Anker Soundcore Space A40 review: The price is right

The Anker Soundcore Space A40 earbuds have a key mission with its mid range price — bring stellar sound and noise cancellation to an affordable price point.

And with the company’s signature silk drivers, Hi-Res audio certification and AI-driven ANC, these tick all the right boxes on paper, but do they stick the landing?

After the somewhat lackluster Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro, has Anker shaken off this moment and returned to its former glory? In one word, yes. But let me explain in more detail. 

Anker Soundcore Space A40 availability and price

The Soundcore Space A40s are available for $99.99 in the U.S. and £89 in the U.K. You can pick them up from Anker directly or Amazon. That comes in at $10 more than the Soundcore Life P3 earbuds (a firm favorite of mine) and is a far more affordable price than the $179 AirPods 3.

As of right now, they are available for pre-order from Soundcore’s website (opens in new tab).

Anker Soundcore Space A40 design

Anker Soundcore Space A40

(Image credit: Future)

One interpretation of the “Space” moniker in Anker’s name is how space efficient the Space A40s are — minimizing size in both the buds and case into a really nice, portable package.

The construction is premium and the buds themselves feel more durable and upmarket, thanks to the metallic surface and the sleek, pill-shaped case covered in a soft touch plastic.

Going more granular, the case measures 2.5 x 1.7 x 1 inches with a weight of just over 2 ounces with the buds in there. Speaking of which, each bud comes in at a minute 0.9 x 1 x 0.9 inches with a measly weight of 0.18 ounces. That size and weight ensures a comfortable, secure fit with zero weight fatigue, even when running.

There isn’t anything that catches your attention about these. You don’t have real design flourishes or fantastical innovations, but isn’t that what many people want from earbuds? A restrained design that isn’t going to draw attention to your ears? That’s what this delivers in a properly pocketable case and a masterclass in tech minimization in these tiny buds.

Anker Soundcore Space A40

(Image credit: Future)

Anker Space A40 controls and digital assistant

Soundcore’s Space A40 are controlled entirely via touch surfaces on each bud: single taps for changing volume, double taps for skipping tracks, and holding for a couple seconds to activate the voice assistant or turn noise cancellation on.

Across my testing on an iPhone 13 Pro, Nothing phone (1) and M1 MacBook Pro, taps were mostly responsive with only a few moments of unregistered touches. 

Anker Soundcore Space A40

(Image credit: Future)

Along with these controls, the built-in microphones are sensitive enough to pick up requests made to Siri and Google Assistant, with even longer moments of dictation being picked up in louder outdoor environments.

Anker Soundcore Space A40 active noise cancellation and ambient listening

The big selling point of Soundcore’s latest Space line of audio products is the active noise cancellation, so it should come as no surprise that the Space A40s absolutely smash it out the park.

You have two modes: a manual option to tweak the ANC strength or an ambient mode that adapts levels to the volume and frequencies of surrounding background noise. In real-world use, they did an awesome job of eliminating distractions — such as the loud whirring of my air conditioner or rush hour traffic when the window is open. 

Anker Soundcore Space A40

(Image credit: Future)

All of this came without a whiff of noise leakage, even in windy conditions like during a walk along the river. Make no mistake, the ANC capabilities of these far exceed the price you pay for them.

But what was most impressive to me, though, was one of the best Transparency Mode I’ve used. Normally, two things are inevitable when listening to your surroundings through the on-board microphones: an audible hiss and latency. Neither of those exist when using these, and it made for a great experience of switching on the fly to talk to my partner while cooking.

Anker Soundcore Space A40 audio quality

Now for the most important thing that true wireless earbuds need to nail and the one I was a little nervous about. You see, the more expensive Liberty 3 Pros sounded fine, but were a touch bass heavy and suffered from a slight distortion. So, what were we going to get from a cheaper option?

As it turns out, the answer is a better balanced, great sounding pair of earbuds. The 10mm double layer silk and metal ceramic dynamic drivers deliver impressive depth and clarity across all levels. 

Of course, they also support LDAC and are Hi-Res audio certified (and yes, LDAC tunes sound terrific), but chances are you won’t touch this feature and you’ll stick mostly to SBC, AAC or ALAC audio, so let’s judge them on that.

Putting them through the same paces as I did with the Liberty 3 Pro shows small, but important increases in audio quality. Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No.6” is a tricky song of many levels and subtleties, but the A40s balanced these expertly by giving the lower tones an impressive weight without distortion and giving the soaring string section room to breathe.

Anker Soundcore Space A40

(Image credit: Future)

And looking towards more popular tunes such as Chance The Rapper’s “Do You Remember” shows the variety of sonic expression these buds are capable of, as the voice soars high above a crisp percussion and the accompanying jabs of the keyboard.

Plus, for those who like more dynamic music (like me), metal is handled with expert precision. “Back Burner” by August Burns Red is appropriately aggressive, with Matt Greiner’s insane drumming abilities highlighted alongside the chugging of guitars.

For all music and spoken word podcasts, these handily beat out the Liberty 3 Pro and even give the AirPods Pro a run for their money. 

Anker Soundcore Space A40 app and special features

Anker Soundcore Space A40

(Image credit: Future)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Anker Soundcore app is one of the best in its category with an easy-to-use user interface that gives you access to a wide suite of features.

Starting with ensuring the best sound whatever you’re listening to, Anker gives you 22 music presets and a fully customizable EQ along with a hearing test to ensure the buds emphasize certain frequencies that you may not be able to hear.

There is also the option to activate ANC or Transparency mode and a Gaming mode that supposedly reduces latency and enhances “the sounds of footsteps and voice.” I struggled to tell the difference in the audio mix, and the latency differences are minuscule. If you’re gaming, wired headphones or a gaming headset are still the best.

Special shoutout to the White Noise mode, which gives you the tools to create an ideal ambiance for sleeping, whether that’s the crackling of a campfire or the sound of raindrops tapping on a window. 

Completing the package are battery level indicators for each bud, firmware updates, a handy “find device” feature that plays a high-pitched sound from any bud you lose, and the option to edit the touch control functions.

Anker Soundcore Space A40 battery life

Anker Soundcore Space A40

(Image credit: Future)

Anker promises eight hours of listening time on one charge with ANC turned on, which goes up to ten with that feature turned off (but let’s be honest, you’ll keep it on all the time). The case should give you a total of up to 50 hours playtime but I’ll be honest, I think the company is being a little modest.

With ANC on, I managed to hit nine hours of listening on a single charge, which far beats out any similarly-specced earbuds at this price and even those that cost far more. There is no smart-wearing detection to prolong the battery life further, but that doesn’t really matter with stamina this good.

Getting over eight hours means you’re guaranteed an entire working day of listening, which to me is the number every company should aim for.

Anker Soundcore Space A40 call quality and connectivity

Using the six microphones built into these earbuds, the Space A40s have an admirable call quality that, through the power of AI, is able to isolate your voice and eliminate external sounds for good clarity. 

Can you push them too far? Sure. These are earbuds without stems after all and in the midst of very windy days or the noise of a busy pub while you watch Nottingham Forest beat West Ham in the local pub, you can get overwhelmed. But in the vast majority of situations, they work well.

Bluetooth 5.2 ensures a stable connection up to a range of around 30 feet and the Space A40s kept playing music when streaming through multiple walls between the kitchen and bedroom — extending out to my garage. Initial pairing is rapid and re-pairing is even quicker. I would have loved to see multipoint technology to pair these to two devices simultaneously. 

Bottom line

After the Liberty 3 Pro, the Soundcore Space A40s are a true return to form for Anker — a stellar package with real value for money.

With a gorgeous sound quality, powerful ANC and a jaw-dropping battery life for the cost, all crammed into a sleek pair of buds and a tiny, pocketable case, these were a joy to use.

And while there are some small issues with touch responsiveness and call quality is not perfect, these issues are far overwhelmed by just how good these are.

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