To be honest, I always use wireless earbuds as my daily drivers when it comes to listening to music and podcasts whether home or traveling. For the latter, I want ANC (active noise cancellation) to be an option on my earbuds. All the noise from planes, trains and automobiles makes it difficult to enjoy music without ANC. But earbuds can only do so much when it comes to noise cancellation. For real quieting noise cancellation and louder volumes, you have to go with a pair of headphones.
It just so happened that about an hour before I left for the airport to board a five-hour, cross-country plane ride, the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 showed up on my doorstep to review. Needless to say, it was perfect timing, and I couldn’t have been more excited to test out these headphones by land, by air and by sea (I didn’t take them out on a boat, I just wanted to finish the phrase). Keep on reading to find out how the Anker SoundCare Space Q45 fared during testing.
Design: Cozy and Comfortable
The all black headphones look great. The brushed black metal headband especially makes the design look more modern and sleek. The ends of the headband where the sliders can be adjusted are made out of plastic and don’t feel as sturdy as the headband itself.
The ear cups are also made of plastic with nice plush black padding inside. As I mentioned earlier, I brought these on a five-hour flight and wore them the entirety of the flight and I can say that neither my head nor ears ever felt fatigued or sore. Definitely a comfortable pair of headphones.
Features: ANC But Not Much Else
It seemed like the Space Q45 Headphones were a bit light in the feature department. There are three modes of ANC – Noise Canceling (on), Normal (off), and Transparency that allows you to hear your surroundings better even while you have the headphones on. I dive into how well the ANC worked in the next section.
The manufacturer claims you can get up to 50 hours of playtime on a single charge. I can confirm that after two five-hour flights and listening to them on the subway and at home, the headphones are still at “medium” battery. So, I wouldn’t worry about your battery crapping out on you on a cross-country flight, or even an international flight. Aside from the ANC/Transparency Mode and robust battery life there aren’t many other features that stand out.
Performance: Good Sound But Not Loud Enough
For the flight, I was impressed by the ANC. I would need to remove an ear cup to hear anything my girlfriend was trying to say to me. It blocked out a lot of the engine noise from the plane and left me to my music podcasts, and inflight movie (I watched Bridesmaids in case you were wondering). When at home and I turn the transparency mode on, I can hear my girlfriend clearly when she is speaking to me, much like how I feel when I wear my Airpod Pros. Overall, the ANC options are a strong selling point for the headphones.
My biggest qualm with the headphones is the volume. I, nor my girlfriend, don’t think they get loud enough (I know she isn’t reviewing the headphones but keep reading, the story gets there). I played a new jam by the Gorillaz called New Gold and even with the ANC on, I just wanted the headphones to get a little louder. I removed the headphones and put them on my girlfriend to listen and after about ten seconds, she motioned to turn up the volume. When I told her the volume on both the phone and headphones was maxed out, she couldn’t believe it.
That’s how it was watching Bridesmaids as well – the volume turned virtually all the way up on the screen and on my headphones just to hear the dialogue. Of course, I waited until I got off the plane to listen dynamically to music and judge the headphones’ capabilities there.
Lullaby By the Sea by Birocratic is such a cleverly mixed song with a lot of panning sounds and various instruments coming from top and bottom, left and right. I feel like I get that experience better with my Airpods than I did with the Q45 headphones. There’s a lot of sound information in that song, and I was hoping for more dynamics while listening. That’s not to say these don’t sound good and clear – because they do – but I figured with more enclosed sound and bigger drivers that the performance would be a little stronger.
Speaking of bigger drivers, I was hoping for more bass as well. These headphones don’t bump as hard as I’d hoped. Songs like ELEMENT and DNA by Kendrick Lamar don’t quite have the emphasis without rumbling bass. These don’t sound tinny by any stretch, but they won’t win any awards in the bass category either.
Our Verdict: Great Battery for Traveling, But Not Audiophile Worthy
I was happy I got to bring the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 on my cross-country trip. The headphones were comfortable the whole time. I got to block out all of the screaming children on my flight and I didn’t have to take a charge break like I would have with my Airpods Pros (battery only lasts about four hours, which is kind of ridiculous honestly). Sure, they didn’t get as loud as I’d hoped or thumped out enough bass as I’d prefer, but overall, these were really comfortable, quality sounding headphones that were a great audio companion for traveling.
Should You Buy Anker Soundcore Space Q45?
The battery life and comfort alone make the answer a yes for me. Not having to worry about charging your headphones, especially while you’re on the go for a long time is a blessing. And if you’re not into bass heavy music or you don’t care to listen to music loudly (which I do), then you have nothing to worry about, and these are a steal at sub $200.
- Long battery life
- Don’t get as loud as others
- Bass production could be better
Anker Soundcore Space Q45