Anker has managed to carry its personal towards big tech rivals by delivering better-than-expected sound and cramming options into its Soundcore-branded wi-fi earbuds—all whereas retaining them priced decrease than the competitors. The Liberty 3 Pro is the newest instance of this and reveals how far the corporate has are available in designing audio merchandise.
At $170, the Liberty 3 Pros are essentially the most superior earbuds within the SoundCore lineup, with twin drivers in every bud, lively noise cancellation, wi-fi charging, plus further options like multipoint and LDAC assist. They ship a strong, wealthy sound signature that tops one thing like this Liberty Air 2 Pro, lengthy battery life, IPX4 water resistance, and extra. They are available in a number of colours, together with white, black, purple, and the grey set I reviewed.
As far because the ear and feather suggestions that come within the field, Anker throws in the whole lot besides the kitchen sink. With the stemless Liberty 3 Pro Buds, you get 4 of every. With so many sizing choices, discovering the proper match can really feel like Process As you tinker with completely different mixtures. But the corporate deserves credit score for offering the copious choice when most main rivals toss in three pairs of ear suggestions and name it a day. Although they’re smaller than the sooner Liberty 2 Pro, these earbuds aren’t as discrete or small as some rivals, however they don’t seem to be unpleasant within the least.
The Pebble-shaped charging case opens with a clean sliding movement and closes with a satisfying thunk, and so I find yourself with it myself when carrying the Liberty 3 Pro. It’s straightforward for these circumstances to really feel low cost if they have free tolerances or open too simply, however Anchor avoids these pitfalls. Each earbud has an LED that lights up when seated correctly within the case, which helps wi-fi charging along with topping off USB-C.
Anker makes plenty of huge claims about sound high quality and infrequently says that its Soundcore Buds are beneficial by 20 Grammy-winning consultants. In fact, they sound fairly dynamic – if not as refined as ours. Preferred Premium Choice, One driver handles the bass, whereas the opposite focuses on the mid and treble. The Liberty 3 Pro undoubtedly has your commonplace V-shaped EQ curve and sound crisp and out of the field. Frankly, the default bass output was too loud for my liking and it was too booming after I listened to “Stop Making This Hurt” by Bleachers. That observe additionally highlighted the Liberty 3 Pro’s behavior of boosting treble frequencies in generally harsh terrain. But you do get in depth EQ controls in the event you want to dial in your favourite sound.
Despite their assist of Bluetooth 5.2, I’ve observed the occasional audio cutout all through my time utilizing the Liberty 3 Pro. It isn’t a frequent annoyance and solely occurs as soon as in each listening session or two. But rivals akin to Sony, Samsung and others have develop into extra dependable when it comes to connection stability.
The most original factor concerning the Liberty 3 Pro is that they assist each LDAC (Sony’s high-bitrate wi-fi streaming protocol) and multipoint Bluetooth, so you may join to 2 units without delay. Sony’s flagship 1000XM4 earbuds additionally do not supply multipoint, however it’s lastly turning into extra widespread on earbuds aside from the Jabra.
However, it is price noting that because of the bandwidth limitations of Bluetooth, you may’t hear at LDAC high quality and reap the benefits of multipoint on the identical time; Anker asks you to decide on one or the opposite within the Soundcore cellular app. During the workday, I most well-liked the comfort of multipoint. But in the event you’re trying to calm down and take advantage of high-fidelity tracks from Amazon Music, Apple, Tidal, or Qobuz, it is not exhausting to search out an LDAC toggle. Just remember that this takes a toll on battery life, decreasing the eight hours you get on a cost (with ANC turned off) to a bit of over 4 hours. I acquired about six hours of steady playback with ANC on utilizing the usual AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. There is sufficient juice within the charging case to recharge the earbuds thrice.
Anker is getting higher at lively noise cancellation, however it’s nonetheless not on the identical degree that Sony, Bose and Apple have reached. The Liberty 3 Pros do an honest job of quieting your environment, however the very best noise-canceling earbuds really feel such as you’ve pressed a mute button for the world round you, and that is not but Huh. The identical goes for Transparency Mode, which is an enchancment over earlier fashions, however falls in need of the pure impact you get with the AirPods Pro or Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds. People I spoke to on Zoom and on the telephone stated the Liberty 3 Pro saved my voice clear, though background noise on my finish would often break by means of in dialog.
The Soundcore app for Android and iOS is considerably bloated and cluttered; I’m undecided who’s asking for the shopping center part within the companion app for audio equipment. There are tons of options like customized sound profiles, white noise audio, and so forth — however it may use a few of the streamlined and fewer harsh, in-the-face promotion of different Soundcore merchandise. Using the app is a reminder that you simply went with a worth model, and never in a great way.
Looking on the complete bundle, the Liberty 3 Pro is a superb worth at $170. It’s straightforward to get Tunnel Vision when searching for earbuds and focus solely on the largest manufacturers. But in the event you’re decided to spend lower than $200 on a brand new set of earbuds, these Soundcore Buds include a protracted record of options, nice sound (after a couple of EQ modifications), and a snug match, pack beneficiant Thanks for the -ins. They’re not the very best at school in anyone factor, however are nice in lots of classes and make a strong purchase.
Photography by Chris Welch/The Verge