With the Soundcore Life Q20, Anker adds to its wireless range with a pair of over-ears that are ideal for everyday listening thanks to respectable sound quality and active noise-cancelling properties. This robust Anker model is quick to charge and supports Bluetooth 5.0, while there are functional device controls for both Android and iOS systems as standard.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)16 - 40.000 Hz
- Impedance16 ohms
- Weight with cable273 g
- Weight without cable259 g
What's in the box
- Cable with mini jacks
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch
While these over-ears have a primarily plastic construction, things look and feel surprisingly robust. What’s more, the material choice doesn’t steal away from the impressive-looking finish. Wearing comfort is admittedly good, but the headphones do sit a little loosely on the head, partly due to the fairly light weight of 259 grams. As the earpieces can be tilted and rotated freely, the fit is ultimately very flexible and can be adapted to a variety of head shapes. Furthermore, the oval-shaped earpieces sit in a diagonal arrangement within the main housing, meaning that the wearer enjoys decent enough shielding against outside noise from the off. Another perk to note is that despite sizzling summer temperatures at the time of testing, these headphones didn’t suffer from any uncomfortable heating when worn outside. The foldable design allows for relatively compact storage and transport, although these are on somewhat on the larger side for similar devices in this class. The larger, looser design of the Soundcore Life Q20 will, however, find favour with those seeking something with lower contact pressure.
Thanks to the quick charging function, these Bluetooth headphones can be used for a full four hours after a mere five minutes of charging. To enjoy maximum performance, a full charge cycle of two hours is required via the USB cable supplied. During the test, these headphones certainly impressed with a full battery life in excess of 65 hours. This is particularly noteworthy when you consider playback was often enjoyed with higher levels enabled. According to the manufacturer, a battery runtime of approximately 30 hours can be expected with ANC enabled. Alternatively, you can settle for wired use, with a 3.5 mm audio input on hand. A mini jack cable is also included as an accessory for this very purpose.
The Soundcore Life Q20 offered stable ranges of up to 12 metres in the field when tested with a variety of Android and iOS devices. Pairing is achieved by pressing and holding the power button, which launches the device itself and automatically initiates Bluetooth pairing. When successfully connected, the 3-button remote on the right-hand side of the headphone housing can be used for key device control. The central multi-functional button controls play/stop functionality, as well as telephone call acceptance and termination. A separate plus and minus symbol can also be found for handling volume adjustments. These also double up as title navigation controls. As far as user-friendliness goes, there’s nothing to complain about really. Some weaknesses do present themselves when it comes to speech intelligibility during phone calls. While the clarity of the voice of the caller was always satisfactory, the voice of the user seems to be transmitted in a rather quiet and dull way, with background noise having an unwanted effect.
The sound of these over-ear headphones convince with a clear and balanced output, although the basses are very present, reaching into the lower bass range. Highs are also represented in the upper frequencies without any real issue, with slight distortions only really noticeable at higher levels. Sound is also lively, with an energetic response and tight stereo stage. With all this considered, these Bluetooth headphones can be seen as a suitable option for almost any genre of music and a wide range of everyday applications. All in all, the sound quality is very good for a device at this price level.
Those with a love of big bass can access the BassUp mode by double-clicking the middle button. In my opinion, this bass boost function has not been tuned with any great degree of success, with low frequencies far too dominant, drowning out the mid-range and trebles. Since the lower bass range also lacks clear definition, the bass output tends to distract from the overall listening experience.
Active Noise Cancelling
In contrast, the ANC mode is far more convincing in its delivery. This feature can be switched on and off via a switch on the left side of the device. The ANC system, with no less than four microphones utilised, significantly reduces distracting everyday background noise, proving particularly effective when listening in public spaces like a heavily congested commuter train carriage. When it comes to more complex sound sources, however, a less effective level of noise suppression is to be expected.
Soundcore’s portable Life Q20 scores top marks when it comes to its lengthy battery life, not to mention its quick charging capabilities. When you consider the impressive enough sound specs of this model, the price/performance ratio here is rather excellent. The noise-cancelling credentials are also worth getting excited about, with the technology particularly successful in minimising low-frequency sources. The only real point of contention here is the BassUp function, an optional feature that has no discernable added value to the user due to its heavily stress bass output. That being said, the feature is entirely optional, so needn’t distract from an otherwise premier package.