Apart from making a few of our favorite chargers and power banks, Anker also sells some of the better values among wireless headphones through its Soundcore brand. If you’ve been looking to pick up a competent set of noise-canceling headphones for less than $100, a couple of those standouts are currently on sale, with the Soundcore Life Q30 discounted to $60 and the Soundcore Space Q45 down to $100. For the Life Q30, that’s not quite an all-time low, but it’s still $20 off the pair’s typical going rate. The Space Q45 usually retails for $150; this deal matches the lowest price we’ve seen.
To be clear, neither pair here can match the active noise cancellation (ANC), build quality, call quality, sound and/or overall feature set of the top picks in our best wireless headphones guide, such as the Sony WH-1000XM5 or Bose QuietComfort 45. But if you can’t drop $350 or so on a new set of headphones, they can get you much of the way there at a far lower cost.
Both pairs offer a comfortable fit that doesn’t clamp too tight on the head and offers ample padding. Both have superb battery life, lasting between 40 and 50 hours at moderate volumes. Both can connect to two devices simultaneously, and both come with a 3.5mm cable for wired listening, though only the Space Q45 can still use ANC when while wired. The two sets also include a transparency mode, which is serviceable, though not as clean as what you can get on pricier alternatives. And while the ANC on each pair isn’t top-of-the-line, it’s still good, particularly when it comes to muting bass-range noises like a plane or bus engine.
Sound quality is where the Life Q30 and Space Q45 might require some tweaking. Both headphones offer a strongly v-shaped profile out of the box, so their default sound is particularly boosted in the bass and highest parts of the treble. The Life Q30’s low-end is especially boomy. Some may like this more excited sound, but it’s not exactly natural. With either headphone, you may want to adjust the sound through Anker’s companion app, which offers a graphic EQ tool and a few alternative sound profile presets. Just note that, like many cheaper ANC headphones, the signature will sound slightly different depending on what ambient sound mode you use.
If you can afford the Space Q45, it’s the better headphone of the two. Its design feels a bit less flimsy (though both pairs are mostly plastic), and it has an adaptive ANC mode that can automatically adjust the headphone’s ANC strength based on your surroundings. The Life Q30, on the other hand, just offers three preset ANC levels. For Android users, the Space Q45 also supports the higher-quality LDAC audio codec. That said, finding any good ANC headphones for less than $100 is difficult; at these deal prices, both the Life Q30 and Space Q45 perform well enough to offer good value.
Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.