Soundcore Life P3 Review Hybrid ANC Earbuds With Transparency Mode

Monday, July 05, 2021

A feature that was mostly exclusive to higher-end earbuds, Soundcore is sure to take a slice of the action with the launch of the Life P3 - a pair of budget true wireless earbuds with hybrid active noise cancellation, long battery life, touch controls and mobile app support.
The Life P3 are the successor to the Life P2 earbuds; hence the similarities. That said, the Life P3 do look a lot more like the Liberty Air 2 Pro, not only because of the stem design but also the ANC functionality. The Life P3 is also equipped with 11mm dynamic drivers, which is the same as the Liberty Air 2 Pro and almost twice the size of the Life P2 6mm drivers.

The Life P3 charging case is also similar to the charging case of the Liberty Air 2 Pro and Liberty 3 Pro with a round pebble shape and fast wireless charging support, taking 3 hours to recharge when using a 10W wireless charger. The Life P3 charging case takes around 3 hours to fully charge via charging cable and can provide up to 23 hours of extra charge on the go. The Life P3 earbuds support quick charge and, they recharge relatively quickly in under 2 hours. You can get 7 hour runtime with ANC turned off and 50% volume and around 6 hours with ANC turned on.

Thanks to wireless support, you can charge the Life P3 charging case without plugging in a cable, which is always convenient. A wireless charging case is not included, although you can pick one up inexpensively. When  buying a wireless charger be sure that it's a Qi-certified wireless charger like the Anker PowerWave wireless charger. Qi-certification guarantees basic safety features that a non-Qi-certified wireless charger may not.

Side by side, the charging cases look almost identical, although the Liberty Air 2 Pro charging case lid slides open horizontally, whereas the Life P3 charging case lid hinge has a spring loaded mechanism that flips the lid open. The lid closes securely via magnetic connection. 

The Soundcore Life P3 earbuds weigh 10 grams (5 grams per earbud), while the charging case weighs 50 grams. The Life P3 earbuds stem measures 3cm long, 0.7cm wide and 0.6cm thick. The charging case measures 6cm long, 5cm wide and 2.5cm high. The Life P3 charging case and earbuds have a plastic construction with a glossy coating that prevents markings of oily smudges. Despite not being rubberized or having wingtips, the Life P3 earbuds the glossy coating makes them grip the ears without falling out.

The Life P3 charging case has the Soundcore logo branded in black chrome on top of the lid, which is rubberized underneath it. The serial number is etched in small print on the inside of the lid hinge. The Life P3 earbuds are easy to remove from the charging case, by either pinching the earbuds out of the charging case or by pushing them out at an angle.

The Life P3 have responsive touch controls, requiring only light touches without having to actually tap the stem. You can control incoming calls, voice assistant, skipping tracks, volume and ANC/ Transparency, although you can only choose a maximum of three functions, which are controlled via a single tap, double tap and long press. The Life P3 earbuds support absolute bluetooth volume so, the earbuds control the volume source of whichever audio device the earbuds are connected to (e.g. smartphone).

The Soundcore Life P3 earbuds have a total of six microphones (three per earbud). There is the microphone for calls, which is located at the tip of the stem. One ANC microphone is located next to the gold plated metal mesh filter, while the second ANC microphone is located above the touch control panel (behind the small plastic grille mesh). 
During calls, all six microphones work in tandem, suppressing background noise while making your voice sound loud and clear. As far as ANC performance, it's closed to the quality of the Life Q35 and Life Q30 over-ear ANC headphones. The Life P3 has a better performing transparency though, which is likely due to the fact that headphones are naturally more passively isolating than earbuds. The Life P3 earbuds use a similar ANC/Transparency setup as the Life O30/Q35 headphones so, you can tweak the level of noise cancellation and transparency to suit your needs.

The Life P3 Bluetooth 5.0 chip doesn't support aptX or multipoint pairing but, it does support SBC and AAC codecs. Compared to aptX, AAC is as good in terms of no delay when watching videos. There is also a new feature called "Game Mode", which works similar to aptX low latency, decreasing latency without degrading the audio quality. As far as pairing the earbuds, it is straightforward. Open the charging case and the earbuds power on and enter bluetooth pairing automatically. You can maintain a bluetooth connection while the earbuds sit in the charging case, which makes it easier when answering incoming calls quickly. You can switch between earbuds from stereo to mono listening and viceversa without any re-connection delay. That said, the Life P3 earbuds don't support independent use; hence you cannot pair them individually with separate devices.

As mentioned earlier, the Life P3 have software support via the Soundcore app. The Soundcore app doesn't require an account sign up so, you can use the app without having to register an account registration, although if you want to save EQ settings and button remapping, you will need to crease an account.

The Soundcore app has a user friendly interface, showing battery life indicators for both earbuds, as well as an 8-band equalizer (EQ) and several EQ presets to choose from. You can remap the touch control buttons so, you can reassign functions. This means, you can make the volume be a long press, a double tap or a single tap. You can re-arrange all functions, except from ANC mode and Transparency mode, which have to be a single tap or double tap. From the app, you can also disable ANC mode or Transparency mode but not both. This means, if you disable ANC mode you only have to toggle between Transparency and Normal mode, which basically turns off ANC and Transparency modes.

The Life P3 are also IPX rated, although it's only IPX5 whereas the predecessor - the Life P2 - have an IPX7 rating. There is four extra sets of eartips of different sizes included, as well as a plastic holder for storing the eartips. There is also an unbranded charging cable tied with a velcro strap. The included silicone eartips are made of very soft silicone so, they are very comfortable and don't cause irritation inside the ear canal,. The only thing though with thin eartips, it's that they don't retain as much bass as foam tips or thicker silicone eartips. You can buy the Life P3 via Soundcore and amazon when they become available. Check out the review of the Space A40 buds, Liberty Air 2, Life P2 Mini.

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