Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 was purchased to allow our expert reviewer to thoroughly evaluate and test it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.
The Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 may be the best option when it comes to true wireless headphones. That isn’t a claim made lightly—the true wireless category is as crowded and competitive as they come. Soundcore normally is a brand that's reserved for the lower-to-mid market. The Liberty Pros are priced right next to average-priced models.
These earphones feel more expensive because of the features. The top-notch battery life ensures these earphones won’t die easily; the formidable water resistance and the unique design, fit, and finish will scratch that gadget itch; and the sound quality, while perhaps oversold on the marketing materials, is very impressive for the price point. Here’s how the earphones fared during my week’s worth of everyday testing.
Designs: A refreshing change
A pair of headphones has been a major selling point for many brands. Apple's white stem-based design has remained the same, but brands such as Sony and Bose have tried to break new ground by using oval shapes to hide inside your ears or floating outside. Because a product like this is so small, but needs to contain lots of tech (Bluetooth receivers, rechargeable batteries, microphones, and of course the speaker driver), how a brand chooses to design the casing of the earbud can become an important consideration for a consumer—especially if you’re planning on wearing these around every day.
The Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 earbuds aren’t trying to give you the smallest footprint around as each earbud actually features two separate speakers (more on that in the sound quality section). These earbuds, while being on the larger side of the market are still smaller than those offered by Sony and Bose. That’s because Soundcore has used a lot of real estate inside the eartip part, and have gone with an oblong oval for the back side of the chassis.
The two-tone gray color scheme is right in line with the rest of the market, but the flat, rounded battery case that looks kind of like a pill box is not like anything I’ve seen on the market. One personal opinion: the Soundcore logo (with an accented “d” on top of it) looks sort of odd, and because the wordmark is so large on the battery case, it actually detracts from what would otherwise be a really sleek package. Otherwise, the Pros get passing marks.
Comfort - A flexible fit
I’m always surprised with how many people will just accept a sub-par fit for their earbuds. The way a pair of earphones feels in your ears is so important, because if you can’t wear them for very long or, perhaps worse, if the earbuds fall out of your ears, you can’t enjoy any other feature on the earphones.
Soundcore understands this and has included more than 12 additional tips, wings, sizes, and styles in their package. Once you’ve found the right eartips and wings for you, the fit ends up feeling much more customized than many other earbuds. That’s because Soundcore is giving you two points of contact for a solid fit—the eartips fill out your ear canal nicely for good sound isolation and the soft, looped wing just barely hooks the inside of your outer ear to ensure that if the eartip does come loose, it won’t fall out as easily.
I tend to like an eartip that doesn’t sit quite as snugly as these. The Bose SoundSport Free’s pinched, cone-like tips allow for better airflow in my case, so I do find the Liberty Pro 2s a little too tight. But if you don’t mind that, then these will likely check the comfort box well for you. Given the dual-driver design, the weight of the whole package is less than I expected. The battery case is also just under 3 ounces. This adds to the level of comfort.
The case with the Liberty Pros gives you plenty of quality for the price point—the soft-touch plastic won’t scratch as easily as a gloss finish and the soft-sliding lid rivals even the AirPods’ satisfying lid snap.
Build Quality and Durability: More bang for the buck
It is difficult to describe the tactile sensation of wireless headphones, but it has been a key factor in making sure you are satisfied. The battery case that comes with the Liberty Pro 2 gives you plenty of quality for the price point—the soft-touch plastic won’t scratch as easily as a gloss finish and the soft-sliding lid rivals even the AirPods’ satisfying lid snap. Soft silicone tips and wings make the case feel great, as does the soft-touch plastic on the earbuds. It feels luxurious, and is a must-have accessory for true wireless headphones.
In terms of durability, I’m a little concerned about the lifespan of these earbuds. Although the sliding lid is very handy, it can be easily scratched and even broken after many times of closing and opening it. The ultra-soft earwings are super comfortable and are definitely made of high-quality rubber, but on the flip side of that, I’m concerned that down the road they’ll start to wear thin and break. I obviously haven’t spent months or even multiple weeks with these earphones, so it’s hard to say for sure, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Soundcore has included IPX4 water resistance here, which isn’t the most secure I’ve seen on earphones at this price point, but will certainly take sweat and light rain during workouts.
Setup and Connectivity: Stable and seamless
The setup of these earphones was about as seamless as you’d expect. Unboxing the earbuds from their cases will put them in pairing mode. The only problem is the speed at which the audio cues that tell you if the headphones are connected or not occur when the buds are removed from their cases. It’s nice that there is a cue in plain English, but if it happens too quickly, before I’m able to get the earbud in my ear, then I can’t hear it and it defeats the purpose.
The Liberty Pros are a premium pair of earbuds that use Bluetooth 5.0 to provide a wide range of connectivity and stable connection. You also get the full set of Bluetooth codescs from AAC and SBC, all the way through to aptX support.
In general, these earphones tended to succumb to “other device” Bluetooth interference much less than some others that I’ve tried. Granted, I’ve been working from home a lot lately, and therefore am not around a lot of other earphones. The Liberty Pro 2 remained stable even when I had several Bluetooth devices attached at once.
Excellent Sound Quality: Unbeatable considering the cost (and other)
The Liberty Pro 2's sound quality is amazing. I’ll be honest—I’m hesitating to give these earphones rave reviews because Soundcore is leaning very heavily on wild marketing claims to sell the audiophile nature of these earbuds. The first red flag is the claim that “ten Grammy-winning producers recommend these earphones.” While this isn’t a particular issue in and of itself, there isnt much more information to support that claim, and usually brands that tout “producer-recommended sound” are doing so because the specs don’t match.
It is simply amazing to hear the sound quality from Liberty Pro 2.
However, despite my hesitation, I can confirm that these earphones sound amazing, and that’s before you even factor in their budget-friendly price tag. That’s because of the “Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture”. That sort of bloated marketing speak is also something I don’t usually like to see in lieu of real specs. This phrase simply means that Soundcore placed two speaker drivers, a standard 11m driver and a Knowles balanced armour driver, in each earbud. The bass driver is the only driver, the mids and details are taken care of by the second driver.
Soundcore placed two speaker drivers, a standard 11m driver and a Knowles balanced armour driver, in each earbud. The bass driver is the only driver, the mids and details are taken care of by the second driver.
It is what you would normally find used to wire in-ear monitors. It’s interesting to see that Soundcore has enlisted this pro-technology in true wireless earbuds, because the compression inherent in Bluetooth connectivity usually negates a lot of fancy drivers on the headphone end. However, Soundcore has thought of this too, as they’ve included Qualcomm aptX drivers (allowing for more lossless transfer of Bluetooth audio) to help bolster the performance. All in all, it’s a very impressive package.
Battery life: Impressive, with some bells
Soundcore's battery offering is quite compelling based on its numbers. According to the manufacturer, the earbuds can provide up to 8 hours continuous playtime with a single battery charge. The battery case extends that life to 32 hours.
I wasn’t able to drain these earphones fully, but I can anecdotally say that those totals were trending correctly in my daily use. If you tend to listen to music more loudly, I’d imagine that the rich bass response of these earphones will drain the battery more, but average use should put your totals right in line with what’s advertised.
What’s truly remarkable here is that the recharging capabilities of the Liberty Pros are very premium. They charge up via USB-C, and Soundcore advertises that the case is compatible with “fast charging,” though they give no speed estimates. The case charged up in about 90 minutes after I removed it from the packaging. This is about the average time for headphones like these.
What I found most surprising is that the battery case itself supports Qi-enabled wireless charging—meaning you can just drop that case onto the same wireless charger you use for your phone and it should work. This is actually a high sought-after feature for true wireless earbuds, because even the best in the business (from Sony to Apple’s entry-level AirPods) leave this option out.
Software: Extra features and fancy tricks that can be hard to find
These earphones are not for everyone. Soundcore's HearID feature is what makes them unique. Connect the headphones to your Soundcore smartphone and navigate to the HearID section. From here it’ll prompt you to move to a quiet area and will play you a series of tones in each ear and ask you to touch the screen when you can and can’t hear those tones (not unlike a hearing test, actually).
Soundcore will then audibly map the ear canals and hearing capacities and can optimize and EQ the sound for your particular hearing. It's a brilliant idea. I did my best to match the sound from the box to the post-HearID one. I think that going through the HearID step helped to round out the sound stage and made my music feel more natural and three-dimensional—but this is hard to be sure about without a clean A/B test. This could be a placebo effect.
The rest of the features are pretty expected—the app gives you some control over the connectivity of the earphones and it does allow you to manually equalize the sound of the earbuds to your specific taste. Additionally, there is a “four mic array” for phone calls that worked reasonably well the few times I used it during video calls. On-board buttons are top-mounted pushbuttons, but I prefer touch controls because they're easier to verify your inputs.
Prices: This is a great deal with one caveat
There’s no denying that, for the feature set, these earphones provide great value for the average consumer. The Liberty Pro 2 retails at $120, which is a decent price compared to the AirPods base model and way below other professional models such as those from Apple, Sony and Jabra. There’s one issue with this, however.
All of those brands I just mentioned are marquee brands that have garnered respect, trust, and caché in the industry. The Liberty Pro 2s can be taken out of the equation if you find a way. It is hard to ignore the fact that the pair of Liberty Pro 2s earphones were made by Anker, a company best known for its battery banks and charging cable (Soundcore is owned by Anker).
Again, many people don’t care too much about brand name, and if that’s you, then these earphones are amazing. But if you want the status and the peace of mind that comes from buying a product from one of the top brands in audio tech, then you’ll be more at home with Apple or Sony.
Soundcore Liberty Pro 2, vs. Apple AirPods Pro
It’s hard to pick a true competitor to the Liberty Pro 2 because they offer so many features that many brands have to pick and choose from. To my ears, the Liberty pros are more in line with Apple’s Airpods Pro (see on Apple) because they offer a similar sound spectrum, wireless charging, and a premium build quality. You’ll get noise cancellation and the premium look inherent with the AirPods family, but the dual-driver build interesting EQ capabilities of the Liberty Pro 2s make them sound just a little better, in my opinion.
Final Verdict A true hidden gem for the true wireless earbud market. In short—don’t sleep on the Soundcore Liberty Pro 2. These earphones offer nearly every feature you could ever want in a pair of true wireless earphones (with the noted exception of noise cancellation), and they’ve done it while managing to keep the price at the bottom of the pro spectrum. The build quality is great, though it might have issues in the long-term, and you have to wrestle with the idea of purchasing an “off-brand” product. The bang for the buck is incredible.