Anker Soundcore Life P2 Wireless In-ears Review
Last year, Anker Soundcore proved that the manufacturer is right at the top in the audio sector. Nevertheless, one would like to present the right model to potential buyers who are unwilling to spend more on headphones. With the Anker Soundcore Life P2, do you want to continue to mix in the middle class, a serious competitor for TaoTronics & Co.?
- Wide frequency response, good reproduction of stereo space.
- Good feelings of comfort and support.
- Easy to use.
- Very good battery life (7 hours per charge).
- Aspect “acid”, “spicy” treble / management of distortion perfectible in the high mids / treble.
- Quickly tiring sound reproduction at sustained listening volume.
- No mono summation using a single earpiece, no volume control.
- High latency.
Packaging & scope of delivery
The Anker Soundcore Life P2 comes in a light / dark blue packaging that is typical for the manufacturer. The headphones are printed on the front. Above it stands in the foreground, in shiny silver lettering “Crystal-Clear Calls,” The manufacturer explicitly wants to draw attention to itself with good voice quality for calls on the shelf. We will clarify later how this works in practice.
Compared to the headphones of the other mid-range headphones, in my opinion, the Soundcore Life P2 looks the most. While TaoTronics mostly uses the same white/orange boxes, Aukey is even simpler. With the Life P2, because of the printed cardboard and its quality, I have the feeling that I am holding the highest quality product among the budget headphones in my hand.
This feeling is retained even while unpacking. When you open the box, the first thing you notice is the charging cradle, in which the earphones are located. Below you can see some booklets (quick start guide, safety information, warranty card, etc.), nicely bundled and provided with a plastic band. The individual booklets do not slip in the box during transport.
Underneath, there are nubs pressed into the plastic insert, on which four different pairs of ear pads are placed. I like it! In the budget range, these usually fly through the box in plastic bags. The USB-C charging cable, which is held together with an anchor Velcro cable tie, is located in another compartment in the plastic insert of the cardboard box.
I know that most of them will not attach great importance to the packaging, but I think it’s nice to see that Anker takes a little bit of budget into the packaging and presentation of the Soundcore Life P2 in the middle class. At least at first glance, they make a significantly higher quality impression than their competitors.
While the more expensive Soundcore Liberty Air 2 is available in black and white, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 is only available in matt black. In addition, there are bronze-colored details on the charging cradle and the receiver in the form of the anchor logo + lettering on the charging box and the logo on the receiver’s back.
The charging cradle falls compared to the box of Liberty Air 2. In comparison to the TaoTronics sound, Liberty 53 is quite large and has something in the charging cradle of the Sound Core Liberty 2 Pro. The larger shell is certainly also related to the larger battery capacity.
It has a normal opening mechanism and is fitted with magnets that keep the shell closed when it is closed. If you open it, it clicks into place and stays open, but the flap has something to play here, which I don’t consider dramatic.
Similar to Huawei, the headphones of the mid-range Soundcore Life P2 model lie horizontally in the charging cradle, while the top model Soundcore Liberty Air 2, à la AirPods, stand vertically in the charging cradle.
The Soundcore Life P2 headphones have the same shape and size as the predecessor Soundcore Liberty Air 1 and Air 2 . With a weight of 4 g per receiver. However, they are a little lighter, which should benefit the wearing comfort.
The receiver and charging cradle appears to be made of the same plastic and make a solid impression. The already mentioned logo on the back, which sits on the receiver’s button, is also provided with a shiny decorative strip that frames the button.
The plastic used is about which the TaoTronics sound Liberty 53 comparable. Large differences in quality are not noticed in the test. As usual from Soundcore, Anker does not allow any material or quality defects. Compared to the high-priced Soundcore headphones, however, you notice that the material is “cheaper.” For example, both the Liberty Air 2 and the Liberty 2 Pro’s charging box are provided with a rubber coating, which gives the case more grip.
Sound of the Anker Soundcore Life P2 in the test
The Anker Soundcore Life P2, like the Liberty Air 1, is equipped with a 6 mm dynamic driver with a graphene-coated membrane.
As always, with relatively cheap dynamic drivers, the strengths of the Soundcore Life P2 are in the low-frequency range. However, in the test with electronic music and rap or hip-hop pieces, in which deep sub-bass is quite the rule, the Souncore Life P2 conjures up an oppressive “thump” in the ear, roughly on a level with the Liberty Air 1.
Compared to the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53, the Life P2 headphones are similar in this area. However, if you compare with Anker’s top models, both the Liberty Air 2 and Liberty 2 Pro provide more depth and presence in the sub-bass range. In my opinion, however, the performance of the Life P2 is more than sufficient.
In the mid-range, the differences between the various Soundcore headphones are sometimes more pronounced. For example, the mid-range of the Liberty Air 1 is not necessarily higher-resolution or better but more emphasized than with the Soundcore Life P2. On the other hand, I like that the midrange on the Life P2 In-Ears is a bit more muted, as it blends in better with the overall sound, in my opinion.
Compared to the Liberty Air 2, whose mid-range is also more subdued than the first version, it is difficult for me to make a decisive difference even during testing with different music genres. Here and their voices sound a bit bassier with the Liberty Air 2 than with the Life P2, but this is so marginal that it is not noticeable without a direct comparison of the same song passage.
The Soundcore Life P2 wireless in-ear delivers a solid high-frequency performance in the test for a taste for a single dynamic driver. Compared to the older Soundcore Liberty Air 1, I am pleased to note that the tweeter of the Life P2 has been optimized based on the old “flagship headphones.” As a result, the highs of the Soundcore Life P2 are a bit more present and detailed – I like it!
The more expensive Liberty Air 2 brings out a few more details in the comparison test, and it also sounds a bit more precise to me. With the TaoTtronics Soundliberty 53, the differences in the treble are very marginal but can be seen when listening closely in a direct comparison. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the difference is not big enough to make it a serious criterion in the purchase decision.
I like the Anker Soundcore Life P2 wireless in-ear headphones a little better in the sound test than the old “flagship headphones” Soundcore Liberty Air 1, which probably served as the basis. In addition, both the tweeter and the sound have been revised for the Life P2, which makes it sound better for my taste.
As expected, it doesn’t keep up with the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 . Despite the similar overall sound, the Liberty Air 2 delivers slightly better performance in the sub-bass and treble range. In addition, the more expensive headphones are more precise, which suggests better swing properties of the membrane used. However, I do not think that the sound is so much better that it justifies the not inconsiderable price premium. Furthermore, the trappings make it portable (touch operation, QI loading, app integration), etc.)
For me, the Sound Core Liberty 2 Pro is still the best thing that has brought anchor in the in-ear range so far on the market. But, of course, in this comparison, it runs a bit out of the competition, because as a hybrid driver, it simply brings enormous hardware advantages with it.
In terms of sound, the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53 is par with the Soundcore Life P2 in the test. Although slight differences can be seen in direct comparison, if you do not have the opportunity to compare both directly, one after the other, you will never notice the differences. Nevertheless, the Life P2 delivers a marginally better treble. However, these are overall a bit quieter than the Soundcore Life P2.
With the large inscription “Crystal Clear Calls” on the box, Soundcore naturally raised expectations through its fault. In the middle class, the headset or headset microphones are often weak points, even with the popular TaoTronics Soundliberty 53.
The results of our tests are all the more gratifying. Soundcore was not stingy here and installed the same or similar technology as the Soundcore Liberty Air 2.
During my test phone calls, the people I spoke to said that my voice sometimes sounded a little tinny, but I was always easy to understand at all times.
Monotonous and constant background noises, such as train or car noise, are reliably suppressed and are practically inaudible by the conversation partner. However, it is different with background noises in quiet surroundings, such as typing the keyboard in the office. These are audible but do not have the upper hand.
Overall, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 has one of the best, if not the best, headset setups in the middle class!
Addendum April 2021: Thanks for your feedback in the comments. You make us better! Unfortunately, some of you noted that the microphone quality of the Soundcore Life P2 had deteriorated significantly in the current batch, which is why, unlike in the test report, I can no longer unreservedly recommend the headphones as headphones with the best microphone. We will now make a trial order and see whether the microphone quality differs from our test product at the time.
As already mentioned, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 headphones, weighing around 4 g each, are even about one gram lighter than the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 headphones. This, the ergonomic shape of the earpiece, and the large selection of ear pads included in the scope of delivery make it comfortable to wear.
In the test, even when jogging, I did not have problems with the headphones falling out. For me, the listeners stay in the position in which I put them in my ears. I rarely had to readjust them in practice – very good!
Operation with push buttons
Operation by push button is the most obvious cost-saving measure that Soundcore has taken to keep the Soundcore Life P2 low price. In comparison, the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 and the older Air 1 come with touch panels.
Unfortunately, the buttons are not as smooth as the buttons on the Earfun Free headphones. Therefore, you may move a receiver in your ear while pressing it and then have to readjust it. In the everyday test, however, the buttons worked reliably and did what they were supposed to.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to adjust the music volume with earphones. Furthermore, since the Soundcore Life P2 is unfortunately not integrated into the Soundcore app, it is also not possible to individualize the functions of the buttons, as is possible, for example, with the Liberty Air 2 or Liberty 2 Pro.
Proximity sensors, with the help of which the music is automatically paused as soon as you take a receiver out of your ear, do not exist with the Soundcore Life P2. However, these are also “luxury features” that you always have to do without this price range.
As befits modern headphones, the Soundcore Life P2 in-ear headphones are equipped with the Bluetooth 5 standard. According to the manufacturer, a range of 10 meters should be achieved.
In the test, I could achieve a significantly higher range of almost 18 meters without sound dropouts in an open area. Even in closed rooms, the connection is more stable than average, which always depends on the type of obstacles that the signal has to overcome.
Unfortunately, with the Soundcore Life P2, the master cannot be freely determined, but it is always the right listener. Nevertheless, it is possible to use both the right and the left earpiece individually. To do this, however, the left earpiece must be paired separately with the smartphone once.
In the video streaming test with Netflix & YouTube, I could not find any noteworthy or annoying delays between picture and sound. However, the question remains whether this will also remain the case in metropolitan areas, at large city train stations, or airports. Unfortunately, I cannot test this in the current situation, but I will hopefully submit it soon.
The earphones of the Anker Soundcore Life P2 are each equipped with a 55 mAh battery per earpiece. In addition, there is also a generous 700 mAh battery in the charging box. Both batteries are therefore larger than those in the Soundcore Liberty Air 2.
In the test, at a volume of 50-70%, I achieved a runtime of around 6-6.5 hours, which is the new top value for a mid-range headphone for a regular price! Furthermore, with a constant volume of 50%, I was even able to beat the factory specification of Soundcore, which is 7 hours, with 7.5 hours.
With the charging cradle with a 700 mAh battery, the headphones can then be recharged almost six times, which results in a total running time of around 40 hours without a socket. Quite strong, the more expensive Soundcore Liberty Air 2 only lasts up to 28 hours without a socket.
I like that Soundcore has implemented a quick charge function here, so around 10 minutes of charging time are enough to listen to another hour of music with the Life P2. The charging cradle is charged via a USB-C cable, but wireless charging is not used here.
I liked the Anker Soundcore Life P2 pretty much in the test. In terms of quality, Soundcore leaves nothing to be desired, as usual. Even if there are slight material differences between the top models and the middle class, of course. Compared to the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53, there is practically no noticeable difference.
In terms of sound, I like them better than the Soundcore Liberty Air 1 and are on the same level as the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53. Unfortunately, the Soundcore Life P2 cannot keep up with the top models, which was to be expected.
You have to do without “luxury features” such as wireless charging, touch operation, and app integration for a lower price. On the other hand, the headset quality, connection stability, and battery life are definitely at the top. In these areas, the Soundcore Life P2 does not lead a TaoTronics Soundliberty 53.
Should I buy the Soundcore Life P2?
I think the sound quality of the headphones should be sufficient for most of you. But, of course, it always depends on your requirements. If you attach great importance to the sound quality of your loudspeakers etc., you should perhaps look at other models. If that is not so important to you, “the main thing is music,” then the Soundcore Life P2 are the right ones for you.
In addition, the Soundcore Life P2 is recommended if you don’t want to spend that much money but want to make calls with the headphones often. No other headphones can match in this price range and are therefore number 1 in our ranking of headphones!
Unfortunately, the Soundcore Life P2 is quieter than the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53, but it is still enough for my taste. If you want to spend as little as possible, in my opinion, you should still use the TaoTronics Soundliberty 53. There is not much going on in terms of sound. All around, the Soundcore Life P2 offers advantages in terms of battery life, connection stability, and headset functionality.