The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC is a wonderful pair of headphones for those who only need the essentials, such as good sound and noise cancellation.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are still the class leaders in terms of sound quality, build materials, fit and finish, and most noise cancellation. The Anker’s don’t stand a chance against the older Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose QC35II, and you shouldn’t expect it to for the price.
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Headphone Performance
The sound quality of the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC is adequate, but not exceptional. There’s not a lot of detail, and the tonal balance is clearly warm, with bass dominating. The headphone is comfortable to use for long periods of time because the sound is non-fatiguing, however anyone expecting greater detail from their listening experience may be disappointed.
Unfortunately, Anker doesn’t provide an app to customise the EQ, so you’re left with Anker’s default settings. It does, however, have a BassUp feature that increases the bass even more, but we recommend turning it off because it sounds dreadful. The bass is already a little murky, and the BassUp option only adds to the problem.
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Headphone Design
Although the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC won’t win any design awards, it is nevertheless attractive and elegant. The only colour offered is black, however in person it appears to be a slightly metallic dark blue/gray. The plastic construction makes them light and comfortable to wear for long periods of time, but it also makes them feel cheap. Also, strangely, when the buttons are pressed, they make a loud clanging sound.
The fact that the headphones have rotating ear cups and can fold up for storage and transport will appeal to frequent travellers. There is no hard case supplied, however a pouch is included in the box if you don’t want to tear them up in your bag.
Physical buttons are located on each ear cup and are large and easy to use. The power/pairing and ANC buttons are on the left side. You’ll find media playback buttons on the right side, including a multi-function button that activates your phone’s voice assistant and BassUp, Anker’s moniker for its bass boost feature.
It’s a pity that charging is done via microUSB rather of the now-common USB-C connector. If you run out of battery, the headphones have a 3.5mm analogue connector so you may use them in wired mode.
Because of its plastic construction and ultra-plush leatherette ear cups and headband, the headphone is lightweight in terms of comfort. We were able to wear the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC for several hours without feeling tired, even with our glasses on, which is unusual.
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Headphone Value
The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are now available for $60 / £52 (about AU$94) internationally, making them a very reasonable pair of active noise cancelling headphones.
To put things in perspective, the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 are an amazing cheap pair of ANC headphones that cost $140 / £205 (AU$180). The Plantronics, on the other hand, boasts greater sound quality and nice-to-have features like auto play/pause and multipoint pairing. In terms of battery life, though, the Anker beats the Plantronics (30 hrs vs 24 hrs).
For those looking for active noise cancellation, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ANC is a fantastic place to start. The sound quality, battery life, and physical controls are all excellent, however the noise cancellation is only adequate. The Soundcore Life Q20 ANC aren’t as good as some of the better ANC headphones out there, and they can’t compete with Bose and Sony’s flagship models, but they’re still a terrific deal.