Soundcore Life P2 Mini Budget In-Ear Headphones for $39.99 at Amazon
With the Soundcore Life P2 Mini, ANKER has surprisingly launched a new edition of the popular Soundcore Life P2 in a compact format. Do we have the new top budget model for around 40$ here?
|Name||Soundcore Life P2 Mini||Anker Soundcore Life P2|
|Driver||10 mm dynamic driver (diamond coated)||6 mm dynamic driver (Graphene coated)|
|Impedance||16 Ω||16 Ω|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.2||Bluetooth 5|
|Battery capacity||8 hours runtime; 32 hours with box||55 mAh per handset; 700 mAh in charging box|
|Weight||4.6 g per handset; – g battery box||4 g per handset; 62 g with battery box|
|Dimensions||–||~54 × 60 × 24 mm; 17 x 12 x 6 mm|
|IP protection class||IPX5||IPX7|
|Bluetooth-Profil||AVRCP1.6, A2DP1.3, HFP1.7||AVRCP1.6, A2DP1.3, HFP1.7|
|Audio codec||SBC, AAC||SBC, AAC, aptX|
What’s in the packaging
As budget headphones, the Soundcore Life P2 Mini are packaged accordingly. The small box contains a plastic insert, in which you can find the headphones including charging box, USB-C charging cable, manual, and five pairs (!) of ear pads. A lush selection for headphones in this price range.
Compact “AirPods Pro” design.
While the Soundcore Life P2 and P3 earpieces are more comparable to Apple’s AirPods in terms of size, the Soundcore Life P2 Mini come with shorter rods, which makes the earpieces more comparable to the AirPods Pro. We also know similar earpiece sizes from the Huawei Freebuds Pro or the Xiaomi FlipBuds Pro, for example.
For that the rods have become shorter, the body has become larger. No wonder, Soundcore has finally installed a much larger driver than in the normal Soundcore Life P2.
Like its predecessor, the Soundcore Life P2 Mini is only available in black. Again, this is not unusual for a budget in-ear, as less choice lowers production costs.
Personally, I like the design a lot. Compared to the Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 Basic, for example, the Life P2 Mini is a lot more compact and thus only slightly noticeable in the ear despite the stick design.
The charging cradle looks a bit chunky in relation to its height and width, but it is normally thick at 31 mm and fits well in my pants pockets at least. What I like is that the folding mechanism snaps into place when you open the charging cradle.
In terms of workmanship and material, Soundcore relies on a lightweight plastic for this model. However, the earpieces do not look cheap, but are well-made without any objections.
Sound of the Soundcore Life P2 Mini
Inside the Soundcore Life P2 Mini works a dynamic driver with a membrane diameter of proud 10 mm. Thus, this is a whole 4 mm larger, so in the normal Soundcore Life P2, without Mini.
Soundcore promises up to 50% more bass, but does not reveal where this value comes from, typical marketing move. But since the bass strength is also related to the size of the membrane and this is very large here, for an in-ear at half in-ear would be the whole even quite normal, I can imagine that Soundcore also delivers here.
In the test, I quite like the sound of the Soundcore Life P2 Mini. The headphones definitely deliver in the bass and sub-bass range. If you liked the sound profile of the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones during the “hype times”, you will also like the Soundcore Life P2 Mini.
I also like the sound of the headphones in the frequency range of voices. In my opinion, these are the right headphones for you if you like bass-heavy music in combination with vocals or rap. Here, the headphones show their strengths and are also audibly tuned by Soundcore for this music.
For other music genres, such as live music or general recordings of a band, the frequency range here is naturally smaller overall than, for example, the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro. Overall, however, the budget headphones are perfectly adequate for Spotify & other streaming services without HiFi quality. I am sure that over 90% of music listeners will not need more and will be satisfied with the sound.
Unfortunately without aptX
While the Soundcore Life P2 is equipped with the popular aptX codec, you have to do without it in the mini version. Only the AAC and SBC codec are implemented as standard here.
Does it make the sound significantly worse now? In the test, I am of the opinion that it does not. Since the headphones are a budget model anyway, the codec can’t change too much about the “vibrating qualities” of the diaphragm in the Life P2s either.
What is a point where it’s a shame that the aptX codec got kicked out, though, is video streaming. Due to the higher latencies of the AAC codec in Android phones, the offset between picture and sound can be larger depending on the device. However, it was alright in the test with the OnePlus 8T. iPhone users did not have any problems with the offset between picture and sound in video streaming.
Soundcore Life P2 Mini vs. Earfun Free 2
Attentive China Gadgets readers know that we like to recommend the Earfun Free 2 for a budget of around 30€. In contrast to the Life P2 Mini, the headphones are equipped with a Bluetooth chip from Qualcomm with aptX-Adaptive. The chip also supports a low-latency mode, which reduces the latency to about 60 milliseconds at the expense of the audio quality. However, this is ideal for video streaming, especially if you are an Android user.
Sound-wise, there is not that much difference between the two headphones. However, I have the feeling that the Earfun Free 2 is the slightly better all-rounder.
For example, the Soundcore Life P2 Mini is extremely good in certain frequency spectrums (bass and vocals), while the Earfun headphones cover a slightly larger frequency range overall, but are explicitly a bit worse in the bass and vocal ranges.
Therefore, I would recommend the Soundcore Life P2 Mini to a person who likes to listen to bass-heavy music, such as electronic sounds or rap and hip-hop, where voices are added to the “fat beats”. I would recommend the Earfun Free 2 as an all-rounder more to the “general public” who may prefer charts, pop and other music genres.
For those who know they want to stream videos regularly with their Android phones, the Earfun Free 2 headphones are the in-ear with the lower latency.
When it comes to microphones, Soundcore does a good job from experience. The headset of the Soundcore Life P2 Mini is improved by AI microphones. However, “only” two microphones are installed here instead of three in more expensive models.
Thus, the Soundcore Life P2 Mini’s headset is solid, but not on Soundcore’s top level and certainly not comparable with the headset of the AirPods, for example.
You can certainly make a phone call in closed rooms or in the car, but the noise suppression fails quite quickly when the ambient noise is too strong. Thus, I can only recommend the headset for short, private calls, but for longer calls or business calls, I would rather go for the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro or at least Life P3.
Really good wearing comfort
As mentioned at the beginning, Soundcore supplies five pairs of ear cushions here, so there should be something for everyone. The earpieces are quite light at 4 g and sit very well in my ears despite the stick design.
Thus, the Soundcore Life P2 Mini provides a pleasant wearing comfort and does not become uncomfortable even after a longer wearing time. Even walking or running is no problem with the headphones, at least in my case.
No Soundcore app integration but EQ modes
While Soundcore has now given the new Life P3 an integration into the Soundcore app, the Soundcore Life P2 and P2 Mini still have to do without. For example, it is not possible to install software updates or customize the operation via app with these headphones.
After all, Soundcore has given the headphones three equalizer modes without app integration. It has the “Soundcore Signature EQ” – the standard setting of all Soundcore headphones, a podcast mode, which emphasizes voices and a bass boost mode, which amplifies the already rich bass even more!
Furthermore, Soundcore now incorporates touch sensors instead of push buttons here as well. It seems that the Soundcore Life P2 will be the last model with mechanical push buttons.
|Gesture:||Touch 2x||Touch 3x||Hold 2 sec|
|Right handset||Play/Pause; Answer call||Switch EQ mode||next title; reject/end call|
|Left handset||Play/Pause; Answer call||Launch voice assistant||previous title; reject/end call|
Compared to the Earfun Free 2, the Soundcore Life P2 Mini unfortunately does not support volume adjustment. I would have liked to see another “1x touch” gesture for this. However, the functions that the headphones support were performed reliably in the test, as expected.
The Soundcore Life P2 Mini is equipped with a Bluetooth 5.2 module. This provides a considerable range and connection stability on an abslutely top level in the test. In open spaces, I was able to achieve a stable connection at a distance of about 20 meters in the test.
It is correspondingly less in closed rooms. Here, it mainly depends on the type of obstacles. With rather permeable plasterboard walls, like the ones in our office, the Bluetooth connection can even bridge several rooms, but with solid reinforced concrete walls it’s a different story.
Within a room, the connection remains stable in any case and the headphones are also suitable for jogging or other sports. The headphones can also be used individually in mono mode. You just have to take the left or right earpiece out of the charging cradle, a separate pairing is not necessary.
Up to 8 hours of playtime
As usual for Soundcore, you benefit from ANKER’s core expertise when it comes to battery life. With up to 8 hours of playtime, even the comparatively inexpensive Soundcore Life P2 Mini play right at the top. A quick-charge function, which is supposed to provide up to 60 minutes of runtime by charging for 5 minutes, is also implemented.
I could reproduce the manufacturer’s claim of 8 hours at a music volume of 50%. At a more realistic use with mixed volume of 50-70%, 6.5-7 hours are still feasible. The recharging process takes about 1.5 hours in the test.
Conclusion: Buy the Soundcore Life P2 Mini?
With the Soundcore Life P2 Mini, the manufacturer remains active in the budget sector. Especially since the Soundcore Life P3 turns out to be considerably more expensive than its predecessor, I’m glad that there is a cheaper upgrade version with the Life P2 Mini.
Apart from touch sensors, a smaller design and larger dynamic drivers, this one does not offer a big upgrade. In addition, there is unfortunately no aptX codec here anymore.
However, the wireless in-ear does quite a bit right in terms of sound, especially in the bass and sub-bass range, and it also reproduces voices very well. Compared to the Earfun Free 2, it offers a better sound in these areas, but overall, the stage of the Earfun Free 2 seems a bit bigger to me.
For its price of around €30, however, I don’t think you can go too far wrong here. If you use a streaming service like Spotify and like “fat bass”, you will get a product that makes listening to music fun.
- Extensive ear cushion selection
- Compact design
- Rich low frequency response
- 3 EQ modes
- Top wearing comfort thanks to lightweight earpieces
- Battery life at top level
- no aptX codec
- no volume adjustment
- tuning not optimal for every music taste
However, if you watch a lot of videos on your phone, you would be better off with the Earfun Free 2 with aptX Adaptive and low-latency mode.To the gadget