1. Adam Matlock's Avatar


    For the last 6-12 months, I’ve been spoiled by the amount of “truly” wireless earbuds that I have had the opportunity to review, or even purchase for daily use. Having only used completely wireless earphones during this time, I was a bit perplexed and even standoffish when I was presented with the opportunity to review another set of wired, wireless earphones. It’s 2019, right? Well, I am happy to report that as soon as I turned on the Anker Soundcore Life NC wireless earphones that I was more than pleasantly surprised, and it helped me to see how completely wireless earphones aren’t the end all, be all solution that we’ve hoped for… yet.

    TL;DR – the Soundcore LifeNC wireless earphones are amazing. End story.

    [REVIEW] Anker Soundcore Life NC Wireless Earphones-20190506_184329.jpg

    Wireless? But they still have wires? It’s been really confusing over the past few years as companies have tried to come up with ways of calling earphones “wireless” but, they still have wires. Only in the tech world is this possible. So, originally we had big, bulky headphones – which I still love for their depth and power – which sound great, but they’re a pain in the butt to tote around and really aren’t practical for mobility. Necessity being the mother of all invention, we then ended up with earphones. I can still remember my first pair of earphones. When I was a kid I had a Nintendo GameBoy, and I had a pair of the earphones that went with it. I thought I was Mr. Bigtime! Holy cow though, they hurt ears, just list pretty much every other set of standard size plastic earphones. Well, then they came up with silicone ear tips for comfort – heck yeah! Moving beyond that, people wanted to get rid of the wires, and I’m definitely one of those people. It was so annoying trying to go for a run, hit the gym, or generally do anything with headphones/earphones on, and the having a 4-6ft cable in tow snagging on everything in sight. Well, then the industry gave us “wireless” earphones. But wait, they still have wires? Yes. The Life NC are part of this family of wireless earphones that have an apparatus that rests around your neck and has short wires connected to the earbuds, so that you can straight-pipe the sound to your ears with a direct cord that doesn’t get in the way of things. Then… we got “truly” wireless earphones, which eliminated all wires. Ok… now that you know what the difference is between wireless and truly wireless, we can move along.

    [REVIEW] Anker Soundcore Life NC Wireless Earphones-20190506_184323.jpg

    Why these? I’m sure you’re probably thinking like I was when I first saw the Life NC earphones. Why these? The answer to that is… Power! And also the fantastic sound quality. You see, “truly” wireless earphones have to make a lot of compromises to be able to fit everything into the tiny wireless package that they are. Smaller batteries, less volume, less power, and all around the sound experience either a) doesn’t compete with quality wired/wireless solutions, or it can’t for very long. Where a typical pair of truly wireless earphones will last for about 3hrs, the Life NC will last for up to 12 hours! How is this possible? It’s because the apparatus that goes around your neck has a larger battery and doesn’t have to cram everything into a tiny housing, meaning larger and more powerful components, as well as the ability to pump out much more volume. Where I typically struggle to enjoy the max listening volume of truly wireless earphones, the Life NC have phenomenal power, well developed bass with plenty of power and kick, and the sound experience throughout is much more consistent.

    [REVIEW] Anker Soundcore Life NC Wireless Earphones-20190506_184419.jpg

    Tech Specs:
    - 500mAh battery
    - 2hrs recharge time
    - 10hrs of listening time (varies by volume and music type)
    - IPX5 Waterproof Rating (Sweat/Water Resistance)
    - Bluetooth 5.0 – 33ft of listening range
    - USB to 3.5mm headphone cable for added connectivity options

    [REVIEW] Anker Soundcore Life NC Wireless Earphones-20190506_184730.jpg

    Performance and Quality: The sound quality on the Life NC earphones is refreshing. I say refreshing because like I said, even though the truly wireless solutions are good, they aren’t this good – at least not for as long. I am able to make it through my entire work day on a single charge with the Life NC, and the sound experience is very enjoyable. The highs are crystal clear, the mids are consistent and really allow you to enjoy the music experience, and the bass has the punch, depth and reach that I haven’t heard in a set of wireless earphones in a while, even from other wireless products. The Life NC are a pleasure to listen to and offer a loud, clear, and complete sound experience that really makes them enjoyable to listen to, regardless of the type of music that I tested them on. I clocked about 30+ hours total on these guys before I drafted this, and I have to say that I’m just as happy with them now as I was when I first powered them on. In 2019, these earphones are special.

    [REVIEW] Anker Soundcore Life NC Wireless Earphones-20190506_184525.jpg

    Additional Functionality: One of the cool new features of the Life NC headphones is the Active Noise Cancelling (ANC). The power button functions as a multi-function button and allows you to switch between three different listening modes: Normal, ANC, and Transparency mode. I have to say that the ANC mode is really nice. It cuts out all outside noise and allows you to really crank the volume up. I can’t even comfortably listen to them at max volume. I find myself hovering around 75%, and 75% on these guys is like 100% on any other set of truly wireless set of earphones that I have reviewed. The Transparency mode is like a passive-noise filter that allows you to hear what’s going on around you. I can’t really say that it works well. If you have the volume turned down really low you can kind of hear, but then again, the volume is low. It’s not like the transparency mode is really helping much when you can already hear people. Last but not least, the Life NC earphones have four built in microphones – two on each side, for crystal clear call quality. The call quality and stereo sound/microphone setup on the Life NC works really well!

    [REVIEW] Anker Soundcore Life NC Wireless Earphones-20190506_184534.jpg
    [REVIEW] Anker Soundcore Life NC Wireless Earphones-20190506_184545.jpg

    Conclusion: If it’s not apparent from the review. I’m quite a fan of the Life NC wireless earphones. They have all of the power, depth, and battery life that has been sorely missing in the truly wireless category. Sure, these aren’t as convenient or offer the sans wire experience, but that’s not necessarily what everyone is looking for. In some instances I prefer being able to listen on my terms for the long haul, versus the convenience of being able to pop in one ear bud while I’m out and about. There are merits to both, but at the end of the day I think that these are an excellent option with a fantastic sound profile. The only drawback to these earphones that I have found is the price tag - $99. They aren’t overly cheap, but when you look at it in the same light as AirPods ($150), Galaxy Buds ($130) and some other competitors, I can say wholeheartedly that the sound experience is better with both of the ones I just mentioned, they last longer, and they have more power/volume.

    If you’re interested in picking up a pair of Anker’s Soundcore Life NC wireless earphones, you can snag them straight from Amazon for the not so budget friendly price of $99.95 - https://www.amazon.com/Headphones-Ca...cUvbUpU6559264 - Are the worth it? Yeah, but they aren’t cheap. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them down in the comments section.
    06-06-2019 10:25 AM

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