Q20 can filter out general “humms” (such as the sound of an airplane or the sound of an air conditioning unit), it’s not as effective against people talking, babies crying or doors slamming.
  • The size of the Soundcore Life Q20s is slightly larger than the Bose QC 35.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs Soundcore Life Q20

Features

  • Voice prompts: When powering on the headphones, a voice announces the current battery level. The voice also tells you the status of the Active Noise Cancellation system and BassUP settings as you change them. This is a nice change from many of Soundcore’s other products that typically use beeps and sounds that you need to decipher.
  • Active Noise Cancellation turns off with power: Some headphones require that the Active Noise Cancellation feature be turned off separate from the power, which has resulted in me forgetting to turn it off and draining the battery. I like that the Active Noise Cancellation automatically turns off with the power.

Battery Life

The Soundcore Life Q20s last up to 60 hours in “normal” mode and up to 30 hours with the Active Noise Cancellation feature turned on. The Life Q20s can be used with a wired AUX connection while off with no battery charge required. The headphones use a Micro USB port for recharging (sorry, no USB-C).

Video Review

9.1 Total Score
Great

While the Soundcore Life Q20s don't quite have the sound quality or active noise cancellation capabilities of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, they are still sound great and provide adequate noise cancellation for travel.

Design
9.1
Sound Quality
9.1
Noise Cancelling
9.0
Features
8.8
Battery Life
9.6
PROS
  • Great sound quality
  • Up to 60 hours of battery life
  • Improved Active Noise Cancellation
CONS
  • BassUP effect can sound muddy
  • ANC results in volume fluctuations on some songs

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Over Ear Bluetooth Headphones, 40H Playtime, Hi-Res Audio, Deep Bass, Memory Foam Ear Cups, for Travel, Home Office

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as of September 22, 2020 2:58 pm

Features

  • Hi-Res Audio Certified: Custom oversized 40 mm dynamic drivers produce Hi-Res Audio—a certification only awarded to audio devices capable of producing exceptional sound. Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones reproduce your music with extended high frequencies that reach up to 40 kHz for extraordinary clarity and detail.
  • Reduce Ambient Noises By Up to 90%: Our team of engineers conducted more than 100,000 tests in real-life scenarios to fine-tune Life Q20’s 4 built-in ANC microphones and digital active noise cancellation algorithm. As a result, the hybrid active noise cancellation can detect and cancel out a wider range of low and mid-frequency noises such as cars and airplane engines.
  • 100% Stronger Bass: Our exclusive BassUp technology conducts real-time analysis of the low frequencies to instantly strengthen the bass output. Double press the play button when listening to bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop for an amplified listening experience.
  • 40-Hour Playtime*: Up to 40 hours of non-stop playtime in wireless active noise cancellation mode (at 60% volume) is extended to an enormous 60 hours in standard music mode. A single charge gives you enough juice to listen to over 600 songs or soundtrack multiple long haul flights. And when you’re in a rush, charge Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones for 5 minutes and get 4 hours of listening.
  • Universal Comfort: Memory foam earcups gently mold around your ears, while the headband’s rotating joints automatically adjust the angle of the earcups to fit the shape of your head. Life Q20 active noise canceling headphones offer maximum comfort and a secure seal—making them ideal for when you’re working at home, taking online classes, or traveling.

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