Soundcore Liberty 4 NC Review
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The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC earbuds themselves look very similar to the original Liberty 4 earbuds, however the case opens differently and is a little bit larger. Instead of a slide cover, it now has a button that automatically open the case. The earbuds are also slightly larger themselves, the most noticeable difference is the longer stem.
The Liberty 4 NC earbuds come in a variety of colors: black, light blue, dark blue, light pink, and white.
The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC headphones give you the great sound quality of the “regular” Soundcore Liberty 4, but with souped-up Noise Cancellation powers. This is something I’ve definitely noticed while using these earbuds while mowing the lawn: the definitely drowned out the sound of the mower more than my other Active Noise Cancellation earbuds or even some of my over-the-ear headphones.
With the Soundcore app, you can enable Adaptive Noise Cancellation on the earbuds, which automatically adjust the noise cancellation mode based on the noise level around you. You can also chose from the 5 levels of noise cancellation manually, or manually selecting a noise cancellation setting for traveling such as airplane, train, bus or car.
There are two Transparency Modes to select from (”fully transparent” and “vocal”), however, the Liberty 4 NC earbuds do not feature Adaptive Transparency Mode like the Apple AirPods Pro 2.
Soundcore notes that the Liberty 4 NC earbuds are SGS certified and can reduce noise by up to 98.5% compared to other earbuds. It can be difficult to compare how effective noise cancellation because different headphones can be effective at cancelling noise at different frequencies, but here’s a chart of the frequencies that each earbud is best at cancelling.
Besides the noise cancellation features, you still get the great sound quality of the original Liberty 4 earbuds: strong bass, and clear mids and highs. You can adjust the sound with the Soundcore app by selecting one of the pre-built settings (like Bass Booster or Dance), or create your own equalizer settings. The earbuds also feature HearID which performs a hearing test of sorts and creates a custom listening profile for you.
- Adaptive Noise Cancellation: As noted above, the Active Noise Cancellation adapts to the environment and helps offset the sounds around you.
- Auto Play/Pause: The earbuds can automatically pause your music when one is removed from your ear. This can be disabled in the app if you don’t like this.
- Gaming Mode: If you game on your phone, you can enable this feature in the Soundcore app to reduce Bluetooth latency.
- Sound Leak Compensation: When enabled in the Soundcore app, this setting detects if audio is leaking (due to a poor fit) and adjusts the sound output accordingly.
- Dual Connection (multi-point connect): The earbuds can connect to two devices simultaneously (like your phone and your laptop) and automatically switch between the two.
- “Find My” feature: This feature simply plays a chirping tone on the earbuds, but during the beta period, the chirp sound was very low, which is going to make it difficult to find an earbud anywhere but a completely quiet room. Hopefully this gets fixed in a future update.
Liberty 4 vs Liberty 4 NC
So what’s the difference between the Soundcore Liberty 4 compared to the Liberty 4 NC? There are a some features missing from these new earbuds that were present in the original Liberty 4:
- No heart rate tracking
- No head tracking or movie mode for the spatial audio feature
- No CloudComfort ear tips
What’s new on the Liberty 4 NC from the original Liberty 4?
- Mainly, the enhanced environmental adaptive noise cancellation feature is the biggest improvement you’ll see (er, hear?) on the Liberty 4 NC.
- These new earbuds have a “Sound Leak Compensation” setting that helps boost the sound if the earbud detects sound leakage (seal is not tight to your ear)
- There is an additional “Long Press” control on these earbuds that you can customize (to turn Noise Cancellation on/off, for example).
- There is a “Safe Volume” setting on these Soundcore earbuds to limit the maximize volume.
Liberty 4 NC vs AirPods Pro 2
How do the Liberty 4 NC compare to the AirPods Pro 2? You get many of the features of the AirPods Pro 2 for less than half the MSRP price, but there are some important differences. The AirPods Pro 2 have adaptive Transparency Mode (where it will reduce loud sounds when allowing sound to come through), which these Soundcore earbuds do not have this feature.
The AirPods Pro 2 also have head tracking when using spatial audio, so it sounds like the music is coming from your phone even as you move around; the Liberty 4 NC do not have this although the original Liberty 4 did.
Finally, the AirPods Pro 2 is more tightly integrated with the iPhone operating system, allowing you to more easily access the battery life and settings. With the Liberty 4 NC, you’ll need to use the Soundcore app to access the battery information and settings.
Battery Life on the Liberty 4 NC
These earbuds can achieve up to 8 hours on a single charge, and up to 50 hours total when you factor in the recharges from the case.
Video Review of the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC
The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC give you improved Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, while still maintaining the great sound quality of the original Liberty 4. They have many of the features of the Apple AirPods Pro but with a sub-$100 price tag.
- Even better Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation
- Great sound quality
- Long battery life
- No Adaptive Transparency Mode
- Some features are missing from original Liberty 4