Anker Soundcore VR P10 tops gaming headphones and VR Earbuds

Anker Soundercore VR P10 earbuds

picture: Mark Knapp/Gizmodo

While the true wireless gaming headset market is remarkably small, it just got a bit bigger with the addition of the Anker Soundcore VR P10. These earphones share a lot in common with the typical Bluetooth options you’ll find on the market, but they command the budget-friendly prices of Anker’s other Soundcore products ($100 MSRP, but $80 at the time of writing), and they offer the hallmark For wireless gaming audio devices: Dedicated wireless transmitter. While it may not be a perfect product, it offers so much at such a low price that its advantages make it a product worth having easily for those who want reliable sound everywhere they go and can’t always carry around a set of over-ear headphones.

A unique pair of earphones with a familiar look

The Anker Soundcore brand has a plethora of Bluetooth earphone options, and they’re always competitive with earphones that cost a lot more. So, it’s no surprise to see the P10 VR Headset come at a low price tag for any pair of wireless gaming headsets, let alone one that offers two different ways to connect. While the designs of the P10’s VR earbuds set it apart from some of Anker’s other offerings, the buds themselves have a similar shape to some of the other Soundcore Liberty earbuds, though with shorter, sturdier stems and more lightness — these are meant for gaming, after all.

Anker Soundercore VR P10 earbuds

picture: Mark Knapp/Gizmodo

Stylish design and smart design

Like most earphones, the Soundcore VR P10 earphones come in a compact carrying case. The case looks amusingly like a robot out of it outlet The Game Series, with a small round eye on the front that lights up when the case is opened. This little eye also serves as an indicator of low battery levels. The case opens easily, but it also opens easily when dropped. USB-C charging is almost a given now, and the case has it, though it doesn’t offer wireless charging like some premium options do.

Inside the box is where Anker gets high marks. Many wireless gaming devices make the sin of not including any place to keep the wireless transmitter with the gadget. This is a recipe for transmitter loss. Despite the incredibly limited space of the P10’s VR case, Anker found room to fit the dongle. It attaches to the inside of the top cover with a strong magnet. However, the magnet is almost too strong, and the dongle is very snug, which sometimes makes it hard to get the dongle out. Anker even had to include instructions on how to remove the dongle in its app, though this didn’t prove to be the easiest way to get the buds out.

The buds offer an advertised playtime of 6 hours, while the case holds an additional 18 hours of charge to give 24 hours of battery life.

The earphones are an in-ear design, which plug directly into the ear canal with silicone tips. Anker includes 3 different head sizes in the box. The buds combine white and silver for a delicate and elegant look. Three strips on the torso (a bit like the Adidas logo) provide a bit of illumination, though only orange, pink, blue, or two shades of purple. As is common among Soundcore buds, the VR P10 offers touch controls on the stems of each bud. Despite the snug fit, they don’t quite grip my ears like other buds, and they regularly fall out during workouts.

Ready, go, go

The VR P10 can function like a typical Bluetooth earphone. You can put it into pairing mode using a button on the back of the case, then look for it in your phone’s Bluetooth settings. But the main feature is the buds support for dedicated wireless transmitter.

The transmitter is a compact USB-C dongle that also has a USB-C port on it. This additional port allows for pass-through charging. While the Soundcore VR P10 is, as the name hints, intended for use with Meta Quest 2, the dongle supports connections to PC, PS5, PS4 (with USB adapter), Nintendo Switch, and more. However, pass-through charging has limited capabilities. While it’s enough to keep the Quest 2 headset charged, it only allows enough juice to pass through to the laptop (which uses a 65W charger) to slowly charge it when under a light load, and it’s already seen the battery slowly drop while the screen is at a level Higher brightness and make a video call. Connectivity also doesn’t support data transfer, though VR Link users can simply plug the dongle into their computer, then connect their VR headset to their computer separately.

Anyone who hates switching dongles between devices will be able to buy multiple dongles for the VR P10. It is possible to switch connections to different dongles through the Soundcore app.

Anker Soundercore VR P10 earbuds

picture: Mark Knapp/Gizmodo

new connection

The VR P10 is one of the first soundbars on the market Bluetooth LE with the new LC3 codec. Oddly enough, the LC3 is only used with the dongle, while a standard Bluetooth connection uses either the SBC or AAC codecs. The dongle connection delivers clean audio with little to no noticeable degradation and low latency that is ideal for gaming. Stuck with weaker codecs, the Bluetooth connection is less than ideal for beyond podcasts, audiobooks, and some casual music.

I noticed strange connection behavior of the buds. One is intentional but unfortunate behaviour: any sound coming from a Bluetooth connection will bypass the dongle connection, even just the phone’s unlocking noise, and it will take a few seconds to return to the wireless dongle signal, disrupting any gameplay experience coming through the dongle. The speakers support simultaneous audio streams if the Bluetooth source is a voice call (including Discord), but the volume balance can be a bit off, and the audio quality drops off in the process.

The other issue happened on several different occasions. If I change the volume on my computer while it’s connected using the dongle, it can interfere with any kind of playback – cutting audio from Winamp and/or completely freezing playback in YouTube, requiring a tab refresh. It’s an odd effect that I can’t necessarily blame on the earphones, but also something I’ve only experienced with this pair.

Good sound, but not impressive

The Anker Soundcore VR P10 earbuds do something somewhat special, but nothing magical. The reality of the earbuds is that their sound quality is on the safe side of acceptable. They put a little extra emphasis on the bass, with a flat midrange and treble.

Listen to Montreal False priest, ear buds struggle to keep up with the sheer dynamism of the album. During the opening track, the bass line swells in and out, and as it goes in, the rest of the track loses some of its vibrancy. The bass sounds heavy, but because the higher end is drained, some of the bass line character is lost. Even when the bass cuts out, there isn’t much high-mid and high-mid bite.

On the plus side, the dongle connection avoids any of the glaring compression issues you’re used to having on a basic Bluetooth connection. Even in the chaotic moments of a Montreal song or a seedy wakosi, I don’t detect any audio degradation.

The unbalance in the EQ makes the buds less than ideal for competitive gaming, where split-second decision making and the ability to pick up every audio cue in your surroundings is crucial. I played several hours of Monitoring 2 wearing the headphones, and I didn’t feel as immersed in everything going on as I usually do with over-ear headphones. But I find them very convenient to feel my surroundings while playing Assassin’s Creed Valhallaand work seamlessly with Quest 2 to enjoy the charming puzzles and soundtrack Another clock.

The earphones lack a lot of sound isolation, letting in ambient sound. It’s not enough to distract from most experiences, especially since the speakers can get quite loud, but it makes them less than ideal for listening to content on a hike. Of course, it makes it safer to wear them while playing in virtual reality.

Anker Soundercore VR P10 earbuds

picture: Mark Knapp/Gizmodo

Earbud mics only work so far

The microphones on the P10 VR headset work well enough in a small, quiet room. They effectively capture my voice with enough clarity to clearly articulate what I’m saying. However, beyond that, they don’t offer much to get excited about. In a large room, microphones don’t pick up the same volume, as they are more likely to collect echoes.

They lack any fullness, and don’t have nearly the same clarity that a well-placed microphone can provide. It also does little to reduce keyboard clatter or mouse clicks during gameplay. Although they do remove some background noise, like the fan I’m often running on, the noise manages to mix into my voice when I speak.

While these shortcomings are fairly common among earphones, it’s still worth considering if you plan to use the earphones beyond casual gaming.

Simple and effective application

The Soundcore app manages the speakers and includes controls for changing lighting effects and colors, toggling dongle connectivity, applying a custom equalizer, changing touch controls, updating firmware, and toggling Super Hearing, Game and Talk, and the microphone. Super Hearing is designed to enhance gunshots and footsteps in FPS games while the Game and Talk feature allows simultaneous audio from the game and the voice call. The app is simple yet intuitive, and fortunately does not require the use of a user account.

Anker Soundercore VR P10 earbuds

picture: Mark Knapp/Gizmodo

Should I get the Anker Soundcore VR P10?

The P10 VR earbuds don’t deliver killer sound, but they do offer killer value. For the price, you can effectively get a pair of Bluetooth earphones and a low-latency wireless gaming headset in one device. Over-ear headphones easily lag behind in mic and sound quality, but the P10 VR Headset offers ample support and more comfort than I expected at the price. And when they’re discounted to $80, they’re a real steal. I wouldn’t recommend them if sound quality is your priority. But if you know you want gaming earphones, these are the best.

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