Soundcore Life P3

MSRP $80.00

“Boasting options usually discovered on expensive earbuds, the Life P3 are an excellent worth.”

Professionals

Customizable EQ

Customizable controls

Wi-fi charging

Good battery life

Cons

No put on sensors

Can’t activate transparency throughout calls

Ever since Anker launched its Soundcore line of audio merchandise, they’ve impressed us with their persistently prime quality and low costs. The most recent product from Soundcore is the Life P3, an $80 set of true wi-fi earbuds that push this worth equation even additional with lively noise cancellation (ANC) and wi-fi charging — two options that usually seem on earbuds that price twice as a lot. Are the Life P3 pretty much as good as they appear on paper? Let’s test ’em out.

What’s within the field?

Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

First, let’s dispense some a lot deserved reward to Soundcore: Earlier Soundcore earbuds have shipped in huge, heavy bins with embedded magnets and plenty of plastic — not precisely simple to recycle in most locations. The Life P3 are available a a lot less complicated carton that’s smaller and makes use of much less materials. The magnets are gone, although a black plastic tray stays inside. Nonetheless, it is a huge step towards extra sustainable packaging, one thing we’d prefer to encourage.

Soundcore has a successful design components.

Contained in the field, you’ll discover the Life P3 earbuds already of their charging case, a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, 4 additional sizes of silicone eartips (a fifth set is put in on the earbuds), and a few paper documentation.

Design

Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

The Life P3 use a well-known, AirPod-esque design, with slender touch-sensitive stems that protrude down from a small, rounded physique. In order for you one thing that doesn’t name consideration to itself, the black and blue colours are muted and refined, however extra vibrant choices are additionally out there: White, sky blue, and coral crimson. This type of coloration selection is uncommon within the true wi-fi earbud world — most fashions solely supply two colours (normally black or white), if they provide a selection in any respect.

The matching charging case is easily rounded and comparatively compact, although not as pocketable as those that include the AirPods or Google Pixel Buds. Earlier Soundcore earbuds just like the Liberty 2 Professional and Liberty Air 2 Professional have used a slick slider mechanism for his or her charging case lids, however the Life P3 follow a extra standard flip-open hinge — an apparent place to avoid wasting cash.

What’s actually spectacular is the diploma to which you’ll customise the faucet controls.

However whereas that hinge might make the case cheaper to make, the case doesn’t really feel low cost in any respect. The lid is spring-loaded, flipping open robotically whenever you carry it, making one-handed operation means simpler than with comparable case designs. It additionally stays open whenever you need it to. The earbuds snap simply into their charging sockets and are simply as simple to take away.

With the case’s wi-fi charging capability and the earbuds’ IPX5 score for water resistance, Soundcore has a successful design components.

Consolation, controls, and connections

Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

I discovered the Life P3 very comfy to put on for prolonged intervals. You’ll most likely get a cushty match from a number of of the included silicone eartips. The useful Soundcore app additionally features a match take a look at operate to ensure your chosen suggestions are literally sealing your ear canal successfully. Too many people merely use the guidelines that had been put in on the manufacturing unit as a result of they really feel high quality, however that may be a recipe for dangerous sound high quality and poor ANC efficiency, so undoubtedly attempt a number of sizes.

With none wing suggestions or earhooks, the Life P3 received’t lock into your ears as securely as earbuds designed for working or heavy exercises, however they need to be high quality for every kind of low-impact actions like brisk strolling, biking, rowing, or weight lifting. They’re undoubtedly safer than Apple’s AirPods, due to the silicone eartips.

Contact controls aren’t at all times as responsive as bodily buttons, principally as a result of it may be tough to faucet them precisely every time. The Life P3’s contact controls don’t actually change this example — the contact space is sort of small — however they do assist you realize whenever you’ve tapped efficiently or not with a affirmation contact tone that may be disabled in case you don’t want it.

However what’s actually spectacular is the diploma to which you’ll customise these faucet controls. You may have as much as three faucet gestures per earbud — single faucet, double faucet, and faucet and maintain — for a complete of six features. Every could be set to manage your selection of quantity, play/pause, observe skip ahead/again, voice assistant activation, and ANC/transparency mode choice. Higher but, you get to decide on which ANC choices you need to flip between: ANC, transparency, or “regular” (each ANC and transparency turned off). You may cycle between all three, or you possibly can choose any combo of simply two modes.

Audiophiles received’t be knocked out by the Life P3’s efficiency, however for his or her value, they sound nice.

The one factor that’s lacking are put on sensors — the Life P3 can’t robotically pause your tunes whenever you take away an earbud.

The Life P3 use Bluetooth 5.zero, and I had no drawback shortly pairing them to my iPhone 11. That connection remained robust and secure — I used to be capable of depart my telephone in my house workplace and the earbuds by no means dropped out, no matter the place I roamed, from the basement to the third ground. Every earbud can be utilized by itself — good for calls or just extending your battery life. With the ability to join to 2 Bluetooth gadgets concurrently would have been a pleasant contact, however this characteristic stays a rarity within the true wi-fi area, so I can hardly knock an $80 set of buds for not having it.

Sound high quality

Soundcore retains wowing us with how nice its earbuds sound, particularly when in comparison with way more costly merchandise. The Life P3 aren’t any exception. You get a really full-frequency response and actually good readability throughout the spectrum. There’s loads of low-end bass energy on faucet for genres like rap and hip-hop, but it surely doesn’t muddy the midranges.

Out of the field, the P3 are set to a flat EQ. It is a good, impartial start line, however you owe it to your self to dive into the Soundcore app’s big number of EQ presets. Whether or not you need to emphasize bass or vocals, or deemphasize them, there’s no finish to the choices. Can’t discover what you need? The eight-band customized EQ operate allows you to create your individual presets.

I discovered that the Acoustic preset did essentially the most to reinforce readability and power, with out detracting an excessive amount of from the bass.

Audiophiles received’t be knocked out by the Life P3’s efficiency, however for his or her value, they sound nice. The one means you’ll get higher sound for a similar or much less cash shall be if yow will discover a way more costly mannequin on sale.

Noise cancellation and transparency

Simon Cohen / Digital Developments

At this value, you’re not going to get the identical form of ANC efficiency as you’d from the Sony WF-1000XM4, AirPods Professional, or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, however the Life P3 nonetheless ship actually noticeable noise discount in a wide range of situations, from the fixed, droning sound of a loud fan to background conversations at a espresso store.

That ANC operate could be tuned utilizing the Soundcore app with a number of three modes: Indoor, Outside, and Transport. I discovered that Outside launched a really slight hiss when not listening to music, however Indoor and Transport had been each good and quiet. That may lead you to suppose you must simply follow Indoor or Transport, however when the wind begins to blow, you’ll be glad Outside is an possibility: It virtually completely kills wind noise, the place the opposite two modes wrestle. Transparency mode may also be tuned together with your selection of Totally Clear or Vocal Mode. Vocal Mode, because the title suggests, helps house in on voices. It really works very well, however for one minor disadvantage — it’s a must to interact it earlier than hopping on a name, as you possibly can’t change between ANC/transparency as soon as a name is in progress. In truth, you possibly can’t entry the Soundcore app in any respect when on a name.

Battery life

Soundcore claims the Life P3 get seven hours of life per cost with ANC and transparency turned off, and a complete of 35 hours whenever you embrace the charging case. These numbers drop to 6 hours/30 hours respectively whenever you interact ANC or transparency. In testing, I really bought a bit greater than this, with about 7.5 hours of non-ANC time. Both means, these are actually stable numbers which are higher than many different earbuds at this value, and significantly higher than each the Apple AirPods and AirPods Professional (four.5 to five hours per cost, 24 hours whole).

Topping off the Life P3’s energy specs is a fast-charge characteristic which supplies you an additional two hours after 10 minutes of socket time, which can be excellent.

Name high quality

Regardless of the presence of six microphones, calling on the Life P3 is barely common. Outdoor, there have been no dropouts, and most background noises had been stored at bay, however my voice sounded skinny and at occasions fairly distant. Your callers might have to show up their quantity to listen to you clearly. Indoors, as with most earbuds, name high quality was a lot better.

Extras

Inside the Soundcore app, you’ll discover some enjoyable extras like a Discover My earbuds characteristic. It doesn’t really find them for you the way in which another firms like Apple and Jabra supply, however you possibly can trigger every earbud to emit a loud sound, which ought to assist you to discover them in the event that they’re close by.

You’ll additionally discover that Soundcore has curated dozens of its personal playlists, pulled from tracks out there on the Lum streaming service. I didn’t know any of the featured artists, however that makes it a superb companion to conventional streaming providers as a discovery instrument.

Soundcore additionally throws in a sleep soundtrack instrument that allows you to combine and match a wide range of ambient sounds just like the crashing of waves or the chirping of birds that will help you drift off. You may play them on an infinite loop or set them on a timer.

Our take

The Soundcore Life P3 pack an unbelievable variety of options right into a compact, comfy, and inexpensive set of true wi-fi earbuds. For the worth, they’re an distinctive worth.

Is there a greater different?

The closest competitor to the Life P3 is the $90 Earfun Air Professional. They’re very shut relating to issues like ANC, sound high quality, and battery life. The Earfuns have put on sensors for auto-pausing music, however they lack wi-fi charging. The place the P3 have an enormous edge is their app-based changes for EQ, controls, ANC, and extra. The Earfun wouldn’t have an app, which limits what you are able to do with them.

How lengthy will they final?

It’s at all times onerous to say with true wi-fi earbuds, however the Life P3 ought to ship years of use. With IPX5 safety, they’ll survive encounters with water, however keep away from splashing their case — it isn’t protected. Battery life will drop over time, however with seven hours to start out, they need to nonetheless be fairly usable even after that will get reduce in half. Due to the Soundcore app, the corporate can subject firmware updates over time ought to issues come up. Soundcore backs the Life P3 with an 18-month guarantee — six months longer than most firms.

Must you purchase them?

Completely. Until you’re an audiophile with exacting requirements, the Soundcore Life P3 have the options, high quality, and value to make them a superb selection for on a regular basis use.

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