Review: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air (Hardware)
Souncore is an official branch of Anker, the company responsible for the can-sized Nebula Capsule projector. Having reviewed it earlier this year, I had quite the expectations for their Liberty Air.
Before diving into it, you might be interested in the contents and specs first, so here you go!
Contents & Specs
- Liberty Air
- Charging Case
- XS/S/M/L EarTips
- Micro USB Cable
- User Manual
- Input 5 V 0.5 A
- Charging time 2 hours
- Playtime (varies by volume level and content) 5 hours
- Weight (product net weight) 55 g / 1.9 oz
- Impedance 16 Ω
- Driver (full range) 6 mm × 2
- Frequency response 20 Hz - 20 KHz
- Bluetooth version V 5.0
- Range 10 m / 33 ft
Compact & Pocketable
At a glance the Liberty Air looks like a fancy piece of tech. The compact charging box doubles as a secure case for storing the earphones, packing a minimalistic look with the Soundcore logo on the top and a micro-USB charging port at the bottom. Flipping its lid open will illuminate the LED lights on the front, giving an indication of the battery life (3 LEDs max, so it’s not as accurate as I would like them to be but better than nothing I guess...). The two ear pieces inside unfortunately have a plastic-y look and feel on closer inspection, which, however, does confer them some lightweight. Somewhat compensating for the build quality is the earbuds’ IPX5-rated coating, making them reasonably waterproof (the case however does not share this coating).
Nevertheless the Liberty Air earbuds are very comfortable to wear for hours on. Be sure to find appropriate eartips for your ear (4 sizes are included) as a snug fit will naturally be more comfortable but also provide a better audio experience by blocking ambient sounds.
Once packed, everything fits nicely in your front pocket, backpocket, side pocket or whatever pocket you have. This highly pocketable aspect of this peripheral is one its highlights. You can easily carry them around during your commute or to play on the go on your phone.
Now, enough with the aesthetic front, let’s see how it performs!
Cool in the ear; cool to hear.
The Liberty Air is child’s play to use. Just pair them over bluetooth and you're good to go—no need for any companion app or set up! The earpieces will automatically connect with the device on subsequent uses once removed from the charging case. Moreover, packing Bluetooth 5.0 technology, the connection is very stable, showing no issues with the connection while in use.
Using the Liberty Air does provide a great audio experience for such small and light earbuds. With its graphene-coated drivers, the earpieces juggles decently with the mids, bass and treble to deliver clear and distortion-free sound. They are my go-to earphones to listen to my Spotify Commute Playlist since receiving them. Of course, it's not on par with high grade over-the-ear headsets on the market, but with the Liberty Air costing a fraction of many of them at $80, it puts on an admirable show. The Liberty Air does a great job for daily use, whether it’s for listening to music, watching videos, or even answering calls. With its two built-in microphones with “uplink noise cancellation” to filter out surrounding noise, a clear sound is delivered during calls.
Obviously, for gaming purposes, the latency aspect has to be taken into consideration with such wireless pieces. With that in mind, you might not want to consider the Liberty Air for competitive gaming but otherwise, it is a great device offering tangle-free and quality audio for casual and/or single player games. Pairing it with a device like the GuliKit Route+ Pro will even allow it to be used on the Nintendo Switch! This combination is my favourite given the great sound quality of the Liberty Air and its light and portable aspect. Thanks to it, I’ve been standing on my toes, anticipating each grunt and growl that might indicate a Ganado in Resident Evil 4 but I’ve also been enjoying (in a more relaxed atmosphere) the retro tunes in Sega Mega Drive Classics.
Being wireless, earphones tend to compromise on features, but the Liberty Air managed to include so much despite its small size and light weight. One of the coolest is definitely the touch function. Both earpieces feature a touch sensor where specific tap sequences will perform functions like play/pause music, skip tracks, answer/end/reject calls and even call up your smartphone’s Voice Assistant! While cool on paper, in practice, it is often a hit-or-miss affair. That being said, when they do work, I almost always have a “That’s rad!” moment. A missed opportunity here is to include a touch function to increase or decrease the volume from the earbuds themselves, and being absent means you have to control the volume from the main device.
On a single charge, these earbuds officially last for around 5 hours, but of course this is subject to your use. While gaming I can usually juice around 4 hours but listening to music only gives me more, around 4.5 hours. Moreover, to save battery, the Liberty Air automatically switches off when not in use. If you use them on and off in oppose to a single lengthy sitting, they're likely to last you a good while, the charging case providing power for three full charges with the earbuds automatically charging once stored.
+ Sound quality
+ Battery life
+ Cool touch features
+ Waterproof earpieces
- Plastic-y look and feel of the earpieces
- Touch features can be a hit-or-miss affair
- No touch control for volume adjustment
out of 10
All in all, the Liberty Air is a fine pair of wireless earbuds, with great sound quality and cool touch controls for such a small and light device.