Soundcore, the new audio subsidiary of Anker Electronics, has now produced a wide variety of inexpensive TWS earbuds. The Life P2 came out in 2019 and is a bit dated now, yet is still immensely popular. The Life P2i came out later on, circa early 2021, and features a smaller and lighter design in contrast to the Life P2.
The names are so similar, but are the actual products that similar? Is the newer Life P2i an upgraded improvement over the older Life P2? I’ve fully reviewed both of these earbuds and will answer those questions here in this comparison article.
Soundcore Life P2i vs Life P2 Side by Side at a Glance
Fundamentally the P2i and P2 are the same thing: a button controlled stemmed pair of wireless earbuds, and the only significant major difference between them is that the P2 is significantly larger than the P2i, and the P2 is generally quite large while the P2i is generally on the smaller and more compact side.
Soundcore Life P2i vs Life P2 Specs and Features Comparison
|Spec||Life P2i||Life P2|
|price-tier:||budget (around $30 or less)||budget (around $30 or less)|
|housing style:||stemmed, ovoid||stemmed, disc|
|earbuds battery life:||8h||7h|
|total + case battery life:||28h||40h|
|weatherproofing:||IPX5 (moisture/splash resistant)||IPX7 (waterproof, up to 3 ft for 30 min)|
|warranty:||18 months||18 months|
|active noise cancellation:||no||no|
|EQ app support:||no (but has 2 EQ pre-sets)||no|
Does the Soundcore Life P2i or Life P2 Have Better Fit and Comfort?
I was able to get a secure fit with both pairs of earbuds, and didn’t have any seal breaking issues with either of them. Despite the Life P2 being as large as it is, I actually like the feel of its fit better than that of the Life P2i – the P2 tips create a nice lock that’s a little more pressurized, whereas the P2i tips feel a little lighter and shallower.
Also good about the Life P2 is that it comes with four sets of replacement tips in different sizes and styles, while the Life P2i only comes with two sets of replacement tips, one small and one large.
Does the Soundcore Life P2i or Life P2 Have Better Controls and Usability?
The usability and the control schematic of the newer Life P2i is somewhat better than that of the older Life P2. Both have nice buttons that are reliable and have a nice feel, but the Life P2 buttons require a little more force to depress, enough to push the earbuds inward a bit which is slightly uncomfortable. The Life P2 also does not have onboard volume control whereas the Life P2i does.
The Life P2 case is somewhat bigger and heavier than the Life P2i case is, which some people might not like, but I don’t think the difference is big enough to really matter practically speaking.
Does the Soundcore Life P2i or Life P2 Have Better Isolation?
Neither product has active noise cancellation, but the Life P2 does have somewhat better natural isolation than the Life P2i does, and I think the Life P2’s firmer fit and bigger housing design is the reason for it.A note before the next section: this page describes how I evaluate the sound quality of headphones and earbuds.
Does the Soundcore Life P2i or Life P2 Sound Better?
Despite the Life P2i being newer, the Life P2 sounds noticeably better in my opinion, and great overall for the budget price-point for that matter. The Life P2 used to be more expensive, which likely explains why it sounds as relatively good as it does, but now that it’s a dated product (by TWS standards) it has been significantly discounted.
The Life P2 has nice balance that emphasizes the mids and mid highs a bit, and the result is really great clarity and detail, and an overall wide feeling soundstage with nice separation.
The Life P2i, in contrast, is bassy with recessed mids and highs, and sounds narrow, removed, and a little muffled in comparison. The Life P2i does have the “podcast” EQ alternative over the “bass” EQ, but it’s clearly not designed for music and just doesn’t sound good for that.
Soundcore has adopted this kind of bassy and fuzzy tuning style in some of their newer products which is just not that good. Some of those products are compatible with the Soundcore EQ app and can have their issues fixed, but the Life P2i is unfortunately not one of them.
Which Should You Choose Between the Soundcore Life P2i or Life P2?
Despite being older and a bit dated at this point, the Life P2 is the pretty clear better choice in my opinion – it has superior sound quality and, despite being larger, a better fit. It also has the full IPX7 waterproofing which is a nice feature to have. The only real downside of the Life P2 is that it doesn’t have onboard volume control while the Life P2i does, but I take better sound quality and fit over that any day, no question.
Before the Life P2’s discounts I feel like the choice would have been close between the two, but, now that they can be found for roughly the same inexpensive price, I think the Life P2 is better.
Get the Life P2 on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the Life P2i on Amazon (affiliate link)