Anker Soundcore Space A40 Review Rating
- Features – 90%
- Sound Quality – 85%
- Noise Cancelling – 70%
- Price – 85%
Following on from my review of the excellent Anker Soundcore Space Q45, I have also been trying the Soundcore Space A40.
While the Soundcore Space Q45 appears to be the successor of the Soundcore Life Q35, it is not quite as easy to work out what these are replacing, I assume the Soundcore A3i or Life A2 NC. The Soundcore A3i received mostly favourable reviews, with the main selling point being that they are a very affordable pair of ANC earbuds.
Alternative, these could be a new product sitting at the top of the A-series of Soundcore earbuds.
- ANC earbuds under with strong ANC, long-lasting playtime and comfortable fit
- Adaptive ANC Blocks 98% Outside noise automatically along with 3-Level Manual Adjustment for Ultimate ANC Customisation.
- Transparency mode
- Updated design ensures better passive noise cancellation
- 10mm double layer silk + metal ceramic dynamic drivers
- LDAC-compatible + Hi-Res Audio Certified
- 10 hour playtime with a single charge (with ANC off) / 8-hour playtime with ANC turned on //50-hours playtime from the case
- AI-enhanced calls with 6-microphones
- HearID for customised sound
- Fast Charging – 10 min = 4 hours
- Qi wireless charging compatible case
- Multi-port connection
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Small form factor – weighing only 4.9g
- IPX4 water resistance
Soundcore App and Features
Considering these are priced at well under £100, you get an incredible range of features within the Soundcore app. It is basically the same as the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
You have the normal controls for ANC, and within this, you can have it on adaptive mode or manually select the strength of the ANC. Similarly, under transparency mode, you have fully transparent or vocal mode.
You then have HearID, which is a hearing test that will then personalise the sound based on the results.
There are extensive EQ options, and I think the Soundcore app outclasses any other brands I have tried for these options.
You can then program the touch controls, and within the settings, you can enable LDAC and wind noise reduction. Enabling LDAC requires a firmware update.
Design and Fit
The case of the Soundcore Space A40 looks and feels a bit cheap, but it is small and functional. You have wireless charging, which I always find convenient with earbuds.
The earbuds themselves are also very small and weigh just under 5g. In comparison, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 I am reviewing weighs 6.1 g though the AirPods (3rd generation) weigh just 4.28g.
The design and small dimensions mean these fit very closely inside my concha, providing an incredibly secure fit. I do normally prefer earbuds with a stem as I find it offsets the centre of gravity a bit, but I would say these are by far the best and most secure-fitting earbuds I have used in this style.
These have an IPX4 rating, which seems to be about average for most ANC earbuds nowadays. The combination of these and the superb secure fit make these perfect for the gym. I have used them for weightlifting, rowing, and outdoor runs. As much as I love my Liberty 3 Pro earbuds, I have found them increasingly annoying for falling out when weightlifting (mainly when bending over).
When I first received the Soundcore Space A40, I was unable to use the Soundcore app as I wasn’t provided with the beta version compatible with these. I thought nothing of it and used them just as they were. However, I wasn’t massively impressed with the sound quality. It was good but just felt a little bit flat. If you prefer a more neutral sound, you may like it, but it wasn’t for me.
With the working Soundcore app, things are different. Most earbuds suffer from a change in sound profile with ANC on or off; the severity of this varies between brands. In the case of these, the difference is significant. With ANC on, the bass is significantly improved, and in my opinion, it makes a massive difference to the sound quality, taking it from unremarkable to good, if not excellent.
The bass is not as intense as the Liberty 3 Pro, which I think is a good thing. The Liberty 3 Pro were excessive with the out-of-box tuning, but it was fixable using the Soundcore EQ settings.
These sound much better with the default options. Of course, you can also tweak things, and the options are extensive. Within the default sound profiles, you have 22 different pre-defined options. You can then create your own.
I found mids and highs performed well, regardless of ANC being on or off. I am personally sensitive to highs and can find them harsh, to the point where some earbuds can cause me mild tinnitus (irrespective of volume). I have not experienced this here, highs sound detailed without getting harsh.
Using the HearID function, you can also customise the earbuds based on your actual hearing. Once you have created your personal hearing profile, you can create a custom EQ or integrate your HearID within the existing profiles.
If I am honest, I can’t say I noticed a massive difference from the HearID combined with sound profiles, but I am sure people with more sensitive hearing may appreciate it.
Active Noise Cancelling
I have just finished writing my review of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2, where I compare them to the Liberty 3 Pro, and the review should be live on Monday. My findings (personal opinion) were that both earbuds had outstanding ANC and the Liberty 3 Pro was fractionally better than the FreeBuds Pro 2.
The lower price point of these meant I had very low expectations, and I think my opinion is biased as I have come away from 2 excellent earbuds.
I would say the ANC performed better than my low expectations but still not impressive, at least compared to the previous earbuds.
My airplane cabin noise test dropped out a considerable amount of the very low end, but left some mid frequencies and a lot of the high end. In comparison, the Liberty 3 Pro dropped out almost all of the lows and mids and left just some of the high-end hiss.
If I were to subjectively say how much noise was reduced, I would say:
- Soundcore Space A40: 50-60%
- Huawei FreeBuds 3 Pro: 75%
- Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro: 80%
The above tests were all with music off and loud cabin noise. In real-world scenarios, that 50% reduction is still good. It can mean the difference between being able to enjoy music or a movie without having to jack up the volume. Playing music over the cabin noise with ANC on, I was able to easily hear the music at low volume with only a little engine noise coming through.
Voice Calls / Microphone
I do my best to avoid speaking to people, so I don’t use the microphone on earbuds extensively. It is typically when I just happen to be wearing them, and someone interrupts me with a phone call.
However, I have taken a few calls, and I did some basic voice recorder testing.
I am quite happy with the performance. My voice comes through clearly with minimal background noise and I also tested them with the airplane cabin noise at max volume in the background, where my voice was still clear.
One thing I have not tested properly yet is the performance outdoors when windy, as it has been unusually calm where I live recently.
The battery life on these earbuds is excellent. The official figures with the volume at 60% are:
- 10H / 50H with charging case(ANC off)
- 8H / 40H with charging case(ANC on)
- LDAC on (Normal): 6H/30H
- LDAC on (ANC on): 5H/25H
I think 4 hours is normally the upper end of how long I will wear earbuds, so these can easily surpass my needs.
Price and Alternative Options
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 have an RRP of £89.99
The Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are £139.99 RRP but is currently £120 on Amazon with a £10 off voucher. So, only £20 difference and I would say they are well worth considering if you can justify the extra cost.
Alternatively, you have the Soundcore Life A2 NC, which are £60 and with £10 off. I have not tried them, but they have good reviews from both Amazon buyers and critics alike.
The more I used the Anker Soundcore Space A40, the more I grew to like them.
For me, having the Soundcore app installed and ANC on is essential, or they sound a bit too flat.
Active noise cancelling is OK, perhaps even good when you factor in the price.
If you can get over those limitations, I think these are an excellent affordable choice. The range of features within the app is amazing, and I’m sure most people can tune them to meet their specific sound tastes. They also make excellent sports earbuds due to the lightweight small size and secure fit.
Last update on 2022-08-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API