Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
We've recently released our Test Bench 1.6 update for Headphones! Read the Latency R&D Article to learn more.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Review updated Sep 07, 2023 at 10:05 am
Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless Picture
Neutral Sound
Wireless Gaming
Wired Gaming
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are an upgraded version of the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless. These budget-friendly headphones have a few moderate upgrades, including a more comfortable fit and an improved ANC feature. That said, given their price point, it's not much of a surprise that they don't come with as many features as more premium models on the market, so you won't find many sound customization options or a companion app.

Our Verdict

6.8 Neutral Sound

The Anker Life Q20 are adequate for neutral sound. While their mid-range is very well-balanced, their treble range has several peaks, and their bass range is over-emphasized. There aren't many sound customization features on hand to switch up its sound, aside from a BassUp tool to add more rumble in the bass.

  • Good imaging performance.
  • Over-emphasized bass range.
7.4 Commute/Travel

The Anker Life Q20 are decent headphones for commuting or travel. They're quite comfortable, and they come with a basic pouch to give them light protection when tossing them into a bag. While their ANC helps block out your chatty seatmate on a plane, it won't help to block out the rumble of the engine. On the bright side, their long battery life can last even the longest of travel days, and you can use them passively if the battery runs dry.

  • Good noise isolation.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Struggles to block out bass-heavy noises like bus and plane engines.
  • Pouch doesn't protect against drops or bumps.
7.1 Sports/Fitness

The Anker Life Q20 are decent headphones for sports. Like most closed-back over-ear headphones, they'll likely cause your ears to heat up and sweat more than usual, but they're decently stable and can withstand a light jog or run without falling off. Their Bluetooth connectivity means you don't have to worry about a cable getting snagged and pulling the headphones off, which is good.

  • Comfortable fit.
  • Stable enough for light exercise.
  • Not stable enough for intense exercise.
  • Not very portable.
7.2 Office

The Anker Life Q20 are decent headphones for use in the office. Their comfortable and lightweight design means you can wear them for long periods without causing fatigue or discomfort. Their ANC does an excellent job at blocking out chatty coworkers, and their battery can easily last you a few full work days.

  • Good noise isolation.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • Pouch doesn't protect against drops or bumps.
5.3 Wireless Gaming

You can only use the Anker Life Q20 wirelessly over Bluetooth, meaning they aren't compatible with the PS4 or Xbox One. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-compatible PC, their latency will likely be too high for competitive gaming.

7.0 Wired Gaming

While you can use the Anker Life Q20 wired for gaming, their microphone won't work, so you'll only get audio through the headphones. This means they likely aren't a good choice for multiplayer games.

  • Comfortable fit.
  • No microphone compatibility.
6.9 Phone Calls

The Anker Life Q20 are okay headphones for phone calls. Their microphone performance is decent, though your voice sounds quite thin, and it's hard for the person on the other end of the line to hear you in even moderately noisy environments.

  • Decent microphone recording quality.
  • Struggles to block out bass-heavy noises like bus and plane engines.
  • 6.8 Neutral Sound
  • 7.4 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.2 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.0 Wired Gaming
  • 6.9 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Sep 07, 2023: Minor text updates for clarity. No changes in test results.
  2. Updated May 03, 2023: We've added a note to Test Settings to indicate that we tested the headphones' sound with the 'BassUp' feature turned off.
  3. Updated Nov 28, 2022: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless in Bluetooth.
  4. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  5. Updated Aug 24, 2020: Validated our results.
  6. Updated Feb 21, 2020: Review published.
  7. Updated Feb 19, 2020: Early access published.
  8. Updated Feb 18, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  9. Updated Feb 09, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  10. Updated Jan 07, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

These headphones are available in Black, Blue, and Silver color variants. We tested the Black version and expect the other variants to perform similarly.

If you come across another version of these headphones, let us know in the forums so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are the upgraded version of the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless. They're almost the exact same headphones but are slightly smaller and have slightly improved ANC and battery life, as well as even more emphasized bass and treble ranges. They're a decent overall pair of budget headphones for the price and have one of the better ANC features available at this price point.

See our recommendations for the best headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones under $100, and the best wireless headphones.

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are the next generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless and are slightly better than their predecessor. The Q30 come with a hard case. They have a significantly better noise isolation performance and longer-lasting battery life. They're also compatible with the Anker Soundcore app, which allows you to customize their sound profile with a graphic EQ and presets. However, the Q20 are more stable and have a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box.

Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable, the Q35 are better-built, have a better-performing ANC, and have longer-lasting battery life. They're also compatible with the Anker Soundcore app, which allows you to customize their sound with a graphic EQ or presets. They can also be paired with up to two devices at once and support LDAC codec for high-quality audio.

Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are a slightly improved version of the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless. The Q20 have improved ANC, which will do a better job at blocking out both background speech as well as the low engine rumble of planes or buses. The Q20 battery life is also improved slightly, though it doesn't quite reach the advertised 40 hours. People with small heads will find the Q20 more comfortable and stable than the previous version, as they're a bit smaller. On the other hand, the Life 2 have a more balanced sound profile and a much nicer, hard-carrying case.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better noise cancelling over-ears than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, they isolate significantly more noise, and they feel a lot better-built. They're also compatible with an excellent companion app which gives you access to tons of sound customization features. There's a premium price to pay for the Sony, though. The Anker are a lot more affordable and still perform decently overall, so they may provide better value for some users.

Anker SoundCore Space NC Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless and the Anker SoundCore Space NC Wireless are decent wireless over-ear headphones with ANC. The Life have a slightly better-balanced sound profile, a much longer battery that charges much quicker, and much lower latency on iOS. The Space have better ANC, feel better built, and have lower latency on Android.

Mpow H10 Wireless

The Mpow H10 Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are both decent wireless ANC headphones. The Anker feel slightly better built and stable on the head and have a more bass-heavy sound profile. However, the Mpow are still slightly thumpy but better balanced overall. The ANC performance of the Mpow is quite a bit better, especially for blocking out engine sounds, but the battery on the Anker will last almost 10 hours longer.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are similarly performing headphones. The Beats are better built, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC can block out more ambient noise around you. That said, the Anker are more comfortable and have longer continuous battery life. You can also use them passively with their 1/8" TRS cable.

Mpow EM12 Wireless Earphone

The Mpow EM12 Wireless Earphone and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are very different products meant for different uses. The EM12 is a mono Bluetooth headset that looks like a single earbud from a pair of truly wireless in-ears and is designed to be used while making phone calls. On the other hand, the Life Q20 are Bluetooth over-ear headphones designed primarily for listening to music. The Q20 also have a microphone built-in, which allows you to easily take phone calls, and the headphones themselves have ANC to give you peace while commuting or in the office. Overall, the Q20 are much more versatile and are a better choice for most uses.

Cowin E7 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are slightly better mixed-use headphones than the Cowin E7 Wireless. The Anker are quite a bit more comfortable, have better controls, feel better built, have a longer battery, and have much better ANC. On the other hand, the Cowin have a more balanced sound profile and lower overall latency.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are both decent wireless noise cancelling headphones, though the Anker provide better value if you prefer their sound profile. The Anker are more comfortable, easier-to-use, have a better microphone, isolate more noise, and have longer battery life. However, the Anker's V-shaped sound signature won't be for everyone. That said, while the Sennheiser are less bass-heavy, they can also sound quite harsh and dull.

TREBLAB Z2 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless and the TREBLAB Z2 Wireless both perform similarly overall. While the Anker have a much better ANC feature and last longer off a single charge, the TREBLAB have a better-balanced and less bass-heavy sound profile. The Anker are more comfortable and have a better microphone. On the other hand, the TREBLAB support features like multi-device pairing and aptX-LL, and have easier to use controls.

Logitech Zone Wired

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are better office headphones than the Logitech Zone Wired. The Anker are wireless over-ears that are Bluetooth 5.0-compatible, giving them a substantial advantage in regards to overall versatility. They’re also marginally more portable and have an integrated microphone that delivers only slightly inferior recording quality, though it does a much worse job of isolating speech from ambient noise than the Logitech’s boom microphone. The Logitech also feel better-built and have a dedicated companion app to adjust their sound profile.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 Truly Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are better headphones than the TaoTronics SoundLibery 92 Truly Wireless. The Anker are more comfortable, and they have a more neutral though bass-heavy default sound profile. These over-ears also do a better job isolating background noise, and they leak less sound. Their over 32-hour continuous battery life surpasses the TaoTronics, and their microphone performs better, too. That said, the TaoTronics' earbud design and charging case makes them much more portable, so they're a better choice for sports and fitness.

Status Audio BT One Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are better for mixed usage than the Status Audio BT One Wireless. The Anker headphones have a more comfortable over-ear fit, block out far more ambient noise, leak less audio, and last much longer off of a single charge. The Status Audio have lower wireless latency on PC and Android devices, are lighter and easier to carry around thanks to their hard case and deliver audio more consistently.

Mixcder E9 Wireless

The Mixcder E9 Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are both decent wireless over-ear headphones with ANC. The Mixcder come with a much nicer carrying case, have a more consistent frequency response among different users, lower latency on Android or PC, and a much better-balanced sound profile. On the other hand, the Anker have better microphone performance, lower iOS latency, and a significantly longer battery.

Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless

The Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless have different strengths, and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. While both headphones are comfortable, the Wyze are better built, have more consistent audio reproduction, and have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life. They also have a better performing ANC, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets. However, the Anker's integrated mic has a better recording quality and noise handling performance.

TaoTronics SoundSurge 60 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are much better Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones than the TaoTronics SoundSurge 60 Wireless. While their noise cancelling isn't quite as good, the Anker sound much better balanced. Our TaoTronics unit sounds dark and shows a significant mismatch in performance between their drivers. The Anker are much better balanced, with a more excited sound signature. The TaoTronics do feel a bit better built and even come with a nice hard carrying case, but both models are equally comfortable.

+ Show more

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Dynamic

These headphones look practically identical to the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless. They have the same straightforward design that looks decent for a pair of budget-oriented headphones. The only noticeable difference between these and the older version is that the logo is now printed on the ear cup instead of being etched into the plastic. While our unit is all black, they're also available in silver or blue variants.

Weight 0.57 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

These headphones are comfortable. While their ear cups have slightly less padding than the previous model, it's not noticeable while wearing them, and they feel just as good on your head. They're quite lightweight, and thankfully, their headband is a bit smaller than that of the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless, so they're a better fit for people with smaller heads.

OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Additional Controls Bass Effect + Voice Assistant

The controls are decently easy to use. The physical buttons are clicky and provide good feedback, though there's no way of knowing which bass setting you're on. Overall, it's the same scheme as what you get with the previous version, and they include a play/pause button, call controls, track skipping, and volume controls. They also still have a dedicated ANC button and the ability to trigger bass boost via the middle button.

L 5.5" (14.0 cm)
W 5.6" (14.2 cm)
H 3.0" (7.6 cm)
Volume 92.00 inยณ (1,507.60 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These headphones are basically the same size as the previous version, so they aren't the easiest to carry around. Luckily, their ear cups swivel to lay flat, and they come with a basic carrying pouch to help protect them while on the go.

Type Pouch
Volume N/A

These headphones come with a very basic pouch that isn't nearly as good as the hard case that comes with the previous version. The pouch has a cinch tie to close it, and its material can protect the headphones from slight splashes, though it won't do much to protect them from drops or bumps.

Build Quality

The build quality is decent. Like the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless, they are mainly plastic but are reinforced by a thin metal sheet in the headband. The hinges are likely their weakest point, as they feel hollow and plasticky, but overall, the headphones feel dense and solid enough to survive a few accidental drops or bumps without sustaining too much damage.


The stability is decent. Their clamping force is good, so they stay in place during jogs or light runs unless you have a very small head. Their slightly smaller design over the previous version means they feel slightly more stable for most people, too. However, they can fall off your head during more intense exercises.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
In The Box

  • Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones
  • 1/8" TRRS audio cable
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manuals

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
5.28 dB
Treble Amount
-1.53 dB

These headphones have an excited sound profile. Even with the BassUp feature turned off, their bass range is over-emphasized, resulting in extra thump and kick in the mix. This will likely please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM or hip-hop, while their over-emphasized treble range is good for genres like pop and rock. Turning BassUp on adds even more boom to the mix, though this isn't ideal for fans of a more neutral sound. Still, these headphones offer a balanced mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments reproduce with clarity and accuracy.

Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.66 dB

The frequency response consistency is quite decent. These headphones are more accurate in the bass range than the previous version, so you get a similar bass response every time you wear them. You may notice some inconsistencies with the treble range, so you may need to adjust them on your head slightly to get the same listening experience every time.

Raw Frequency Response
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
7.69 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
8.89 dB
10.36 dB
5.42 dB

The bass accuracy is poor. While the range is fairly even, it's also very over-emphasized. This results in bass with a lot of thump and punch, especially with bass-heavy tracks like Starboy by the Weeknd.

Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.97 dB
0.86 dB
0.94 dB
1.98 dB

The mid accuracy is excellent. Almost the entire range is flat, with only a small bump in high-mids that emphasizes lead instruments and vocals in the mix. Overall, however, leads and vocals sound quite well-balanced and present.

Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.94 dB
2.71 dB
2.94 dB
-7.27 dB

The treble accuracy is decent. Almost the entire range is slightly over-emphasized, which causes higher-pitched instruments like cymbals to sound somewhat harsh or piercing.

1.96 dB
1.26 dB

The Anker Life Q20's peaks and dips performance is decent. There aren't many deviations in the sound profile, meaning that the headphones can control the sound profile quite well. The peak in mid-bass makes most bass frequencies sound full and thumpy, while the peaks in the mid and treble ranges cause some higher-pitched instruments to sound harsh and piercing.

Weighted Group Delay
Weighted Phase Mismatch
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
Weighted Frequency Mismatch

While Anker's had a few hits and misses in imaging over the years, the imaging for the Anker Q20 is great. Our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in all aspects, ensuring a tight bass, transparent treble reproduction, and a stable stereo image. Sound objects like footsteps and instruments are accurately placed and localized within the image. Overall, imaging is an indicator of ergonomics and quality control. It's worth mentioning that these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.53 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.4 dB
PRTF Distance
7.4 dB
Acoustic Space Excitation

The Anker Q20's passive soundstage is poor, though this is fairly standard for closed-back over-ear headphones. Overall, the sound produced by these headphones is small and is perceived to be inside the listener's head rather than all around them.

Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
Speaker Modeling
Room Ambience
Head Tracking
Virtual Surround
No App

These headphones don't have a virtual soundstage feature.

Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
WHD @ 100

The weighted harmonic distortion is decent. Audio sounds clear and pure at louder volumes, though at lower volumes, there may be some minor artifacts. Overall, however, this isn't too noticeable with real-life content unless you're a very astute audiophile.

Test Settings
Bluetooth 4.2
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz

These are the settings used to test these headphones. We also tested them with the 'BassUp' feature off. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.

Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.77 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
-12.68 dB
-20.67 dB
-29.76 dB

The Anker Q20 have a slightly improved ANC feature over the previous version. The ANC on these headphones does better against the low rumble of bus or plane engines, though they still don't do nearly as good in this range as some more expensive options, like the Anker SoundCore Space Q45 Wireless. On the bright side, these headphones do an excellent job of blocking out background speech, making them a good option for blocking out chatty coworkers in the office. The next generations of these headphones, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless, have even better ANC performances.

Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
35.14 dB

The leakage performance is very good. While they leak a bit of sound at very loud volumes, it sounds very thin and won't bother people around you.

Microphone Style
Detachable Boom
Mic Yes

These headphones have an integrated microphone.

Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
243.22 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.36 dB
7,240.77 Hz
Weighted THD
-3.16 dB

The microphone's recording quality is decent and a fair improvement over the previous version. Like most Bluetooth headphones, your voice sounds quite thin but fairly clear and easy to understand.

Noise Handling
18.03 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated microphone's noise handling is mediocre. While the person you're speaking to has no problems hearing you in quiet environments, they won't be the best option for even moderately noisy situations.

Active Features
Active Features
Battery Type
Continuous Battery Life
32.3 hrs
Additional Charges
Total Battery Life
32.3 hrs
Charge Time
1.8 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Audio While Charging
Passive Playback
Charging Port micro-USB

The battery performance is very good. While they don't last the full 40 hours that Anker advertises, they still last slightly longer than the 28-hour battery life of the previous model and charge in less time, which is excellent. Unfortunately, they lack any power-saving features, so their battery will drain if you forget to turn them off.

Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
ANC Control
Mic Control No
Room Effects
Playback Control
Button Mapping No
Surround Support

These headphones don't have a companion app.

Bluetooth Version
Multi-Device Pairing
NFC Pairing
Line Of Sight Range
247.00 ft (75.29 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
362 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
PC Latency (aptX HD)
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
iOS Latency
93 ms
Android Latency
69 ms

These headphones have only decent Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike later generations like the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless, they don't support multi-device or NFC pairing. They also have quite high latency on PCs. Luckily, their latency is quite a bit lower on both iOS and Android, so you can watch videos without too much of a noticeable delay, though they still may not be the best for mobile gaming. If you want a pair of similarly performing headphones that support aptX-LL for a lower-latency connection, check out the TREBLAB Z2 Wireless.

Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
Non-BT Latency
Analog Audio
USB Audio
Detachable Yes
Length 4.10 ft (1.25 m)
1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

While the Anker Q20 use Bluetooth for a wireless connection, you can also connect them via a standard 1/8" TRS cable for passive playback, which is great. Unfortunately, you can't use the mic while wired.

PC Compatibility
Audio Only
Wired USB
Non-BT Wireless

You can connect these headphones to a PC using the included standard 1/8" TRS cable or via Bluetooth. However, you can only listen to audio and can't use their microphone.

PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
PS5 Non-BT Wireless

These headphones connect to your PlayStation over a wired connection, but you can only receive audio, so you can't use their microphone for multi-player games.

Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless

The Anker Q20 will only work with the Xbox One while plugged into the controller, though you'll only get audio and no microphone support. Check out our recommendations for the best Xbox One gaming headsets if you want something for gaming on an Xbox One.

No Base/Dock
USB Input
Line In
Line Out
Optical Input
RCA Input
Dock Charging
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't come with a base or a dock.