Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Rifthy

The market for ANC (active noise cancellation) headphones has long been dominated by premium brands like Bose, Sony and JBL. Their headphones often cost upwards of $300, which can be over 3 or 4 times more expensive than many consumers need.

However, companies like Anker’s Soundcore are aiming to shake up the market by offering ANC headphones at a much more affordable price point.

I recently had the chance to test out Soundcore’s latest noise cancelling headphones, the Space One. Retailing for a very wallet-friendly $99, I was eager to see if these cans could match the performance of pricier models. Read on for my full Soundcore Space One review.


soundcore space one review
8.4
*
Soundcore Space One 
POSITIVES
  • Excellent noise cancellation rivals premium brands
  • Useful app with sound customization
  • Great value at $99
NEGATIVES
  • Bass could be punchier for some
  • Call quality is just okay in noisy environments
  • Does not include a case

Overview and Unboxing

Right out of the box, the Space One makes a great first impression. The headphones sport a gorgeous, minimalist design with sleek curves and a stylish pastel blue finish (they also come in black). The build quality looks and feels solid, with metal accents and quality plastic.

Inside the box, you get the headphones, a carrying pouch, USB-C charging cable, 3.5mm auxiliary cable and quick start guide.

So far, so good – the Space One is checking all the boxes for aesthetics and value at this price point. Now on to the comfort and features.

Soundcore Space One review

Comfort and Wearability

Comfort is crucial for any pair of headphones designed for long listening sessions. Thankfully, the Space One delivers in this regard.

The headband is cushioned with a soft padding that provides a smooth, seamless fit across your head. The padding isn’t memory foam, but it’s still plenty comfortable in my experience. Better yet, the headband stretches and adjusts easily without any annoying creaking or clicking sounds.

The ear cups possess an innovative 8-degree tilt axis that Soundcore calls “floating axis design.” This allows the cups to adjust seamlessly to the shape of your head and ears for a more natural, customized fit.

While the ear cup padding isn’t the thickest, the dense memory foam cushioning conforms nicely to your ears while providing ample support. I found the Space One headphones comfy enough to wear for hours on end without any ear fatigue.

Controls and Connectivity

The Space One headphones provide you with all the on-board controls you need to manage music, calls and noise cancellation without reaching for your smartphone.

The left ear cup houses the ANC button for cycling through noise cancelling modes, along with the power button and an LED battery indicator. You’ll also find a 3.5mm AUX input and USB-C charging port on the left cup.

Over on the right side are conveniently placed volume buttons and a play/pause button. The controls are intuitive and responsive.

Connectivity comes courtesy of Bluetooth 5.3, which provides a stable wireless connection along with support for the high-quality LDAC audio codec.

Soundcore Space One review

Sound Quality

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty – how do these affordable noise cancelling headphones actually sound?

In a word: great. The 40mm dynamic drivers deliver impressive clarity and depth across the frequency range. The sound signature provides clean, balanced audio out of the box.

Bass lovers may find the low end lacking compared to more V-shaped headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM4. However, the Space One still produces pleasing warmth and thump without muddying the mids or highs.

Vocals sound crisp and vivid in the midrange, while highs are nicely extended without getting overly sharp or sibilant. Whether you’re listening to hip-hop, classical, podcasts or anything in between, the Space One provides satisfying sonic performance.

Noise Cancellation

Active noise cancellation is the other major selling point of the Soundcore Space One. This feature uses internal microphones to detect ambient noise and generate inverse sound waves to cancel it out.

I was thoroughly impressed by the ANC performance of these budget-friendly headphones. In busy coffee shop environments, the Space One almost entirely muted background chatter and noise once the ANC kicked in fully.

You can choose between adaptive noise cancellation or five manual levels of ANC intensity. There’s also a transparency hearing mode with five amplification levels so you can pump in sounds from your environment when needed.

Wind noise reduction works decently well and will appeal to frequent flyers. Overall, the noise cancelling prowess of the Space One rivals more expensive options like the Sony WH-1000XM4.

Battery Life

With ANC turned off, Soundcore says you can get up to 55 hours of listening per charge. Turning noise cancellation on drops battery life closer to 40 hours.

While not class-leading, this is solid battery performance that should easily get you through days of use between charges. The quick charging function also provides around 4 additional hours of playtime from just a 5-minute charge.

The headphones recharge via the included USB-C cable. A full charge takes about 2 hours.

Call Quality and Connectivity

I tested out the built-in microphone for voice calls in both quiet and noisy environments. Callers said I sounded clear, though background noise did seep in more noticeably when walking on a busy street. For quiet indoor use, call quality is fine.

The Bluetooth 5.3 wireless connection provided a mostly stable link to my smartphone up to the expected 10 meter range. As mentioned earlier, it would have been nice to have multi-point pairing, but single device connectivity is reliable.

Soundcore App

Soundcore provides a mobile app for iOS and Android that lets you control the Space One headphones and customize settings:

  • Switch between ANC modes or enable transparency
  • Adjust ambient sound control levels
  • Enable wearing detection to auto pause audio when removing headphones
  • Pick from 22 audio presets or create a custom EQ
  • Set volume limit for hearing safety
  • Check headphone battery level
  • Update firmware

The app works well and adds useful functionality to augment the on-board controls. It’s easy to tweak sound profiles and noise cancellation to your liking.


Let’s summarize my experience with the Soundcore Space One ANC headphones:

soundcore space one review
8.4
*
Soundcore Space One 
POSITIVES
  • Excellent noise cancellation rivals premium brands
  • Useful app with sound customization
  • Great value at $99
NEGATIVES
  • Bass could be punchier for some
  • Call quality is just okay in noisy environments
  • Does not include a case

Verdict: Soundcore Space One review

After extensive testing, there’s no doubt in my mind – the Soundcore Space One delivers tremendous value for shoppers wanting active noise cancellation on a budget.

They may lack some bells and whistles found on more premium ANC headphones. However, the superb noise reduction paired with great sound quality cement the Space One’s status as a top choice for affordable wireless over-ear headphones.

The bottom line: if your budget is under $100 and you want to enjoy your music and videos without distractions, these should be at the top of your list. Soundcore hit it out of the park with the Space One – don’t sleep on these noise-cancelling hidden gems!

If you’re a music enthusiast looking for the perfect headphones for listening to classical music, don’t miss our in-depth guide on EH NoCord.

Alternatives

The Soundcore Space One is arguably the best budget ANC headphones available now. However, here are a couple of alternatives worth considering:

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 – Similar design and performance to Space One, but at $80 offer even better value. Lack some premium features like wearing detection though.

Sony WH-CH710N – These $150 over-ear Sony headphones provide good ANC and sound but cost a bit more. Nice option if you want the Sony brand.

Cowin SE7 – Well-rated ANC headphones priced around $60. Quality won’t match Soundcore but extremely affordable.

Bose QuietComfort 45 – The QC45 are considered the ANC leaders by many. But they come at a steep price.

FAQ

How does the ANC on the Space One compare to premium models like Sony and Bose?

I was extremely impressed by the active noise cancelling ability of the Space One, especially given their affordable price. The noise reduction is right up there with Sony’s WH-1000XM4 based on my testing. Only the very top-tier Bose and Sony models might have a slight edge.

Do the Space One work well for phone calls?

Yes, for indoor calls in quiet environments, callers said I sounded clear when using the built-in mic. Call quality takes a hit in noisier areas though. So they work fine for calls at home or in the office.

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