Anker Soundcore Life P3
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The combination of features means the Life P3 earbuds deliver excellent value for money and should appear near the top of any budget ANC earbud list.
- Brand: Anker
- Battery Life: Up to 35 hours
- Noise Cancellation: Yes
- Bluetooth : 5.0
- Great sound
- Tidy on-earbud and overall battery life
- Excellent ANC for price
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to use companion app
- Bass sometimes muddies sound
- Touch controls often mistime response
Anker Soundcore Life P3 amazon
Active noise cancellation (ANC) is a big ticket for earbuds and headphones. With premium ANC products costing hundreds, you'd be forgiven for scouring the web for budget ANC options. However, while budget active noise cancellation can be hit and miss, one company nails it each and every time: Anker.
So when the Anker Soundcore Life P3 earbuds arrived with multiple ANC modes, naturally, it was right to get them on the review bench.
In short, the Anker Sound Life P3 earbuds sound great, have outstanding active noise cancellation for the price, and are an excellent set of budget earbuds.
Anker Soundcore Life P3 Active Noise Cancellation Is Excellent
Starting with that heady introduction, let's lean straight into the Soundcore Life P3's best feature: active noise cancellation.
Anker products throughout the past few years have grown in reputation as a solid option for affordable active noise cancellation, and the Soundcore Life P3 true wireless earbuds continue this trend.
The Soundcore Life P3 comes with six ANC enabling microphones to block out external noise. Then there are multiple ANC modes, switching between Indoor, Outdoor, and Transport, along with two transparency modes.
Active noise cancellation is a personal preference, but the Life P3 earbuds ANC stands up in most environments. For example, walking through town in the peak of summer in the touristy area I live nearby, and most of the background noise is removed from my listening experience.
Adding to the noise cancellation is the general snug fit the Soundcore Life P3 earbuds deliver. There are multiple ear tip options for you to find the perfect fit for your ear, aided by the accompanying Soundcore app and its Tip Fit Test. Run the test in a quiet location, and it'll tell you if the tips you've chosen are the optimal fit for your ear.
The Soundcore Life P3 Earbuds Sound Great
For my money, the Soundcore Life P3 true wireless earbuds deliver a really well-rounded sound and can compete with earbuds that cost a great deal more. In terms of sound quality, the Life P3 earbuds deliver sound above their station and are definitely one of the best options for inexpensive true wireless earbuds.
Delivering the sound are 11mm dynamic drivers with hardened nano-layers designed to protect your earbuds during playback. The Life P3 earbuds also benefit from Anker's upgraded BassUp mode, which is part of the Soundcore Signature EQ (but you can switch on and off).
BassUp mode has been a bit overbearing in the past, muddying the overall sound, but Anker has made clear improvements to this feature. There's also a bunch of customizable EQ options in the Soundcore app.
Out of the box, the Soundcore Signature EQ is a great go-to (with BassUp switched off for testing). As I've found with Anker audio products in the past, they really lend themselves well to dance music, and the Soundcore Life P3 earbuds are no different.
Loading up Hi-Gate's Pitchin' (In Every Direction) and you're immediately hit by the depth of the punchy bass giving way to the crisp, crisp snare, all winding into the synth-laden crescendo that comes crashing over you.
Switching to Miles Davis Birth of the Cool or All of You and the Life P3's versatile soundstage is further exemplified. The rapid and shrill horn blasts come through loud and clear without distortion while the backing band rumble on, each double-bass pluck and hi-hat tap evident throughout each track.
The Life P3 earbuds work well with a wide range of music. There was very little I tested them with that didn't sound good. Throw some indie rock like The Maccabees on, and you'll tap along to the undulating guitar riffs and happy keyboard tracks. Delve into something complex and entrancing like Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, and the Life P3 brings each perfectly crafted modular section to life.
The Soundcore Life P3 earbuds aren't perfect, mind. At times, the high-end gets lost amid particularly complex arrangements. Furthermore, if you switch the BassUp on, it can overwhelm tracks that just weren't designed for that level of boost. Of course, you can simply switch this off.
Furthermore, on some tracks (but not all), the bass in the standard Soundcore Signature EQ can overwhelm the rest of the composition, something you may notice on tracks with a lot of high-end or with complexity. But, again, this doesn't apply to every track, so picking out specific types of music you'll experience this with is tricky.
Soundcore Gaming Mode Needs a Bit of Work
Interestingly, Anker chose to include a new Gaming Mode with the Life P3, which you can toggle within the Soundcore app. Gaming Mode promises to "reduce latency and enhance the sounds of footprints and voices."
I took the Life P3 earbuds for a spin in the Company of Heroes 3 alpha and found the overall sound delivery of decent quality, although perhaps a raging RTS battlefield wasn't what Gaming Mode was intended for. Similarly, firing up Assetto Corsa Competizione, and the cars come with their usual full-throttle tone, but I didn't notice too much difference altogether.
So, while it makes some subtle differences, Gaming Mode may need some more work to compete with gaming earbuds that push this sort of audio tuning as a prime feature.
Customize EQs and Touch Controls Using the Soundcore App
Anker continues to add features to the Soundcore app, and the Gaming Mode is the latest addition. But you can also use the Soundcore app to create custom EQs, switch up your touch control options, take the ear fit test, and create a custom ambient soundscape for background noise or to fall asleep too.
Soundcore Life P3 Are Comfortable, But Touch Controls Need Work
Testament to the comfort levels of the Life P3 earbuds, I wore them for multiple five-to-six-hour stints, running the battery down each time, with ANC switched on. The option to switch the ear tips out should make finding a comfortable fit easier for users of all types, but the earbud weight of 4.8g (0.17oz) shouldn't cause undue ear fatigue.
The Life P3 has a very similar style to the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro, which are themselves an AirPods-style earbud with a stem. The Oat White Life P3 earbuds are pictured, but there are also red, navy blue, black, and sky blue options.
Another plus point for the Soundcore Life P3 is the battery life. You'll get up to six hours playback with ANC enabled, rising to seven with ANC switched off. Fast charge delivers up to 2 hours playback on a 10-minute charge, while the case itself carries up to 35 additional hours of playback. Playback time varies with volume and other inputs, but I found the Soundcore Life P3 battery life specs fairly accurate.
One thing that did surprise me was the somewhat fiddly touch controls located on the exterior of the Life P3 earbuds.
On multiple occasions, the touch controls failed to respond to a single touch, leading me to tap again in an attempt to single tap to raise or lower the volume. Both taps would then register, skipping or reversing the track. At other times, simply adjusting the earbuds slightly can trigger the volume controls due to the touch control location.
It's only a small thing, but given these are the third iteration of the Soundcore Life P3 earbuds and other Soundcore products like the Liberty Air 2 Pro have accurate controls, it comes as a slight surprise.
The Anker Soundcore Life P3 Are Excellent Budget ANC Earbuds
Anker's Soundcore Life P3 earbuds deliver in every area where it counts: battery life, sound quality, and active noise cancellation. When it comes to true wireless earbuds, those three comprise the holy trinity of desirable qualities.
Let's consider what the Life P3 set out to achieve. These aren't targeting the major players of the true wireless earbud market. Anker didn't push the Life P3 earbuds to compete with the Sony XM4 or Sennheiser Momentum 2, two of the best wireless earbuds on the market.
However, the Soundcore Life P3 is an excellent entry-level true wireless earbud with really great ANC for the price. Speaking of which, the Anker Soundcore Life P3 retails for $80/£80, planting it firmly towards the top of the best budget ANC earbud lists.
Anker has taken the audio tuning technology from its premium earbuds and headphones and delivered it to the budget earbud market. Honestly, these sound better than many competitors, including the more expensive Apple AirPods.
The Life P3 earbuds have good battery life, too. The six hours of playback held on the earbud is up there with most and delivers more than other competitors, such as the Nothing ear (1), which only delivers four hours with ANC switched on.
Overall, if you don't want to spend heaps on a set of earbuds that sound great, look good, and have a long battery life, look no further than the Anker Soundcore Life P3 true wireless earbuds. The combination of features means the Life P3 earbuds deliver excellent value for money and should appear near the top of any budget ANC earbud list.