The Life P3 is the next generation of the Life P2, which is still a quite popular and, in my opinion, very good sounding (reviewed here) pair of wireless earbuds.
The Life P3 is designed in the same spirit of the Life P2, but adds a variety of modern features including EQ app compatibility and active noise cancellation. So, is it a worthwhile improvement over the Life P2? And how does it fare in the increasingly competitive performance price-tier? Let’s dive in.
Soundcore Life P3 Specs and Features
Released: Apr, 2021
Price-pointⓘbudget: around $30 or less
value: around $30-$60
performance: around $60-$100
premium: around $100-$200
elite more than $200: Performance
Design style: stemmed ovoid, single 11mm dynamic drivers
Purported battery life: 10h earbuds; 50h total with case recharges
Bluetooth version: 5.2
EQ app compatibility: Yes
Noise cancellation/transparency modes: Yes
Onboard controls: Touch based
Warranty: 18 months
Multi-Device support: No
Rapid Recharge: Yes
Soundcore Life P3 Charging Case
The case is nicely light and compact despite the Life P3 earbuds being quite large, and the case also has a nice pocket friendly shape. The lid feels a little flimsy and has some inward give with a little squeezing force, but overall I’d say the case is decent enough for the Life P3’s price-point.
Fit and Comfort
The Life P3 fit is on the shallow side, as tends to be the case with uncontoured ovoid stemmed earbuds, and while I normally go for medium sized tips, I couldn’t really get them into my ears comfortably enough. So, I opted for the largest tips, and those sat more flush on the outer concha. With those tips, I was able to get a comfortable and secure fit, and the seal didn’t break at all no matter how I moved my head, face, or jaw around. The Soundcore App also has a seal test to confirm that you have a proper fit:
Be aware: the fit/seal test is loud and there’s no way to turn it down apparently.
The natural isolation of the Life P3 is OK but not great, as tends to be the case with shallower fitting ovoid earbuds. However, the ANC is very good and, with it on, the overall noise attenuation of the Life P3 is great for the price – not quite as good as the best available in 2023, but pretty close. The Life P3 also has three different ANC modes, “transport,” “indoor,” and “outdoor,” that ostensibly specialize at minimizing different types of external noise. I’m not a huge fan of this concept and would rather just see a strong overall ANC profile, or something that simply auto adjusts like some of the other Soundcore earbuds do.
The Life P3 has six onboard touch control commands, and while the default control schematic is pretty nonsensical (the single tap volume adjust is disabled for some reason), you can map the commands to any function that you’d need with the Soundcore app.
The touch controls feel responsive and reliable, despite the stemmed backs being small, and I was able to execute commands consistently. My only criticism is that there’s no triple tap command, which could give two extra function slots. It’s strange – some Soundcore earbuds do have a triple tap command and no touch and hold command, and vice versa, and I wonder why they won’t just add both to all of their TWS products.
How to Pair the Soundcore Life P3 Earbuds
Pairing the Soundcore Life P3 was easy and straightforward – they automatically enter pairing mode when you open the lid, after the initial charge. Simply select “Soundcore Life P3” from the menu and you’re good to go. You can manually enter pairing mode by putting the buds in the case and holding down the middle button for a few seconds.A note before the next section: this page describes how I evaluate the sound quality of headphones and earbuds.
The Important Question: Does The Life P3 Sound Good?
I was definitely interested to see how the Life P3 compared to the older generation P2, which sounds very good even still by 2023 standards. The Life P2 also doesn’t have the tuning issues that all of the more recent Soundcore earbuds seem to have. And, this unfortunately includes the Life P3 – the default “Soundcore Signature” pre-set tuning is just not good – it’s bassy and the mids and highs are recessed to the point where everything sounds muffled.
The Life P3 is compatible with the Soundcore App and you can choose one of the many different EQ pre-sets or make your own custom EQ, so in I went to see what I could do with these earbuds:
I’ve gone through this process with Soundcore earbuds several times now, and what I settle on with each is a little different and unique, but mostly follows the same pattern: Bump up the treble to achieve proper balance, take some off the mids to solve any tone issues, and in some cases bump the low bass up as well to preserve balance.
So how does the Life P3 sound after EQ optimization? Well, they sound decent, but not amazing. The detail and separation is not quite there and the sound is kind of loose and a little caved in. I couldn’t get the balance quite right, and there’s a little bit of sibilance and boxyness that I couldn’t totally get rid of. I think the limitation is that larger 11mm drivers just can’t achieve that really tight and crispy detail in the trebles.
But the trade off you get with those large drivers is that the Life P3 are bass cannons. The bass extension is excellent – even with the low bass tapered off with EQ, the drops I normally test seemed to actually jump in as they went down which is not a sensation that is common. The bass is still a little loose but the tone is decent.
The Life P3’s sound quality is decent with some EQ work, but it’s just not up there with the best at the performance tier price-point, and the Life P3 neither really offers anything uniquely good that makes it stand out either. I think these earbuds are fine, and some people who really want loose bass cannons might really like them, but the competition is getting increasingly stiff by the day, and overall I’d say there are just better options out there, and some of them are less expensive too.
Get the Life P3 wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)
For those who are curious how the Life P3 fares against similar and popular competitors: