The $129.99 Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Professional Upgraded Model—to not be confused with the usual Liberty 2 Professional or the Liberty Air 2 Professional—are considerably perplexing true wi-fi earphones, and never simply in the case of their identify. Not like lots of Anker’s equally priced fashions, they do not supply lively noise cancellation, and whereas they’re able to driving glorious audio, their default sound signature scoops out the mids to a major diploma. You can also make changes through the companion app’s EQ to dial in commendable sound high quality, however that shouldn’t be a requirement. For that purpose we advocate the $150 JBL Stay 300TWS or OnePlus Buds Professional as an alternative, regardless of their barely greater worth.
Cumbersome Design, Wirelessly Charging Case
The Liberty 2 Professional Upgraded earpieces are chunky, however that is as a result of every one homes twin drivers—a Knowles balanced armature for highs and an 11mm dynamic driver for lows, which is a formidable setup for this worth vary. We additionally just like the array of eartip and earfin choices you get, together with seven pairs of ideas and three pairs of earfin sleeves all in several sizes. The earfins and the rectangular form of the earpieces assist guarantee one of many safer suits we’ve felt shortly.
A button on the highest outer panel of every earpiece handles controls. A single press on both ear takes care of playback and name administration, whereas a double press is for monitor navigation (the left ear skips backward and the fitting ear skips ahead). Holding the button down on the left ear summons your cell machine’s voice assistant. You may alter these controls within the app.
Given how securely the earpieces match, their IPX4 water-resistance score is disappointing. It implies that the earbuds can face up to mild splashes from any course, so neither sweat nor mild rain ought to pose an issue. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to’t dunk or submerge the earpieces or rinse them off beneath a faucet. And the charging case is not water-resistant, so you’ll want to absolutely dry the earpieces earlier than docking them.
The massive charging case has a slide-back lid, for a design appears to be like cool and feels good. The outside has a grip-friendly coating, whereas a snap-shut cowl on the rear panel protects the USB-C port (a USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable comes within the field). A handbook Bluetooth pairing button sits subsequent to this connection. The case can cost wirelessly through Qi-enabled pads.
Anker estimates that the earbuds can final roughly 7 hours on battery, with an additional 19 hours within the charging case. Your outcomes will fluctuate based mostly in your quantity ranges.
The earphones are suitable with Bluetooth 5.0 and help the AAC and SBC codecs, in addition to the high-fidelity LDAC codec through the Soundcore app (on Android gadgets solely).
Soundcore App Settings
The Soundcore app (accessible for Android and iOS) is a one-size-fits-all app from Anker that serves its many audio merchandise. For the Soundcore Liberty 2 Professional Upgraded Model, the app permits LDAC playback for Android gadgets as talked about above, and likewise has an onscreen button for switching out and in of transparency mode, a piece for customizing the on-ear controls, and a user-customizable EQ with eight adjustable bands. It’s also possible to create a sound profile if you want—tweaks you may make to the audio efficiency which are impartial of the EQ.
As we observe within the subsequent part, you’ll want to dive into the app’s settings to get the perfect sound out of those earbuds. Even so, the app is price a obtain to get the most recent firmware updates.
EQ Makes a Distinction
Within the default EQ mode, on tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones ship a strong low-frequency response. At high, unwise listening ranges, the lows don’t distort, and at extra average ranges they’re nonetheless sturdy.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a monitor with far much less deep bass within the combine, offers us a greater sense of the default sound signature. The drums on this monitor are downright thunderous by means of these drivers. The low-frequency thump is kind of robust, and it carries over to Callahan’s baritone vocals, as nicely. The high-mids and highs are current, however the mids sound wildly scooped out. The result’s a really shiny, bass-heavy combine with not a lot within the center to attach it collectively. You need to use the EQ to deal with this drawback, however by default, the earbuds behave as if nothing exists between 400Hz and 1kHz. Boosting the mids doesn’t diminish from the wealthy bass depth, however moderately lends it extra definition.
Again in default mode on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church within the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives much less high-mid presence than it ought to. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are completely thunderous—bass lovers will get pleasure from this subwoofer-like response. However once more, it’s best to improve the midrange response through the EQ for a greater steadiness. In any other case, the vocals sound sibilant and the mids get misplaced. With out the midrange, the lows additionally threaten to overshadow the combo.
Orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel In response to the Different Mary, have an excessive amount of deep low-frequency boosting and the lower-register instrumentation sounds tubby. The upper-register brass, strings, and vocals have a perfect crispness right here—they naturally have a powerful high-mid presence to them. However the midrange nonetheless wants a lift.
The four-mic array gives strong intelligibility. We might perceive each phrase we recorded utilizing the Voice Memos app on an iPhone with little or no added Bluetooth audio artifacts. The mic sign felt just a little weak, nevertheless.
Stable Earphones, However Not a Main Improve
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Professional Upgraded Model earphones are able to nice audio with some EQ changes, however their sculpted sound signature out of the field doesn’t impress. We like their help for LDAC on Android gadgets and the truth that the included case helps wi-fi charging, however we’re much less impressed with the middling water-resistance score. On this worth vary, we in the end advocate the $150 JBL Stay 300TWS and the OnePlus Buds Professional, each of which sound a lot stronger by default. We additionally like Anker’s personal $130 Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Professional earphones, which supply good noise cancellation for the worth.