Laptop Mag Verdict
The Soundcore Space Q45s are a fantastic pair of over-ear headphones with impeccable noise cancellation, strong battery life and gorgeous sound quality. But the small improvements over the Q30 and Q35s may not be worth the additional investment for most listeners.
Impressive sound quality
Insanely good battery life
Durable, premium design
Value for money for audiophiles…
Most will be just as happy with cheaper Q35
Slightly heavier than Q30
No wearing detection
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Soundcore Space Q45 are the next top-tier entry into Anker’s over-ear headphone lineage, and let’s just get it out of the way — they’re really good.
Fifty-hour battery life, robustt noise cancellation (one of the strongest I’ve ever used), and top-notch sound quality, paired with a tweaked design and improved earcup structure culminates into an audio-emanating masterpiece.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 availability and price
The Soundcore Life Q45 headphones are available for $149 / £139 either directly from Anker or via Amazon. That is $10 more than the Soundcore Life Q35, but for the feature set, its price isn’t half bad compared to similarly specced rivals, such as the Sony WH-1000XM4 ($349), Bose 700 ($399) and AirPods Max ($549).
Included with the purchase is a case, a 3.5mm aux cable with a mic, a USB-C charging cable, and an airplane seat adaptor.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 design
Anker has stuck to the tried-and-tested design of the Soundcore Life Q35s and Q30s. With Space Q45, there are some small differences that I’ll go into later.
The build feels premium and stylishly restrained; the hinges and headband give a very real sense of durability, and the matte finish is attractive. The subtle sheen to the ring around each cup gives it all an extra kick of luxury, too. There is an additional plush comfort to the headband and cups that makes them comfortable to wear over longer periods of time.
This is further bolstered by the comfortable weight of 10.4 ounces. Granted, the Bose 700 (9 ounces) and Sony WH-1000XM4 (8.9 ounces) are lighter, but the AirPods Max are heftier at 13.6 ounces and the cushioning is in all the right places for hours-long wearability.
As for portability, the same oval carrying case from previous models makes its return here, which makes for a compact container that stashes into any backpack with ease. It is worth noting, though, that the soft finish on the outside easily falls victim to scuff marks and scratches.
When I put them on, I thought, “Why do these feel different compared to their predecessors? Are they not very similar in dimensions?” As it turned out, the Soundcore Space Q45 has a slightly wider earcup design, which fits ove rmy giant lugs with ease. It’s a small difference that most people with normal-sized ears won’t benefit from, but it’s a significant upgrade for me.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 controls and digital assistant
Controlling these feel similar to the Q30 and Q35s — that means you’re getting ANC and power buttons on the left earcup, and play/pause and volume controls (that double up as track skips by double-pressing them) on the right.
This results in an all-button UI, which is laid out in an easily navigable way for you to drum up a muscle memory of where all the controls are.
And given the symmetry to the Anker headphones, it should come as no surprise that these support Google Assistant and Siri, which pick up your voice easily enough for quick actions, whether you’re on a phone, tablet or laptop.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 active noise cancellation and ambient listening
Just like the Space A40 earbuds, the key promotional angle of the Space Q45s is its three-stage adaptive active noise cancellation, and this big talk is equally matched by some of the best ANC I’ve used in over-ear cans.
Anker touts it can block 98% of outside noise automatically, which is a claim it certainly measures up to. Even when sitting next to my air conditioner or walking alongside the busiest road in Nottingham, every sound was muted. Plus, for a more finite control over what frequencies to block out, there is a five-level manual ANC selection as well.
This is further reinforced by the updated ear-cup design that improves passive noise cancellation over the Q35s. But I need to give a particular shout out to the transparency mode. Available in five levels including an ambient-aware mode, there is zero hiss and latency in the sounds around you.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 audio quality
The 40mm double layer metal ceramic diaphragm drivers in the Space Q45 are quite the spec bump over the silk options in the Q35 and Q30s. Paired with hi-res wired and wireless audio certification, they sound utterly fantastic.
In real-world use, the differences in audio expression between these headphones are subtle; they all sound incredible. But there are some small improvements that put the Q45s head and shoulders above its cheaper siblings.
There is a better spatial quality and detail to each of the instruments in Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No.6” while the lower tones are provided with a deeper warmth. This all pays off in popular songs, too, such as Mac Miller’s “2009,” as the sharp stings of 808 bass are balanced with expert precision. The minute details, such as the breaks in Mac’s voice and the slight reverb of the piano roam freely throughout the spacious sound stage and make for an all-encompassing emotional journey.
Even in more full-on tracks like “Get Out of My Head” by Four Year Strong, the relentless onslaught of chugging guitars is given a gorgeous crunchy quality; the high-flying vocals shine and soar above the chaotic mosh pit-inducing rhythm.
Like I said, the differences between these and Anker’s older headphones are small, but if you pay attention, they are significant.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 app and special features
If you’ve owned a Soundcore product, you know just how good the Soundcore app is for providing an easy-to-use UI for accessing all your headphones’ features, tweaking the sound output, and updating firmware on the fly.
The Q45s are no different with a fully customisable EQ (plus 22 presets that cover all possible genres), the ability to create your sound profile based on your hearing. There’s also the option to add a widget on your homescreen for hot-switching between noise canceling modes.
Plus, the White Noise mode makes its warmly welcome return; you can have some chilled-out fun using the white-noise generator. However, I haven’t been using it for sleep. The idea of having a massive pair of cans on my head at bedtime does not seem comfortable to me. It is great, though, for productivity, and I can imagine this mode showing its worth during air travel.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 battery life
Anker promises a bonkers 50-hour battery life with ANC on (65 hours with it turned off). The Q45s handily deliver on this, and even came with an 80% charge out-the-box, so you won’t need to plug these in for a while after buying them.
These insanely long runtimes, alongside the fast charging feature that gives you several hours out of a 5-minute charge, means they have what I’d like to call worry-free battery life.
Namely, there wasn’t a single moment where I had any kind of concern about stamina, as these run far longer than the Sony WH-1000XM4 (30 hours), Bose 700 (20 hours) and AirPods Max (20 hours).
I would have loved to see wireless charging (maybe through the case), but for what you get at this price, it’s mind-blowing.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45 call quality and connectivity
The Space Q45s get a healthy connectivity upgrade to Bluetooth 5.3 with the ability to pair two devices at once, thanks to multipoint technology. The wireless radio in here is an absolute belter, too, as it's capable of maintaining a connection up to 50 feet away from my iPhone 13 Pro and M1 MacBook Pro.
But one important improvement over the Q35 and Q30 cans is the call quality. The previous iterations struggled with outdoor background noise, but the Q45’s dual-mic setup with AI enhancements do a stellar job at isolating your voice from background noise without sounding too processed.
Even in tough situations like a gusty walk down by the river, I came through loud and clear, which is a testament to the hard work Anker has done to improve this aspect.
This spiritual successor to the Life Q35s improves the formula in pretty much every category.
All of these upgrades along with a sleeker, more comfortable design and a vast array of transparency mode customization makes these a seriously impressive pair of cans worth your hard-earned money.
However, will everybody truly appreciate these small changes? Some of you will — the audiophiles that have an almost obsessive level of attention to details. But for the rest of you, the Q30 and Q35 are still fantastic options.
Make no mistake, the pure performance and stamina of the Space Q45 measures up to headphones nearly double the cost. That’s been the beauty of all of Anker’s over-ear headphones, and you will love them.
Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.