The Soundcore Life P2 buds are comfortable to wear, look appropriate for most environments, and sound good for the most part
- Laid-back sound
- Comfortable fit
- Solid controls
- Uninspired design
- Average sound detail
- Large case
- IPX7 rating
- 40hr battery life
- Bluetooth 5.0
Anker is a brand that made its name in the wilderness of the Amazon store. Producing batteries, Bluetooth speakers and more, it has slowly broadened its product range – and name recognition – over the years, and is now known for delivering quality products at affordable prices.
The company’s experience in the TWS game isn’t vast, but then only very few manufacturers were producing buds until more recently. Anker’s focus up until now has been towards the relatively high-end, with its Liberty range of products. The hope then is that some of this expertise has trickled down to benefit its more modest offerings. The Soundcore Life P2 sit below this range, retailing for around £49.99.
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Design – Doesn’t push the boat out
The first obvious point to make regarding the Soundcore Life P2 is regarding design, or rather the lack thereof. These are shameless AirPod clones, looking like a prototype version, and a little unfinished.
Aside from a well-known shape, then, they benefit from greater room for internals than some buds, and they’re comfortable. Coming solely in grey, with bronze accents, they certainly don’t draw too much attention. As such, they’ll fit in at the office as well as on the commute.
Their case is a little large, by necessity to some degree since the buds are long. It contains a battery that can offer around five full recharges according to the manufacturer. Charging is via USB-C, which is very much appreciated. When opened, the Life P2 buds will automatically pair with one another, and with the last Bluetooth device they were connected to – and we found this worked seamlessly every time.
On each bud is a physical button – which isn’t as sexy as a touch interface, but it offers excellent reliability. It makes changing things on the fly a little easier with the added haptic feedback.
Sound – Good enough for the commute
When it comes to sound, the picture remains mostly positive. These buds offer a laid-back listen that pairs well with an early morning commute. Across the board, bass has punch and a little energy, plus there’s some detail. Trebles lack sparkle but have good clarity, and there’s a reasonable soundstage once both buds are securely fitted.
George Harrison’s delicate flitting guitar on Here Comes the Sun is warm and delicate, while tracks with plenty of bass energy, such as The White Stripes Seven Nation Army are appropriately exciting. Bassheads looking to rock out in the early morning, or runners looking for powerful beats may wish to consider other options more focused to their specific needs.
Aimed as these are at office workers as well as commuters, much of the marketing blurb produced by Anker focuses on the array of microphones built into the device, promising sparkling call quality. For the most part, call quality is indeed acceptable indoors – with a steady Bluetooth connection throughout.
Callers on the other end were aware that the call was being taken over an accessory – which isn’t necessarily a positive – and we found that movement into a slightly noisier environment, such as outside, rendered the earbuds useless for taking calls.
This said, the seal achieved with the right size of silicon tips (a selection is included in the retail package) is good enough that the worst excesses of a noisy street were reduced almost completely without resorting to turning up the volume too high.
From a price perspective, these buds are aimed at first-time upgraders who are looking for something a little fancier than the buds supplied with their smartphone – or than the sea of me-too options available for under £15.
Should you buy the Anker Soundcore Life P2?
On these merits, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 are certainly a success, even if they aren’t the most refined product in any particular category. They’re comfortable to wear, look appropriate for most environments, sound good for the most part – working particularly well for podcasts – and offer a seamless pairing experience. That they’re all-rounders is both their biggest strength, and their biggest weakness.
Anker’s marketing claims here, as ever with Amazon sellers, are exceptionally bold. The fact that the Soundcore Life P2 buds prove to be so competent is therefore a pleasant surprise. As such, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 earn our solid recommendation.