Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Professional
“Wonderful sound high quality and tons of options make these ANC buds an amazing worth.”
Superb sound high quality
Customizable sound and controls
Some capabilities nonetheless want telephone entry
So-so name high quality
A lot to the shock of seasoned audio reviewers, Anker Soundcore has emerged from the depths of Amazon’s model basement to change into a producer of great-sounding wi-fi headphones, Bluetooth audio system, and true wi-fi earbuds. In 2020, Digital Tendencies reviewed the $110 Soundcore Liberty 2 Professional and heaped reward on their extensive soundstage and total sound high quality, regardless of some considerations across the buds’ total design.
Now, Soundcore is again and has its sights set on nothing lower than dethroning Apple’s $249 AirPods Professional with the $130, the corporate’s first true wi-fi earbuds to supply energetic noise cancellation (ANC). Can Soundcore ship on the identical function set as Apple, for nearly $120 much less? Let’s have a look.
What’s within the field?
Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies
Anker Soundcore continues to make use of means an excessive amount of packaging for its true wi-fi earbuds. The Liberty Air 2 Professional come inside a shiny, print-wrapped, book-style cardboard field that makes use of magnets to maintain the lid closed. Inside is numerous plastic and foam surrounding the vital bits: The earbuds, their charging case, a USB-C charging cable, and a few documentation. However as a lot as I dislike all of that pointless materials, I’ve to provide Soundcore props for together with 9 units of silicone eartips. Getting match is essential for consolation, sound high quality, and noise cancellation, and quite a lot of eartip sizes is the important thing to match.
Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies
The Liberty Air 2 Professional, which are available your selection of 4 colours (black, blue, pink, and white), actually look a bit just like the AirPods Professional. That’s largely due to the elongated stem that protrudes downward out of your ear. However they bear a good nearer resemblance to Earfun’s $80 Air Professional, and the $100 Edifier TWS NB2. All three use an ergonomically formed primary physique that sits inside your outer ear, a silicone-tipped horn that enters your ear canal, and a definite stem.
It’s the one case design I’ve tried that may be effortlessly opened and closed one-handed.
Whether or not you want that AirPods-inspired form or not is a matter of private desire, however I feel they give the impression of being fairly good.
What I like most concerning the Liberty Air 2 Professional’s design is the wi-fi charging case. It’s mild and comparatively compact — although nowhere close to as tiny because the case for the AirPods Professional — and options the identical slick sliding lid mechanism because the Liberty 2 Professional. It’s the one case design I’ve tried that may be effortlessly opened and closed one-handed.
The earbuds snap into their charging sockets simply and precisely, and they are often eliminated simply as simply — one thing that isn’t at all times the case.
I can’t say if the sliding lid can be as rugged over the long run as a conventional hinge, nevertheless it feels very sturdy out of the field, which is an efficient signal.
Consolation, controls, and connections
Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies
The Liberty Air 2 Professional are very comfy. I used to be capable of finding an eartip measurement (due to the massive choice) that supplied an excellent seal, which additionally helped to maintain the earbuds securely seated. I’ve discovered that stem-style earbuds are inclined to really feel much less ear-filling than stemless designs, and that is additionally true of the Liberty Air 2 Professional.
Soundcore features a small suggestions tone for faucets — this must be commonplace follow for all touch-based earbuds.
Nevertheless, the stems on these earbuds are longer than the AirPods Professional and, for me, that meant they ended up making contact with the aspect of my face. Whereas not a consolation drawback per se, it did imply that the act of speaking would steadily loosen the match, so I needed to alter them extra usually.
The Liberty Air 2 Professional use contact sensors on both earbud to manage main capabilities. I want bodily buttons, however I discovered the sensors had been adequately delicate and virtually at all times acknowledged my faucets. I actually respect that Soundcore included a small suggestions tone to let when these faucets have been efficiently acknowledged — this must be commonplace follow for all touch-based earbuds.
You possibly can customise what the contact controls do utilizing the Soundcore app, however you must prioritize which capabilities matter most as a result of solely 4 instructions might be assigned. Double faucets and lengthy presses might be given management over quantity, play/pause, observe skip ahead/again, voice assistant entry, and ANC mode, however there simply aren’t sufficient gestures to allow you to use all of them. Fortunately, you’ll be able to assign both of those to control the change between ANC and transparency modes with out having to cycle by means of the third “no ANC” (regular) mode as so many different earbuds require.
Because of onboard put on sensors, the music will auto-pause and resume if you take away and substitute an earbud. This labored flawlessly.
The Bluetooth connection was additionally very dependable, with each the preliminary pairing and subsequent repairings working and not using a hitch. Switching from utilizing one earbud to utilizing each (and vice versa) was additionally very dependable.
Sound high quality
The Liberty Air 2 Professional sound actually good. They provide a robust bass response, a properly balanced midrange, and highs which are clear and by no means sibilant. Impressively, the bass isn’t simply all increase — tracks like Hans Zimmer’s Time reveal heat in addition to subtlety whereas offering the deep resonance you could respect low-end complexity. Even higher, that low finish doesn’t trample the vocals. Billie Eilish’s Dangerous Man, a music that could be a torture chamber for a headphone’s potential to separate lows and highs, comes throughout superbly, with Eilish’s whispers eliciting ASMR-like tickles whereas the insistent thrumming bass beat stays anchored to the ground.
The Soundcore app allows you to tweak the EQ utilizing an enormous variety of genre-based presets, plus it can save you your individual customized EQ settings. The app additionally provides you the power to have interaction the HearID listening profile system, which is designed to compensate for any frequency loss you may need. I didn’t discover that it improved my enjoyment of the sound, so I saved it turned off.
The Liberty Air 2 Professional are doing greater than merely blocking outdoors sounds.
The Liberty Air 2 Professional have a richer and punchier sound than the AirPods Professional, however they don’t exhibit the identical ultra-expansive soundstage because the Liberty 2 Professional. Nonetheless, I feel most individuals will actually get pleasure from the way in which the Liberty Air 2 Professional sound.
Noise cancellation and transparency modes
Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies
ANC efficiency on the Liberty Air 2 Professional is strong. It successfully canceled out essentially the most intrusive out of doors appears like site visitors and development, which let me hear podcast voices without having to show up the amount. Not like some cheaper ANC earbuds, there’s a pronounced distinction between ANC-on and ANC-off, which reveals that the Liberty Air 2 Professional are doing greater than merely blocking outdoors sounds.
Throughout the Soundcore app, you’ll be able to have interaction 4 totally different ANC modes: Transport, Indoor, Outside, or Customized — every with its personal emphasis on totally different frequencies. The transparency setting has two modes: Absolutely Clear and Vocal Mode.
I like the quantity of selection this offers you, however I’ve a sense most people will merely select Transport and Absolutely Clear, as these provide essentially the most noticeable variations.
Absolutely clear mode lets quantity of sound in, nevertheless it’s not fairly as clear as what you’ll discover on costlier ANC earbuds just like the Jabra Elite 75t or 85t, or the AirPods Professional.
When listening to music, the Liberty Air 2 Professional’s ANC is an efficient match for the AirPods Professional, however when the music’s off, you discover that the Liberty Air 2 Professional has a definite hiss, versus the AirPods Professional, which ship an virtually eerie cone of silence.
Soundcore claims a six-hour battery life when utilizing ANC, and 7 hours when it’s off. The charging case brings these numbers as much as 21 and 26 hours, respectively. I didn’t run the Liberty Air 2 Professional all the means by means of these cycles, however after each listening session, I checked the Soundcore app’s battery readout and it gave the impression to be proper on observe with these claims.
These numbers are OK however not distinctive. The AirPods Professional might not final as lengthy on a single cost (four.5 hours with ANC), however their case extends that point to virtually 24 hours.
Quick-charging is simply high-quality, with 15 minutes within the case extending play time by three hours.
Name high quality
Name high quality on the Liberty Air 2 Professional is one thing of a blended bag. The noise suppression on the six microphones is spectacular. Passing vehicles and even loud vehicles had been rendered virtually completely undetectable, and wind noise — usually a problem for earbuds — was dealt with completely. However this identical noise suppression tends to muffle your voice, too, particularly when these different sounds are current.
You’ll nonetheless have the ability to make your self heard, nevertheless it’s not often a crystal clear expertise in your callers.
Having the ability to hear your self on a name whereas utilizing Transparency Mode is nice, however in contrast to with the AirPods Professional, you’ll have to have interaction transparency earlier than making or receiving a name — there’s no solution to change when you’re on a name.
The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Professional provide a very compelling different to AirPods Professional at a worth that’s far more reasonably priced.
Is there a greater different?
Should you’re in search of an amazing set of noise-canceling true wi-fi earbuds, it’s onerous to beat the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Professional at this worth, however the two fashions that come closest are the $80 Earfun Air Professional and the $100 Edifier TWS NB2.
I feel the Liberty Air 2 Professional have higher sound high quality and ANC than each of those fashions, and the Soundcore app opens up an enormous number of customization choices for sound, controls, and ANC. Additionally they offera wi-fi charging, one thing neither the Earfun or Edifier fashions have. That stated, they’ve barely higher battery life and the Earfun Air Professional has barely extra water resistance (IPX5 versus IPX4 for the Liberty Air 2 Professional). I feel the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Professional undoubtedly justify their greater worth.
How lengthy will they final?
The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Professional include an 18-month guarantee and lifelong tech assist, which is healthier than the business common. They look like very nicely constructed, so I count on they’ll endure fixed use simply in addition to many comparable fashions at this worth. The sliding lid on the charging case could possibly be a weak level over time, however thus far, I’ve seen no complaints concerning the Liberty 2 Professional, which use an an identical design.
Must you purchase them?
Sure. The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Professional provide nice sound and superb ANC for a worth that’s means lower than many comparable merchandise.