These cheap ANC wireless headphones punch way above their price tag

You don't need to spend massive amounts of money to get superb sound and pretty good ANC too

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 wireless headphones being worn by a woman dancing
(Image credit: Anker)

If you're looking for the best headphones you're probably seeing a lot of very expensive sets, even after discounts from Black Friday deals. But if you're on a fairly tight budget, you can get a really impressive set of ANC over-ear headphones for well below $100/£100. I know that because I've just bought a pair.

At £79.99, the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 headphones are great value – and right now on Amazon I'm looking at a deal that brings them down to £55.99 (opens in new tab). That's an absolute steal.

Why I bought the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 headphones

One of the downsides of having lots of tech kicking around is that your kids become very selective about what they want – so when my son wanted headphones for his iPhone SE, iPad and laptop he had a list of non-negotiable demands. Good sound quality for starters, decent bass, ANC with transparency mode and over-ear cups for comfort. Oh, and USB-C, long battery life and easy switching between devices.

That wish list takes you straight to the best wireless headphones, but over-ears that meet those requirements are not cheap. But the Ankers deliver all of the required features for a lot less cash.

I'm not going to pretend that the Soundcore Q30s deliver the same first class noise cancelling as my Bose Quietcomforts or my AirPods Max. But it's still pretty good, and as my son only wears his headphones at home and in the car he doesn't need the more hardcore tech of more expensive 'phones. The sound quality is really impressive, with nicely judged bass that kicks but doesn't overwhelm and a nice airy treble, and while the build is a little plastic they're perfectly comfortable. They charge via USB-C, you can use them as wired headphones (without ANC), they fold and you can get up to 60 hours of play time with ANC off. And when my son forgets to charge them, which he will, five minutes quick charging delivers four hours of listening.

If you're looking for good quality wireless headphones but can't stretch to a set of Sony WH-1000XM4s or WH-1000XM5s, give these a go. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).