Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless Headphones Review
While the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 may have a slight resemblance to the Apple AirPods, are they a suitable alternative to the pricier Apple brand?
This isn’t Soundcore’s top-of-the-line earbud in terms of sound quality. For that, you’ll want to check out the Liberty 2 Pro. However, that’s not to say the sound quality on the Liberty Air 2 is bad. In fact, it’s far from it. The bass is still strong and the mids and highs sound great, although you may notice they are a little muddier at times compared to the Liberty 2 Pro. If comparing the Liberty Air 2 to the Apple AirPods, I would say the sound quality is about the same.
Like the Liberty 2 Pro, there are a plethora of adjustment settings for the sound in the Soundcore app. There are presets for Bass Booster, Classical, Dance, Pop, Hip-Hop, Rock, and more. You’ll definitely want to explore these to find which one is right for you.
There are also quite a few presets available from Soundcore’s list of Grammy-winning producers. As of today, there are 7 different profiles available from the producers, with some additional spaces marked as “coming soon”.
Of course, if you don’t like any of the preset options, you can customize the EQ manually.
Finally, there is one interesting setting referred to as “Hear ID”. When selecting this option, the app and earphones provide a sort of hearing test to determine which frequencies your ears can hear. The app then creates a personalized set of equalizer settings for you and stores them to the headphones.
The case is similar to the AirPods’ in that the top flips up and the earbuds rest with the stems facing down inside the case. When you open the top, the earbuds automatically turn on and pair with the last device. By the time you pull them out and put them in your ears, they have likely already found your phone, successfully paired, and are ready to play!
The case has 3 LEDs on the front to let you know the charging status of the case itself. The left and right LED also blink to confirm that the earbuds have been successfully placed back inside the case and are making contact.
The earbuds lack the ear stabilizer found on the Liberty 2 Pro, so they do feel a little less secure in my ear. The stem resembles the Apple AirPods and the white version may easily be mistaken for the pricier brand. I found the out-of-the-box fittings to be fine, but there are several other ear tips to test out to find the best fit for you.
- Noise-cancelling microphones: The idea of the extra mic on each earbud is to “listen for” surrounding noises and filter them out when you’re taking a phone call. This is similar to how Apple’s AirPods work, and while I found they worked somewhat better than the Liberty 2 Pro, callers noted that my voice sounded somewhat tinny. Also, the Liberty Air 2 seems to pick up noises in front of my face, such as typing on my keyboard, so much so that it sometimes overpowered my voice. Plus, since these seal to your ear canal, you can feel like you’re talking underwater when using both earbuds at the same time (however, you can use them one at a time to avoid this). Therefore, I would say they are acceptable for conference calls if you’re in a relatively quiet environment (such as a home office) and you are only using one earbud at a time.
- Auto pausing: If you remove one earbud, your music will automatically pause, much like the AirPods. However, music does not automatically resume when you re-insert the earbud. You will need to tap the earbud to resume playback.
- IPX5 water resistant rating: This rating is slightly higher than what is found on the Liberty 2 Pro, but it still means that the earbuds are resistant to splashing (well, supposedly it can withstand jet streams) of water, but not for submersion in water. You’ll still want to wipe them down with a slightly damp cloth after a workout because sweat can be more corrosive than water.
- Customizable touch sensors: While the earphones will always play/pause with a single tap of the touch sensor located on each earbud, you can customize the double-tap and the 2-second hold to either adjust the volume, rewind/skip tracks, or summon your phone’s voice assistant. This can be configured in the Soundcore app.
- Single earbud use: You can use either earbud by itself which is convenient when you need to hear what’s going on with your other ear.
Battery and Charging
Anker claims up to 7 hours of battery life and that a quick 10 minute charge in the charging case can yield up to 2 hours of playback time. The charging case can provide up to 3 recharges of the earbuds before the case itself needs to be charged.
The charging case can easily be recharged with a USB-C (thank you, Anker, for not using Micro USB!). You can also set the charging case on a Qi-compatible charging pad for wireless charging, which is another nice touch that Soundcore has implemented!
The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 earbuds offer great sound quality, the ability to use either earbud one-at-a-time, and convenient USB-C and wireless charging. Call quality is acceptable, but you'll need to be in a reliatively quiet environment.
- Very good sound quality with lots of adjustment options
- USB-C and Qi wireless charging
- Single earbud use
- Long battery life
- Microphone can sound tinny and picks up some ambient sounds