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Anker Soundcore Space A40 Earbuds Review: Impressive Sound for Less

Rating: 9/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $89
Soundcore's Space A40 earbuds sitting outside of their charging case.
Cianna Garrison / Review Geek

Anker’s Soundcore brand of audio devices has made quite a splash since its 2014 launch (and 2018 rebrand). Its new “Space” lineup is no exception. The Soundcore Space A40 earbuds pack a hefty punch, performing like a far more expensive alternative at their modest $100 price point.

I’ve had plenty of true wireless earbuds over the years, and while the technology keeps improving, not all brands stack up to expectations. But Anker’s audio brand may be well on its way to offering a more affordable alternative to higher-priced options like Apple’s AirPods, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, or the Google Pixel Buds Pro. The Soundcore Space A40’s list of features—including active noise cancellation (ANC), customizable sound profiles, and a compact wireless charging case that packs in 50 hours of charge time—is extensive enough to have you begging the question: “Do I need to spend more money for quality audio?” The answer is that it depends.

For its mid-range price, the Soundcore Space A40 true-wireless earbuds surprised me with their quality and long-lasting battery. Not only are these earbuds lightweight and comfortable (hello, five earbud tip sizes!), but they live up to most of the hype Anker has set around them. However, there are a few reasons why you might say no to these earbuds if you’re an audiophile looking for the best of the best.

Here's What We Like

  • Custom EQ settings and presets
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Battery lasts and lasts
  • The quick charge feature saves you time on-the-go
  • Comfortable for all-day wear

And What We Don't

  • Auto power off is only triggered when disconnecting from a Bluetooth device
  • No ear detection to automatically pause your audio
  • Touch sensitivity isn't always on point

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Design: Comfortable Enough for All-Day Wear

Anker's Soundcore Space A40 earbuds, quick start guide, earbuds tips, and charging case laid out on a table.
Cianna Garrison / Review Geek

  • Dimensions: Earbuds: 0.94 x 0.74 x 0.94in (24 x 19 x 24mm), Charging Case: 2 x 2 x 1in (50.8 x 50.8 x 25.4mm)
  • Weight: Earbuds: 0.17oz (4.9g) each, Charging Case: 1.7oz (48.4g)
  • Water and sweat resistance: IPX4
  • Controls: Touch-sensitive gesture area

In the Space A40 box, you’ll find the earbuds, a wireless charging case, a USB-C charging cable, 5 sizes of earbud tips, a quick start guide, and a safety manual. The quick start guide includes a straightforward explanation of the Space A40’s functions and is all you need to begin using them out of the box.

To get started, I followed the guidelines to test which earbud tips fit me best before charging up the buds. I needed to download the Soundcore app on my Android phone. Those with iPhones will be pleased to know the Soundcore app is also available on the App Store.

With my preferred size (Small) tips on the Space A40 buds, I tested the fit via the app’s fit test. The app prompted me to place the earbuds in my ears, listen to a brief music clip, and adjust my phone’s volume. Both earbuds had a good seal, but it’s important to note that, according to the app, every size except for XL provided a good seal, despite them being too large or small for my ears.

In the end, I stuck with the size small tips for maximum comfortability. Wearing the earbuds for hours on end never felt uncomfortable—they’re lightweight and secure enough to wear all day long.

My Soundcore Space A40 earbuds came in a slick black (though they also come in blue and white). The charging case is black plastic with a matte finish, rounded edges, a metallic Soundcore logo, a Bluetooth pairing button, and an LED charge display window. Meanwhile, the earbuds themselves feature a black plastic chassis, a matte silver touch-sensitive gesture area with a logo in the middle, two pogo pin pads for charging, and six total microphone.

Connecting to Bluetooth was easy—once you’ve got the Space A40 buds set up, they connect quickly every time you take them out of the charging case.

Sound Quality: Great Performance for the Price

Soundcore's Space A40 earbuds sitting on a table inside the wireless charging case.
Cianna Garrison / Review Geek

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.2
  • Codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC (Android only)
  • Audio features: Multipoint, ANC, Transparency mode, Volume EQ, Customizable Hearing Profiles

I think most will find the Space A40’s performance a game changer for the $100 price point. That said, if you’re an audiophile, you might not want to choose these earbuds over something more expensive.

After listening to some tunes, I noticed that the mid-tones were a bit duller than I’d like. The bass came through strong and steady, while the higher tones lacked a bit of sparkle. But Soundcore’s app offers plenty of customizable features, so you don’t have to stick with the standard EQ. Once I made a HearID profile in the app, which helps you get a custom sound based on a hearing test, I noticed the mids and highs sounded much better.

With Soundcore’s plentiful EQ settings, I found there was nothing I couldn’t improve with a bit of tweaking. For example, I wanted a bit more oomph when listening to the audiobook version of Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruins. This is where the “Sound Effects” options come in handy.

Under the “Default” section, there are many options to choose from, depending on what you’re listening to. In addition to EQ settings like “Bass Booster” and “Acoustic,” there’s also a “Spoken Word” setting, which I found performed well for audiobooks.

I also tested the Custom EQ feature, which allows you to create profiles for different media and save them. My “Audiobooks” profile leveled up those mid tones and made listening more enjoyable.

Both the Custom EQ and Soundcore’s preset EQ profiles leveled up my listening experience. Whether I tried listening to classical music with the “Classical” EQ turned on or the “Jazz” setting for jazz and blues artists, I was impressed with the tonal improvements the presets gave the audio. The Soundcore App makes the Space A40 earbuds better, thanks to its streamlined, customizable approach.

These Soundcore earbuds shine most in their Multipoint, Transparency, and Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) capabilities. Their transparency mode functions well, with the option to be “Fully Transparent” or opt for “Vocal Mode,” depending on your needs. The noise cancellation offers “Manual Mode” or “Adaptive Mode.”

The ANC was my go-to over the manual noise cancelation, which often made my ears hurt when set to “Strong.” While Soundcore claims the ANC blocks up to 98% of background noise, I think that claim is a bit ambitious. I could still hear noisy air conditioning or dishes clanging with the ANC on, but the buds did an excellent job of cutting out a lot of lighter background noise like fans, talking, and television sounds.

The Multipoint feature had me switching from my laptop to my phone seamlessly. There was virtually no pause when switching between devices, which exceeded my expectations. If you’ve never tried Multipoint, it’s a stand-out feature that lets you connect to two or more Bluetooth devices at once, so you can quickly switch between media, phone calls, or whatever you’re listening to.

The Soundcore Space A40 earbuds' charging case in a person's hand.
Cianna Garrison / Review Geek

The touch-sensitive area works well most of the time, but sometimes it misses your gesture altogether. There’s also a spot of lag when resuming audio that feels less responsive than it could.

Sadly, the Space A40 earbuds don’t have the automatic ear detection that the Google Pixel Buds Pro have, and it’s quite disruptive if you want to take them out for a moment without manually pausing audio on your phone.

The six integrated microphones work well for chatting on the phone, but they aren’t perfect. Calling in quiet environments, you’ll have no issues, but in more noisy areas, the person on the other line may have trouble hearing you. However, when using the mics for something like voice memos or a karaoke app, they perform surprisingly well.

Space A40 Mic Sample Without Background Noise

Space A40 Mic Sample With Background Noise

Battery Life: These Will Keep You Listening for Hours

The Soundcore Space A40 earbuds in a person's ear.
Cari Garrison / Review Geek

  • Battery life: 10 hours with ANC off, 8 hours with ANC, 50 hours with charging case ANC off, 40 hours with charging case ANC, 6 hours LDAC ANC off, 5 hours LDAC ANC, 30 hours charging case LDAC with ANC off, 25 hours LDAC with charging case ANC

The Soundcore Space A40’s battery life makes it easy to keep them in your ears all day long. Soundcore claims the buds have a 10-hour battery life and up to 50 hours in the charging case. I’ve found this accurate if you use them with ANC off. However, when ANC or LDAC is on, there’s a significant drop in battery life, in line with the lab test specifications of eight hours with ANC or six hours with LDAC.

One day I wore the Space A40 buds for 5 hours straight without losing any juice and still had plenty of listening time left. When I kept the earbuds in the charging case throughout the week, I amassed about 40 hours of use before the earbuds began to alert me that my battery was low. This usage was with ANC and Transparency both on and off, depending on my surroundings.

The quick charge function gives you up to 4 hours of charge in 10 minutes, and it’s a lifesaver if you’re heading somewhere where you can’t charge up. After timing a 10-minute charge, I got 3 and a half hours of listening time before the earbuds died and needed to be put back in the charging case. With the charging case at full power, I got about four full charges of the earbuds before I had to charge the case with the included USB-C cable.

Should You Buy the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Earbuds?

The Soundcore Space A40 earbuds in a person's hand.
Cianna Garrison / Review Geek

For only $100, Anker’s Soundcore Space A40 earbuds are a competitive option if you’re looking for affordable, mid-range earbuds. With their outstanding battery life, comfortable fit, lightweight charging case, and various audio features, it’s hard to beat these buds. However, they aren’t without their problems.

If you prefer features like a better microphone, ear detection for automatic pausing, and a more reliable touch-sensitive area, you may prefer to increase your budget and try the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation), the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds, or the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

But if you’re looking for high-performing earbuds on a $100 budget, the Soundcore Space A40 earbuds get the job done and then some. Grab a pair in Black, Blue, or White today for $99.99.

Rating: 9/10
Price: $89

Here’s What We Like

  • Custom EQ settings and presets
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Battery lasts and lasts
  • The quick charge feature saves you time on-the-go
  • Comfortable for all-day wear

And What We Don't

  • Auto power off is only triggered when disconnecting from a Bluetooth device
  • No ear detection to automatically pause your audio
  • Touch sensitivity isn't always on point

Cianna Garrison Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison has over five years of experience writing everything from food news and limited-time products to the details on the latest iPhones and earbuds. In the past, she’s worked for online magazines, blogs, and more, with technology and social media being one of her primary interests. Read Full Bio »