Having a reliable pair of over-ear headphones is just as important as having a reliable smartphone or laptop. Everyone goes to work, travels, commutes, studies, or likes to have a solo jam session, and the right headphones can only augment those experiences. Plus, everyone deserves to feel cool and tech-forward when they wear their over-ear headphones.
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But these days, consumer tech products can be all or nothing. You either cough up hundreds of dollars to have the best of the best or pay less to have less functional, less aesthetically pleasing, lower-quality tech. Yet everyone has an inner Goldilocks who wants something right in the middle -- and that's hard to find.
So, what if I told you that you could have a good-quality pair of fashionable headphones with luxury features for only $100? The Soundcore Space One headphones are an affordable pair of over-ear headphones that sound great, look stylish, and offer some features that a $400 pair of headphones omit.View at Us.soundcore
The Soundcore Space One headphones come one year after Soundcore released the Space Q45 headphones, which are popular for their impressive active noise canceling (ANC) capabilities, despite their $150 price tag. But the Space One headphones have better ANC, a sleeker look, and enhanced microphone performance compared to their predecessor.
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For a pair of $100 headphones, everything about the Space One headphones is impressive. These cans use adaptive noise cancellation technology to detect noise disturbances around you to eliminate them. And they do a decent job at blocking clicking sounds, such as typing on a keyboard or clicking a mouse.
Droning noises, like a refrigerator, lawnmower, AC unit, or the hum of a plane, can sneak past the Space One's ANC, but turning the volume right over 50% eliminates this problem.
The Space One headphones deliver full-bodied bass, mids that aren't hollow, and treble that's enjoyable and clear without piercing your eardrums. These headphones don't deliver the deepest bass, so if you don't like boomy, cranium-vibrating bass, these cans are for you.
When I listened to "Part II (On The Run)" by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the bassline was clear enough to keep me in the groove, but it was missing the deep punch that makes me feel a song in my bones. Still, the mids remain clear and natural, while the treble is steady enough to bring out small details in the song without sounding shrill.
The Space One headphones are the latest in Soundcore's Space lineup, and their name fits the design, as these headphones have a sleek, outer space vibe. Soundcore has blended matte finishes with chrome details, and the Sky Blue color I tried solidifies the galactic feel.
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The Space One ear cups are made from polyurethane leather, and they're more circular than they are oval, which provides a mix of an over- and an on-ear fit, leaning more toward on-ear.
Instead of sporting an elongated oval ear cup shape like the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones, the circular Space One ear cups can press the ears a little too tight. I wore the Space One headphones for two-hour increments and then removed them briefly to alleviate my ear fatigue.
But you'll need plenty of breaks before the battery gives out on you, as you can draw out 55 hours of playtime with these headphones with ANC off. With ANC on, the Space One headphones will stick with you for 40 hours, and just five minutes of charging can give you four hours of playtime.
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Now, let's get into the extra features Space One gives you that some headphones double, triple, and quadruple their price won't. First, the Soundcore companion app is a highly comprehensive hub for your EQ preferences. In the app, you can create a Custom HearID, which asks you a few prompts before creating a bespoke EQ setting based on your responses.
Additionally, the Soundcore app offers 22 EQ presets that adjust the Space One EQ settings to deliver the best sound based on what music you're listening to.
For example, the Pop EQ setting will amplify the treble and mids while slightly decreasing the bass, and the Hip-Hop setting will boost the bass, lower the treble, and slightly raise the mids. These extremely tailored EQ settings don't come with the Bose 700 headphones, which will run you $380.
The Space One headphones are equipped with Wearing Detection, which is a feature that pauses music when they sense you've taken them off your head and plays music when you put them back on. This is a feature you won't have with the Beats Studio Pro, which retail for $350.
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Easy Chat can be enabled in the Soundcore app and will lower the volume of your music when the Space One headphones detect your voice, as they assume you're trying to have a conversation with someone.
Then, the Space One headphones will amplify the other person's voice, allowing you to hear them better, all without removing your cans. You won't find this feature in the AirPods Max, despite their $550 asking price.
There's only one real complaint I have about these headphones: the carrying case -- or carrying dust bag, I should say. This is a bit tedious and isn't a direct critique of the headphones, but having a convenient carrying case adds to the experience -- and it's something that's missing from the Space One.
Inutile carrying cases that make your precious headphones susceptible to damage, like the AirPods Max case, don't give you a safe place to store your device. Hardshell cases (my preference) tend to come with more expensive headphones, but a soft, zip-up case would still do the Space One more justice than the drawstring bag they come with.
ZDNET's buying advice
All in all, the Space One headphones are great, considering their low price tag. I would recommend these headphones for people who don't want the most fancy and expensive headphones, but don't want to sell themselves short with cheaply made ones, either.
The Soundcore Space One headphones will not be too impressive to audiophiles, but they will give the average listener everything they're looking for in a good-quality pair of headphones. If you want to make $100 stretch as far as it can for a pair of headphones, hop on the Space One.
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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
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Soundcore Space One Headphones
The Soundcore Space One headphones are a pair of over-ear headphones that offer impressive features at an affordable price point of $100. These headphones are designed to provide a high-quality audio experience, stylish design, and several luxury features typically found in more expensive models.
- Adaptive Noise Cancellation (ANC): The Space One headphones use adaptive noise cancellation technology to detect and eliminate noise disturbances around the user. While they may not completely block out all droning noises, they effectively reduce clicking sounds and provide a full-bodied bass, clear mids, and enjoyable treble.
- Design and Comfort: The headphones have a sleek, outer space vibe with a blend of matte finishes and chrome details. The ear cups are made from polyurethane leather and provide a mix of an over-ear and on-ear fit. The circular ear cups may press the ears a little too tight for some users, leading to potential ear fatigue after extended use.
- Battery Life: With ANC off, the Space One headphones offer an impressive 55 hours of playtime. Even with ANC on, they provide 40 hours of playtime, and just five minutes of charging can give four hours of playtime.
- Companion App and EQ Settings: The Soundcore companion app offers a highly comprehensive hub for EQ preferences. Users can create a Custom HearID and access 22 EQ presets that adjust the Space One EQ settings to deliver the best sound based on the type of music being listened to. Additionally, the headphones are equipped with Wearing Detection, which pauses and plays music based on whether the headphones are worn or removed .
Comparison with Other Headphones:
- The Space One headphones offer features such as Custom HearID and tailored EQ settings that are not available in more expensive models like the Bose 700 headphones, which retail for $380.
- They also include features like Wearing Detection and Easy Chat, which are not present in other high-priced models like the Beats Studio Pro and AirPods Max, despite their higher price tags.
- One potential drawback is the carrying case, which is described as a bit tedious and not as convenient as expected. A more convenient carrying case would enhance the overall user experience.
In conclusion, the Soundcore Space One headphones provide a compelling option for individuals seeking a good-quality pair of fashionable headphones with luxury features at an affordable price point. While they may not cater to audiophiles, they offer a well-rounded audio experience for the average listener.
I hope this information helps! If you have any further questions or need more details, feel free to ask.