Soundcore Life Q35 by Anker

Endurance Bluetooth over-ears with multimode ANC and LDAC codec

Like Ankers Soundcore Life Q30, the Life Q35 are also equipped with a transparency mode and three noise-cancellation profiles for outdoor or indoor use as well as for travelling. Flexible sound adjustment via an app is also available, and here the Chinese manufacturer relies on LDAC technology, a particularly high-resolution audio codec, for its new flagship wireless over-ears.

The space-saving foldable design is very reminiscent of its predecessor and, at 268 grams, weighs only five grams more. They have also retained a comfortable, well-balanced fit that is not too loose to provide sufficient support when on the move but does not feel too tight and does not create a feeling of pressure. The headband size adjustment covers a wide range from petite to large heads, particularly since the tiltable and rotatable ear cups are highly adaptable. However, this model does have a chemical smell, but this largely disappears after a few days in the fresh air.

These Bluetooth headphones delivered strong results in our battery endurance test: while a listening time of 46 hours was achieved with active noise cancellation at a high volume, this increased to a good 56 hours without noise cancelling. The over-ears are fully charged via the USB-C port after one hour and 45 minutes. In addition, there is a quick-charge option available that offers battery capacity for a runtime of three hours in ANC mode and an additional 45 minutes without noise-cancelling after a power supply of five minutes. Just like with the Life Q30, there is a high-quality 3.5 mm audio input with Hi-Res Audio certification, which means that these headphones offer the alternative of being operated wired. For this purpose, a mini-jack cable with a 1-button remote and integrated microphone is included for use with mobile players such as Smartphones, tablets or HiRes players, while a USB-C to USB-A charging cable and aeroplane adapter and a transport case are also included in the package.

Device control

Pairing the Life Q35s, which support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and multi-pairing with two devices at once, can be done by holding down the power button on the left side of the headphones, which turns the system on and puts it into pairing mode. For NFC-compatible devices, pairing is also enabled by tapping the surface of the right ear cup. Once a wireless connection is established, the device can be controlled using three remote buttons, which are also located on the right-hand side of the cup. The smaller button, which is positioned at the bottom, controls playback and is used to answer and end phone calls while holding it down activates voice assistants. Two larger buttons are used for volume control, and they can also be used for track navigation, using the plus button to skip forward and the minus button to skip back. In addition, a sensor-based automatic start/stop function is included, and this reacts reliably and pauses playback when the headphones are taken off, and this can be switched on and off via the app.

When making calls, we noticed that your own voice is rendered in a somewhat choppy manner, which slightly limits speech intelligibility, while background noise is attenuated quite effectively, offering some advantages. The person on the other end of the line is perfectly understandable. The Bluetooth connection seemed very stable, with a high range of 13 metres within an urban environment.

App connection

In addition to ambient noise control and sound adjustment, the clearly organised Soundcore app offers a sleep mode with various ambient sounds. It is also possible to update these headphones via firmware updates. As well as the app, a widget can be set up, which allows you to select the ANC profile and switch between basic sound, transparency mode and noise cancelling.

Environmental noise & noise cancelling

Switching between basic sound, transparency mode and noise cancelling is done via a separate button on the left side of the headphones, and here you can use the app to set which of the three ANC profiles you want to use. There is also direct access to the ambient mode, which can be switched on and off at any time by briefly holding the touch-sensitive right ear cup surface. If this is active, outside noises are amplified via the microphones, which means that your surroundings can still be perceived up to a medium volume despite the high passive shielding of these over-ears and it is possible to react to your fellow human beings. The intelligibility of voices is also good, which makes conversation possible when playback is paused.

Noise cancelling can be adjusted to suit your environment via indoor, outdoor and traffic modes, each offering a noticeable attenuation of external noise. The traffic mode, which is intended for commuting and travelling, appears to be the most effective and significantly reduces the low to medium frequency spectrum. The indoor mode, on the other hand, primarily reduces voices and noises in the mid-frequency range, while the outdoor mode is designed to reduce street noise and wind noise. In both the transparency mode and the ANC profiles, there is a reduction in the bass range, which results in a brighter sound image and a slightly reduced playback volume. The ambient mode and the noise-cancelling are also available when using these headphones wired by switching through via the NC button in the same way as for Bluetooth operation.

Sound

In addition to the Bluetooth standard, the Life Q35s support the audio codecs SBC, the AAC format and the premium variant LDAC, while aptX codecs have been omitted. This is somewhat surprising as most Android devices can use neither LDAC nor AAC and therefore have to make do with the SBC codec. The rather bass-heavy basic tuning of these headphones also seems somewhat disappointing. The abundant low-frequency reproduction is not boomy but seems disproportionate and muffled, which results in a rather dull, lacklustre and closed sound image, especially with bass-orientated music, as the treble also lacks presence. Although there is no noticeable drop, the treble range is generally restrained, which is a shame, as there is neither a tendency to sibilance nor is there any harshness or sharpness. Voices, on the other hand, are very well reproduced, with a velvety warmth on the one hand, but precision and clarity on the other, resulting in good intelligibility.

In my opinion, the overemphasis in the bass range wastes a lot of sound potential, and this becomes clear as soon as you use the app’s extremely useful adjustment options. With the help of the decent 8-band equaliser, a much more balanced listening experience can easily be elicited from these headphones. Lowering the low-frequency range and raising the high-frequency range noticeably widens and opens up the sound, takes away the dullness and allows a wealth of detail to emerge. While I was not all that impressed by the basic sound, the Life Q35 turn out to be extremely versatile and adaptable, as the EQ settings are permanently stored on the over-ears. In addition to their own pre-sets, there is also a selection of more than 20 ready-made settings, which allow adaptation to different genres or influence the basic direction.

Maike Paeßens
4 weeks ago by Maike Paeßens
  • Rating: 4
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Thanks to effective sound adjustment via the app, Anker’s Soundcore Life Q35 are real quick-change artists, which means that the rather muffled, bass-heavy basic tuning can be considerably upgraded. These foldable over-ears also score points with long battery life and Bluetooth range, as well as a comfortable fit, while the ANC profiles and transparency mode allow flexible adaptation to your environment.

  • foldable design with comfortable fit
  • high battery life
  • fast charging function
  • 3.5 mm audio input with Hi-Res Audio up to 40,000 Hertz
  • choice of three ANC profiles plus transparency mode
  • flexible sound adjustment via app
  • support AAC format and LDAC
  • no aptX
  • rather muffled, bass-heavy basic sound
  • chemical smell when unpacked

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)Bluetooth: 20 - 20.000 Hz; AUX: 16 - 40.000 Hz
  • Impedance16 ohms
  • Weight with cable281 g
  • Weight without cable268 g

What's in the box

  • Mini-jack cable with 1-button remote and integrated microphone
  • Aeroplane adapter
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Transport case

Special features

  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
  • BT version: 5.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *