Soundcore Space Q45 Review Headphones With Adjustable ANC Transparency

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The new flagship beating headphones by Soundcore! The Space Q45, featuring surprisingly exceptional battery life and premium headphone performance at half the price!

The Space Q45 are supported by the Soundcore mobile app, which doesn't require an account registration to use. From the Soundcore app, you can check the battery level of the Space Q45 headphones, as well as control the ANC/Transparency mode functionality and other cool features such as volume limiting and custom noise cancellation. There are two ANC sub-modes to choose from: Adaptive (automatically controlled by AI) or Custom ANC, which is manually adjusted from 5 levels, letting you increase and decrease the noise reduction level of the ANC microphones. 

Transparency (ambient) mode has two sub-modes to choose from too: Talk Mode and Custom Transparency Mode (5 levels) to manually adjust how much ambient sound enters the headphones. Talk Mode automatically decreases the volume of the headphones, making it easier to talk to someone without having to remove the headphones from your head.

The Space Q45 listening modes (ANC mode, Transparency mode and Normal mode) are controlled via the NC button onboard the headphones. The NC button has two gesture controls (single press and double press) that can be remapped via the Soundcore app.
Single press controls the listening modes: ANC/Transparency mode and Normal mode. You can untick one if you only want to have two listening modes to choose from. The Space Q45 have really good, flagship level ANC/Transparency performance so, you can use these headphones for cutting low sounds (e.g. road noise) and higher frequencies like voices of people.

Volume limiting is another app feature you get, which is useful when sharing the headphones with a child to control how much volume passes through the headphones. The Sonducore app lets you limit the volume of the Space Q45 headphones from 75dB to 100dB in increments of 5dB (e.g. 85dB). As far as sound settings, you can choose between 20 preset sounds, BassUp mode (bass boost) and custom EQ mode to create your own sound signature using Soundcore's 8-band graphic equalizer. 
The Soundcore Space Q45 headphones have a look and feel similar to the Life Q35 and Life Q30 headphones but without yokes; hence no tilting mechanism to allow the earcups to tilt up and down.  The earcup/earpad design is very similar with PU leather foam pads (oval shaped). The earcups (made of plastic) ingrate subtle clicky plastic buttons. The USB-C port and 3.5mm port are recessed, which will minimize premature wear. 
The Space Q45 headband is made of plastic reinforced with a metal band on top. The headband design is just like the Life Q30 headphones - an inverted ratchet style headband designed with the top of the headband retracting into the sides. The headband integrate a dual purpose hinge mechanism (made of plastic) that allows the earcups to swivel and fold inward. The Space Q45 drivers are covered with thin foam fabric padding and have good depth - 2.5cm deep. The earpad dimensions are 6cm high and 4.5cm wide (inner hole), while the outer measures 9.5cm high and 8.5cm wide.
Another interesting feature (may or many not be an actual feature), it's upright rocking! You can place the headphones on the front of the earcups, upright and rock them! 
This is actually useful and more hygienic if you don't want to the earpads to make contact against the desk. Would have been neat if the earcups had wireless charging integrated! 
The Space Q45 are comfy to wear - only weighing 295 grams, although they do have a high clamping force. On the right earcup, you find a play/pause button, volume buttons and 3.5cmm headphone jack. On the left earcup, you find the NC button, power button, status led and USB-C port. The buttons are slightly raised (but not a lot).

In the battery department, the Space Q45 support quick charge and fully charge in 2 hours. With ANC Off, thebattery life is around 60 hours at 65% volume, via AAC codec and with BassUp turned on. With ANC turned On, battery life is 50 hours. You can expect decreased battery life (~6 hours less) via LDAC codec. In the sound department, the Space Q45 sound cleaner but less bassy than the Q35 right out of the box. 
Potential deal breakers
  • Limited remapping - only the NC button can be remapped
  • No low latency game mode
  • Cannot be used in bluetooth mode whilst charging 
  • PU leather earpads means ears get hot, causing them to sweat especially in hot days
  • Extremely thin headband padding makes the Space Q45 not as comfy to wear as the Life Q35
  • The top of the drivers is not flat and, while it has thin padding it has protruding bits which can rub against the ear
  • No tilting mechanism for earcups
  • LDAC only compatible with Android (8.0 and newer) devices. Apple iOS does not support LDAC
  • Non-user replaceable earpads
  • No on-ear wear detection (auto play/pause) like on Life Q35
  • Similar mic performance to Life Q35

Selling points for Space Q45
  • Bluetooth status led does not blink/flash when listening to audio
  • Mobile app support means you benefit from future firmware updates released by Soundcore to improve and/or add new features to the Space Q45 headphones
  • Graphic EQ - same as the Space A40 buds
  • Dual Bluetooth multipoint connect
  • Manually adjustable ANC and Transparency mode
  • Normal listening mode to disable ANC and Transparency mode.
  • Volume limiting headphone functionality
  • BassUp - Bass Boost function (can be disabled form the app)
  • Auto power off: 30 min, 60 min, 90 min, 120 min or OFF (never)
  • LDAC support (can be enabled and disabled via the app)
  • Supports absolute bluetooth volume
  • Super fast quick charge (4 hours in 4 minute)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack for zero latency gaming
  • Can be used in wired mode whilst charging
  • Comfortable to wear
  • PU leather ear pads helps high passive isolation while reducing sound leakage
  • Earcups can be rotated flat 
  • Well constructed and quality plastic does not creak or rattle
  • Passive headphone jack means you can use them in wired mode with a dead battery
  • Plumpier earpads than the ones on Life Q35 and Life Q30
  • Hugely improved ANC/Transparency performance over the Life Q35 and Life Q30  
  • Very good microphone noise cancellation makes the Space Q45 suitable for work/ conference calls
Accessories included with the Space Q45 are an unbranded audio cable 1.2 meters, branded charging cable (60cm) and carry case (weighs 183 grams) and very nice looking case at that! It has a rugged outershell construction - similar to the hardshell (clamshell opening) case that comes with  the Life Q35 and Life Q30. The case features soft fabric liner, built-in lanyard strap, metal slider pull tab and hidden teeth to minimize water and dust ingress. The Space Q45 carry case also has a pre-shaped plastic insert to help you store the headphones the right way. It's nice that you can take off the insert so, you can use the carry for other purposes. You can buy the Space Q45 from Soundcore's amazon store.

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