- Very good sound
- Very affordable for the quality
- Top-tier industrial design
- Six sizes of ear tips
- Slight high-end drop off with ANC
- They’re not the smallest earbuds
If you want top-tier design, sound, and effective active noise cancellation without the top-tier pricing, check out Anker’s unpretentious Soundcore Space A40.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Anker Soundcore Space A40
Generally speaking, well-known vendors make attractive, sonorous audio products. Indeed, that’s usually why they become well known. Well, if Anker keeps this up, it will be a name you may soon be very familiar with.
Products like the recently reviewed $150 Space Q45 ANC headphones, and the $100 Space A40 ANC earbuds reviewed here are the reason why.
This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best noise-cancelling headphones.
Space A40 design and features
Let’s face it–there’s only so much variation in the basics of earbuds. They fit in your ear and make noise. Shopping is mostly about sound quality, comfort/fit, and looks. Battery life also carries weight to some degree.
Speaking to looks, though the $100 Anker Soundcore Space A40 don’t sport a sexy brand name like Apple, Bose, or Beats, but they look like they do.
The logo is first class by modern standards, not something you often see from lesser-known vendors. The earbuds we reviewed are rendered predominately in glossy black with “space gray” outer surfaces, and simply put, look luxe. The Space A40 are also available in white/silver and navy blue.
Whether the other two colors are as classy looking, I can’t say. But I’d guess they are. In a world where sales are often driven by shape consciousness and peer pressure, looking luxe is no small factor, and Anker seems to have clued in to this.
Jon L. Jacobi/Foundry
Put more personally, I’m guessing that people who see you wearing them will wonder if there’s a new brand they’re missing out on, rather than if you were shopping in the bargain bin.
Reviewer cynicism aside, the Soundcore Space A40 have the usual array of earbud features: The outer shells are touch sensitive for control: next track/previous track, answer call/end call, TWS (stereo/mono) on/off, ANC mode (transparent, normal, on), and so on. Yes, I said answer/hang up. The A40 will of course will handle phone calls, and the onboard mics used for active noise cancellation do quite well in that role.
The Space A40 ship with six pairs of ear tips (one attached, five in the box) to cover just about any size ear canal. The case offers magnetic coupling to keep the earbuds from rattling around, and it also sports wireless charging on a suitable charging surface.
About that wireless charging: You should be aware that it can take 1.5 to 2 times as much power to charge your device using surface-to-surface contact cradles or beds. Taking the topic a bit further than necessary, the best case I’ve seen claimed for non-contact, beamed wireless charging is requiring roughly 5 to 6 times the power. And that was considered a breakthrough.
In world seemingly hell-bent on running purely on electricity at the local level, we don’t need wireless charging. Unless you’re a card-carrying member of the cult of convenience–use a cable.
Note that when Anker claims 50 hours of listening, they’re talking about the 10 hours that the earbuds themselves will last, plus four 10-hour charges from the case. They also claim 4 hours of listening from a 10 minute charge, but there’s still going to be down time.
The earbuds come with an app–as seemingly everything does these days–which you can see above. Happily, Anker doesn’t force you to create an online account to use it, as so many companies do. Thanks Anker!
The app will test your ears to customize one of the EQ settings. This “HearID” test is rather long, but the results were decent, in my experience. Personally, I know what I like and i used the custom HearID profile to adjust the settings anyway.
Anker Soundcore Space A40 performance
So how do the Soundcore Space A40 sound? Very, very good. If I were being extremely picky, I might wish for a slightly more pronounced low mid-range, but instruments are still easily discernible. There are plenty of highs, and as usual with earbuds, there’s more than an adequate amount of bass. In this case, without overwhelming you.
When I say “usual” about the bass, that’s because with any earbud, your entire ear canal acts like bass port, trapping the waves and heightening the effect. When all is said and done, I’d stack the Space A40 up against any name-brand earbuds, including those costing twice as much, or more.
As to the active noise cancellation (ANC), it’s very efficient, albeit not quite perfect. Shoving something in your ear will cut off a lot of external ambient sound all by itself; however, Anker’s adaptive noise cancelling is even more effective.
There is an ever-so-slight penalty at the top end of the frequency spectrum with ANC engaged, but it’s only noticeable if you’re actively listening for it when you make the switch. After a few seconds, you’ll forget it happened. There are still plenty of highs.
I had to step down a size in the ear tips to really enjoy having the A40 in my ears (I actually prefer headphones). They’re decently light, so weight wasn’t a factor, and there are no rough edges to irritate you skin. These aren’t the smallest buds I’ve used, so they’re not particularly stealthy, but you certainly won’t feel Dumbo-esque.
Anker’s Soundcore Space A40 are a real bargain
If you want handsome, top-notch ear bud performance, right down to the ANC, and don’t want to fork over a ridiculous amount of cash for a popular logo, the Anker Soundcore Space A40 are earbuds you should consider.