Anker, while remaining a leader in the field of power banks and various accessories for smartphones, has branched out over the past year. Lately, the Chinese manufacturer has been selling magnificent products dedicated for listening to music with its Soundcore brand, including Bluetooth speakers and wireless headsets. We were able to try out the Anker Soundcore Life 2 headphones and are ready to provide you with our full review.
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- ✓Good materials
- ✓Noice canceling
- ✓Low weight
- ✓Long-life battery
- ✕Uncomfortable buttons to find
- ✕Lower sound quality with NC active
Perfect gift for audiophiles on the go
The Anker Soundcore Life 2 headphones are currently available in the US now. The classic version costs $89.99 and includes the headset, travel case, a charging cable and an AUX cable; the version pictured is a special Gift Pack for Christmas: it costs 30 euros more in Europe and inside there will be the headphones plus a whole range of useful accessories, including the travel case, a 5,000 mAh powerbank, a cable for charging, a premium AUX cable and an adapter for air travel.
UK customers can take advantage of a special deal at the moment to bag the Christmas Edition with 30% off, bringing the price down to a very attractive £74.19. Just use code SCOLIFE2 at the checkout to get the deal. Orders must be placed before 29th December in order to qualify.
If you are going to make a nice Christmas gift to a friend or audiophile relative who travels often, the latter is the version that I recommend, of course.
Optimum comfort and a magic button
When it comes to headphones, I think comfort is very important, so it's nice that the Anker Soundcore Life 2 has been built with quality materials, such as memory foam for the earcups and band that helps to relieve the pressure between the ears and on the top of the head instead of pressing against them. The internal mechanism of the adjustable band is made of metal.
If you use headphones frequently and for long periods of time like me, you will find the Anker Soundcore Life 2 extremely comfortable, especially because of their low weight (268 grams) and the soft material that covers the earcups. The design of these headphones is reminiscent of the Soundcore Vortex, but the Life 2 headphones can bend more efficiently thanks to the inward-facing earcups.
On the left earpiece, there is the on/off button and the one dedicated to the Noise Cancelling feature (which we will discuss shortly), while on the right one there are three buttons that include the volume balance and the play/pause button. You can also change tracks by pressing and holding one of the tracks to skip the track forwards or backwards using the volume balance.
You can also use the play/pause button to activate the BassUp function, which is useful for increasing bass by quickly pressing it twice while listening. In addition, this button allows you to answer an incoming call, close it or put it on hold. Yes, with these headphones you will also be able to make phone calls thanks to the built-in microphone equipped with cVc noise cancellation, which will help to reduce background noise and offer a good gain.
The only negative note is that it is difficult to get used to the pressure of the buttons as, in my opinion, they are not easily accessible and it may happen to press one rather than another.
Goodbye external noises
The Anker Soundcore Life 2 headphones feature Noise Cancelling to reduce unwanted background noise. I have to say, compared to many other models in the same price range tested in the past, these Soundcore Life 2 make much better use of this feature, being able to block 65% of external noise even when listening to music at low volumes. When turned up, the music's high volume helps to almost completely cancel out external noise.
Noise Cancelling can be activated or deactivated using the dedicated "NC" button, located at the bottom of the left earpiece, just above the on/off button, both with LEDs. I am pleased that the Noise Cancelling cannot be activated unless you hold down the Noise Cancelling button for at least 2 seconds. This avoids the possibility of accidentally activating it.
The good thing about Noise Cancelling is that it works both wirelessly and wired, so you can enjoy it even when connected to a device via a 3.5 mm audio cable. The downside is that it takes away some of the sound quality, but not in such a way as to ruin the overall quality of your listening, especially thanks to the 40mm earcups.
For this reason, sometimes I have absolutely no need to activate the noise cancellation, precisely because it is obtained passively thanks to the excellent coating of the headphones. Above all, it is the 16-bit high-resolution audio quality and 44.1 kHz sampling rate that is to blame.
Audio jack so you never miss a beat
The Anker Soundcore Life 2 headphones enjoy a stronger than normal Bluetooth signal, with a maximum range of 14 meters, instead of the typical 10 meters you get with most Bluetooth headsets. You can easily get away from your smartphone thanks to the low impedance (16 ohms).
The addition of a 3.5 mm audio jack is always a nice surprise, especially since when the battery will leave you can still use headphones. Speaking of cables, Soundcore Life 2 headphones feature a 1.2-meter long audio cable with a straight connector at one end and a right angle connector at the other, which includes a small one-button remote control, useful for playing and pausing music, but also for answering and rejecting calls.
An infinite battery
The incredible battery life of 30 hours is definitely the salient feature of these Soundcore Life 2! This result is also achieved with Noise Cancelling and Bluetooth always on. If you turn off noise cancellation, you can get an extra two hours of battery life.
But the most amazing thing is that by using these headphones connected to the AUX cable and with Noise Cancelling active, the battery life doubles up to a maximum of 60 hours. Finally, when the battery is about to discharge, you will be notified by a notification sound and the LED will blink red every 60 seconds.
During charging, the Bluetooth LED will be red and will turn blue after about 3 hours (the time needed to charge the entire battery).
I've never been a fan of over-ear headphones and mainly I've always preferred to use earphones for convenience, but this time I had to seriously think again! Soundcore Life 2 offers an audio experience I've never experienced before and, since their arrival, I can't separate from it when I relax with some music in front of my PC every time I return home in the evening.
The audio quality, the materials and their construction are really good, as well as the battery life and the ability to continue to use them even when they are dead thanks to the AUX cable included in the package.
I'm not an audiophile and probably when it comes to sound I can settle for average, but for the price at which these headphones are offered, the Soundcore Life 2 could certainly be a great Christmas gift for those like me who love to listen to music for a long time.