Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 wireless earbuds are the best sounding true wireless headphones in the $100 – $200 range. There’s no noise-canceling, but they offer unprecedented battery life, a great app, and two powerful drivers in each bud (a true wireless first!)
- Amazing audio quality and bass
- Sleek charging case
- Wireless and USB-C charging
- Lots of fit options
- Personalization app
- Long battery life
- Quick charge
- App lacks Custom EQ settings
- May not stay in-ear for everyone
- Occasional background static
While Anker’s Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro wireless earbuds may seem like just another pair of true wireless headphones, they’re actually the first of their kind. These innovative earbuds feature not one, but two, drivers in them which can produce audio quality and bass, unlike anything you would expect from headphones in this price range.
Soundcore Liberty Pro 2s have a somewhat unique design. They’re not the smallest in-ears, but they’re strategically designed to be ergonomic and still have enough room for a large battery and cutting edge tech. They come with a myriad of ear tips (7 sizes!) and 3 sizes of stabilizing ear wings, all nicely laid out on a card for easy storing. That means there are 21 different fit options if you use the ear wings to find the ultimate fit. The buds are extremely comfortable, light, and natural feeling. Most people should be able to find a secure fit, but if you have finicky ears (like me) you may find yourself pushing them back in if you’re active. They’re IPX-4 water-resistant too, so if you do get a good fit they’re great for the gym.
The buds look great, but we’re almost more impressed with the case design. Like all buds in this category, the case is a battery pack that houses and charges the buds. It can be charged with the included USB-C cable (woo USB-C!) or even with standard Qi wireless charging. The case is pocket-sized and considerably small compared to the bud size. The secret to the sleek size is that the case doesn’t swing open, but it slides back on a really satisfying and secure slider. We play with it constantly because it feels so good. The case is otherwise pretty straight forward: there’s a button for pairing, LED status lights for battery, and magnetic housing for the buds to snap into place and charge. The magnets ensure the buds are always lined up and charging, unlike some other cases where there’s a little more work required to make sure each bud is actually charging.
The battery life is really impressive on the Liberty Pro 2s: the buds themselves last 8 hours and the case bumps them up to an unprecedented 32 hours. A single 10-minute charge will even get you 2 hours of playtime! These are incredible stats, and the USB-C and wireless charging options hopefully mean running out of battery will never be a problem.
Of course, these are Bluetooth wireless headphones, and they support the latest Bluetooth 5. One thing that stood out about the connection is how quickly these pair to our phone. Soundcore’s trick is that they start pairing when you open the case, and don’t wait for you to remove the buds first. There is an occasional hiccup in connecting, but otherwise, the only other Bluetooth headphones that we’ve seen pair so quickly on iOS are Apple’s own AirPods. The connecting is strong and the range is about as good as we’ve seen.
App and controls
One of the prized features of these Soundcores is the app and the customization/personalization it offers. Headphone apps are usually hit or miss and Soundcore offers the two things every headphone app should have: EQ settings and button customization. At the time of this review, there is 22 different tuning presets to choose from including Soundcore signature, acoustic, bass booster, dance, spoken word, vocal booster, flat, and more. Strangely, they seem to offer every preset imaginable but no custom tuner — thankfully they have enough options to choose from. The tuning also seems to persist after you shut your buds off or restart your phone.
Each bud has just one control button and you can configure what a double tap or a 1-second hold does. You can choose from changing tracks, adjusting volume, or activating voice assist. We love these options. Single presses are reserved for playing and pausing, but potentially those are configurable in the future.
The last app feature is called HearID; it runs a test to personalize the tuning specifically to your ears. It tests how well each ear hears a full range of tones and then bumps the frequencies you have a harder time hearing. I learned that my left ear doesn’t hear lower frequencies as well as my right, and it resulted in bumped bass for my left ear.
The “Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture” is an impressive implementation for wireless earbuds. Rather than cranking all the audio out of a single driver, there’s an armature driver for focusing on the treble and detail and a dynamic driver for the punchy bass. Together they deliver a super high-quality audio signature that you may only expect from larger headphones or much more expensive buds. They offer fantastic detail, separation, clarity, and depth. The bass is amazing — full and punchy. Play with the tuning in-app and you might swear these are the best buds you’ve ever heard. We suspected the “HearID” personalized tuning would be gimmicky but were surprised at what a difference they made. Your experience will vary since everyone’s hearing is different. These are not noise-canceling but the noise isolation is pretty good, especially with all the different ear tips to choose from.
There are 4 built-in microphones designed to zero in on voice and reduce ambient noise. We found call quality with these headphones to be a lot better than average. It does actually focus on voice and filter out a lot of ambient background noise. The only true wireless headphones’ with a slightly more impressive microphone would be Apple’s AirPods and Powerbeat Pros, which we found both bring out a little more detail and clarity in our voice.
For the price, we’ve got to say these are definitely one of the best pair of true wireless buds we’ve reviewed. They compete closely on price with Apple’s non-pro AirPods and we think the Soundcore’s win in most of the categories other than microphone, Hey Siri, and brand recognition. With that said, Liberty 2 Pro’s audio quality is beyond most true wireless buds by offering incredible detail and punchy bass. The battery life is also one of the best in market. The fit will really depend on the person, but fortunately, in the box, there are more fit options than most buds offer. We found them really comfortable but like most buds that don’t hook around the ear we had a tough time during activity. Soundcore’s Liberty Pro 2 headphones are currently available from Amazon for $149.99.