The truly wireless earphone market has been flooded in the last year and it can be difficult to discern the good from the bad.
Yes, generally, if you pay more you’ll get a better experience, but value for money isn’t always as important to those who are looking for an upgrade in audio quality over the convenience that free-from-wires earbuds allow.
I’ve been testing the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earphones, which strive for superior sound quality and performance while not being worried about trying to be AirPod killers like other brands.
I have to give kudos to Anker for the excellent packaging the Liberty 2 Pros come in. If you were looking at these on a shelf in a shop, you’d probably buy them based on the premium design of the box alone.
Inside the box, you’ll find the Liberty 2 Pro earphones and the pebble-shaped charging case. You also get seven, differently sized and shaped silicone ear tips along with three optional ear wings. This is more than you typically get with other earbuds. I tried all of them until I found the combination of ear tips and ear wings that fitted my ears the best.
Finding the best fit improves both comfort and sound quality. It also helps to make a good seal around your ear and thusly provide passive sound isolation as a byproduct.
The earbuds are reasonable discreet and don’t protrude too far outside of your ears. Both left and right have a tiny button to control playback, phone calls, summon the Google assistant/Siri or turn up or down the volume depending on how they’re configured. The controls are customisable via the free Soundcore app, which is available for both iOS and Android.
By default, the buttons are set to ‘previous’ on the left and ‘next’ on the right for music playback when you double-tap. Holding for one second is ‘volume up’ on the left and ‘volume down’ on the right.
The ear wings help to make the Liberty 2 Pro stay firmly in your ears. This is essential if you want to use them for jogging or workouts. Thanks to the IPX4 rating, these earbuds are also water resistant. This means that sweat and rain shouldn’t be an issue.
I love that the charging case, which has a flat base and an oval-shaped round top can sit on top of a table or desk easily. The lid slides open and has a satisfying snap when you close it. The case is covered in a matte black silicone material with a USB-C fast-charging port that is sealed closed with a rubber flap (cable comes supplied). You can also charge the case wirelessly, a welcome and useful feature.
Each earbud has three brass contacts that coincide with pins inside the case for charging. They’re firmly held in place with strong magnets, but it feels like a jigsaw puzzle each time you need to put them back in the case. Again, it’s just something you get used to with use. The case also has three LED lights on the front to indicate charging state.
When fully charged the earphones can provide up to 32 hours of life using the case and eight hours on the earphones themselves. That’s pretty impressive considering you only get up to five hours from the more expensive AirPod Pros.
The Liberty 2 Pro have impressive features including Bluetooth 5.0 as well as SBC, aptX and AAC for the best in high-quality audio and a stable connection. One thing it doesn’t feature is active noise cancelling, but this won’t be a deal-breaker for most.
The Liberty 2 Pro uses a hybrid speaker design, which combines both a dynamic and armature speaker into each earbud. This combination of speaker technology provides excellent bass while managing to reproduce stunning clarity and detail in both mids and highs.
The Liberty 2 Pro provides a nicely balanced sound, but this can be tweaked using presets or the custom EQ using the Soundcore app. Not only can you customise the EQ, but there’s also a HearID feature that tests both ears and personalises the earphones to your specific hearing. I didn’t notice too much of a difference turning this on after it tested my hearing. However, I have good hearing and I’m sure if my hearing wasn’t 100%, I would have seen a bigger difference.
I listened to a lot of music from several streaming services in both standard and high-res. You can hear the difference in better quality audio which produces an even richer sound with better dynamics and improved detail.
These headphones are also excellent for listening to podcasts and video. However, I did notice a slight delay between the audio and video.
Overall, the Liberty 2 Pro offers excellent features and performance in both sound quality and battery life. Call quality is top-notch too and the overall build is premium.
Available now from amazon.com ($150) and coming soon to amazon.co.uk.