The T13 and Life P2i are both stemmed earbuds with a small and light housing. They both look pretty similar to the quintessential AirPods but are both a small fraction of its price. But don’t assume there only a small fraction as good – true wireless earbuds have majorly improved in just the last few years, and many budget models have impressively good sound quality that belies their inexpensive price.
QCY and Soundcore, despite being lesser known audio companies in the mainstream, have produced earbuds that have become quite popular, including the T13 and P2i. Given how similar they look, do they actually have differences? and is one better than the other? I have fully reviewed both of them, and intend to answer those questions in this comparison article.
QCY T13 vs Soundcore Life P2i Side by Side at a Glance
What Are the Main Differences Between the QCY T13 and Soundcore Life P2i?
Onboard Controls – the T13 has purely tactile touch controls, while the P2i has pressable buttons which now in 2023 is far less common, but still something that some people prefer. The P2i buttons are very good, with emphatically feelable clicks and not needing excessive force to depress.
Isolation – neither has particularly great noise isolation, but the P2i’s is marginally better than the T13’s.
Battery Life – both the T13 and P2i earbuds purportedly hold an 8 hour charge, but the T13 case can purportedly hold one more recharge than the P2i case, giving the T13 somewhat more total battery life.
Case – the P2i case is rounded all around and slightly smaller, making it a little more pocket friendly.
EQ Presets – the P2i has two “bass” and “podcast” modes you can switch between (but no balanced preset interestingly), while the T13 does not have built in EQ presets.
Bluetooth – the P2i has Bluetooth v5.2 while the T13 has the now somewhat dated v5.1. This isn’t going to realistically effect sound quality, but v5.2 does improve signal range among a few other utilitarian things.
Warranty – the T13 has a fairly standard one year warranty but the P2i has a somewhat better 18 month warranty.
Does the QCY T13 or the Soundcore Life P2i Have Better Fit and Comfort?
Both the T13 and P2i fit decently for stemmed earbuds, which in my experience are more prone to fit and comfort issues. The P2i is a little heavier and bulkier and has a slightly more secure fit that doesn’t seem to compromise at all no matter how I move my face around. The T13 has a lighter and shallower fit, and the seal breaks a little bit causing bass recession if I smile wide enough. I wouldn’t say the latter is too big of a deal though.
Does the QCY T13 or the Soundcore Life P2i Sound Better?
I think the QCY T13, which overall has very good sound for its price point, sounds noticeably better than the P2i.
The P2i follows a more common U style curve and, befitting its eponymous “bass” EQ mode, has very emphasized bass that is forward, a little muddy, and drowns out the rest somewhat. A more neutral/balanced EQ preset could be superior, but the alternative “podcast” mode has very recessed bass and a noticeably thin and boxy sensation. The P2i sounds fine, don’t get me wrong, but not best in class.
The T13 on the other hand has a much less common warm style curve with slightly emphasized bass, but manages to pull it off well, with decent accuracy and clarity in the mids. The first thing that immediately jumped out when I switched to it from the P2i is that cymbal taps sounded noticeably better. The T13 aims for a sound that’s super easy to listen to for extended casual use (which isn’t necessarily better though) and does a great job at doing that in a way that most other budget earbuds do not.
Which Should You Choose Between the QCY T13 or Soundcore Life P2i?
Overall I’d say the T13 is the superior choice – it has noticeably better all around sound quality than the P2i does, and the P2i doesn’t offer enough other superior features or traits to make up for the difference in my opinion. The T13 is also happens to be a bit cheaper.
If you really want a bassy earbud though, or you really want pressable buttons – and the P2i does do a great job with button based controls that are easy to use – then either of those are perfectly good reasons to go with the P2i instead, which again is still overall a solidly decent product.
Get the QCY T13 on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the Soundcore Life P2i on Amazon (affiliate link)