Compared to their predecessor, the highly successful Soundcore Life P2, Anker has significantly increased the Life P3’s feature set. This is mainly due to the headphones’ app connection, which provides three ANC and two transparency profiles, a special gaming mode and versatile sound adjustment options. The new touch control can also be set up according to your own needs via the app.
The further development of this popular all-rounder presents itself colourfully in sky blue, coral pink, champagne white, night black and ocean blue and is once again delivered with ear tips in five different sizes so that these in-ears can be individually adapted. What has also remained is a comfortable, long-term fit and a weight of five and a half grams per side. The system’s water resistance, on the other hand, has decreased, although the Life P3 should still be adequately protected from rain outdoors according to IPX5.
In terms of energy, these earphones offer a runtime of a good seven hours at a slightly raised volume level, which is reduced to around six hours in ANC-only mode. In the case, which serves as a charging station, the in-ears can be fully charged a total of four times, giving a total runtime of 30 hours with noise cancellation and more than 35 hours in basic mode. However, we noticed that these earphones do not have a charging indicator, so it is not clear when the batteries are charged, which, according to our test, takes 40 minutes. If you are in a hurry, you can also use the powerful quick-charge function, which provides capacity for more than three hours or two hours and 40 minutes in ANC mode after a ten-minute power supply. The battery reserve from the charging case, on the other hand, can be restored either via the existing USB-C port or wirelessly via Qi, which takes about three and a half hours via the supplied USB-C to USB-A charging cable. The progress is clearly indicated by three LEDs.
Pairing the Soundcore Life P3, which support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and single-sided use in single mode, can be done directly by opening the case. This switches the system on and automatically puts it into pairing mode while switching it off is done by placing it back in the charger. These in-ears cannot be switched on and off manually via the touch-sensitive surfaces, which is not a satisfactory solution as it means that the case has to be carried around all the time, especially as the life of the batteries is shortened by permanent charging after each switch-off.
When a wireless connection is established, a double tap on the right side controls playback in the factory setting, while the left side can be used to skip to the next track. Answering a phone call is also possible on both sides by tapping twice. A longer press is used to end or reject calls and otherwise switches between basic sound and noise suppression. If you desire to have control of the option of skipping back or activating transparency, these can be adjusted at any time via the app. Thanks to the flexible assignment options, the reliably responding touch control can be personalised to a high degree, which has been realised in a very practical way except for the shortcoming of the missing on/off switch. The voice quality during calls is also impeccable. According to the manufacturer, three microphones with uplink noise suppression are used on each side to reduce street noise or wind during the representation of your own voice, which noticeably increases intelligibility. The stability of the Bluetooth connection was also impressive; it did not break down through several rooms and offered an above-average range of up to 13 metres within an urban environment. Pairing requires a moment’s patience, as it can take several seconds until the wireless connection to the device is established.
The free Soundcore app for Android and iOS devices is clearly structured and offers firmware updates, an ear tip test, a search function via beep, access to a sleep mode with various ambient sounds and the gaming mode, in addition to the ability to configure the touch control. According to the manufacturer, this optimises the synchronicity of image and sound as well as the representation of steps, shots and voices, where the sound is perceived as more assertive and louder overall. Films and video clips also benefit from lower latency and good speech intelligibility. In addition, the basic sound of these in-ears can be widely adjusted to suit different content and personal preferences via the app’s 8-band equaliser, where several settings can be saved as pre-sets. In addition, there are over 20 ready-made settings to choose from, which cover specific genres (hip-hop, Latin, rock, etc.) as well as a more general orientation (flat, bass reducer, treble booster, etc.). Any sound adjustment is permanently active and can thus also be used independently of the app.
ANC and transparency modes
The noise cancellation and transparency profile that is used is also controlled via the app. While a distinction is made between a general ambient and a special voice mode for amplifying outside noise, the noise-cancelling can be set to three situations, namely indoors or outdoors and a traffic mode for travelling and commuting. One limitation is the background noise of the two transparency modes, as this can be perceived at a low to medium volume even during playback. This is not the case in ANC mode, although a slight background noise is also present when pausing. Otherwise, however, outside noises are cleanly amplified via the microphones, so that the general ambient mode enables orientation in one’s surroundings. The voice mode offers improved speech intelligibility even during playback, as the bass range is additionally lowered.
Noise cancellation also delivers respectable results and would not be embarrassed by more expensive systems, although the low-frequency representation also seems slightly reduced compared to the basic sound. The traffic mode appeared to be the most effective, as both low and high-frequency components are noticeably reduced. With the outdoor profile, a rather large-scale attenuation of the mid-frequency spectrum occurs, while the indoor mode reduces mid- to high-frequency outdoor noises. In addition to the app, there is also the option to set up a widget that allows switching between basic sound, transparency mode and noise cancelling, including the respective profile selection.
The basic sound of the Life P3 is a clear sound with a warm character and a powerful bass response with depth. As with its predecessor, the manufacturer’s BassUp technology is used, and this is supposed to analyse the reproduction in real-time and automatically boost low frequencies. In any case, it can be confirmed that bass-orientated productions are reproduced quite richly and sound appealingly defined. If you want a more massive bass, you can activate a bass booster via the app, which gives the low bass even more substance without becoming spongy, even if the precision decreases a little.
The reproduction of lead instruments and vocals is also full-bodied, and due to the basic warmth of the tuning, they have a gentle character that extends into the agile treble reproduction. The high-frequency range does not tend to sibilance nor harshness or sharpness, but it falls off a little. However, this weakness can be successfully remedied by slightly boosting the upper frequency spectrum with the very good EQ, and it widens the presentation, revealing additional details. Considering their price, these in-ears prove to be impressively versatile overall, with an exceptionally good sound level. However, there is a downgrade compared to the predecessor model in the selection of audio codecs, as the Life P3 does not support aptX. In addition to the Bluetooth standard SBC, the higher-quality AAC format is also available.
Anker’s Soundcore Life P3 are successful, enduring all-rounders for everyday use that stand out for their excellent sound adjustment, good speech intelligibility when making phone calls and flexible ambient noise control. These weatherproof True Wireless in-ears also have a powerful fast-charging function and the wireless power supply option for the case via Qi.
- Comfortable fit
- IPX5 water resistant
- Battery life
- Fast charging function
- Case can be charged either via USB-C port or wirelessly
- App connection with flexible sound adjustment and ambient noise control
- Good speech intelligibility during phone calls
- Support AAC format
- No aptX
- Headphones without charge indicator
- No manual on/off switching of the in-ears possible
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance16 ohms
- Weight without cable5.5 g each; incl. case: 62 g g
What's in the box
- 5 pairs of ear tips (XS, S, M, L, XL)
- USB-C charging cable
- Charging case
- available in the colours night black, champagne white, coral pink, ocean blue and sky blue
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC
- BT version: 5.0