Best budget earbuds to make calls on
Soundcore Life P2 Earbuds
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I’ve owned the Soundcore Life P2 earbuds for just over a month, the perfect time for a review. The reason I got them was that I was looking to get the best budget earbuds to make calls on. In particular, when I go for walks. I can make a call without having wires trailing around and no need to hold my phone.
I previously tried wired headphones with a mic built-in. However, it always was rubbing against my clothing so it didn’t work very well.
There are a few different earbuds in the same price range as the Soundcore Life P2 which is around £40-50. As my first venture into Bluetooth headphones, I didn’t want to go much higher than £50. I find Bluetooth is getting a lot better, but it isn’t quite perfect yet. I still think you can get a better sound with wired. The convenience of no wires though was what made me want to try them. Regarding the other brands, there are quite a few to choose from. The immediate alternatives were the Tozo T6, which I’ve bought phone cases from that brand before. But I didn’t really think Tozo had expertise in earbuds. Amazon themselves also do one under the brand UMI I believe.
Introducing the Soundcore Life P2
Before buying, I read loads of reviews and there are so many different earbuds in this price range it’s very competitive. however, the main reason I went with the Soundcore Life P2 earbuds is for a few reasons. Firstly these had four microphones in them to help with noise reduction when you’re talking which will help make the voice nice and clear for the phone call – which is my main purpose. The second thing is Soundcore is a sister company of Anker that deals with batteries and battery packs. They’ve been around for a long time and they’re rated very well. Outside of sound quality, the second most important thing is a long-lasting battery and so far, these have lasted pretty well.
It’s worth noting that Anchor / Soundcore has released a more premium product recently and they’ve got loads of producers to sign off on it so it does seem that they are investing a lot of money in trying to get their headphones top-notch. It’s the right direction and I thought they’re quite a nice company to get involved with and make a purchase from.
Life P2 Specification
Spec-wise, the Life P2’s will handle 40 hours of playtime. A 10-minute charge will give one hour of playtime and it’s also waterproof IPX7.
The Life P2 earphones have a “superior sound” via graphene drivers (their words not mine) and feature one-step pairing.
Inside the box, they provide different size earbuds and a USB-C charging cable that charges via the case of the earbuds.
The packaging has some plastic, but overall is fairly minimal packaging which is good to see. On the downside, the extra earpieces come attached to a tray that sits in the box rather than a pouch that could have been easier kept outside of the packaging.
First impressions are that the case feels very plasticky and it feels like it could break, in particular the lid. Otherwise, it’s reasonably lightweight, has a useful charging light, and the USB port is found on the back of the case.
Next, let’s talk about microphones. I’ve already mentioned they have four microphones and noise reduction, to hear what they sound like I’ve recorded an example in the below video.
I’ve taken several long calls since owning these earbuds and they’ve worked well. Some calls were over two hours long. Indoors I’ve had no problems at all, takes maybe 5-10 seconds to sync from taking outside of the case. I’ve also gone for walks outside while taking calls of an hour or so and generally all good.
I had one situation where it was very windy and raining. Unfortunately, the wind noise in the earbuds was just so much I had to take them out. What you’ll find is if you’re on a phone call, when you’re holding the phone up against your ear you’re creating a little bit of a shelter from that microphone so you get less wind noise. When using earbuds, they’re up higher and unsheltered so they’re more exposed to the elements. On this windy occasion, my friend reported they couldn’t hear me over the wind noise, so I had to revert back to the phone handheld.
Design and Practicality
Design-wise I think these look nice enough, and the long stem helps for calls. I would have liked the case to have been a bit smaller, however, if it is at the compromise of battery life, I’d rather keep it how it is.
As for taking the earbuds out of the case, I found this quite hard to do initially. Due to their smooth round design, which looks nice, but leaves nothing easy to grab on to. That said, once you get them out of the case, a light immediately comes on and you hear a message when putting in the ear to know they have turned on.
Control-wise, you can play and stop music, you can skip tracks and you can also answer and hang up on calls. What you can’t do though is adjust the volume. A little bit of a shame, but it’s not the end of the world.
The controls work well for if I’m having a call, I put it in my ear and answer by tapping the earpiece once, job done. Equally, if you need to stop the music, you just need to remember which side starts and which side stops. But that’s it, nothing complicated, and I think that’s fairly standard for most earbuds so overall it’s been a nice experience.
Battery life is doing really well. I haven’t done any rigorous testing on the battery life. I generally will charge it up once a week and it’s never run out on me so far.
I’ve got the earbuds in, let’s have a listen to some music and see what they sound like.
Track one “Calling Elvis” by Dire Straits – Guitars coming through, nice. Cymbals are okay, Vocals are nice and clear. Bass, maybe this is not the best track for bass.
let’s pick something a little bit newer, Liam Gallagher’s “All you’re Dreaming of “, I don’t know if there’s an effect on the vocals but this track doesn’t sound very nice on these earbuds.
“California Soil” by London Grammar doesn’t sound bad at all. What I noticed is the bass was fairly low in volume. When I pushed these a little bit further in my ear, all of a sudden the bass really come alive. There is nice sound separation. You kind of get decent separation in headphones anyway more so than speakers, but all in all it sounds nice. The high-ends aren’t super crisp but I think that might be more down to Bluetooth. Could also be Spotify due to it not Streaming in super high resolution.
Very nice listening experience, they’re not premium, for example, if I had spent £50 on just
standard wired headphones then I’d probably get slightly better sound. But these are pretty good and they do
the job, I’d be happy to listen to music on these and I have been on them.
So conclusion, would I recommend the Soundcore Life P2 earbuds? Yes, I certainly would do. For the price, they’re really good, waterproof, great for calls, good for music, not the best but certainly not the worst. I’ve purchased my fair share of £5, £10, £20 headphones and they’ve been pretty awful sounding. These are far from awful, they’re actually really nice, I’m happy to listen to music on them especially for the benefits of wireless at a price tag of under £50.
If you want your first wireless earbuds, or, are on a budget the Soundcore Life P2’s are definitely worth it. But their price range also makes them a great Christmas gift.