The Soundcore Space headphones are Anker’s first active noise-cancelling (ANC) pair — that is, headphones with a built-in mechanism that block out ambient noise — and you’d almost never know it’s the company’s first foray into this space from listening to them.
We say almost because there’s a decent chance you’re a brand loyalist: Over the years, Anker has attracted a steady fanbase with its catalog of budget-friendly gadgets (a compact portable charger and a 3-foot lightning cable being two of its most popular buys).
We’re happy to report that Soundcore marks yet another victory for Anker — and (to get right to the point here) for your wallet. Finding a solid pair of noise-cancelling headphones for under $100 is no easy task! We know this because we tried out several pairs in this price category — the TaoTronics TT-BH22US, CB3 Hush, and Audio-Technica ATH-ANC, to name a few — and weren’t wowed by any of our options. That is, until these landed in front of us.
Its appearance leaves a bit to be desired: Anker is in the game of doing just enough where style is concerned — but, then again, maybe this kind of pragmatic minimalism is your style. Where these headphones were able to truly shine, though, was in their ANC. According to Anker, they block out up to 96% of high-frequency sounds (like human voices) and 93% of low-frequency noise (think: a subway rumbling underneath you or the murmur of an AC unit).
While these percentages are difficult to confirm, we can, anecdotally, vouch for the vast improvement these headphones made on busy sidewalks and on public transport. Their overall sound quality, testers agreed, was also good — if not excellent — for this price category. Midrange and high frequencies — the ranges where central melodies and vocals fall — were impressively clear (though slightly less impressive with ANC in use), while the bass hardly overwhelmed the listening experience.
Audiophiles may wax poetic about the Bose QC35 IIs (our $$$ pick) or the Bowers & Wilkins PX, but if you’re like most people — a casual and thrifty music listener — you’d be hard-pressed to find a pair of ANC headphones under $100 that checks as many boxes as the Soundcore Space headphones do. That said, it doesn’t matter how good ANC is if your ears are left bleeding after 30 minutes of use. That’s why you’ll be relieved to learn you can confidently check the “comfort” box with these.
Bottom line: Anker’s Soundcore Space headphones would make excellent commuter headphones, given their ease of wear, and are perfect for the casual listener. Anker is only just starting to dip its toes into the ANC space, and we’re excited to see what the brand has up its sleeve for budget models to come.