The Soundcore Space One are an excellent budget pair of headphones. They’re built well, they look cool, and they sound good too. Bass heads are going to love them, but if you’re a fan of more subdued sound stages you best look elsewhere — and this trend toward carrying bags over cases is a worrying one.
ANC could be better
Overreliance on bass
No carrying case, only a carrying bag
You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.
The budget ANC over-ear headphone space is one that is becoming increasingly saturated with devices — and adding to that ever-growing list are Soundcore’s latest headphones, the Space One. They’re light, they’re interesting to look at, and they might just be worth $89 of your hard-earned dollars.
Price and availability
You can pick up the Soundcore Space One from the Soundcore website, and they are available from the publishing of this review; August 31, 2023. They cost a very reasonable $89/£89, and when you take into consideration everything they pack into their very light package, it’s an absolute wonder of a price.
You’ll also be able to grab a pair from Amazon as well, at the same price. Do be aware, however, that the Soundcore website does run sales to make the headphones a little cheaper, so you may want to keep an eye out there before you head over to Amazon to get a pair. You can get the Space One in a range of colors too, including Black, Latte Cream, and Sky Blue.
Build and Fit
The first thing you’ll notice about the Soundcore Space One is just how light they are; They’re one of the lightest pairs of headphones I’ve used. Usually, that would mean that they feel cheap, but that’s not the case here. The hinges they use to fold all feel solid, there are few rattles and creaks, and they inspire confidence in ‘bag-tossability.’
That lightness also helps with fit and comfort. In addition to the large earcup cushions that have great memory foam and its soft headband, the Space One has a good clamping force that keeps them in place without making them uncomfortable over long periods of time.
It’s not all perfect: where other headphones at this price come with a carrying case, these only feature a carrying bag. Given the headphones feel durable it’s not a great problem, but it is disappointing that the bag is just a cloth satchel.
The Space One features ANC, first and foremost — and it’s fine. It’s around what you might expect from something that costs less than $100, and it will block out bus noise and street traffic without a problem. It struggles with louder noises, however, and it can get a little confused when there’s a lot going on around you.
You can change the ANC settings in the Soundcore app, which remains a highlight of Soundcore products. It’s slick, easy to use, and you can adjust the EQ, and ANC settings, while being able to activate the wear sensor on the inside of the headphones.
That sensor will pause music as you take the headphones off, and it’s a great feature to have on a pair of budget headphones. You’ll have to set it up, but then it works great.
The sound quality is very solid here. The mids are well-rounded, the highs crisp, and the bass warm and welcoming. They are perhaps a little bass-forward, but that only serves to make them more of a fun listen rather than a reference one. The soundstage is a little restricted, but it's still better than you’ll find on in-ear options. There’s LDAC support as well for devices that carry the standard for higher-resolution listening, which is always a bonus.
Spinning up Thundercat’s Them Changes highlights that low-end grunt, while giving the headphones a chance to really bounce. There’s a lot of get-up-and-go here, and it’s a great deal more dynamic than others at the same price. While that bass might highlight the groove and the bassline, it doesn’t overpower the rest of the ensemble, instead underlaying it with remarkable accuracy. Loads of fun.
Having a whirl with The Highwomen’s Highwomen and the Space One shows more depth than you might expect from a relatively bassy headphone. The bass drum does have more whack than it should, but the lady’s voice cuts through with clarity, and the slide guitars are well placed in the mix. Again, not the widest or airiest of audio experiences, but one that will please most.
There are absolutely boatloads of competition for the Space One. There’s 1More’s excellent Sonoflow headphones, which present with a little more restraint in the low end, and come with a carrying case, but they often cost around $10 more. There are Sony options as well, although you’ll have to spend more than $100 to get a pair of good ones.
For the price, you’re not going to find much better than the Soundcore Space One.
Should you buy them?
You should buy them if…
- You want to spend under $100
- You like bass
- You want something a bit different
You shouldn’t buy them if…
- You want a carrying case
- You want a more refined sound
The Soundcore Space One are an excellent pair of headphones that should go straight to the top of your shortlist if you’re on a budget. They sound good, if a little bass-heavy, and their cool design feels light and sturdy. There’s no carrying case, so keep that in mind, but they’re solid enough for it to not be a massive issue.
As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.