The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 is an improved version of the very decent Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless, and contains some moderate upgrades. While the older model had a large headband which made them loose for humans with smaller heads, the Q20s are a bit smaller and should fit most humans a bit better.
They also have a moderately improved ANC feature that blocks out speech much better and isolates the low rumble of bus or airplane engines slightly better, but they’re still not very good at it. Their V-shaped sound profile is quite exciting, making them a good choice for pop or rock music. Unfortunately, instead of having a nice tough case like the Life 2, the Q20 now comes with a simpler carrying pouch. On the other hand, their battery is slightly improved and now charges a little faster, which is good.
The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are decent headphones for on-the-go or travel. They are quite comfortable and come with a basic pouch to give them light protection when you put them in a bag. While their ANC should help block out your talkative seatmate on a plane, it won’t help block out the rumble of the engine. On the bright side, their long battery life should last even the longest days of travel, and they can be used passively if the battery runs dry.
The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC won’t win any design awards, but it’s still nice and understated. Black is the only color available, but in reality it looks more like a slightly metallic dark blue/grey. The plastic casing makes it light and comfortable for extended listening, but in return it feels cheap. In addition, the keys have a particularly hard click when pressed. Frequent travelers will appreciate that the headphones have rotating ear cups and fold up for storage and transport.
However, there is no hard case included but there is a pouch in the box if you don’t want to scratch them in your bag. Each earbud contains large, easy-to-use physical buttons. On the left side you have buttons for power/pairing and ANC. On the right side you have media playback buttons, which include a multifunction button that activates your phone’s voice assistant and Bass Up, Anker’s name for its bass boost feature.
Charging is done via micro-USB instead of the now common USB-C port, which is a shame. There’s also a 3.5mm analogue jack, so you can use the headphones in wired mode when you run out of juice. Comfort-wise, the headphones are lightweight thanks to the plastic construction and ultra-soft leatherette ear cups and headband. We wore the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC for hours without feeling any signs of fatigue, even with glasses on, which is very rare.
This is perhaps the most differentiating feature of the Life Q20. Where most budget models skimp on ear cup size and padding, offering comfortable fits only to those with smaller noggins and ears, the Life Q20 instead offers plush padding and plenty of room to ears. Loose, spongy padding and leatherette upholstery mimics the feel of what most high-end models offer. The ear cups themselves are also larger, offering much better accommodation for larger ears than most competing models in the same price range.
Although people with larger ears may still have some contact between their ears and the padding, this padding is so soft that it generally does not create hot spots, even after hours of use. The only gripe we have with the Life Q20 in terms of comfort is its headband. Although it fits snugly against the head, even in its most retracted state it is quite long. If your head is smaller, you may not be able to fit the headset small enough to have the ear cups positioned correctly while the headband fits snugly over your head.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data between mobile devices using short ultra-high radio waves of 2400-2485 GHz. Bluetooth-enabled headphones can connect to another Bluetooth-enabled device, usually a smartphone or tablet, and play media wirelessly. Bluetooth headphones with microphones can answer calls wirelessly and usually have some sort of operating system that lets you play and pause music or answer and reject a call, even through your headphones.
All Bluetooth protocols must adhere to the standards of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, an international standards organization that oversees the development of Bluetooth technology. As a result, Bluetooth has a number of advantages over non-standard wireless radio frequency technologies, such as lower power consumption, less signal interference, and greater device compatibility. However, Bluetooth devices require a pairing process which can be tedious and can only connect to a limited number of devices.
Alright, let’s come to the main area of this Anker Soundcore Life Q20 noise canceling review. Noise cancellation is as good as they claim. Let’s see, the noise canceling feature has microphones inside and outside the headphones to cancel airplane noise and car noise by up to 90%, which Soundcore claims, so for control the noise canceling function of the headphones, you have the power. button on the left cup and the noise canceling button on the left cup, which turns noise cancellation on and off.
Unfortunately, there is no ambient noise adjustment on these headphones. Does the noise cancellation really do anything, or is it just a gimmick spoiling the listening experience? Noise cancellation is good, but not as good as the higher end models where you spend three, four and five times as much as these headphones. So we wouldn’t say they rival them, but for the money they work great and you can hear a slight difference in the music when the noise cancellation mode is on.
However, the over-ear headphones still sounded good, we’ve used them in taxis and long drives, and they made a big difference honestly, so on the Traveling the engine noise was reduced by about 60% there where Sony and Bose will do around 90% pretty well at that price ha? This basically makes it easier to listen to movies and music on planes and taxis. As we said before, this reduces engine noise by around 60%, which is really nice.
We may not have been blown away by the looks of these headphones, but they offer an impressive set of features for the price. The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 packs four high-sensitivity active noise-cancelling microphones that Anker claims reduce external din by up to 90%. We’re usually wary when we see claims of ANC in a pair of budget over-ear headphones, but it works well enough here, with dryer-like low-frequency rumble and roommate farts becoming non-existent.
Chatter and laughter remained audible, but that might not be such a bad thing if you need to listen to important information. Besides ANC, there are a range of other features designed to enhance your listening experience. With their custom 40mm dynamic drivers and ability to cover frequencies down to 40Hz, the Soundcore Life Q20s are built to handle Hi-Res Audio.
Anker has also included its exclusive BassUp technology, which if you select it analyzes the profile of your music in real time, then automatically boosts low frequencies by up to 43%. When it comes to their wireless capabilities, Anker’s cans pair with your device via Bluetooth 5. In our test, we found that they maintained an uninterrupted signal for about 15 meters, which should cover roughly nearly all areas of your home.
The sound quality of the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC is good, but nothing extraordinary. There’s not a lot of detail and the tonal balance is definitely on the warm side, emphasizing bass. This makes the headphones easy to listen to for long periods as the sound isn’t fatiguing, but those looking for more detail in their listening experience will be disappointed.
Unfortunately, Anker doesn’t offer an app to adjust the equalizer to your liking, so you’re stuck with Anker’s out-of-the-box setting, but it does have a BassUp feature, which boosts the bass even more, but recommend we leave it off as it sounds terrible. The bass is already quite muddy and the BassUp function only exacerbates this deficit even more.
We are going to check the second most important thing about a wireless headphone battery Moving on to battery life, it can last up to 60 hours with noise canceling off, and 40 hours with noise canceling on means it can survive at least two long flights with ease.
If you charge these headphones for 5 minutes, you’ll get around four hours of playback, which is again pretty good. It’s a big bummer that they’re using a micro usb instead of a type c cable for charging as we believe that at this point many of us have a lot more type c cables than micro usb . Normally, Anker Soundcore Life Q20 takes about 3 hours to fully charge, which can last up to 60 hours.
We hope you understand and enjoy this review list. Offering great value wireless headphones, the SoundCore Life Q20 is a great choice for those shopping on a budget. While no aspect of these earbuds is state-of-the-art, the sound quality, active noise cancellation, and wearing comfort are well above average, all at a below-average price. The only downside to these headphones is the headband, which is quite large even at the smallest setting. This means people with smaller heads may struggle to find a secure and comfortable fit.