SoundMagic P23BT Review On Ear Headphones With Long Battery Life

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


The SoundMAGIC P23BT is a collapsible headphone crafted for mobile listening, providing a mix of ease and top-notch sound quality. Now, let's explore the hands-on features of this portable headset to assess how it performs in everyday scenarios and its user-friendly aspects.

The SoundMAGIC P23BT is an on-ear style headset suitable for both wireless and wired connections, catering to productivity tasks and gaming. The earcups and headband of the P23BT headphones are constructed from plastic. The earcups feature a traditional yoke design with substantial flexibility, enabling them to tilt up and down nearly 90 degrees. Additionally, the earcups can be rotated sideways up to 90 degrees, offering the practicality of laying them flat on a desk.

The earcups feature a robust metal folding hinge, enabling them to be inwardly folded, minimizing their size when not in use. These earcups are cushioned with memory foam in a donut shape, measuring 7cm in diameter, and include a small circular inner hole with a diameter of 3.5cm. The inner part of the earpad is lined with breathable mesh fabric. The distance to the driver is 1.5cm, and the top of the driver is covered with a thin layer of non-padded fabric.

Regarding the headband, it is cushioned, but it deviates from the standard foam PU leather. Instead, the P23BT headband is entirely padded with a substantial layer of silicone rubber, featuring engraved SoundMAGIC branding on the top side. The headband is adjustable through an inner band using a clicky ratchet mechanism. The plastic inner band is reinforced with a metal band for added durability.

Located on the left earcup, you'll discover the 2.5mm audio port (featuring mic passthrough), a single physical button with a clicky actuation, and a touch control on the left earcup faceplate. The touch control panel operates similarly to the P60BT headphones' touch control—highly responsive and supporting tap and swipe gestures for volume control, play/pause, handling calls (answer/end/accept second call), and track skipping.

Above the left earcup, the USB-C charging port is positioned, protected by a rubber flap. However, the charging port's location may not be the most user-friendly due to interference from the yoke. Additionally, the rubber flap covering the charging port has a narrow opening, making it awkward to plug in the charging cable and necessitating bending the rubber flap backward. A hinge on the rubber flap would have been more convenient, allowing it to swivel out of the way.

On the right earcup faceplate, you'll find the NFC chip and a status LED that provides feedback on battery and Bluetooth status. Notably, the Bluetooth light doesn't turn off after connection, so it blinks during audio playback.

Regarding charging, the P23BT headphones offer passthrough audio functionality while charging in both Bluetooth and wired modes. Additionally, they support fast charging, providing 5 hours of playtime with just a quick 10-minute charge. The full charging time is 1 hour, resulting in 35 hours of call time and 55 hours of music playback time via the SBC codec at medium volume.

The SoundMAGIC P23BT provides exceptional comfort on the head due to its remarkably low weight (only 157 grams), a headband with gentle clamping force, and comfortable earpads. The headband exerts minimal pressure on the ears, contributing to a comfortable wearing experience, although the on-ear style inherently ensures a comfortable fit.

The provided boom arm mic cable shares a design resemblance with the P60BT headphones' boom arm mic cable. It consists of a 3.5mm audio cable featuring a bendable boom arm microphone with memory wire. This design has both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, the boom arm microphone can be detached from the headset. However, the drawback is that you can't separate the boom arm microphone from the audio cable, which may be inconvenient.

Nonetheless, the combined weight of the boom arm mic cable is only 20 grams, making the additional weight hardly noticeable. Additionally, there's an alternative microphone built into the left earcup, accessible via Bluetooth, for those who prefer not to use the boom arm mic. In terms of quality, both microphones deliver excellent sound, capturing voices loudly, clearly, and naturally without any digitized distortion. However, the wired boom arm mic surpasses the Bluetooth mic in terms of performance

The P23BT headphones come equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, ensuring a reliable connection within a range of up to 13 meters. They offer absolute Bluetooth volume control and support various codecs, including aptX, aptX HD, and SBC. Notably, during testing, the AAC codec did not appear to be supported.

In terms of audio performance, the P23BT features 40mm dynamic drivers, allowing for audio enjoyment in both Bluetooth and wired modes. It's worth noting that the P23BT utilizes a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio connection when plugged into a phone's headphone jack. The moderate impedance of around 40 ohms ensures sufficient volume when connected to a smartphone without requiring an external amplifier.

The P23BT headphones deliver a pleasurable listening experience, particularly excelling in bass-heavy tracks with a clear and neutral midrange. The treble is adequately high to capture details without causing listener fatigue. While they may not reach the lowest frequencies and lack passive noise isolation compared to over-ear headphones, the P23BT headphones are well-suited and safer for casual on-the-go listening, whether walking or traveling by bus, as they allow some awareness of the surrounding environment.

Selling points
  • Foldable design
  • Multiple codecs support aptX, aptX HD, AAC and SBC codecs
  • Detachable boom microphone
  • Long battery life
  • On-ear style for situational awareness
  • Wireless and Wired modes
  • Rubber cover for charging port
  • NFC connectivity
  • Quick charging capability
  • Comfortable
  • Blinking bluetooth light
  • 90 degree earcup tilt
  • Auto power off after 5 minutes after disconnection
  • 90 degree earcup swivel
  • Audible beep when reaching max volume
  • Ultra lightweight (157 grams)
Potential deal breakers
  • No ANC
  • 2.5mm audio port onboard the earcup
  • No AAC codec support
  • No multipoint connection

The package comes with a couple of unbranded cables—an approximately 1.2-meter USB-C cable and a 2-meter boom arm mic audio cable. Additionally, you get a branded softshell zip pouch crafted from a thick neoprene-like material. The pouch features a built-in long lanyard cord and a metal zip slider with a standard zipper that isn't water-resistant. The only slight drawback is that the pouch fits the headphones snugly, leaving minimal space to carry the included cables. You can buy the SoundMAGIC P23BT from amazon.

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