Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jan 18, 2021 at 09:28 am
Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless Picture
6.5
Neutral Sound
7.7
Commute/Travel
6.9
Sports/Fitness
7.2
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
7.1
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are over-ear headphones with a fantastic noise cancelling performance. They have three different noise isolation settings, so you can find one that's best-suited for the environment around you. They also have an excited, v-shaped sound profile that delivers heavy thump and boom. If that isn't to your liking, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize your listening experience. They have a continuous playback time of over 44 hours, which should easily last long commutes or back-to-back days at the office.

Our Verdict

6.5 Neutral Sound

The Anker Life Q30 are mediocre for neutral sound. Out-of-the-box, they have an excited, v-shaped sound profile that delivers intense thump and boom, which isn't the most suitable for fans of neutral sound. Their soundstage doesn't sound very spacious and treble delivery can vary depending on fit, seal, and positioning. That said, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so that you can adjust it to your liking.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Leak some audio at high volumes.
7.7 Commute/Travel

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are good for commute and travel. They have an outstanding noise cancelling feature which helps reduce the rumble of bus or plane engines around you. They're comfortable, well-built, and offer over 44 hours of continuous battery life, which is very good for long travel days. However, they're a bit bulky, which can make them more difficult to take with you on-the-go.

Pros
  • Outstanding noise isolation performance.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Leak some audio at high volumes.
6.9 Sports/Fitness

The Anker Q30 are alright for sports and fitness. They're bulky, which can make it hard to take them with you on-the-go, and they can fall off your head with moderately intense movement. They also don't have an IP rating for dust or water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. That said, they're comfortable and thanks to their wireless design, they don't have an audio cable that could get snagged on something and pull them off your head.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • No IP rating.
7.2 Office

The Anker Life Q30 are decent for office use. They're comfortable and have long continuous battery life, which should last through multiple workdays before they need to be recharged. They also have a powerful active noise cancelling feature that helps reduce office chatter around you. On the downside, they leak audio, so if you're listening to music at a high volume, those around you can hear it.

Pros
  • Outstanding noise isolation performance.
Cons
  • Leak some audio at high volumes.
5.5 Wireless Gaming

The Anker Q30 aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4. While they can be used with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, their latency is likely too high to be suitable for gaming.

7.1 Wired Gaming

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are decent for wired gaming. Although they can be used wired with their 1/8" TRS video, you can only receive audio and can't use their integrated mic to chat with teammates. However, they're comfortable, and you can tweak their sound to your liking via their companion app's graphic EQ.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Leak some audio at high volumes.
6.7 Phone Calls

The Anker Life Q30 are alright for phone calls. Their integrated mic does a fair job of recording your voice, although it can sound thin and a little dull. It struggles to separate your voice from background noise though. Thankfully, they have an active noise cancelling feature that can reduce a lot of background noise around you.

Pros
  • Outstanding noise isolation performance.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Leak some audio at high volumes.
  • Mic has mediocre noise isolation performance.
  • 6.5 Neutral Sound
  • 7.7 Commute/Travel
  • 6.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.2 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated May 12, 2021: We've tested these headphones for 'Breathability' and updated the 'Portability' measurements.
  3. Updated Jan 29, 2021: We've corrected the ANC mode in Test Settings.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Anker Q30 look very similar to the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. They have a simple design with a black satin finish. With this generation, there's a small logo in gold found on both earcups, which makes it look a little more refined. They also come in 'Midnight Blue' and 'Sakura Pink' if you prefer a more colorful look.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.58 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

The Anker Q30 are comfortable headphones. Like the Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless, they feel lightweight and don't clamp too tightly on the head. That said, the headband padding feels thin and could become uncomfortable when worn for long listening sessions.

7.5
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

These headphones have a good control scheme. Only the right ear cup has a touch-sensitive surface, but most of the controls are physical buttons located on the bottom of both ear cups. With the physical buttons, you can play/pause audio, adjust volume, and cycle through three noise cancelling settings: 'ANC', 'Transparency' which allows you to listen to audio while staying aware of what's going on around you, and 'Normal', which is its off mode. You can also hold the volume up button to skip to the next track or the volume down button to skip to the previous track. You can activate 'Transparency' mode by holding the touch-sensitive surface or activate voice assistant by holding the play/pause button for two seconds. While the buttons are clicky and there are voice prompts for the different ANC settings, there aren't beeps for most of the other commands.

5.9
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 7.2 °C

Update 05/12/2021: We have tested 'Breathability'.

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 have sub-par breathability. They cover the entire ear and can trap heat, which can make your ears feel warm. You can also sweat more if you're wearing them for long periods of time or during physical exercise.

6.2
Design
Portability
L 6.9" (17.5 cm)
W 6.8" (17.3 cm)
H 1.7" (4.3 cm)
Volume 80.00 in³ (1,310.96 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

Update 05/12/2021: We have updated our measurements of these headphones to match the smallest way of folding them up. As a result, the scoring of this box has changed.

The Anker Q30 have mediocre portability as they're somewhat bulky and can be difficult to take with you on the go. While the ear cups can swivel to lay flat and they come with a hard case to help protect them, they still take up some room in a bag or backpack.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 8.9" (22.6 cm)
W 7.4" (18.8 cm)
H 2.3" (5.8 cm)
Volume 152.00 in³ (2,490.82 cm³)

The Anker Q30 come with a good hard case. It has a zipper so that it fully closes and there's a small section inside so that you can store its cables. It should protect your headphones from minor water exposure and accidental drops.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 have a good build quality. They're mostly made of plastic and silicone-like materials, which makes them feel sturdy. There's also faux-leather padding on the headband and cups and a metal plate in the headband. They feel dense enough to survive a few accidental drops without getting damaged. Although we don't currently test for it, they don't have an IP rating for dust or water resistance.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are fairly stable. While they shouldn't move if you're working at your desk, they can fall off your head with more intense head movements. On the upside, their wireless design eliminates the risk of a cable snagging on something and pulling the headphones off your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Anker SoundCore Life Q30 headphones
  • 1/8" TRS audio cable
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Hard case
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
5.91 dB
Treble Amount
-0.28 dB

The Anker Q30 have an excited, v-shaped sound profile. The bass delivers intense thump and rumble, while the treble adds sparkle and brightness to your mix. While some users may find this sound profile to be overtly bass-heavy, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help tweak their sound.

6.9
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.65 dB

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 have an alright frequency response consistency. Treble delivery can vary depending on fit, positioning, and seal, so you may need to adjust them on your head slightly to get the same listening experience every time.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
4.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
8.54 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
9.92 dB
Mid-Bass
10.45 dB
High-Bass
7.35 dB

These headphones have poor bass accuracy. It's overemphasized across the range, resulting in heavy thump, rumble, and punch, which should please fans of EDM and hip-hop. That said, some users may find their mixes also sound boomy and muddy.

8.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.4 dB
Low-Mid
3.37 dB
Mid-Mid
0.77 dB
High-Mid
0.65 dB

The Anker Soundcore Q30 have great mid accuracy. There's a bit of over-emphasis coming from the bass-range into the low-mids, which results in a muddy sound in your mix. However, the rest of the range is flat and neutral, so vocals and lead instruments sound present and accurate.

7.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.12 dB
Mid-Treble
4.46 dB
Low-Treble
1.19 dB
High-Treble
3.62 dB

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 have fair treble accuracy. Almost the entire range is over-emphasized, resulting in bright vocals and lead instruments. Sibilants such as S and T sounds are piercing. That said, treble delivery can vary depending on fit, positioning, and seal.

7.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.54 dB
Dips
1.52 dB

The peaks and dips performance is decent. There's some mismatch between the left and right driver, as a peak in the bass range affects the left driver slightly more than the right, resulting in a bit more punch and boom. A dip in between the high-bass and low-mids thins out vocals and lead instruments, while another dip between the mid to high-mids nudges these same vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix. A dip in the low-treble reduces the clarity of these same instruments, while a steep peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants piercing.

6.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.22
Weighted Phase Mismatch
58.08
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.47
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.68

The Anker Life Q30's imaging is acceptable. The GD graph shows that their group delay is almost entirely beneath the audibility threshold, ensuring a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers of our unit are also well-matched in amplitude. However, there's a slight mismatch in frequency and a high mismatch in phase response, which indicates that there could be inaccuracies in the stereo image. These results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

4.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.54 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.44 dB
PRTF Distance
7.8 dB
Openness
0.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.4

The Anker Q30 have a poor passive soundstage. While it's perceived as wide and natural, it still sounds like it's coming from inside your head rather than from out in front of you. Also, due to their closed-back design, they sound less spacious than open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

These headphones don't have a virtual soundstage feature.

7.8
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.211
WHD @ 100
0.133

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. All ranges fall within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.8
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
Transport
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

Update 01/29/2021: We originally reported that we tested these headphones using the 'Outdoor' ANC mode. However, this was an inputting error as we tested them using their 'Transport' ANC mode. Our results have not changed.

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.

Isolation
9.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-25.33 dB
Bass
-22.37 dB
Mid
-17.89 dB
Treble
-34.93 dB

The Anker Life Q30 have fantastic noise isolation. With their active noise (ANC) feature set to the 'Transport' mode setting, they perform better than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. They can reduce a significant amount of bass-range noise like bus or plane engines. They also cut down a lot of mid-range noise like office chatter, as well as higher-pitched sounds like the hum of an AC unit.

These headphones also offer two 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 like office chatter and the hum of fans.

6.2
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
43.98 dB

The Anker Life Q30's leakage performance is mediocre. Their leakage is concentrated in the mid-range, so it sounds somewhat full. If you're listening to your audio at a high volume, people at the office may be able to hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Anker Q30 have an integrated microphone.

6.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
276.97 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.31 dB
HFE
4,561.4 Hz
Weighted THD
2.173
Gain
5.52 dB

The recording quality of the Anker Soundcore Q30's integrated mic is fair. It sounds thin and a bit dull, but your voice should still sound clear and be easy to understand.

5.6
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
12.36 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated microphone's noise handling performance is just mediocre. It struggles to separate your voice from moderate background noise and is best-suited for calls taken from a more quiet environment.

Active Features
7.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
44.3 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
44.3 hrs
Charge Time
1.7 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The battery performance is very good. With their ANC on, they have over 44 hours of continuous playback time. If you need even more playback time, they're advertised as lasting up to 60 hours with their ANC off, but this isn't currently how we test for battery performance. You can also use them passively thanks to their TRS audio cable, but you can't use them while they're charging.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Anker Soundcore
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
Adjustable
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The Anker Soundcore app is great. You can adjust the sound of these headphones using their graphic EQ or presets. You can also adjust their ANC with three different levels: 'Transport' mode, 'Outdoor' mode, and 'Indoor' mode. There are also sleep features available. You can make a mix of calming ambient sounds like birds tweeting or chimes, and also set a timer for them.

Connectivity
9.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line Of Sight Range
335.00 ft (102.11 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
206 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
91 ms
Android Latency
110 ms

The Anker Soundcore Q30 have outstanding Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless, they can be paired with up to two devices at a time and support NFC pairing. They also have a fantastic line of sight range, which is good if you like to move around without your audio device in hand. However, they have high latency on PCs. Their latency is much lower on iOS and Android. That said, some devices and apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary. If you're looking for similar Anker headphones that also support LDAC codec, try the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.10 ft (1.25 m)
Connection
1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

While the Anker Soundcore Q30 use Bluetooth for their wireless connection, they also come with a 1/8" TRS cable that you can use to passively listen to audio. However, you can't use their mic while wired. They also come with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

The Anker Q30 are only compatible with the Xbox One when you plug their 1/8" TRS cable into the AUX port of a controller. You can only receive audio as they don't have mic support.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

The Anker Q30 don't have a base or dock.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are available in three color variants: 'Black', 'Midnight Blue', and 'Sakura Pink'. We tested the Black variant, and you can see their label here. We expect all color variants to perform similarly to our model. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Update 02/04/2021: Thanks to user feedback, we have updated the color variants available for these headphones. 

Compared To Other Headphones

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 are the next generation of the Anker Soundcore life Q20 Wireless. Compared to their processor, they have a better build quality and come with a hard pouch. Their active noise cancelling performance is outstanding, and they have over 44 hours of continuous playback time as well as a companion app with features like a graphic EQ and presets to help tweak their sound. Check out our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones under $100, and the best travel headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30. The Sony are more comfortable, feel better-built, and have a better-balanced sound profile right out-of-the-box. Their active noise cancelling (ANC) feature can reduce more noise around you, and they have an auto-off timer to help conserve their battery life when not in use. That said, the Anker have longer continuous battery life.

Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless are very similar headphones with slight differences. While both headphones are well-built and comfortable, the Q30 have a better ANC performance. However, the Q35 have a better overall mic performance and support LDAC codec for high-quality audio, which some users may prefer.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are casual-use headphones with different strengths. The Beats are better-built, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and leak less audio. However, the Anker have a more comfortable fit, a better battery performance, and their ANC has a significantly better noise isolation performance. You can also customize their sound profile using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets, and you can pair them with up to two devices at a time.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 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 and feel better-built. 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.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are better over-ears than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and a slightly better noise isolation performance. They also have a better battery performance too. However, the Anker have a more customizable sound profile as their companion app has a graphic EQ and presets.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable and feel better-built. They also have a more neutral sound profile right out-of-the-box, and a better companion app. However, the Anker have longer-lasting continuous battery life and three different ANC modes to better-isolate the kind of ambient noise around you.

Sony WH-XB900N Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are better than the Sony WH-XB900N for most purposes. The Anker have a much better noise isolation performance, a longer continuous battery life, and support multi-device pairing. However, the Sony have a much more comfortable and stable fit.

Razer Opus Wireless

The Razer Opus Wireless are better headphones than the Anker Soundcore Life Q30. The Razer are more comfortable, feel better-built, and have a more neutral sound profile right out-of-the-box. They can also isolate more noise around you and have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when they're not in use. However, the Anker offer different settings for their ANC and can be paired with up to two devices at a time.

Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless

The Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless and Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless each have their advantages, so one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The Sony have a more stable fit, a less bass-heavy default sound profile, an auto-off timer to conserve the charge when not in use, and leak less audio. Meanwhile, the Anker can connect to two devices at once, block out far more ambient noise, take less time to charge while offering over 40 hours of continuous playback time, and deliver audio more consistently.

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless

The AnkerSoundcore Life Q30 and the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 Wireless have different strengths and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The Anker are more comfortable and feel better-built. Their active noise cancelling (ANC) feature does a significantly better job of reducing background noise around you and they have longer-lasting continuous battery life. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ on top of presets. However, the Plantronics have a more stable fit and a neutral sound profile right out-of-the-box. They also leak less audio.

Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are better headphones for commuting than the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless. The Anker are better-built, more comfortable, and their active noise cancelling feature has a significantly better performance. They also have a longer continuous battery life, can be paired with up to two devices at a time, and have a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets to help you tweak their sound. However, the Skullcandy have a more stable fit.

Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless and the  Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Wireless have different strengths, and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The Anker come with a hard case and their adjustable ANC feature can cut down a superior amount of ambient noise around you. Their integrated mic also offers a better overall performance and they have a longer continuous battery life. However, the Wyze have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life and their default sound profile is more neutral, which some users may prefer. 

Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless. The Anker are more comfortable, better-built, and have an outstanding active noise cancelling feature. They also have a companion app that offers a graphic EQ and presets, and support multi-device pairing as well as NFC pairing.

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