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Amazon Sale Sells Top Noise Canceling Headphones Under $ 100 From Anchor

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Enlarge / Ankers Soundcore Life Q30 Noise Canceling Headphones.

Jeff Dunn

It’s hard to find quality noise-canceling headphones for less than $ 100, but Anker’s Soundcore Life Q30 is one of the few budget-friendly sets we’ve tested that are worth your while. We called them a budget-friendly choice in a recent guide to wireless noise-canceling headphones priced at $ 80, but today the Q30 dropped to $ 60 as part of an Amazon “Deal of the Day” promotion.

This is technically $ 10 higher than the lowest price the headphones had, but that cut took less than a day, and that price is on par with the best price we’ve seen outside of that. Also, since this is a Deal of the Day promo, it’s worth noting that the offer will likely only be available through Wednesday.

As for the headphones themselves, the Soundcore Life Q30 doesn’t neutralize outside noise as effectively as our top picks like Sony’s WH-1000XM4 or Apple’s AirPods Max, but that’s to be expected. For significantly less money, we’ve found that it’s effective enough to block out quiet rumble like airplane and train engines, and is able to offer at least some resistance to higher notes. It’s not world class, but it’s solid, which we can’t say about most of the over-ear pairs we’ve used in this price range.

Additionally, we found the Q30 to be light on the head and comfortable to wear, allowing for longer listening, even if it could withstand a little more padding on the headband. Unsurprisingly, they aren’t the highest quality headphones in the world, but they don’t turn out as thin and they come with a useful carrying case for travel. There are physical control buttons on the ear cups, and you can use the headphones passively using an included cable (although you won’t be able to use their microphone in this situation). The integrated microphone is nothing special for phone calls, but it is useful. Best of all, the Q30 headphones in our tests achieved a tremendous battery life of more than 40 hours of continuous use with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) turned on and music streaming at moderate volumes. They’re also charged via USB-C.

By default, the Q30’s “V-shaped” sound signature is not for everyone. Anker prioritizes the high and (especially) low frequencies at the factory, which gives the Q30 an exciting sound and massive bass, but detracts from the details and clarity in the midrange. Some may enjoy this vibrant (if not particularly accurate) profile, but if you don’t, there is a customizable EQ tool in Anker’s companion app that lets you choose from several other presets and tweak the audio profile a little more to your liking can customize.

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Like many other modern headphones, the Q30 headphones have a “transparency” mode that superimposes outside noise on your music when you want to be more aware of your surroundings but don’t want to stop your playlist or podcast entirely. However, the implementation is not as smooth as with more expensive competitors and has a rather negative effect on the audio quality in comparison. But it works, and at least it’s there in a pinch.

While the Q30 is our top pick for over-the-ear ANC headphones under $ 100, Anker has released a Soundcore Life Q35 model since the Q30 was launched. It’s largely the same as this pair, however, with the main addition being a slightly upgraded microphone and support for Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec for high definition audio. However, we believe that most people don’t have to pay extra for this. If you’re willing to spend more on better headphones, it might be worth considering the other tips in our ANC headphones guide, which is great value for money at this asking price.

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