Nowadays, there exist a multitude of options for wireless, noise-cancelling headphones, so many in fact, it could make your head spin. But Soundcore have entered the fray with their Space A40 earbuds, squarely aimed at the more budget-friendly end of the market, providing not only value for money, but an impressive and extensive list of features which rival many of the more premium or popular brands. Featuring an ergonomic design, adaptive Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), impressive battery life and quality sound, you’d be hard pressed to find an alternative as robust, particularly at the attractive AUD $129.99 price point.
My immediate impressions of the Space A40 earbuds were largely positive. After an incredibly easy pairing process, the Space A40 earbuds are sure to fit comfortably on most ears, be it shape or size, thanks to five different sized silicon tips, which can be easily interchanged. While the tips can be swapped, smaller ears might feel the larger design of the earbuds themselves. They fit comfortably in my larger ears, but I can image them protruding out smaller ears, which might make them slightly less comfortable in situations where one might be lying down or up against something. That being said, I’ve used the Space A40’s as my daily driver for the past coupe of weeks, with various workouts, runs and general listing throughout the house. Aside from the general commutes, working out in these is a joy. They’re incredibly lightweight at just 4.9g and stay in the ear, thanks to the multiple silicone tips.
The included pocket-sized charging case is also sleek and minimal. While most charging cases never go behind the shape and style of the headphones, the Soundcore Space A40 charging case is bound to fit in most pockets and, complete with a minimalistic design and matte finish. The earbuds themselves might feel like they’re on the larger side, but look incredibly premium in terms of design. The glossy finish contrasts nicely with the matte touch sensitive outer pads, also contributing to the minimalistic look and feel.
Packing in 10mm Double Layer Diaphragm Drivers, the Space A40 earbuds feature a balance level of sound, even if the bass lacks a little in certain areas. However, overall volume is strong and balanced at louder levels, free of any crackling and distortion. The ANC included is incredibly solid however, and while far from the best in general, a true contender for best in its class, given most ANC headphones cost more than the Space A40 earbuds in the first place.
The inclusion of Bluetooth 5.2 for multi-point connectivity is also a nice touch, allowing users to switch seamlessly between two devices. I’m regularly gaming with my phone nearby, so being able to switch automatically from my PC to my phone as soon as I receive a call feels like something I never knew I needed, but now feels weird to go without. However, it is worth noting that this feature only works for calls. For anything else, you’ll need to manually switch between devices. Taking calls on the Space A40 earbuds is unfortunately a mixed bag, mainly due to microphone quality. It’s not necessarily bad, but does pick up surrounding sounds, particularly when in louder or busier areas. A dedicated gaming mode also makes the Space A40 earbuds a solid alternative if you’re into something a little more lightweight, adding in a low-latency mode that reacts to sounds more accurately.
Battery & Software
The Space A40 earbuds claim to provide up to 10-hours of listening time per single charge, with a whopping 50-hours total coming from the charging case. While I had ANC on, I still got around 8 hours of total listening time from a single charge, which is still impressive. However, with ANC either on or off, another charge is never far away, with the pocket-sized charging case providing another 4 hours of playtime in just 10 minutes. The charging case also features Qi wireless charging and USC-B charging for added versatility.
In terms of both customisation and functionality, the Soundcore app, available on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, is essential for gaining the most out of the Space A40 earbuds. In addition to the customisable and dedicated EQ pre-sets, users can switch between normal, ANC and transparency hearing modes, each of which feels incredibly useful in certain situations. While I might activate the ANC at the gym, the transparency mode does come in handy in more public environments where you might need to listen in or be aware of your surroundings. You’ll also be able to set up your earbuds via HearID, a feature that automatically listens to and tunes your headphones based on your surrounding environments.
You can always switch between presents after the fact, but I found that setting up the HearID in addition to performing a test fit, which tells you if you’re using the correct silicon tips for your ears, will be the way to go for most users. From here, you can also customise and assign touch controls to both left and right earbuds, to pause and skip between songs. It’s also worth noting that the app itself is incredibly easy to set up and navigate from the get go.
Verdict & Value
Overall, the Soundcore Space A40 earbuds are worth every penny of their AUD $129.99 price point. They’re not necessarily gong to compete with premium headphones in terms of both ANC and general sound quality, but do indeed pack a laundry list of features and options into a nifty and discreet pair of earbuds. Be it the sleek, minimalist design, customisable ear tips and an essential companion app, there’s a multitude of ways to get the most out of your dollar. While they might feel a little big for smaller ears, and the microphone quality can dip a little in louder areas, these are without a doubt one of the best options in their class.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Solid, balanced sound; Comfortable fit, multipole silicone tips for different ear sizes; Essential companion app; Sleek design
Lowlights: Might feel a little too big in smaller ears; Uneven microphone quality
Review based on unit supplied by Soundcore.