Chapter in this post:
I've been able to try out some exciting headphones in the past few months, and quite a few of them were true wireless in-ear headphones, like that Soundcore Liberty 2, the Ear Fun Air or the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79. All of them are very good wireless headphones that don't have to hide from the AirPods Pro.
But now Anker or Soundcore has a new model called "Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro“Sent for testing, which aroused high expectations in me, as Anker even organized an online event for the start of sales.
I am writing the report before the sales start and for this reason I have neither seen the event nor access the Soundcore app, which in "my time" does not yet know the new headphones.
If you read the text, however, both the Liberty Air 2 Pro and the Soundcore app Hopefully got an update and knows this new model. And I'll have seen the event. For the review, however, I have to do without these things.
I would like to tick off the rather boring, but somehow important, technical details at the beginning of the article so that we can then come to the interesting chapters. So let's get started quickly:
Scope of delivery: charging case, earphones, silicone earplugs in 9 sizes, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, instructions
The earbuds of the Liberty Air 2 Pro cannot do without the "stem", which can also be found in the AirPods Pro and other true wireless headphones. For me that's completely ok, because I don't find it easy to take headphones out of my ear without these antenna rods. And in terms of design, the little bars are not ugly either. With the Liberty Air 2 Pro, the whole thing even looks pretty sleek.
My model comes in the color sapphire blue, which is very close to space gray with a blue shimmer. The blue tone can only be seen relatively easily.
The charging case is made of matt plastic and looks quite classy. To open it, slide the lid back, where it snaps comfortably into place. Now you can remove the earbuds. The earbuds are activated when you open the lid. As a result, they are directly coupled in the ear and ready to be played.
From my point of view, there is nothing wrong with the design and the processing quality, because everything looks like it is made of one piece and looks good. The handling of the earbuds and the charging case is also very pleasant.
The first connection between the iPhone and the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro is very easy to establish. All you have to do is open the case and leave the earbuds inside. You should now see that they are flashing, indicating that they are in pairing mode.
Now go to the Bluetooth menu on the iPhone or the corresponding device that you want to pair and you should find the headphones there at the bottom of the list. With the button "Connect" the pairing is done.
A nice feature that I haven't wanted to miss since the AirPods is the detection of whether they are in the ear or outside. If you take it out briefly, the music or film playback is stopped immediately. If you put it back in within a certain time, playback will automatically resume.
The Liberty Air 2 Pro also offer this in-ear recognition. In my test, the function worked reliably - both pausing and replaying.
I'm not sure if this is an issue with the first firmware, but I failed to pair the Liberty Air 2 Pro with both the iPad and iPhone. The connection to each device worked individually, but as soon as I paired the second device, the first could no longer connect in the Bluetooth menu.
The only solution was to pair again, for which I held the button on the case for three seconds. Then the Liberty Air 2 Pro went into pairing mode and I was able to connect them.
However, since this has always worked with other Soundcore models, I assume that it is a technical problem that can be fixed with a firmware update.
I already had the HearID feature in Test of the Liberty 2 Tried and couldn't quite finish the profiling process. When the app for the Liberty Air 2 Pro has been updated, I'll give it another try.
If it works, you create a profile for your hearing and use it to adapt the playback of the headphones to your personal strengths and weaknesses of the ears. In this way, frequencies are reproduced louder that are difficult to hear and others that are more perceptible are turned down.
The new version HearID 2 now also allows you to adjust the profile yourself afterwards.
The following point will be interesting for everyone with a hearing impairment in one ear: The app measures the values for the left and right ears separately and adjusts the reproduction of the frequencies individually for each ear.
A special feature of the Liberty Air 2 Pro is the noise suppression, which can be adapted to various environments via the app. Even the transparency mode has two different modes: One mode passes all noises through, while the second mode only lets the voices in conversations pass through and “blocks” the rest.
Since the Soundcore app does not yet have a "Liberty Air 2 Pro", I could not test these different transparency functions. I was only able to test the "normal ANC" and the corresponding transparency function. However, I will be happy to give you my assessment after the fact when the Soundcore app has been updated.
To give an impression of how good the ANC is that you already get without the app, I heard the Liberty Air 2 Pro compared to the AirPods Pro.
The shielding of the Apple headphones was a tad better than the ANC of the Liberty Air 2 Pro, but I think you can probably only hear this in a direct comparison.
If you have loud noises such as vacuum cleaners, car engines, bus or train noises, the Liberty Air 2 Pro filter out the annoying sounds almost as well. If you can then adjust the ANC via the app, it could even be that the ANC mode, which is geared towards travel noise, for example, works even more effectively than the "general noise suppression" of the AirPods Pro.
Basically, neither the AirPods Pro nor the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro offer as good noise suppression as they do Apple AirPods Max or the Bose Quite Comfort 35. This is simply due to the design, because over-ear headphones can probably work more effectively for technical reasons.
At this point a reference to mine Review of the Soundcore Life Q30, which are excellent over-ear headphones with ANC at an amazing price.
In the transparency mode, I have a similar picture. While with the AirPods Pro I have the feeling that I have absolutely nothing in my ears, the ambient noises and voices with the Liberty Air 2 Pro sound a bit muffled. I can understand the other person and have a conversation without any problems, but the sound of the voice is just a bit duller.
Again, I would like to point out that I had no way of testing the effects of the various transparency modes. I will make up for this and then add my results in a few days.
Another point that I noticed very positively with the other Soundcore headphones is the ability to set the touch elements and commands completely to your own needs.
If you prefer to “activate Siri” by tapping twice on the left earbud instead of “one song further”, that is done quickly. Definitely a plus in the operating concept.
I like to demonize the devices that are operated with touch elements. My black-and-white vision simply comes from the fact that I've seen so often that products that are good in themselves fail because of a poor operating concept with touch fields. Reliable operation is particularly important with headphones - ideally also with wet, sweaty fingers.
Soundcore has ventured onto the minefield of touch controls and I have to say: you have mastered it. Even with wet fingers I was able to transmit all touch commands cleanly and during the entire time I tested the headphones, I had perhaps two or three times the case that my desired command was not transmitted. Expressed in numbers, the error rate should be 1: 200 or even lower.
After so many points, we finally come to the actually impressive feature of the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro: the sound. The sound is very balanced and even the deep bass comes across dry and clear.
I've heard the AirPods Pro in comparison and they sound downright "flat" against the Liberty Air 2 Pro. With the Soundcore headphones I can perceive significantly more details, the bass is much stronger and overall the music sounds livelier and more exciting to me. Even songs that I've heard very often are even more enjoyable with the Liberty Air 2 Pro.
I never found the AirPods bad and the AirPods Pro sound a bit better, but now that I've heard the Liberty Air 2 Pro, I would only give the AirPods Pro a grade 2 to 3 for sound, while the Liberty Air 2 would get 1 for each. I assume the rich bass and round sound are also due to the drivers, which are 11 mm in diameter.
What I noticed: If you activated the ANC, the music sounds a tad better. I cannot say exactly why this is the case. With the AirPods Pro, I couldn't hear such a clear difference between activated ANC and transparency.
At first I was quite skeptical about the AirPods Pro from Apple, as I found the introduction of in-ears into the ears too fiddly until then. It was always a process of several seconds until the things finally sat properly in the ear.
With the AirPods Pro, Apple has managed to make this process almost as fast as with the classic AirPods. And that's exactly what Soundcore has achieved with the Liberty Air 2 Pro. They were put in and removed in no time - thanks in part to the small stems, which are not only helpful for radio transmission, but also when fitting.
I can give a resounding “yes”. With some Bluetooth headphones, there is an offset between the video image and voice due to the radio transmission, which of course greatly affects the viewing of films.
Such a delay was not found in my test. You can use the Liberty Air 2 Pro for video streaming without hesitation.
The charging case of the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro is slightly rounder and slightly more voluminous than the case of the AirPods Pro, but it wins the competition for the nicest hand flatterer. It doesn't feel uncomfortably square in your pocket either, but is absolutely suitable for everyday use. And who is currently his Fidget cube doesn't have it with you, you can easily snap the lid of the box open and shut with one hand. Somehow that has a calming effect. : D
A nice advantage of the charging case is that it can be charged via USB-C as well as via Qi charging. Thanks to this compatibility, the case also charges when it is placed on Apple's MagSafe adapter. But of course it also works with any other Qi-Charger, such as the one in this Satechi power bank or this Anker Qi-Charging Powerbank place.
Otherwise, it should perhaps be noted that the lid of the charging case is built in such a way that it does not open automatically in the trouser pocket. You have to push a bit for it to snap open and that is unlikely to happen unintentionally.
If you are looking for the best ANC in the world, you will probably be happier with over-ear headphones. People who, on the other hand, want good workmanship, sensible operation and a fabulous sound for an acceptable price and who do not refuse a quite passable ANC with transparency mode, are definitely in the target group of the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro.
In terms of sound, these are the best in-ear headphones I've had the chance to test so far. I had not yet been able to test any in-ears in the price segment from 200 to 500 euros from Shure, Meze, Mackie or Sennheiser, but in the 50 to 150 euros range I had already heard a few in-ears as a test and I think I can do the Liberty Recommend Air 2 Pro without hesitation.
The Soundcore In-Ears not only sound good with pop, rock and other modern styles of music, but I think they are also good for watching Netflix, for listening to classical music or for consuming podcasts. They are really good all-rounders.
If you want to get the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro, you will find it here on amazon.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.