Amazon Link (Currently $49.99 [$20 off] at the time of writing): https://amzn.to/2IuOtaW
When you think of the Anker name, your mind immediately goes to PowerBanks, but perhaps to your surprise they are number one not only in mobile power, but in mobile audio as well. With popular audio products under the apprentice brand, Soundcore, Anker has carved out a successful space in the affordable but premium audio world. With Soundcore, you have the full weight and support of a reliable and trusted brand like Anker. And in our day and age of purchasing devices online and apart from a physical store, knockoffs and imitations are all too frequent.
The Soundcore Vortex is Ankers first foray into over-ear headphones. They are well known for their earbuds that sport the Soundcore name and those that sport the Zolo name which have now been combined into the Soundcore brand. I have to say at the beginning of this review, even with high expectations of this product (as I find myself having with regard to Anker products) I was not disappointed. In actuality, I was surprised by the product I received! It was much more than I was expecting, understanding the $79.99 price tag these headphones would receive at launch. I received my pair as a review unit from Anker as a part of their Power User program, but I assure you that any positive remarks are the result of my REAL LIFE experiences and impressions. Being honest, my enthusiasm toward Anker makes me harder on them than I would be with a brand that I did not have a personal interest in. Indeed my intentions are to help Anker make the best product possible for my readers, and their end-users.
The Soundcore Vortex headphones are a pair of premium headphones in an affordable package. They are sturdy, well built headphones with very soft leather-like earcups and headband and a flexible metal frame. These are not cheaply made Amazon no-name headphones that are liable to break on you two days in. When I take these out of the included carrying case and unfold them they give off an incredibly solid feeling, I am confident these will last many years of use. The Vortex also have the added benefit of being made by Anker, so the battery life is on point. It’s advertised as 20 hours, but my use has far exceeded that per charge.
The sound quality for these headphones are quite good! For $79.99 retail (and on sale on Amazon US for $49.99 at the time of this writing) I declare there do not exist headphones on the planet with better sound for a better value. The bass is strong and full, which is what I desire in a pair of over-ear headphones. The mids are clear and consistent throughout. I never felt that the mids were ever muddled by the lows or highs in any of the numerous genres of music I listened to with these headphones. The high frequencies were clear and balanced, never distorted or drowned out by the soundstage to which these headphones have been tuned.
I will say that these headphones do not have a perfectly balanced soundstage, but they are very good. If you are not a fan of bass, you will not like these, because the bass is well pronounced and is on display much of time when listened to rap/hip hop, pop, or EDM genres. That being said, the headphones respond very well to EQ tuning and sound great in every configuration I used for each genre of music I listened to.
Honestly, there isn’t a lot to gripe about. I wish that Anker would have used USB-C instead of the dated Micro USB standard. I would have enjoyed Active Noise Cancellation on these at the $79.99 price point, as many other offerings in this price range include it. I say that understanding that Anker has a pair of ANC over-ear headphones in the Space NC that released alongside the Vortex. Perhaps my biggest gripe about these headphones is the use of Bluetooth 4.1 and not Bluetooth 5.0 or even 4.2! The connectivity has never cut out on me while using the headphones, but I know that with the newer BT protocols I would have greater range, and using it with multiple devices would be more seamless than it is currently.
All of this say, I think these may just be the best bang for your buck bluetooth headphones of 2018. These are my go to headphones right now and that’s saying something because I have a few pairs of very good headphones. These are incredibly comfortable for long listening periods, have great sound, and have great battery life. These headphones really do check all of the boxes for me and I they might for you as well!