These $50 earbuds made me ditch my Airpods for good

I won't be going back.

Three years of daily wear and tear recently took their toll on my (super expensive) wireless earbuds. Faced with the reality of my limited savings, repair wasn’t really an option. So, I embarked on a mission to find a budget-friendly yet reliable replacement, determined to prove there was life (and good sound) beyond the high-priced options.

Enter the Anker Soundcore Life P2 mini true wireless earbuds. With almost 25,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, these sleek-looking Bluetooth earbuds immediately caught my attention. Selling for just $49.99, I was sceptical, however the positive reviews for sound quality and long battery life sparked my curiosity. But could they live up to the hype? I made it my mission to find out!

The product

Anker Soundcore Life P2 Mini True wireless earbuds

Designed to revolutionise your listening experience without breaking the bank, these ultra-light earbuds pack a punch when it comes to crystal-clear sound. With an emphasis on cutting-edge technology and user-friendly design, they are crafted to deliver exceptional sound quality, comfort and convenience.

Price: $49.99 at Amazon

Key features:

  • Advanced noise cancellation
  • Eight hours of playtime on a single charge
  • Oversized triple-layer 10mm drivers that deliver sound with boosted bass
  • They weigh 4.4g, which is 10 per cent lighter than standard earbuds
  • Built-in microphones are equipped with an AI algorithm to enhance voice pick up and ensure you’re heard clearly
  • Three EQ Modes: Soundcore Signature for well-balanced sound; Bass Booster for enhanced bass-heavy music; and Podcast to make voices stand out clearly
  • Equipped with latest Bluetooth technology
  • Compact case with 32 hours of power
Anker Soundcore Earbuds In Black & White
(Credit: Amazon)

First impressions

Right off the bat, I was impressed by the mere look of them. While the earbuds are available in multiple colours, I opted for the white, which I would describe as more of a trendy beige. Lightweight and airy in my hands, they came complete with a charger, a charging case, a manual and a variety of different sized removable ear tips. Pairing them to my iPhone was easy, and now they connect instantly whenever I pop them in my ears – no more fumbling with Bluetooth settings – hooray!

The sound

The noise cancellation feature is impressive. Unlike some other headphones and earbuds I’ve tried, these ones excel at blocking out background noise, allowing me to focus more easily. I primarily use them during my daily commute, where they effortlessly drown out the chaos of chatty commuters and general train shenanigans (if you know, you know…)

However, I do find the bass to be a bit overwhelming at times. Thankfully, there are three EQ modes available (Soundcore Signature for balanced sound, Bass Booster for enhanced bass-heavy music, and Podcast for clearer voices), providing flexibility to tailor the sound to your preferences. If one setting doesn’t quite hit the mark, simply switching to another quickly resolves the issue.

The feel

I think I’ve got somewhat abnormal ears – call it paranoia, but I feel like my ear canals are different sizes and I’m always worried my earbuds will make a run for it. So, I tend to shove them in with gusto, which, as you can imagine, can lead to some discomfort.

Luckily, these earbuds come with a huge range of different-sized tips to choose from. After a bit of trial and error (and maybe some mild ear yoga), I eventually found the perfect fit for each ear – and they haven’t budged since. They feel comfortable, snug and secure, so much so that I’ve actually forgotten I had them in a few times.

The features

The features are surprisingly impressive for the price tag. Sure, they might not have all the bells and whistles of some super expensive headphones, but they sure do get the job done.

As mentioned, the noise cancellation is top-notch and the three different EQ modes for different sounds are easy to use. Simply tap the right earbud three times to cycle through the options – each successful switch is confirmed by a tone.

The built-in mics with AI noise reduction are another win. My friend even commented on how clear my voice sounded during a call. Plus, the intuitive touch controls on each earbud allow for easy playback control (play/pause, skip tracks), call management (answer/end) and more. Just make sure to refer to the manual for all the functions and their corresponding tap/hold sequences.

The battery life

The battery life of the Soundcore Life P2 mini earbuds is a definite perk. Anker advertises a solid eight hours of playtime on a single charge, which proved true in my experience. Whether I’m lost in a world of podcasts or jamming to some tunes, the earbuds definitely deliver on that promise.

I did notice the battery drained quicker when I was using the earbuds for a call. Upon doing some research, I found this is because calls require more power for microphone usage and voice processing. While the difference shouldn’t be drastic, it’s something to keep in mind if you spend a significant amount of time on phone calls.

The charging case is the real star of the show though – it holds an additional 32 hours of power, which means you can recharge the earbuds multiple times before needing to connect to a power source.

The final verdict

Let’s be honest, when it comes to tech, sometimes you get burned. You take a gamble on a budget option, only to end up with a product that just doesn’t impress. Thankfully, the Anker Soundcore Life P2 mini earbuds are not that product.

I had honestly half expected a cheap-feel pair of earbuds with bad audio quality or faulty connection issues, but I’m certainly happy to be proven wrong. They might not be the fanciest pair on the market, but they look sleek, sound fantastic and most importantly, they get the job done. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters to me.

Where to buy

You can buy your own pair of Anker Soundcore Life P2 mini true wireless earbuds for $49.99 on Amazon.

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