Perfect true wireless earbuds for VR, decent for everything else.
Anker claims their Soundcore VR P10 earbuds are the first that have been made with Meta’s standalone VR headsets in mind. But do they really enhance your VR experience, or is it just an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Quest 2?
I recently purchased a Meta Quest Pro, and despite the crushing disappointment that came with it, I didn’t return the headset. So over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking a look Anker’s new earbuds, and assessing whether they can enhance what was already billed as the most advanced VR experience on the market.
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There are a couple of ways you can connect the Soundcore VR P10 earbuds to another device. A dongle is included, which plugs into an available USB Type C port and automatically connects the device it’s plugged into with your earphones, then there’s Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection is also simple to set up. Simply press the button on the front of the earbuds’ case until it starts blinking, and select the earbuds from the device you want to connect to’s Bluetooth menu.
The dongle is recommended for applications like VR gaming, as that’s what allows the earbuds to establish the low-latency connection Anker has promised. But I found that gaming over Bluetooth didn’t really present any major issues. However, using the dongle for VR and keeping your Bluetooth channel free does have other benefits.
Soundcore’s app (iOS, Android) isn’t essential. It’s possible to set up and use your earbuds without downloading it. However, it does provide plenty of customization options and is definitely worth getting if you want to make the most of your P10 earbuds. You can set the equalizer to your liking, enable a mode that enhances things like footsteps and gunfire during FPS games, and change the color of the LED lights on the earbuds themselves.
You can also purchase additional dongles and switch between them using the Soundcore app. This is great if you want to quickly and easily connect to consoles and PCs as well as your VR headset. The app also allows users to update the earphones’ firmware.
The Dongle Has Its Downsides
Soundcore’s earbuds ship with a dongle which allows for near latency-free audio while gaming, and it’s great for the Quest 2 and Quest Pro. It snaps in with no problems and contains a USB Type C port which allows you to connect a charging cable through the dongle. I double-checked, and it doesn’t impact charging speeds, nor does it cause issues with the audio quality; it just works.
The dongle doesn’t work everywhere else, though. Its shape means you’ll need a pretty flat surface around your USB Type C port to plug it in. This rules my Alienware M15 Gaming Laptop out, as the trim gets in the way, and even if it fit, it would obscure one of the USB A ports anyway. It isn’t the end of the world; Bluetooth works perfectly well. Just test your devices out with the dongle you have before you purchase additional ones.
What really won me over with the VR P10 earbuds is the ability to take a phone call without interrupting your VR session. With no earbuds at all, I’d find myself having to scramble for my phone and throw it on speaker if I wanted to avoid removing the headset entirely. With wired earbuds or headphones, I’d be at risk of missing the call entirely.
With the VR P10, a quick double tap on either earbud answers the call and switches the audio input to my phone. I haven’t interrupted my game, I’m not trying to talk over gunfire or music, and I can either tell the person on the other end to call me back in a few minutes or just have the full conversation there and then. From what the people I had calls with told me, I sounded perfectly clear on their end.
It’s important to note that this feature only works if the dongle is plugged into your headset and your phone is connected via Bluetooth. The earbuds don’t make use of Multipoint Bluetooth.
They’re Comfortable, But Can Come Loose
The earbuds come with three gel tip sizes, so these should fit the vast majority of ears. They’re comfortable enough to wear for long sessions, and the discomfort caused by the headset itself is going to get to you before the buds themselves do.
All in all, they’re pretty secure if you fit them properly and use the correct gel fitting. But VR isn’t a sedentary activity, and I’d imagine an earbud can only be so secure. During certain games, these are going to fly out. I experienced it myself during a game of Gorn, and a session of Drunken Bar Fight where I landed a particularly sweet headbutt. They also fell out during a game of Pavlov, but I felt the right earbud work itself loose, dangle, and eventually drop, which makes me think that one was my fault. There are clear instructions on how to fit the earbuds securely, and I may have just jammed them in that time.
According to Anker, fully charged earbuds will last for around six hours, while the case itself contains an additional 18 hours of charge, which means you’ll get 24 hours before you need to go looking for a charging port. In terms of raw listening time, this puts the VR P10s on par with the upcoming AirPods Pro, though the AirPods have a bit more charge in their case. In actual practical terms, it’s probably more than you need.
In actual practical terms, at no point in the last few weeks have I had to leave the earbuds out because they weren’t charged. I’m a heavy VR user, I’ve used the VR P10s during every session since they arrived, and they’ve outlasted me every time. The case gives plenty of notice when it’s time to plug a charger in, and I only had to do that around once a week.
As far as earbuds go, the audio quality offered by the VR P10s is pretty good. VR games sound great, and the 360 element of the audio seems to be spot on when you’re playing a game that supports it. If something happens to my left or behind me, I immediately know where to turn.
With music, the bass is very decent, and if you want to damage your hearing, they’ll go loud enough to cause you pain. Anker’s earbuds don’t come with ANC, which may be a deal breaker if you’re planning to take them on your morning commute. When it comes to listening to music in the house, though, I’ve used them a few times and happily zoned out.
Don’t let the lack of ANC bother you; these are solid if you’re looking for a pair of dedicated gaming earbuds — especially at the price. For under $100, which is less than the official Quest Pro carry case costs, you can greatly enhance your VR experience. As someone who loves VR, I can honestly say I would buy a pair of these and be quite happy with what I’ve received.
Dedicated audiophiles may be able to pick more holes in the audio quality than I can. But for someone who doesn’t bother messing with the equalizer settings, I would argue these can be a solid pair of all-rounders as well. If I’m judging these solely on what Anker says they’re meant for, I’m struggling to find a fault. When it comes to VR audio, the VR P10 earbuds are virtually flawless.
Here’s What We Like
- Easy to link with included dongle
- Can be used with multiple devices
- Highly customizable with the app
- Solid battery life
And What We Don’t
- Dongle shape prevents it fitting all devices
- Lacks noise cancelling