The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless are noise cancelling truly wireless in-ears. They feature a broad range of customizability via their companion app, including a three-mode ANC system as well as a graphic EQ and 20 EQ presets to let you fine-tune their sound profile. They block out a good amount of background noise, have a comfortable, stable fit, and provide almost 11 hours of playback time on a single charge. Unfortunately, their integrated mic delivers sub-par recording quality, and their Bluetooth latency on some devices is quite high.
The Anker Life A2 NC are decent for mixed usage. Their stable fit and sturdy, compact design make them a great fit for on-the-go use. They do a good job of filtering out ambient noise at the office or on your commute, while their near 11-hour battery life should be more than enough for a full day of use. Unfortunately, their onboard control scheme is quite limited, and they don't support any useful additional Bluetooth functions like multi-device pairing. Their latency on some devices is also quite high, which can be disruptive while streaming videos or movies.
The Anker Life A2 NC are an alright choice for neutral sound. They have a V-shaped sound profile that emphasizes the thump and rumble of EDM and hip-hop music but without completely muddying or cluttering vocals or lead instruments. You can also adjust your listening experience in detail via an in-app graphic EQ or EQ presets. Unfortunately, they have a small, closed-off soundstage, though that's normal for in-ear headphones.
The Anker Life A2 NC are good for commuting and traveling. They're remarkably easy to carry around, are well-built, and feel quite comfortable. Their near 11-hour continuous battery life should also be more than sufficient for long overnight trips, and their ANC system does a decent job of blocking out the low-rumble of bus and plane engines in its 'Transport' mode. Unfortunately, their control scheme doesn't support onboard volume adjustment out-of-the-box, and you lose access to other playback functions if you remap it using their companion app. They also exhibit noticeable audio latency on iOS and Android devices, which could be annoying if you like to watch videos on your way into the office or to class.
The Anker Life A2 NC are a great option for sports and fitness. They're very compact, feel sturdy enough to deal with a couple of minor impacts, and are rated IPX5 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Their lightweight construction and stability fins also help them do a great job of staying in place when you move your head around. Your ears shouldn't sweat more than usual while wearing them either. Unfortunately, their control scheme is quite limited overall, and you may need to pull your phone out to adjust them.
The Anker Life A2 NC are alright for office use. They do a good job of blocking out background chatter even without their ANC feature enabled and leak very little audio, so nearby coworkers shouldn't be too annoyed if you like to listen to content at high volumes. They provide almost 11 hours of playback time on a single charge, which should be more than enough to last you throughout your day, though they don't have any power-saving features like an auto-off timer. They also don't support multi-device pairing, so you can't stream music off your phone while remaining connected to your computer.
The Anker Life A2 NC aren't suitable for wireless gaming. They can't connect to consoles, and their latency on Bluetooth-enabled PCs is likely to be too high for gaming.
The Anker Life A2 NC are wireless-only headphones and aren't suitable for this kind of use.
The Anker Life A2 NC are a fair option for making phone calls. Their integrated mic makes your voice sound muffled and unnatural, but it does a good job of isolating speech from background noise, so people on the other end of the line should still understand you even if you're calling from a loud or crowded environment. Their ANC feature also helps in blocking out ambient chatter, so you can stay focused on what's being said on a call.
The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC have a somewhat premium look. They have a similar shape and design to the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless, but with a few differences. Their monochrome color scheme features a bit of extra flashiness in the form of a chrome-finish ring that encircles their brand logo, but they do protrude slightly from your ears.
The Anker Life A2 NC are comfortable headphones. They have a couple of different ear tip and stability wing sizes to help you find a suitable fit. They don't enter your ear too deeply, and using their touch-sensitive control scheme doesn't force them any further into your ears. However, their shallower fit does mean that they stick out further than some other truly wireless in-ears.
The Anker Life A2 NC's control scheme is mediocre. You can tap the left bud twice to skip media forward or to answer an incoming call. A double-tap on the right bud pauses and plays music. Holding either bud for two seconds switches between noise cancelling and ambient sound modes. Their companion app also allows you to remap some of their controls, though you can't access all of their functions at the same time. It can take some time to get used to their control scheme, and finding the touch-sensitive surface on the buds isn't especially intuitive at first. Thankfully, they do provide some form of feedback with audible chimes that go off when switching between ANC and ambient modes, though you won't hear anything when pausing or playing music or skipping tracks out-of-the-box. Thankfully, you can enable audio cues for control inputs via their companion app.
The Anker Life A2 NC are exceptionally breathable. They trap very little heat in your ears, and you shouldn't sweat more than usual while wearing them.
The Anker Life A2 NC are exceptionally portable. The buds themselves are small enough to be carried around in a pocket or a pouch, and their charging case is notably flatter and more compact than that of the Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless.
The Anker Life A2 NC have a good carrying case. It's made of reasonably sturdy-feeling plastic with a silicone cover for its USB-C charging port. There's also a trio of LED lights positioned on a glossy-finish strip on the edges of the case that provide a rough estimate of the remaining battery.
The Anker Life A2 NC are well-built. The buds and case are made of dense plastic that feels like it should endure a couple of drops and bumps. The buds themselves are rated IPX5 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for that. There are no obvious weak points in their construction except for their silicone ear tips and stability fins, which feel like they could tear easily.
The Anker Life A2 NC are very stable. Once you achieve a consistent fit with the included selection of ear tips and stability fins, they shouldn't fall out of your ears, even with vigorous head motions.
The Anker Life A2 NC have a V-shaped sound profile. Their exaggerated bass response provides extra thump and rumble to genres like EDM and hip-hop, but their slightly overemphasized treble range should ensure that the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments, as well as sibilants, aren't totally overwhelmed. Still, if you aren't a fan of their default sound profile, their companion app features 20 EQ presets to choose from as well as a graphic EQ.
The Anker Life A2 NC offer excellent frequency response consistency. Once you achieve a proper fit with the included ear tips and stability fins, you should get a consistent audio reproduction every time you use them.
The Anker Life A2 NC have passable bass accuracy. It's overemphasized across the range, which adds extra rumble, punch, and boom to some mixes, though vocals and lead instruments aren't overly muddied or cluttered.
The Anker Life A2 NC have good mid accuracy. Vocals and lead instruments should sound full-bodied and clear. However, some listeners may perceive them as being pushed to the back of the mix as a consequence of their recessed mid-mid range.
These in-ears have good treble accuracy. The range is quite well-balanced for the most part, yielding clear and present vocals and lead instruments. A slight rise in the mid-treble range can cause sibilants to sound piercing.
The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC have good peaks and dips performance. A bump in the bass range adds extra boominess, while a dip in the mid-mids pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix. Another dip in the low-treble range can veil their upper harmonics, while a rise in the mid-treble gives sibilants, like S and T sounds, a somewhat piercing quality.
The Anker Life A2 NC deliver remarkable stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls entirely beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in regards to phase, amplitude, and frequency response. This means that objects like voices and footsteps are accurately placed within the stereo image. That said, it's worth noting that these results are only valid for our test unit, and your experience may vary.
The Anker Life A2 NC have a terrible passive soundstage. Creating an out-of-head, speaker-like soundstage is reliant on interaction with the outer ear, which in-ears like these bypass. Their closed-back enclosure also contributes to creating a compact soundstage that causes sound to be perceived as coming from the inside of your head.
These headphones have good weighted harmonic distortion performance. Some minor distortion is present in the mid-range at high-listening volumes, but this shouldn't be too noticeable for most listeners. The rest of the range falls within acceptable limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test the Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC. Our results are only valid in this configuration.
These in-ears have good noise isolation performance. Their ANC function can be adjusted through their companion app, but with the feature set to 'Transport' mode, they do a decent job of filtering out the low rumble of bus and plane engines. Their ANC feature does little to improve on their passive isolation capability when it comes to mid and treble-range ambient noise, like background chatter or the hum of an AC unit, though their performance in this respect is good overall.
These headphones also offer three other kinds of ANC, but we don't currently test them. 'Outdoor' mode is advertised to help cut down traffic and wind noise, while 'Indoor' mode is more focused on reducing mid and treble-range noise.
The Anker Life A2 NC have great audio leakage performance. Escaping audio is concentrated mostly in the treble range and consequently sounds pretty thin, but it shouldn't be too noticeable unless you're in an especially quiet environment.
The mic has sub-par recording quality. Your voice should sound fairly full-bodied, but also somewhat unnatural and muffled.
The integrated has good noise handling capability. People on the other end of the line should still be able to understand you, even if you call from a noisy environment, like a subway car.
The Anker Life A2 NC have decent battery performance. Their near 11-hour single-charge battery life comfortably exceeds the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro Truly Wireless' approximately three and a half hour battery life. They also last longer than their advertised claim of seven hours, though it's worth mentioning that real-world battery life can vary drastically depending on usage patterns. Their case supplies roughly four additional charges, and you can use one bud while the other charges in its cradle, though you do lose access to some onboard controls in this configuration. Unfortunately, they aren't equipped with any power-saving measures like a standby mode or auto-off timer to conserve power when not in use.
The Anker Life A2 NC are compatible with the Anker Soundcore companion app. It features a graphic EQ and 20 different presets to let you adjust their sound profile. You can also swap between three different ANC presets, enable audio cues for various controls, or remap their control scheme. The app lets you check each of the buds' charge status.
The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC have satisfactory Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.0, but not NFC or multi-device pairing, so you can't stream music from your phone while remaining connected to your computer. Their latency on PCs is also likely too high for them to be suitable for gaming. They perform slightly better on mobile Android and iOS devices, though some latency is still noticeable while watching videos online. With that in mind, it's worth noting that apps and devices compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience could vary.
These in-ears are wireless-only. They come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging their case.
The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC are fully compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, though their latency is likely to be too high for gaming. They can't connect to PS4 or PS5 consoles.
The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC have a charging case that supplies roughly four additional charges. It features a trio of LED indicator lights to provide a rough estimate of its remaining battery life but has no inputs aside from its USB-C charging port. It can only be charged via a USB-C cable and doesn't support wireless charging.
The Anker Life A2 NC are only available in one color scheme: 'Black', and you can see their label here.
Let us know if in the discussions if you come across another variant, so we can update our review.
The Anker Life A2 NC are truly wireless in-ears with an active noise cancelling feature. They have a relatively long continuous battery life, an excited V-shaped sound profile, and a stable, comfortable fit. That said, their Bluetooth audio latency can be disruptive on some devices, and their control scheme is quite limited. If you're searching for alternatives, take a look at our recommendations of the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ears, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $100.
The Anker Soundcore Life Dot 2 Truly Wireless and Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless each have their own advantages, and one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The Dot 2 deliver audio more consistently, leak less audio, offer better mic recording quality, and have a case that supplies just under 100 hours of total playback time, along with an auto-off timer to conserve power. Despite not being fitted with an ANC system, they also block out more ambient noise. Meanwhile, the A2 NC are comfier, more stable in the ear, have a longer single charge battery life, and are compatible with a companion app that features a broad range of customization features.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro Truly Wireless and Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless each have their own advantages, so one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The Life A2 NC have a more comfortable, stable fit, better microphone recording quality, and a significantly longer battery life. Conversely, the Liberty Air 2 Pro deliver audio more consistently, offer superior microphone noise handling capability, leak less audio, and block out more ambient noise.
The Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless are slightly better for mixed usage than the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro Truly Wireless. The Life A2 NC are comfier, have a more intuitive control system, block out more ambient noise, and offer superior overall microphone performance. They also last longer on a single charge and have a case that supplies a longer total runtime. That said, the Liberty 2 Pro charge marginally faster and leak less audio.
The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless and Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless each have their own advantages, and you may prefer one over the other depending on your needs. The Liberty Air 2 deliver audio more consistently, block out more ambient noise despite lacking an ANC system, leak less audio, and have lower Bluetooth audio latency on some iOS and Android devices. Meanwhile, the Life A2 NC have a more comfortable, stable fit, noticeably better microphone noise handling capability, and much longer continuous battery life.
The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better than the Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless. The Apple have a more intuitive control scheme, better build quality, a more effective ANC system, and a standby mode to conserve power. Meanwhile, the Anker have a companion app with a broader range of customization features, superior microphone noise handling capability, and a longer continuous and total battery life.
The Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless are slightly more versatile than the Anker Soundcore Life A2 NC Truly Wireless. The Amazon buds have more consistent audio reproduction, a more effective ANC feature, a standby mode to preserve power. They also leak less audio. However, the Anker have a comfier fit, a fuller-featured companion app, lower Bluetooth audio latency, significantly better battery life, and superior microphone performance.
|Black Soundcore Life A2 NC||