I do a lot of VR gaming. I’ve always been a fan of the concept, so getting my hands on a Quest 2 was a huge stepping point forward for the hobby. There’s just one downside: it’s not exactly easy to use earbuds or headphones while playing VR games. Sure, it’s possible, but there are always a few hitches.
The Quest 2 is notorious for introducing audio lag for most audio devices; it’s often better just to use the built-in speakers, which offer surprisingly good quality. When Anker sent over the Soundcore VR P10 wireless earbuds for me to try out, I jumped at the chance. Would this finally be the answer to the VR-based audio issues I sought?
What’s In The Box
The Anker Soundcore VR P10 earbuds contain nearly everything you need in a single box. This includes:
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- Charging case
- VR P10 earbuds
- Three different sizes of earpieces
- Two connection dongles
Anker Soundcore VR P10 Design
The Anker Soundcore VR P10 earbuds come in a clamshell charging case. It opens upward and forward, which makes it somewhat awkward to place on a flat surface while open, but the hinge is stiff enough that it doesn’t close. In fact, the hinge is better than that of the AirPod Pros, and it includes a nook at the top of the case to store the dongle.
Magnetic pads secure the earbuds in place while they’re inside the case, and lights on the earbuds themselves flash to show a connection has been made. The earbuds have the same basic design as any modern earbud, with an offset earpiece that fits snugly in the ear, while a slim bar provides further support. There is also a touchpad at the top of each earbud (atop the Soundcore logo) which provides various tap gesture controls.
While the Anker Soundcore VR P10 earbuds don’t look as good as something like the Cyberblade earbuds, they’re designed for functionality over style.
Controls on the Anker Soundcore VR P10
Each touch control is divided into three gestures: a single tap, a double tap, and a long tap. Each one can be further divided between the left and right ear, so you can have a total of up to six different touch controls.
There are a total of eight different touch controls:
- Volume +
- Volume –
- Play / Pause
- Voice Assistant
- Super Hearing
The different controls can be customized within the Soundcore app. With so many different commands available to you, make sure you remember exactly which one does what. There’s a learning curve there, as I discovered the hard way.
Audio Quality of the Anker Soundcore VR P10
Even the default settings provide solid audio quality. It’s perfect for listening while on the go, but I wouldn’t call it an audiophile experience. You’ll get much better audio quality by tweaking it through the Soundcore app. You can choose a default and a custom soundscape, and the default one includes numerous optimizations for different genres, including Pop, Rock, Spoken Word, Small Speakers, and even Podcasts. I toyed with this quite a bit, and I noticed a distinct difference between settings depending on the genre of music I listened to. The Podcast setting in particular emphasized voices over other sounds.
The Custom EQ setting is a bit intimidating if you aren’t familiar with how to set it up. You manipulate the decibel settings of specific sound frequencies, causing some to be louder than others. I suggest watching a couple of YouTube videos to get a feel for it; trying to figure it out with no experience is a time-consuming process.
I tried the earbuds on my iPhone and computer, and they both synced easily to Bluetooth, although I had to completely reset the charging case before it would move to pairing mode. The earbuds are intelligent enough to swap between devices, even when I added the Quest 2 headset into the mix. What sets these apart from other wireless earbuds is that they don’t rely on Bluetooth to connect to the Quest; instead, the VR P10 earbuds use an included dongle that plugs into the USB-C charging port of the headset. This same dongle can be used to connect to the Nintendo Switch and PS5, although the Xbox Series S/X is curiously left out of the mix.
That said, all of the VR P10 features are targeted toward gamers. Since they were designed for the Quest 2, that’s no surprise, but it leaves them with a lackluster presentation for anyone interested in using the earbuds as their daily drivers.
The simple fact that these earbuds provide pseudo-surround sound for a VR experience makes them worthwhile for anyone that spends a lot of time in VR. That said, there are a lot of other features that are great. The Game and Talk function make it easy to take a phone call without pausing your game, but it also doesn’t transmit your voice through — no more letting small children in “Gun Raiders” mock you for talking to your wife on the phone.
Another feature that is more useful is “Super Hearing,” which is a specific soundscape that emphasizes the sound of footsteps and gunfire. For people that primarily play first-person shooters, this is almost a cheat. It saved me from being snuck up on a time or two. Oddly enough, in certain games, footsteps have the same frequency as jetpacks, so the feature also saved me from ambushes from the sky.
The improved audio quality makes these standout earbuds, but the biggest benefit is the lack of audio lag. Everything happens in real-time, which means players can react quickly, without the latency that’s inherent with so many Bluetooth connections. Having used several different earbuds with the Quest 2, I can say that these offer some of the best audio quality I’ve ever experienced in VR.
Anker Soundcore VR P10 Battery Life
Under normal use, you’ll get around six hours of battery life out of the Anker Soundcore VR P10 earbuds. If you’re talking the entire time, that lifespan drops to four hours. That said, if you’re using it for VR play, then that’s longer than the Quest 2 headset will last. A quick trip into the charging case will bring the earbuds back to full in a short time.
The Verdict: Should You Buy the Anker Soundcore VR P10?
All in all, these are solid earbuds. I found myself wishing the audio quality was just slightly better a few times; I had to turn the volume up much louder than I would have thought to hear what was happening. The gaming features, while great, are also a bit barebones. Then again, it’s like I said earlier — these are designed to provide latency-free wireless audio from the Quest 2, rather than the end-all earbuds.
I would recommend them to any VR gamers, especially if they hope to use these earbuds for other purposes than just Quest 2 audio. The $100 price point is affordable while still providing plenty of features. They’ve become my go-to audio choice anytime I feel like diving into VR for a bit of Beat Saber or Population: One.