The Soundcore Space A40 ANC In-Ear is currently available from Saturn for €67.99 and is also available from Amazon for the same price. Highlights of the Soundcore Space A40:
- Very good wearing comfort
- Balanced sound
- Long battery life
With the Soundcore Space A40, in addition to the wireless ANC Over-Ear Space Q45, a bud-in-ear from the new Space series has been launched. Where does this fit in with the other Soundcore series and who is the not very cheap ANC in-ear aimed at?
Soundcore Space A40 Review, Specs, Manuel & Price
According to Soundcore’s own description, the Space series focuses on two aspects. These should apply to both the Soundcore Space Q45 and the Space A40. On the one hand there would be an extremely long runtime, on the other hand strong, active noise suppression. Sounds a bit like a Bud alternative to the Liberty Air 2 Pro.
Packaging & scope of delivery
In contrast to the Liberty series, the Soundcore Space A40 come in a small, more compact box. Inside are the headphones with charging case, a total of five pairs of ear pads (generous from Soundcore), an above-average USB-C cable and, of course, a user manual.
Design & Processing
Classically, all Soundcore headphones with an A in their name are Bud headphones, P stands for Stab-In-Ears, Q for Over-Ears. With the Soundcore Space A40, if you want to interpret it that way, you skip a number. I would have expected a Soundcore Life A3 as the next model in the bud-in-ear area, but now there is a Space A40.
The new Space series is technically superior to the Life series, which covers the middle and budget classes. With the Space A40, attempts are now being made to offer the latest technology as compactly as possible. In terms of the weight of the handset, this has at least been successful.
At 4.9 g per earphone, the Soundcore Space A40 are very average in weight. Its housing is also kept small, especially when you compare it to the Liberty 3 Pro, which should have a positive effect on wearing comfort. Soundcore even allows you a little choice in terms of color, in addition to the black model, the headphones are also available in blue and white.
The charging case, like the headphones, is compact, but in relation to size and weight, the charging case seems heavy to me. It will be unfolded horizontally, usual for Soundcore. But it didn’t have such a nice slider mechanism compared to the boxes of the Liberty series.
Overall, I like the Soundcore Space A40 a lot! They are simple, small and compact and well made. As expected, I could not find any material or production errors.
Sound of the Soundcore Space A40
While Soundcore relies on hybrid drivers for the Liberty 3 Pro Bud-In-Ears, there is not enough space for such a module in the compact Soundcore Space A40. Instead, we get a dynamic single driver, with which Soundcore still wants to produce a “razor-sharp” sound thanks to the double-layer membrane. However, such phrases can be found in the description of all headphones, so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on them for now.
In the test, the Soundcore Space A40 delivered a very atypical sound pattern for Soundcore headphones. While the bass usually plays a very dominant role, it is much more subdued on the Space A40, but there is a greater focus on the midrange and treble.
So bass-heavy music with the Soundcore Space A40 is not as much fun for me as usual. Sub bass just doesn’t “punch” as much as it should here. But the Soundcore Space A40 offers other qualities. In the test I really enjoyed classical music as well as live recordings.
The Space A40 sound surprisingly high-resolution and detailed and give a good feeling for the room. Although the top frequencies are not quite as detailed, the complexity of the frequencies is quite impressive, especially for a dynamic single driver.
Compared to other Soundcore single-driver headphones, such as the top model Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro, which is still current (as of September 2022), the Soundcore Space A40 definitely delivers a larger stage and a higher-resolution sound. If you want to call it compromises, you have to make them in the bass, but the wealth of detail of the Space A40 makes up for it in my opinion.
I would describe the Soundcore Space A40 as a balanced genre all-rounder – atypical for Soundcore! The headphones are not exceptionally good at any music genre, but offer an above-average, detailed sound in all areas, even if they don’t come close to the enormous stage of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 or Liberty 3 Pro overall.
Active noise cancellation
A feature of the new Space series is adaptive noise cancellation. When enabled, the headphones automatically determine the intensity of the ANC based on ambient noise.
In the test, this worked well here, as it did with the Soundcore Space Q45. If you generate background noise yourself and pay close attention to what the ANC is doing, a second’s thought is noticeable when adjusting the ANC. In everyday life, however, this is not noticeable and the ANC regulates itself satisfactorily from my point of view.
Here, too, there is a manual mode in addition to the adaptive mode . The ANC can be set as you like between weak, moderate and strong. So there are three different levels, with the Space Q45 Over-Ear there are even five levels.
In the test, the ANC delivered a very good performance, especially for the price range of less than €100, the noise suppression is above average even with high-frequency ambient noise. It’s certainly not the best ANC on the market. Sony, for example, delivers better performance here with the WF-1000XM4, and the Space A40 doesn’t quite come close to the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 either. But if you then consider again that these headphones practically only cost half here, then the Soundcore Space A40 is also attractive as an ANC in-ear.
Compared to the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro, the ANC of the Soundcore Space A40 is a touch more effective in the upper frequencies.
In addition to ANC, there is also a transparent mode here, which in turn is divided into “complete transparency” mode and “voice mode” . The latter only lets through frequencies in the voice range. The full transparent mode sounds a bit digital to me in the test and not particularly good, other manufacturers have already solved this better, but you can still perceive and understand your surroundings with it.
The headset of the Soundcore Space A40 headphones unfortunately disappointed me a bit in the test. The conversation partner can understand you quite well, but the voice is a bit mechanical and background noise is only reduced to a limited extent. Your own voice usually stays louder or just as loud as the surroundings, but there are better headsets here, also from Soundcore itself.
As already briefly mentioned under Design & Processing, with a weight of 4.9 g per earphone and the compact design, the Soundcore Space A40 are predestined for good wearing comfort. In the test, the headphones actually held up pretty well in my ears. The weight is distributed so cleverly here that it practically pushes the listener into the ear. So they stay where they should be even without ear hooks, at least in my case.
Operation And App
The Soundcore Space A40 are of course equipped with touch sensors. These support a total of three gestures, single tapping is disabled by default and can be enabled in the app. There’s also double-tap and hold for two seconds. A total of up to six different functions can be executed, which can be customized in the Soundcore app.
- Increase/decrease volume
- Next/Previous track
- Activate voice assistant
- Gaming mode on/off
- ANC on/off
- Transparent mode
In principle, all common functions can be executed with the Soundcore Space A40. In addition to customizable listener controls, the Soundcore app offers other features, including:
- ANC mode change
- Switch adaptive ANC on/off
- Adjust manual ANC strength
- Sound core presets
- Set and save individual equalizers
- Activate/deactivate wind noise reduction
- Turn touch tones on/off
- gaming mode
- fit test
- software updates
- find device
Thus, the Soundcore app for the Space A40 supports a lot of functions. Above all, the fact that Soundcore integrates HearID here, so that a personal equalizer can be created based on your hearing ability, shows me that you want to position the Soundcore Space A40 as a top model.
Bluetooth chip with LDAC codec
Inside the Soundcore Space A40 is a Bluetooth 5.2 chip, which, to my friends, not only supports AAC and SBC codecs, but also Sony’s high-resolution LDAC codec. The headphones are also Hi-Res wireless certified.
In terms of Bluetooth range, the test included around 15 meters in an open area. As always, it’s a little less indoors, depending on how massive the obstacles are. What also makes me very happy is that the headphones support multipoint connection, which means the headphones can be connected to your cell phone and your computer at the same time, for example.
Battery life as a main argument
Soundcore is now silent about the exact battery capacity. I assume that the built-in battery does not have an unusually high capacity, but that the ANKER or Soundcore simply provides significantly better energy management than many competitors.
So Soundcore promises a pretty strong 10 hours of runtime, which is a very respectable announcement to the competition in view of the really compact and light headphones. In the test, the promise of 10 hours with an additional five charges via the battery box is not a lie, but it is not the whole truth either. The value refers to the runtime without ANC switched on and with the AAC codec, which is more energy-efficient than the LDAC codec.
If you also switch on the ANC, the Soundcore Space A40 still deliver a good eight hours of runtime, which is still an impressive value. If you then use the high-resolution LDAC codec, whose energy efficiency could be better, and ANC, it still lasts a good 5.5 hours in my test.
Soundcore also implements a new quick-charging technology here, which gets up to four hours of music listening with just 10 minutes of charging in the battery box. I think we’re at a point where there’s hardly any argument against wireless in-ear headphones, especially when you’re on the go. The battery box can be charged either wired via USB-C cable or wirelessly.
With the Soundcore Space series, they seem to want to establish a new top model series alongside the Liberty series. With the Space A40, the focus is clearly on very good performance in a very compact format. In my opinion, Soundcore succeeded here. The headphones are actually quite small and therefore also offer a good wearing comfort. The headphones deliver market-leading battery performance for such a small in-ear and also a pretty good ANC.
In addition, Soundcore also has top features such as multipoint connection, wireless charging, a high-resolution codec or great added value through the Soundcore app.
In terms of sound, the headphones are rather unusually balanced for Soundcore with an impressive treble and midrange, considering that only one dynamic driver is installed here. Of course there are also headphones that sound better, but in this price range it becomes difficult again.
- Compact design
- wearing comfort
- LDAC codec
- Balanced sound
- battery life
- Price – 99€ not little, but worth it in my opinion
- Transparent mode
- No proximity sensors
All in all, the Soundcore Space A40 is a very good headphone, which apart from the runtime is not the best anywhere, but very good in all areas, especially considering the price, Soundcore has delivered again in my opinion. The only thing I don’t quite understand is why a new Space series is needed for this, but let’s see what else comes from Soundcore this year, maybe it all makes sense in the end.