Soundcore’s Space A40 redefine what you possibly can expect from budget wireless earbuds
“The Soundcore Space A40 wireless earbuds do almost every little thing, they do it well, they usually do it affordably.”
- Compact and cozy
- Good sound quality
- Excellent ANC/transparency
- Good call quality
- Excellent battery life
- Wireless charging
- Bluetooth Multipoint
- No wear sensors
- So-so wireless range
It wasn’t that way back that purchasing a set of budget wireless earbuds — ones that cost $100 or less — meant accepting a series of compromises. Possibly you’d find yourself with subpar sound, limited battery life, and no ability to customize the earbuds’ functions or EQ with a mobile app. And advanced features like energetic noise cancellation (ANC), hi-res audio, and wireless charging? Fuhgeddaboudit.
But those days are long gone thanks partially to Anker’s Soundcore division, which has been redefining what we are able to expect from inexpensive buds for years. And if you happen to need more convincing, do that on for size: Soundcore’s recent $100 Space A40 wireless earbuds have an inventory of features that wouldn’t look misplaced on a model costing double that price, plus a battery life which may not have an equal at any price.
Are these the perfect budget wireless earbuds you possibly can buy? Let’s have a look.
What’s within the box?
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Pretty standard stuff: The earbuds, their charging case, a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, and a generous set of 5 sizes of silicone rubber eartips, with the medium size preinstalled on the buds, and a quick-start guide. It’s all packed right into a small cardboard box. Props to Soundcore for finally eliminating just about all nonrecyclable material in its packaging.
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Soundcore hasn’t been afraid to experiment with different shapes, sizes, and designs for its earbuds, and this time around, it has picked a compact, stemless option. They’re smaller than each the Jabra Elite 7 Pro and the Google Pixel Buds Pro. I’d call them plain, or generic-looking, apart from their satin-finish outer surface, with a discreet Soundcore “d” logo, which supplies them a bit of touch of sophistication.
Those surfaces are touch-sensitive, and the earbuds have an IPX4 rating, which implies it is best to have the ability to get them sweaty or damp without fear so long as you wipe them clean whenever you’re done using them.
The Space A40 are very comfortable, even for long periods of time.
The case — which may recharge via USB-C or wirelessly using a Qi-compatible charging mat — is finished in a matte black plastic and has a smooth, rounded shape that feels good within the hand and is sufficiently small to be pocketable. The lid flips open and closed effortlessly, and due to its generous opening, it’s supereasy to pluck the A40s out and put them back in again.
You get a three-LED indicator on the front, which may show you the charge level for the earbuds once they’re within the case, in addition to for the case itself when the earbuds are removed. The Soundcore app also will show you the earbuds’ charge level.
Comfort, controls, and connections
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I discovered the Space A40 very comfortable, even for long periods of time. For me, their rounded shape may be very ergonomic and hits that Goldilocks zone of being sufficiently big to make excellent contact with my concha, while not being so big that it makes my ears feel like they’re jammed with an object.
The default medium suggestions fit me just tremendous, but Soundcore can enable you to find your perfect size with the fit test feature contained in the Soundcore app, which plays a series of tones to find out if there are any sound leaks.
Once seated, I discovered the earbuds very secure. They only loosened a bit after I was talking, but that’s been my experience with just about all earbuds. I’d don’t have any problem recommending them for even very energetic workouts, though that may really rely on how securely they sit in your ears.
The controls are touch-sensitive, so there’ll all the time be the occasional unintentional hit. But as touch controls go, the A40 are superb. The surfaces are large and simple to tap, and the app helps you to activate (or off) a confirmation tone for taps, which I find very helpful. My only criticism is that those tones lag a bit — you tap, after which a second later, you hear the tone. I’d prefer a faster response time.
You furthermore may can fully modify what the faucet gestures do. There are six in total — single tap, double tap, and tap-and-hold on both sides — and you possibly can pick what each does within the app. You may pick from play/pause, track skip forward/back, volume up/down, voice assistant access, and ANC mode switching. Call answer/end is all the time available when calls are available, and you need to use each earbud independently for each music and calls.
They’re a fun listen and may please nearly anyone shy of massive bass fanatics.
The one thing missing here’s a wear sensor: The Space A40 can’t mechanically pause your tunes whenever you remove an earbud. You may’t have all of it for $100, and as omissions go, this one doesn’t trouble me.
The Space A40 use Bluetooth 5.2, which should offer excellent wireless range, but I discovered the earbuds couldn’t go as removed from my devices as I’ve been capable of do with other 5.2 buds. It’s not bad when connected using SBC or AAC because the Bluetooth codec (say, on an iPhone) — you’ll get about 25 feet indoors and possibly 40-50 feet outside — but switching to the LDAC codec on Android drops that by about half.
Getting the A40 paired on iOS and Android was easy. Once I first got the A40 arrange on my Android handset, I immediately enabled the LDAC codec to see the way it sounded. Little did I do know, LDAC is incompatible with Bluetooth Multipoint, so after I tried to connect with two devices and it didn’t work, I assumed a mistake had been made within the specs.
Because it seems, so long as LDAC is turned off, Multipoint is indeed a feature and it really works great — yet one more impressive aspect to those earbuds.
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Audiophiles won’t be wowed by the Space A40. But they sound really good given the $100 price. You get a full frequency response from these earbuds, with bass that is powerful enough to let you’re feeling the beat, but not so powerful that it overwhelms.
The ANC on these earbuds is the actual deal.
With the default EQ settings, I discovered the mids and highs a bit of dull. In the event you experience this too, be sure you undergo the HearID tuning procedure within the Soundcore app. After doing so, I noticed an instantaneous improvement, and far of the clarity I assumed was missing was restored. And if you happen to prefer to get really deep into EQ tweaks, the app might be your best friend. Not only is it chock-full of EQ presets you possibly can try, nevertheless it also has a full eight-band graphic equalizer with the power to store as a lot of your individual mixtures as you care to create.
There are limits — even with the bottom frequency slider maxed out, you’re not going to get huge bass — nevertheless it’s still an infinite amount of control over how these buds sound.
The soundstage is pleasantly wide and the stereo imaging is nicely balanced. Could I do with a bit more precision? Sure, but again: $100. It’s also value keeping your expectations in check in the case of Soundcore’s claims of hi-res audio on the A40.
Yes, they support Sony’s LDAC codec, which under ideal conditions can deliver as much as 24-bit/96kHz lossy hi-res audio. And yes, the drivers on these buds (in line with Soundcore) are rated for the complete 20Hz to 40KHz required to be able to bear the official hi-res audio label from the Japan Audio Society. But I noticed little or no difference when switching between an iPhone 11 with the non-hi-res AAC codec and a Xiaomi 12 Pro with the LDAC codec while listening to lossless, 24-bit tracks from Amazon Music.
But don’t let that put you off — in my experience, it takes a really high-end set of earbuds or headphones to allow you to hear an appreciable difference when using LDAC or its equivalent from Qualcomm — aptX Adaptive. All in all, the Space A40 are a fun listen and may please nearly anyone shy of massive bass fanatics. Want something with barely higher sound for a similar price? Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series are a great selection.
Noise cancellation and transparency
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You’ll see loads of $100 (and even cheaper) wireless earbuds on Amazon promising noise cancellation, but the fact is that the majority of them only offer mild versions of ANC — barely enough to assert they do it, but nothing more. Soundcore makes the impressive claim that the Space A40 reduce noise by as much as 98%, and while I’m not so sure I agree with that stat, the ANC on these earbuds is the actual deal.
With ANC mode engaged, they’re very effective at blocking a large spectrum of sound frequencies. My home office sits about eight feet from a loud and annoying bathroom fan, however the A40 almost entirely erase that sound. Based on that performance, I believe they’ll be superb at handling airplane engine noise too.
With 10 hours of playing time (50 hours whenever you include the charging case), the Space A40 are downright impressive.
Transparency mode, which also tends to be mediocre on loads of earbuds at this price, is surprisingly good. The skin world becomes perfectly audible, and voices are easy to listen to. It’s not as magical as Apple’s AirPods Pro, but nonetheless, not much is, at any price.
I actually appreciate that the Soundcore app helps you to resolve which modes you wish to access whenever you switch the ANC function. You may pick any two of ANC on, off, or transparency, or decide to cycle through all three. Far too many earbuds don’t allow you to do that.
Calling on the Space A40 is decent. Loud sounds around you might be fairly effectively blocked, but this may come at the fee of some compression and wonkiness in your voice. When things are quiet, you’ll sound just tremendous to your callers.
You may’t switch ANC mode while on a call using the touch controls, but you possibly can do it using the app, which is useful. Switching to transparency mode isn’t as clear as whenever you’re not on a call, but you possibly can hear your individual voice significantly better than in full ANC mode, which helps reduce calling fatigue.
With a claimed 10 hours of playing time per charge for the earbuds and a complete of fifty hours whenever you include the charging case (with ANC off), the Space A40 are downright impressive. Even whenever you start so as to add in additional features like ANC, they continue to be strong (8/40), and with maximum drain (the mix of LDAC and ANC), they still manage a 5/25, which, to place it in perspective, is what the AirPods Pro do at their best.
These numbers assume playback at 60% volume and from what I can tell, they’re pretty accurate — possibly off by plus or minus half-hour at most.
Regardless, these earbuds have remarkable stamina. Even their fast-charge time is noteworthy: 10 minutes within the charging case will buy you an additional 4 hours of playtime (non-ANC, non-LDAC).
With an astonishing variety of features, most of which perform extremely well, and a price that’s nearby of virtually anyone who wants a set of wireless earbuds, the Soundcore Space A40 are truly a recent benchmark in value. For a similar money, you possibly can recuperate sound, but only by sacrificing things like ANC, wireless charging, and battery life (Google Pixel Buds A-Series). You may recuperate water and dirt protection (Skullcandy Grind Fuel), but you lose ANC and call quality.
Unless you might have very specific tastes in sound (big bass, crystal clarity), or you wish higher protection from the weather, I highly recommend them.
Note: This review originally stated that Bluetooth Multipoint just isn’t a feature of the Space A40. This has been corrected.