Soundcore’s Liberty line-up is receiving several new members this month. While the Liberty 2 and Liberty 2 Pro are in a class all their own, the Liberty Air is clearly Anker’s on-the-nose shot at everybody’s favorite white wireless buds. They even have Air in the name! But putting the obvious comparison aside for now, let’s see if the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 can stand on its own in this review.
Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Review
The original Liberty Air has the distinction of ‘Amazon’s Choice’, and have been popular Airpod alternatives for some time. The Liberty Air 2 sports a few upgrades. The graphene drivers have been upgraded to diamond which, according to Soundcore’s website, increases the frequency bandwith and delivers twice as much bass! For call quality, 2 mics have been upgraded to 4 with cVc 8.0 Uplink noise cancellation, and the battery life has been upped from 5 hours to 7 hours on one charge. Both versions use Bluetooth 5.0 and charge via USB.
Both the buds and the charging case a very lightweight. I know that seems like a given when considering Airpod-style buds, but these seem light even for their weight class.
The demo model I received is a dinosaur-egg looking off-white color, with a nice soft plastic finish. You’d think if they call the product “Air” that they’d go all the way and make them pure white, right? But the actual earbuds aren’t totally true to Airpod design either. They’re a bit more conventional, featuring silicone eartips and the Soundcore logo.
I thought the fit was great. Solid, comfortable, pretty good ambient noise isolation. Much better for my ears than the pods-who-must-not-be-named.
What’s not so great was the Bluetooth controls. They’re touch activated, and incredibly easy to trigger accidentally while you’re putting them in or taking them out.
Anker also eschews many of the typical earbud controlling conventions. Play/pause is two taps on the right, and skip track is two taps on the left. There’s no control for previous track or any volume control. Maybe my complaints are unjustified, seeing as these buds are obviously coming from Airpod territory, and not audiophile territory. But still! I don’t like those controls on Airpods, and I don’t like them here either. Bah-humbug.
I don’t know about the claim of “twice the bass” compared to the old Liberty Airs, but for a set of buds in this style, the bass is substantial. Nothing that would satisfy your inner raver, but certainly more bass presence than your typical ‘pods. It’s like a little round bubble of bass, right at the bottom. Not enough to feel, but enough to make your ears perk up and go “Oh, I can actually hear that bass now!” A welcome improvement.
The midrange is pretty clear, if a little small-sounding. Unfortunately, what sounds good for calls does not always sound good for music. But what surprised me was the quality of 1) midrange separation and 2) left-to-right soundstage. Both are much better than I expected and yes, way better than you-know-who’s.
The upper-midrange up into the treble frequencies sounds just a bit small and squeezed together, but the clarity in this range doesn’t disappoint either. There were times when I noticed a bit of clipping-type noises in this range; I couldn’t tell if it was the buds or perhaps the Bluetooth shorting on me. But the highs are clear and zesty, despite the small soundstage.
The noise-canceling mics seem to do their job too, as my dear Mother heard none of the sweaty-toothed passerby shouting on the city streets as I talked to her. The tuning definitely seems emphasized for voices, as she came in loud and clear.
Will the Liberty Air 2 oust your high-end IEMs? No. But that’s not why you’d get them. You’d get these to oust your Airpods, or at least your Airpod copies. And the Liberty Air 2’s certainly put in a strong bid for doing just that. They’re comfortable, convenient, and they sound pretty good. What more do you need, huh? Sheesh.
Pros- Comfort, noise isolation, detailed sound, decent soundstage.
Cons- Clunky controls, compressed upper range.
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