Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Review: Best ANC Under $50?

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Review
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Review
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Review

Active noise canceling headphones is limited with good options, but in recent years Anker has been targeting the segment with several entries in the Soundcore Life line of cans. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 is one of the most affordable ANC wireless headphones we have looked at, but is it any good?

We spent a week with the Life Q20 and found out everything you need to know.

Design and Build

Looking around the Q20’s, they are made primarily of plastic, but it doesn’t feel very cheap plastic if I am completely honest; however, they also don’t feel very high end. The band is adjustable.

The cups themselves do twist and fold, making it easy to store away for travel, especially in this included pouch, which feels really nice and premium.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Anker Soundcore Life Q20

I do love headphones that can fold away like this as honestly if you travel, you know those struggles. The cups themselves twist, also making them a bit more comfortable on the head, too, as they conform to the shape of your head a little bit better than headphones that don’t bend.

Comfort of Anker Soundcore Life Q20

These wireless headsets comes with medium sized cushions on the top of the band, which feels really soft and squishy however, not as squishy or as thick as the high end rivals.

These also have memory foam ear cups, which are really nice but again fall short compared to those high end rivals.

However, for the money, honestly, I wasn’t complaining too much I had these headphones on a 5 hour journey, and not once did they feel uncomfortable or got sweaty inside.

They did stay very firmly on my head but not so firm that they felt like they were squeezing onto my ears, which is really nice.

I would say that they look a little bit on the larger side, and the gap between the head and the headphones themselves is larger than the more expensive headphones.

It is much more comfortable if they could make it a little bit smaller and make a little bit slimmer.

Controls of Anker Soundcore Life Q20

These Headsets come with physical controls, which is something I more like than the gimmicky touch controls. On the right side of the cup they have three buttons which can control the next track and previous track by double pressing.

The + and – buttons or single press for volume controls, single tapping the center button will pause and play the music long pressing the center button will activate the voice control and double pressing that center button will toggle the Bass up on or off.

Features of Anker Soundcore Life Q20

Let us check the specs of these and see if they are really good for the price. Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are closed back over headphones that feature 40MM dynamic drivers that are High Res audio certified.

They have a frequency response of 16 Hz to 40 kHz, which is an extensive range, especially for the price of these.

The impedance is only around 16 ohms meaning that when you connect these up via the 3.5mm headphone jack included in the box, most devices will be more than enough to drive these headphones.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Anker Soundcore Life Q20

They have Bluetooth 5.0, meaning low latency and a strong connection to most devices you connect them to. They support AAC and SBC codecs, which is pretty standard nowadays; unfortunately, No Apt-X support.

Apt-X is a much better codec and even lower latency than the other two codecs supported by these headphones, so it’s a shame that we don’t see that.

It also includes base up technology, which Anker soundcore claims with their exclusive technology and customized algorithms it can perform real-time analysis on your music and intensify the low frequencies for those hard-hitting beats.

Sound of Anker Soundcore Life Q20

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are closed back over headphones that feature 40MM dynamic drivers, which are High Res audio.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 bass comes in tight and punchy, and you have the option to turn up the Bass up feature as well.

After switching the Bass up feature, you definitely can hear the difference between different songs, which is nice as it seems to be a bit smarter than just applying the same boost to the low and mid frequencies across any music.

This will please the bass lovers out there. I found it a bit much on certain songs when I had the Bass up feature off was good enough for mids and highs and come in clean and clear.

It is a bit forward but not too bright. Vocals and instruments really stand out.

Having active noise cancellation on. I did notice that the mids and highs seemed to be a bit less forward. Overall these are an impressive pair of headphones, especially for the price point.

Active Noise Cancelling

Okay, let’s come to the main area of this Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Review Noise Cancelling. Noise canceling is that good as they brag about. Let’s check them out,

Noise canceling feature has microphones inside and outside the headphones to cancel airplane noise and car noise by up to 90%, which soundcore claims,

So to control the headphones Noise canceling feature, you have the power button on the left cup and the Noise Cancelling button on the left cup, which turns on and off the Noise canceling. Unfortunately, there is no ambient noise setting with these.

Does the Noise Canceling actually do anything, or are they just the gimmick and ruin the audio listening experience?

Noise Cancelling is good, but they are not good as the high end models where you are spending three four five times the amount of these headphones, so I would not say that they rival them for sure, but for the money, they work very well and you can hear a slight difference to the music when you do have the Noise canceling mode on.

However, the headphones still sounded great, I used these in taxis and long journeys and they did make a big difference honestly, so on the Travelling, the engine noise muted by around 60% where Sony and Bose will do about 90% pretty good at this price?

I would say basically, that horrible low end rumble was almost gone, and it allowed me to listen to my music and even watch my Netflix shows without having to crank up the volume all the way up like many other headphones that don’t offer Noise canceling.

It basically makes the listening experience to movies and music much easier on the plane and taxis. As I said before, It cuts around 60% of the engine noise, which is definitely nice. It cuts out a bit of the voice, too but not completely.

I can still hear the faint chatter of people or even a child crying on public transport.

This is because the Noise canceling focuses more on those low and slight mid frequencies, whereas voices are normally on the high end of the frequency range.

Battery in Anker Soundcore Life Q20

We will check on the Second most important thing on a wireless headphone battery. Moving on to the battery life, these can last up to 60 hours with Noise canceling OFF and 40 hours with noise canceling ON means that it can survive at least two long-haul flights easily without a charge.

If you charge these headphones for 5 minutes, you will get around four hours of playback, which again is really good.

It is big disappointment they are using a Micro USB instead of a type-c cable for charging as I think at this point, a lot of us have a lot more type-c cables than micro USB.

Normally Anker Soundcore Life Q20 took around 3 hours to fully charge which can last up to 60 hours.

Call Quality of Anker Soundcore Life Q20

These do have a built-in microphone and they do sound pretty good to the point where I have even had conversations on the phone with these headphones on and other person couldn’t actually tell that I was using a headphone which is a really good sign now but keep in your mind these are not studio quality microphones for a video call or a voice call, these will work fine.

Can you use the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 for phone calls?

If you’re hoping to use the Life Q20 for phone calls, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it does in a quiet area.

However, like most headphones, this set is not so great at rejecting wind noise or incidental sounds like you could hear in an office.

So, you really have to be aware that audio quality will suffer if you are in a loud area.

You can check this out for yourself with the standardized samples below. If you don’t find yourself taking calls in loud or windy areas this should be fine, but be honest with yourself before taking the plunge.

Should you buy the Anker Soundcore Life Q20?

As far as headphones that cost under $100 go, Anker Soundcore Life Q20 is a really solid option. Like any good tool, it does the job well without much guff and it is affordable to boot.

Sure, it is not going toe to toe with any of the higher-end models of ANC headphones out there, but headphones do well enough for commuters that it is a good stand-in if you were never planning on spending a bunch of money anyway.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Anker Soundcore Life Q20

For commuters who need ANC and very good battery life, the Soundcore Life Q20 is a no-brainer at $59.99 USD. However, if you want better sound, microphones, be prepared to shell out for it.

Even the higher-end options in Anker’s lineup of Soundcore products don’t offer massive upgrades to the performance of the Life Q20 on paper, so you could be looking to other options from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser for a credible step up.


Q. How do you reset the Anker Soundcore Life Q20?

By holding the power and the volume up button for 3-5 seconds (until the purple light flashes twice), you can reset your headphones.

Q. Something’s broken with my headphones, should I call support?

If something goes wrong with the Anker Soundcore Life Q20, chances are good that they will ask you to reset the headphones first. Be sure to attempt this first if you encounter any persistent issues.

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