Noise canceling headphones are excellent accessories for anyone that deals with noisy situations, whether that’s traveling on a plane, working in a noisy office, or just anywhere else where you need to shut out the outside world while you listen to music. For the past few years, those noise-canceling headphones have been bulky and expensive, too, so they weren’t gadgets for most consumers.
But like anything else technology related, they do eventually get cheaper. The only question is if they’re still high quality at a cheaper price. Anker’s Soundcore Space headphones try to check all those boxes, with great quality sound, long-lasting battery life, and powerful noise canceling, all in a sub-$100 package.
Did they pull it off? Let’s check them out.
There isn’t a ton to talk about with headphone design, but the Soundcore Space does a great job of delivering everything you’d expect from a high-quality pair of cans. They’re around-ear headphones, so you’ll get a soft, light cushion around each earpiece that helps to passively block out noise and stay comfortable even with long listening sessions, and the top band of the headphones has another piece of cushion for head support. Each earpiece swivels 90 degrees to create a folding design, and the arms of the headphones are extendable for varying head shapes.
The sides of the headphones have a faux leather finish with the right ear controlling playback from your phone. A single tap will play/pause music, while swiping up and down controls volume. Left and right swipes will skip and rewind music tracks.
The rim of the right earpiece houses the power button, call answer button, and two standardized ports for charging and connecting these headphones to other devices. There’s a simple microUSB port and 3.5mm port, so nothing funky or proprietary. Anker throws one of each cable in the package, too.
The left earpiece has way less to deal with, only housing the noise-canceling switch.
Overall, the black and gray aesthetic of the headphones is pretty unassuming and boring, but for professional headphones that are going to work in all situations, you really can’t complain. They’re light, comfortable, and very inoffensive, and the folding design and carrying case makes it easy to take them anywhere.
Larger headphones tend to offer better battery life than their earbud counterparts, which remains true with the Soundcore Space. With or without noise-canceling turned on, you’re likely going to get between 20 and 30 hours of playback on a single charge. Surprisingly the noise-canceling features didn’t drain as much battery as I’d expect, so I ended up leaving that on most of the time, anyway. If you’re not using Bluetooth, you can expect an absurd 50 hours of noise-canceling on a single charge while plugged directly into a device, which is excellent for anyone still rocking a phone with a headphone jack.
And even if the headphones die on you, they charge in around 2 hours and can be plugged in and are totally functional (sans noise canceling) for music playback and taking phones calls with the included cable. Whatever situation you might be in, Anker has it covered.
$100 for a pair of headphones means something totally different to everyone. Plenty of people are perfectly happy with $10 buds or whatever comes with their phones, while others are going to insist on only listening to the best of the best. Personally, I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle, but I definitely want my audio experience to be good, not mediocre.
For the price, I think the Soundcore Space really punch above their weight class, which seems to be the trend with Anker’s sound devices. They’re packing respectable 40mm drivers that deliver a full bass response, and they’re crisp and clear on the high end without overpowering middle frequencies. Sound is subjective, but these are probably the best $100 headphones that I’ve used in quite some time, and they manage to beat out some of my nicer, more expensive cans, too.
The noise canceling works very well, too, blocking out lower rumbling frequencies without altering the overall sound of the headphones, which tends to be an issue with other noise-canceling tech. With that being said, I don’t think the Soundcore Space manage to hide as much background noise as some nicer headphones, which is to be expected with the lower price tag. Still good to keep in mind, though.
Music is excellent, podcasts are crisp with well-defined voices, and movies and TV shows are clear with powerful, resounding effects for explosions, car crashes, and whatever else.
Worth the buy?
If you’re in the market for some well-rounded headphones and $100 is around your budget, Anker’s got a product with pretty much no downsides that checks all the boxes you could want out of some headphones. The excellent sound quality and comfortable design make these a great choice for any frequent flyers and travel enthusiasts, but even around the house they’re still really good. The only hesitation would be in that latter situation where noise-canceling isn’t honestly all that useful, but being able to trade that in for something like Google Assistant support would be much better. Small gripe, but not all of us need to block out noise at home. Or ever.
But still, the ability to use the headphones both wired and wirelessly and the stellar battery life means you’ve got a great alternative to those Bose headphones you’ve been eyeing at 1/3rd of the price.
Buy it now: Amazon