Current testing methodology is v1.2
May 7, 2023
2.24 x 2.05 x 1.1 in
In a world where everything is progressing with technology, I’ve always been intrigued with how TWS Earphones work and if they’ll have the same performance as wired ones soon enough.
So, I’ve decided to try the Soundcore P20i to see if it’s good enough to satisfy our listening needs. This pair of TWS earbuds are by Soundcore, which is an independent sub-brand of Anker – a consumer electronics brand known for manufacturing audio gear, as well as chargers, power banks, charging cables, and so much more.
In some countries, the R50i is advertised as P20i. I tried researching for a reason behind this but I’ve found no threads or discussions. So if you come across the Soundcore R50i in some e-commerce platforms, it’s basically the same product as the Soundcore P20i – just with a different name.
Anyway, let’s get to the review!
Anker Soundcore P20i
Customizable listening experience for under $30
The Soundcore P20i is a pair of True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds from Soundcore, which is an independent brand launched by Anker. It retails for less than $30, and I’d say that it performs decently enough for its price.
It has a dark sound signature due to its highs overpowered by the lows. But different equalizer tunings are available within the Soundcore App, which makes the P20i still a good option for people with other preferences.
- Drivers: 10mm Driver
- Frequency: 10 – 20,000Hz
- Sensitivity: 92db
- Connection: Bluetooth 5.3
- Distance: About 10m (Barrier Free)
- Active Noise Cancellation: No
- Waterproof: IPX5 Water-Resistant (Only for the Earbuds and not for the Charging Case)
- Microphone: Dual Microphone (with Electronic Noise Cancelling)
- Control button: Touch Sensitive Earphones
- Earbuds Battery Capacity: 270mAh
- Charging Case Battery Capacity: 430mAh
- Earbuds Charging Time: 10 minutes
- Working Time: 10 hours
- Wireless Charging: No
What’s in the Box?
- Soundcore P20i Earbuds
- Quick Start Guide
- Warning Booklet
- Charging Case
- USB Type-C Connector
- Lanyard (Short)
- 3 x Stock Ear Tips
Stuff I like
- Soundcore App that lets you choose your preferred tuning
- Low-latency for gaming
- Comfortable wearing experience
- Good amount of inclusions
Stuff I like less
- Slightly big charging case
- Dark tuning due to the recessed highs
Comparable products to consider
The Moondrop Nekocake is an affordable pair of TWS Earbuds from Moondrop that’s tuned to have a balanced sound.
The Baseus Encok WM01 is a cheap pair of TWS earbuds that has a V-shaped sound signature but with a different approach in the midrange.
I won the Soundcore P20i as a prize.
During a visit to Baguio City, which is a famous tourist destination in the Philippines known for its cold climate, my friends and I met four other people. They’re doing a challenge called “Guess the Song Challenge,” and if you get the 3 songs correctly, you’ll win a Soundcore product.
I got them all and that’s how I got the Soundcore P20i.
The P20i came in a simple box with a light blue color scheme that features an image of the unit at the front and shows the specs at the rear side. Opening the box shows the charging case attached with a lanyard and the other inclusions, such as stock ear tips, a quick start guide, a warning guide, and the USB-C Cable for charging the device.
Overall, the product looks good and I thought it was a decent amount of inclusions for how much it costs (which I looked up online).
The build quality of the Soundcore P20i is pretty decent.
Regarding the charging case, it has a plastic build with a matte black finish, making it prone to scratches. Buying a protector for the case would be a wise investment, especially for nitpicky users like me.
Another thing to add about the charging case is that it’s bulky, and I found it a bit of an inconvenience to store it in my pocket. What’s nice is that it comes with a free lanyard that’ll allow you to attach it to your bag, belt loop, or car keys.
The earbuds themselves share a similar design to Apple AirPods‘ extended stem. The earbuds have the same matte black finish on their surface where you’re supposed to press for the touch control. The rest of the earbuds are built with shiny plastic up to the nozzle.
I also like the small Soundcore logo, which resembles a single musical note engraved at the top of the charging case and on the touch control surface of the earbuds.
Lastly, the ear tips are pretty average but feel durable enough, thanks to the silicone material used which appears to be of good quality.
Fit and Comfort
The Soundcore P20i earbuds don’t have a weird shape and wearing them provides the same experience as wearing Apple AirPods, but better.
Doing your workouts at the gym while wearing these buds is a game-changer. They’re very lightweight and are secured as they rest in the ears. I also tested them during my daily run and jog, and I didn’t face any issues such as them falling off or being loose in my ear.
The large ear tips also give a good seal. Still, my observations and thoughts regarding the fit and comfort of this unit are completely subjective as ear shapes and sizes are different.
Before we go to the main topic, which is the sound quality of these earbuds, let me first mention the Soundcore App.
Setting up these buds requires installing the Soundcore App, which is available for iOS and Android. It’s not that necessary as the buds are still usable without the app, but most of its features are accessible within this app.
The Soundcore App features 22 different presets, which proved to be helpful for listeners with other preferences.
The app also offers customization for its touch controls. For example, the buds’ double tap control can be used to increase or decrease the volume, activate Siri, play or pause the track, or just none. This is an excellent feature as it allows users to create their own set of controls to their preference.
Another thing to talk about in the app is the “Find Device” feature, which is useful if you lose one or both of the earbuds. It plays a not-so-loud ringing sound on each earbud which isn’t much of a help for me due to the low volume of the sound but, still, kudos to Soundcore for adding this feature.
Last would be the software updates – and yes, it’s for the earbuds themselves. This is a great addition to keep users up-to-date with new patches for their Soundcore devices.
Who knows? Maybe soon, we can create our own setting for the equalizer. Perhaps we could also upload it so that other users can try each other’s preferences. This sounds like a great idea.
The sound quality is always the main concern with TWS earbuds, as they don’t deliver the same quality as wired ones.
I’d say that I already anticipated how the Soundcore P20i would sound. On the brighter side, it kinda kept up with its sound quality, and it’s a fair trade for its price.
There are 22 different equalizer presets in the Soundcore app and I had a great time exploring its other tunings that made significant changes to the sound it produces. But in this review, I’ll base its sound quality on the default tuning labeled in the app as “Soundcore Signature.”
Maybe I’ll write a specific review of each preset in the future.
Starting with the lows, it’s noticeable that the mid-bass is more prominent than the sub-bass. The low end of the Soundcore P20i seems pretty fair for a pair of TWS earbuds at this price point.
The sub-bass has a decent texture but can be unnatural at times. The rumbles are also nice but they don’t give much satisfaction as other wireless earbuds. The mid-bass is mostly what gives power to the lower end. It’s punchy but tends to overpower other regions a lot.
Another thing to add is that there’s a BassUp option in the Soundcore app. It’s not much of a help since it just makes the lower region overbearing than being a well-tuned one. It also makes the sub-bass uncontrollable and causes mid-bass bleed.
Still, kudos to Soundcore for adding the BassUp option and I’m looking forward to their improvement on this feature.
I struggled to express my thoughts about the Soundcore P20i’s midrange as it’s a mixed bag, so I’ll try to keep my statement here simple as possible. The mids are recessed, but the presentation of vocals is still somewhat forward and average at this point.
The vocals are forward, but some sort of weird tonality is embedded into it. The vocals also outperform the highs, which makes the treble sound recessed and dull.
The instruments in the midrange, like guitars and pianos, sit behind the vocals and are recessed. Don’t worry as they’re not left out in the mix and still have their presence, which adds to the listening experience.
The treble presentation of the Soundcore P20i is nothing but unsatisfying, but this may be subjective. The highs are recessed, adding to this earphone’s dark sound signature.
With the default “Soundcore Signature” preset, the lows overpowered the treble. This causes the treble to sound muffled. Even though there are still micro-details delivered by the treble, the flaws are getting in the way.
For treble-sensitive listeners, this is a great pair of TWS for their dark sound profile.
Overall, the Soundcore P20i is a great pair of earbuds with a very safe tuning that treble-sensitive listeners would prefer. While these earbuds don’t have active noise cancelation, it has a good enough seal.
Also, the vast collection of presets available in the Soundcore App is a great addition.
With its retail price of around $30, I think the Soundcore P20i performs decently enough for a pair of TWS earbuds. I also want to thank Soundcore Philippines for giving me the opportunity to try one of their products.
Shaik, a college student, part-time musician, and proud fur parent. Currently pursuing his degree in architecture.
As a part-time musician, Shaik enjoys expressing his self creatively through music. Whether it's writing original songs or performing covers, music is a significant part of Shaik's life
This post was last updated on 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.