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Anker Soundcore Life A3i Review

If you’re in the market for affordable true wireless earbuds that don’t skimp on features, the Anker Soundcore Life A3i (also known as the Life Dot 3i in some markets) are definitely worth a closer look.

At a retail price of around $60, these earbuds offer active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, app support, and impressive sound quality that rivals more expensive options.

In this in-depth review, we’ll take a closer look at the design, features, performance, and overall value proposition of the Life A3i earbuds.

Before diving into the details here are the full specs of Anker Soundcore Life A3i:

Bluetooth Version5.2
Bluetooth CodecsAAC, SBC
Driver Size10mm dynamic drivers
Frequency Response20Hz – 20kHz
Battery Life (earbuds)Up to 9 hours (ANC off), 7 hours (ANC on)
Battery Life (with case)Up to 35 hours
Fast Charging2 hours of playtime from 10 minutes in case
Charging PortUSB-C
Wireless ChargingNo
Water ResistanceIPX5 (sweat and splash proof)
Active Noise CancellationYes (up to 35dB reduction)
Transparency ModeYes
App SupportSoundcore app (iOS and Android)
Customizable EQYes (22 presets, custom EQ)
ControlsTouch controls, customizable in app
Microphones4 mics total (2 per earbud)
Supported Voice AssistantsSiri, Google Assistant
Earbud Weight4.5g each
Charging Case Weight43.5g
Earbud Dimensions30.5 x 22.9 x 22.1mm
Charging Case Dimensions61.5 x 61 x 26mm
PriceCheck on AliExpress

Design and Comfort

The Soundcore Life A3i have a sleek, compact design that’s comfortable to wear for extended periods.

The earbuds themselves have a rounded shape similar to the Liberty 3 Pro, Anker’s flagship model. They fit securely in the ear without protruding too much, making them a good choice for side sleepers.

In the box, you get a choice of silicone ear tips in different sizes to ensure a good fit. While the included tips are decent, I found that swapping them out for a set of SpinFit CP360 tips provided an even better seal and improved sound quality.

Anker Soundcore Life A3i Design

The earbuds are also IPX5 rated for water and sweat resistance, so they can withstand workouts and light rain.

The charging case is similarly well-designed, with a compact form factor and smooth matte finish. It charges via USB-C, but wireless charging is unfortunately not supported.

One minor annoyance is that the USB-C port is located on the bottom of the case, so you have to lay it on its side while charging.

Features and App Support

For the price, the Life A3i are packed with features. You get active noise cancellation, transparency mode for hearing your surroundings, and even a basic EQ within the Soundcore app (available for both iOS and Android).

The earbuds use Bluetooth 5.2 for a stable wireless connection and support both AAC and SBC codecs, ensuring compatibility with both iPhone and Android devices.

In my testing, I was able to get about 37 feet (11 meters) of range before the connection started to break up – more than enough for most use cases.

Anker Soundcore Life A3i App and setup

A single earbud can also be used independently while the other is charging in the case. Multipoint connection, which allows you to connect to two devices simultaneously, is not supported however.

The Soundcore app is well-designed and easy to use. From the main screen, you can toggle between normal, ANC, and transparency modes, as well as access the EQ settings.

The app offers 21 different EQ presets, including the default “Soundcore Signature” profile with boosted bass. You can also create your own custom EQ and save up to 5 different profiles.

One area where the Life A3i fall a bit short is latency. While they’re fine for watching videos on YouTube and Netflix, there is a noticeable audio delay when gaming on a phone. If you’re a serious mobile gamer, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Sound Quality

Of course, the most important aspect of any earbuds is sound quality – and the Life A3i delivers impressive audio for the price.

The 10mm drivers produce powerful, punchy bass that doesn’t overwhelm the mids and highs. Vocals sound clear and detailed, with good separation from instruments. The soundstage is fairly wide for earbuds, providing an immersive listening experience.

Anker Soundcore Life A3i Review

While audiophiles may prefer a more neutral sound, the Life A3i has a fun, energetic sound profile that works well for popular genres like pop, hip-hop, and electronic music. And if you don’t like the default tuning, you can always adjust the EQ in the Soundcore app.

Microphone and Call Quality

In terms of call quality, the Life A3i is solid but not exceptional. The built-in microphones do a decent job picking up your voice and reducing background noise.

Anker Soundcore Life A3i Review

However, your voice can still sound a bit thin and processed to the person on the other end, especially in loud environments. These earbuds are fine for occasional phone calls but not ideal for extended business calls.

Battery Life

Anker claims the Life A3i can get up to 9 hours of playtime on a single charge with ANC off (35 hours total with the case). With ANC on, those numbers drop to around 7 hours per charge.

In my testing, I actually managed to get 8.5 hours with ANC off and just shy of 6 hours with it enabled – still very solid for earbuds at this price.

The earbuds also support fast charging, netting you 2 hours of playtime from just 10 minutes in the case.

A full charge of the earbuds takes about 1.5 hours, while the case itself takes around 2 hours to top up via USB-C.

Anker Soundcore Life A3i Pros and Cons


  • Affordable price point (around $60)
  • Active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency mode
  • IPX5 water and sweat resistance
  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • Impressive sound quality with punchy bass and crisp treble
  • Wide soundstage and good instrument separation
  • Customizable EQ and controls via Soundcore app
  • Good battery life (up to 9 hours per charge, 35 hours total with case)
  • Fast charging (2 hours of playtime from 10 minutes in case)
  • Decent microphone quality for calls
  • USB-C charging


  • No wireless charging
  • No multipoint connection (can’t connect to 2 devices simultaneously)
  • ANC and transparency mode not as effective as more expensive earbuds
  • Noticeable audio latency when gaming on mobile
  • Some users may experience EQ shift with transparency mode (not widespread)
  • Microphone quality not suitable for critical business calls
  • USB-C port placement on bottom of charging case is awkward
  • No low latency codec support (aptX, aptX LL, LHDC, etc.)
  • Touch controls can be occasionally finicky
  • No in-ear detection (auto-pause when removing earbuds)

Where to Buy?

Best Deal: View on AliExpress

Final Verdict

At an MSRP of $79.99 (and frequently on sale for less), the Anker Soundcore Life A3i offer fantastic value for the money.

You get active noise cancellation, transparency mode, responsive touch controls, good mic quality, and app support with a customizable EQ. Sound quality in particular is a highlight, with punchy bass, smooth mids, and crisp treble.

That’s not to say these earbuds are perfect. There’s no wireless charging, multipoint connection, or low latency mode for gaming. The ANC and transparency modes, while decent, aren’t as effective as what you’ll find on more expensive earbuds.

But if you’re looking for an affordable, well-rounded set of noise cancelling earbuds, it’s hard to do better than the Soundcore Life A3i.

They deliver on the core aspects that matter most – sound quality, comfort, and reliable performance – at a price that won’t break the bank.

Just be sure to buy from an authorized retailer and inspect your unit closely in case you get one with the transparency mode bug.

I hope this detailed review helps you decide whether the Anker Soundcore Life A3i are the right earbuds for you. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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