Soundcore has really hit the ground running with the new entries in their Liberty series. The Liberty Air 2, the Liberty Pro 2, and for this review, the regular ol’ Liberty 2.
Being $50 cheaper and lacking ‘Pro’ from the name, I’m curious to see how the Liberty 2 stacks up to the Liberty Pro 2, which I found impressive in my prior review. Will they seem amateur by comparison? As Christopher Columbus once said: let’s find out.
Soundcore Liberty 2 Review
Externally, the Liberty 2 is nearly indistinguishable from the Liberty 2 Pro. I have them both sitting in front of me now, and I keep forgetting which is which. Only the finish of the case is different. The Liberty 2 is a shinier black instead of grey, which I think looks more professional than the Pros. Go figure.
I like the design of the case, although perhaps just for the novelty. It doesn’t have a hinge and instead slides open. Anyway it’s unique, and feels satisfying to open and close mindlessly like a fidget-toy.
The fit is solid, as the silicone wing provides stability without suffocating your ear canal. And the Bluetooth 5.0 connection went off without a hitch.
But, like the Liberty 2 Pros, the Bluetooth control buttons are a little too small on the Liberty 2s. You do get used to them, but I always found it just a bit more difficult than I’d like to find the button and press it quickly. The battery life is also the same at 8 hours, extended to 32 with the charging case.
The Liberty 2s are also IPX5 waterproof and use 4 mics and noise cancellation for voice calls. Perfect for making phone calls as your tribe celebrates a successful rain dance.
Compared to the Liberty 2 Pro
After scouring the boxes, manuals and the Soundcore website (no, I don’t actually have anything better to do) I could only find 3 differences between these and the Pros:
- Slightly higher impedance on the Liberty 2s, 16 ohms vs 8 ohms. Probably not enough to matter in day-to-day application.
- The Pros have slightly updated Bluetooth software. They both still use v5.0, but certain aspects of the Bluetooth Profile are more up-to-date on the Pros.
- Probably the most important difference: the drivers.
The Pros use an 11mm driver plus a balanced armature, aligned in a swanky new configuration they call “Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture”. Tongue-twister of a name, but this configuration gets some loving from the 10 Grammy-winning producers Soundcore invited to test, tune and later endorse the Liberty 2 Pros.
The standard edition Liberty 2s are endorsed by a whopping ZERO Grammy-winning producers. Maybe that’s because they just use a single 10mm driver on each side. Or maybe that’s because they don’t have ‘Pro’ in the name. Hmm. The drivers in the standard Liberty 2s are diamond-coated though! Far out!
But let’s put ’em to the test and find out what these diamonds sound like.
For those of you who haven’t already, I strongly recommend you check out the reviews of the Liberty 2 Pro (mine is here). The Liberty 2 Pros deliver very impressive clarity and sound quality, and for only $50 more, I would encourage audiophiles to make the jump. To me, the Liberty 2s clearly seem like a budget-version of the Pros, forever living in the shadow of their elder model. Maybe I should’ve reviewed the Liberty 2 first before doing the Liberty 2 Pro… but, alas.
The low end on the Liberty 2 is warm, but doesn’t sound as boosted as the Pros. Aside from that, the two drivers seem to handle the lower range very similarly. And it should be emphasized that the low end here is gonna be bigger than most other $100 wireless earbuds out there. It sits like a nice warm blanket underneath the sound.
The midrange is similar to the Pros as well. We have a tucking in of the lower midrange, which increases separation but also pulls out some of that mojo juice. Adjectives like ‘richness’ or ‘character’ are eschewed for ones like ‘accuracy’ and ‘cleanliness’.
The upper midrange does not seem to be tucked down in the same way, but the boosting of the highs and lows almost makes it seem that way. The highs have a nice sizzle to them, although with not as much fidelity as the Pros.
Like the Pros, the strengths of the Liberty 2s are in the clarity and instrument separation. Each frequency is given it’s own room to breath, and music makers will appreciate the ability to evaluate different instruments that this enables.
Admittedly, I shot myself in the foot by getting ahold of the Liberty 2 Pro first. It’s tough for me to approach the Liberty 2 objectively, and see it as anything more than a step down from the 2 Pro. While this speaks to the quality of the 2 Pro, it’s probably unfair to the Liberty 2.
For $100, you’d probably have a tough time finding something that sounds better. In fact, there are some true wireless earbuds in the $150 range out there that still don’t sound quite as good as the regular Liberty 2 does. So for their weight class, the Liberty 2 strikes above. But if you have the extra $50, go for the Pros to get yourself a real treat in true wireless.
- Detailed sound
- Great quality for the price
- Not as awesome as the Liberty 2 Pros
- Sound is more analytical than exciting
Find them on Amazon
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