Soundcore, the new audio subsidiary of Anker Electronics, has released a wide variety of budget true wireless earbuds over the last few years and has established itself as a competitor in the niche.
The A20i and P20i were both released recently in the spring of 2023 and they have both quickly become very popular. In fact, as of the time of this writing/update, my individual reviews of each are two of the most popular articles on this entire site.
Given their seemingly explosive popularity, a comparison of the two is definitely in order: how are they different? Is one decidedly better than the other? I’m going to answer those questions in this full Soundcore a20i vs p20i comparison.
Soundcore A20i vs P20i Side by Side at a Glance
Soundcore A20i vs P20i Specs and Features Comparison
|release date||Apr 2023||May 2023|
|price-tier ⓘbudget: around $30 or less
value: around $30-$60
performance: around $60-$100
premium: around $100-$200
elite: more than $200
|housing style||non stemmed, circular||stemmed, ovoid|
|driver style||single 6mm dynamic||single 10mm dynamic|
|earbuds battery life||9h||10h|
|total + case battery life||28h||30h|
|onboard controls||touch based||touch based|
|warranty||18 months||18 months|
|active noise cancellation:||no||no|
|EQ app compatibility||only pre-sets||only pre-sets|
Spec and usability wise the A20i and P20i are basically the same. The only real notable differences between the two are the housing/design style and the driver size. Smaller 6mm drivers generally do a better job with detail while larger 10mm drivers generally do a better job with range and bass extension.
Does the Soundcore A20i or P20i Have Better Fit and Comfort?
The P20i has a better fit that’s both more secure and comfortable, and this is unusual in my experience with stemmed vs non-stemmed earbuds.
But the reason for that here, I think, is that the tips included with the P20i are better. The A20i has tips with a kind of weird matte finish that feels rough and thin, while the P20i has tips that are more sheen and gummy-ish (for lack of a better descriptor) that stick and seal to the skin of the ear noticeably better.
I actually wanted to try putting the P20i tips onto the A20i, but the A20i nozzles are slightly smaller than those of the P20i. The seal of the A20i also breaks a little if I smile wide enough while the P20i’s does not.
Does the Soundcore A20i or P20i have better Isolation?
Despite the not-as-good feeling fit, the A20i seems to have slightly better isolation than the P20i does that’s overall pretty decent for the budget tier price-point. larger, more contoured, and non stemmed earbuds generally do a better job with isolation than stemmed ovoid earbuds do.A note before the next section: this page describes how I evaluate the sound quality of headphones and earbuds.
Does the Soundcore A20i or P20i Sound Better?
I think the A20i sounds noticeably better than the P20i does, and If I had to guess why it’s because of the A20i’s smaller 6mm drivers. Single 10mm drivers can give nicely powerful and extended bass, but they can’t quite tighten up and give proper accuracy and clarity with the mids and highs.
The current out of the box Soundcore tuning is already very bassy, and I ended up deciding the “Treble Enhancer” pre-set in the Soundcore App made both the P20i and A20i sound their best. Switching to that pre-set with the A20i made the recessed mids and highs with lack of detail really come to life and resulted in an overall nicely balanced and decent sound. But with the P20i, the mids and highs just sounded kind of thin, hollow, and sibilant, and the accuracy was noticeably off.
Out of the box, with the default “Soundcore Signature” pre-set, I’d say the P20i might actually sound a little better than the A20i does with that same default pre-set. But with the best pre-set (in my opinion at least) the A20i still sounded noticeably better than the P20i did with the default pre-set.
Which Should You Choose Between the Soundcore A20i or P20i?
Overall, I’d say the A20i is slightly better than the P20i – it has better all around sound (with the right pre-set from the Soundcore app), slightly better isolation, and slightly better touch control usability with the larger backs.
My only real complaint with the A20i is that the included tips are cheap feeling and bad, and inexplicably so because the P20i tips are much better. As a result the fit of the A20i is a little worse, but I choose balanced sound quality over perfect fit every time. People who want a bassyer earbud might prefer the P20i though, especially if they don’t want to deal with any apps.
Get the Soundcore A20i on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the Soundcore P20i on Amazon (affiliate link)