Surprising good Bluetooth TWS

Up until the summer last year I was mainly using the Airpods Pro for my “TWS use case” of listening to podcasts, audiobooks and for conference calls with the microphone. I thought they were pretty good ( though the sound profile wasn’t great ) and I could never get a satisfactory ‘seal’ with the bundled ear tips (or even third party ones). So when I accidentally left them in th washing machine and found I messed up the microphone, I decided to look for a simpler / cheaper TWS set, in case I made the same mistake again.

The market is full of cheap TWS sets but after some experimentation, I settled on the Soundcore P3i model of TWS. Initially, because it was cheap (typically < $50 and sometimes cheaper) the microphone quality was good, and it had a larger internal cavity (so I could use some XL sized eartips to get a good seal) and I had some good experience with other Soundcore devices specifically the fact that it has the 10 band EQ within the Soundcore app was a bonus, though I originally had not planned to listen to much music with the P3i (I have lots of IEM’s and other headphones), but I actually found having it ‘in my pocket’ all the time was a great bonus and as you will hopefully see with EQ this becomes an incredible good sounding TWS. p3i-zoom.jpg

So I thought I would write a short review mainly outlining how the performance can be tuned using the EQ within the Companion App in case someone is looking for a pragmatically priced, full-featured and excellent sounding TWS set.

What’s in the box

Upon unboxing, you will find the Soundcore P3i earbuds accompanied by a charging case, which is compact and functional. The package also includes a variety of ear tips, catering to different ear sizes, an essential aspect for those with larger ears. Additionally, a USB-C charging cable and a user manual are included, ensuring a complete out-of-the-box experience.


Design and Build Quality

The Soundcore P3i earbuds exhibit a sleek and modern design, complemented by a sturdy build that promises durability. Soundcore-Life-P3i-box.jpg

The materials used in the construction of these earbuds provide a premium feel, which is not always common in this price range. Soundcore_Life_P3i.jpg

One of the key features for me was the ability to use my own extra large eartips : IMG_9564 Medium.jpeg


and still have the box close because it has a much larger internal cavity that most TWS sets: IMG_9563 Medium.jpeg

Here is a short video to give you an idea of the shape of the P3i:

Comfort and Fit

As I mentioned earlier one of the standout features of the Soundcore P3i is the range of ear tip sizes that can be accommodated with this TWS set. This allowed me to have a much more comfortable fit and this can be crucial for extended listening sessions. The ergonomic design of the earbuds further enhances the comfort, making them suitable for a variety of activities, from casual listening to more active pursuits.


The Soundcore P3i comes equipped with a range of features, completely controllable via the Soundcore Companion Mobile App. The capabilities include the ability to upgrade the firmware.

Note: I am currently using 14.06 Firmware

IMG_9584 Medium.jpeg

The P3i comes with decent ANC and transparency modes for the price and using the companion application you can customise how you control the press on each ear: controls.jpeg

But for me the main capability is the ability to fine-tune the EQ settings: IMG_30CB57ED8D8B-1 Medium.jpeg

The following provides a useful guide to how to use the touch controls on P3i: P3I-guide Large.jpeg

Sound Quality

The default sound profile of the P3i is a typical Soundcore heavily boosted bass, but as you will see in the measurements section this can be tuned very well to your preference.


The bass response is punchy but overblown, in my opinion, overpowering the mids and highs. But it provides sufficient depth and impact, catering well to bass-heavy genres.


Once the bass is tamed with a bit of EQ, the midrange becomes clear , ensuring vocals and instruments are rendered with accuracy and detail. There’s a natural warmth in the mids, which adds to the richness of the sound. But I did adjust the midrange a little to align it closer to a neutral IEM.


Treble frequencies are crisp and bright, contributing to the overall clarity of the sound. The high-end detail is impressive, adding a sense of airiness and space to the music. I found I didn’t need to adjust the Treble to get sense of detail.

Soundstage and Imaging

While the soundstage is not as expansive as some higher-end models, the Soundcore P3i does offer a decent sense of space and positioning. Imaging is precise especially with the EQ applied to lower the boomy bass, allowing for an immersive listening experience where instruments and vocals are placed accurately within the sound field.

Specifications and Measurements

Note: While I like it for the ability to use much larger eartips I measured it with stock ‘medium’ eartips.

First, lets measure the default ‘presets’ offered in the Soundcore app: p3i-graph-9 Medium.jpeg

And here is Soundcore default compared with what I ultimately tweaked it after doing the measurements: p3i graph-10 Medium.jpeg

Again here are the various min/max levels offered by the 10 band EQ: P3i-eq-ranges.jpg

And those values normalised to see how effective each of the 10 bands are at manipulating the sound:

P3i-EQ-Ranges-normalised Medium.jpeg

Inspecting the values we see - we get +/- 6db range for each filter again with the p3i: p3i-eq-range-inspected Medium.jpeg

And here is the soundcore App EQ settings I settled on: P3i - EQ - Recommendation.jpeg

And this does result is a pretty good frequency response: p3i-final.jpeg

Finally, here is the distortion which is minimal even with this custom EQ: L P3i Distortion.jpg


I gave the P3i a pragmatic rating of 5 but only if you apply the EQ. Since, your EQ preference can be ‘baked’ into the TWS and then forgotten about I feel this is fair. The large cavity accommodating XL ear tips is also a huge benefit. Both these features together with decent ANC and a good microphone at this price make it an outstandingly pragmatic TWS IEM.


In conclusion, the Soundcore P3i earbuds are a fantastic option for those who do not want to spend much on a TWS set but are seeking a balance of quality, comfort, and customization. The ability to tune the EQ and the inclusion of larger ear tips make these earbuds a versatile choice for a wide range of listeners.