Review Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro wireless In-Ear for $149.99
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is the new wireless in-ear “flagship” headphone from the Chinese company. Our conclusion in the long-term test: Anker Soundcore has finally made it to the top with the Liberty 2 Pro and can compete with any established brand headphone. Find out why in this review!
|Name||Anker Soundcore Liberty Pro 2|
|Driver||11 mm Dynamic driver + BA driver|
|Battery capacity||500 mAh in charging box; 65 mAh per handset|
|Weight||7.4 g per handset; 52.8 g battery box|
|Dimensions||78,5 × 57 × 5,4 mm; 29,5 × 18,15 22,3 mm|
|IP protection class||IPX7|
|Sensitivity||100±3dB ([email protected]）|
|Bluetooth Profile||AVRCP1.6, A2DP1.3, HFP1.7|
|Audio Codec||SBC, AAC, aptX|
Scope of delivery & packaging
I don’t want to talk you about the packaging too long, but Anker Soundcore has really succeeded. With rough, less rough and smooth surfaces, you can create a high-quality haptic impression. On the front side you can see the receivers, without loading box.
On the short sides and the back you can find more information about the product, also on the back there are 3D-effects, the first impression is successful here! The carton is opened and closed with an invisible magnetic closure. Inside you’ll find a large graphic of the new driver technology, but more about that later.
Beside the receivers and the charging cradle you will find a Quick-Start-Guide, warranty card, USB-C charging cable as well as earhooks in three different sizes in the box. Anker also includes ear pads in seven(!) different sizes, which are beautifully presented inside the packaging. There are no small plastic bags like you know them from many budget headphones.
Design and processing
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro have little in common with their predecessor. With dimensions of approx. 18.15 x 22.3 mm, the new listeners are larger than the “normal” EarBud design. Personally, the oval shape reminds me strongly of wireless in-ears from Sony, like the Sony WF-1000X or the Sony WF-1000XM3. The handsets of the Liberty 2 Pro with a weight of about 7 g are also somewhat heavier than the average wireless in-ear.
On the outside, the handsets are made entirely of plastic, and are almost completely black. Only the back of the handset is grey, here the Soundcore logo is also in glossy lettering, so it stands out nicely from the background.
Below the earhooks is a small plastic anchor that keeps the earhooks in place. The in-ear opening of the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is not equipped with a fine-meshed grid, but with a gold-plated metal plate with symmetrical pattern, looks quite noble!
The charger cradle is oval with dimensions of 78,5 × 57 × 5,4 mm, similar to the handset. Although it is longer than most charging boxes, it is also slightly flatter and has a grey soft varnish. I like the fact that it picks up the shape of the receiver again and also has a smart new opening mechanism. It’s not opened, it’s pushed open.
The mechanism seems stable for me at first, but how it performs in the long-term test remains to be seen. However, I trust Anker Soundcore to have tested the opening mechanism extensively for its longevity beforehand.
As usual with Anker Soundcore, I have nothing to complain about in terms of workmanship. There are no material or production errors, even too large gaps cannot be found due to the IPX7 protection.
Whether you like the bigger listeners or not remains a question of taste. As long as they don’t protrude too much from the ear, I can live well with the larger listeners. Larger receivers also offer more space for technology and the sound is simply more important to me personally.
Revolution for Anker: Sound of the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are, like the Xiaomi Piston Pro 2 or the Aukey EP-B80, a hybrid in-ear. This means there is not only an 11 mm dynamic driver inside, but also a Balanced-Armature (BA-) driver, which was developed by knowles.
These hybrid driver systems have the advantage that the individual drivers can play to their strengths. While dynamic drivers with a large diaphragm offer a very good performance in the low frequency range, the strengths of BA drivers lie in the upper midrange and high frequency range. In most cases, a broader frequency spectrum can be covered than with just one driver type.
What makes the Anker Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 innovative compared to other Hybird In-Ears is the arrangement or architecture of the drivers. The Chinese manufacturer markets these under the name “Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture”.
The BA driver is not located next to or laterally offset from the dynamic driver, but exactly in front of it. Anker Soundcore shows how exactly this looks inside on this product graphic:
Here you can also see that the BA driver is also located in the middle and very close to the in-ear opening. With this new arrangement of the components, Anker Soundcore wants to have created a detailed and harmonious sound that is both powerful and very precise.
My new favourite headphones in terms of sound quality
Enough drivel about the technology, in the end we’re only interested in what the headphones sound like! I have to say: No China headphones have triggered such a “wow experience” for a long time. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is the perfect solution for all in-ear headphones from China.
The wireless in-ear has a very powerful bass on the one hand, which also produces a very nice, powerful pressure in the sub-bass range. On the other hand the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is incredibly high resolution in the higher frequency ranges and in my opinion hardly swallows any detail.
I like the whole tuning very much, the bass is very powerful (if you like), but also in the mid and high range it performs so strong, that these ranges don’t get lost.
The stage, i.e. the frequency spectrum covered by the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro, is, in my opinion, much larger than all other China headphones and you can hear that. So while listening I have the feeling that I’m standing on stage at a concert and not just in front of it.
Overall, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is the first wireless in-ear from China, which in my opinion has a better sound than the Xiaomi Piston Pro 2 Hybrid in-ear. Which is a really crazy thing when you consider that the wired headphones are already available for $15.
The Liberty 2 Pro offers the advantages of a wireless in-ear, but a similarly good sound as the last wired Xiaomi Hybrid in-ear. So the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is probably my daily companion for now, because to top it won’t be that easy.
The catch with the sound of the Liberty 2 Pro
The start of the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro was unfortunately less praiseworthy than its sound. Especially in the first product batch there were probably some headphones that made a noise that couldn’t be overheard when the music was quiet. Our first test product was also affected, but we quickly got a replacement model via Amazon.
The replacement headphones are less noisy, but unfortunately it’s not completely gone. It mainly depends on what kind of music or videos you listen to and also the volume plays a role. In music where there are sometimes very, very quiet passages, like in classical compositions for example, you can hear a very quiet background noise in these places.
What the wireless in-ear is not ideal for
In podcasts or radio plays, where people usually only speak, the noise is also perceptible. The volume also plays an important role, with very quiet settings, about 10-20% of the total volume, the noise is actually always audible. Exceeding this volume, the noise is no longer audible with normal Pop, Rock, Electro, RnB, HipHop, etc. Songs.
I personally have used the headphones in everyday life in bus, train, fitness studio and generally mostly on the road. In the office and at home I prefer my Sony WH-1000XM2 Over-Ear with ANC.
So the noise never really bothered me, because either the ambient noise or the music volume covered the slight noise. But if you want to use the headphones to fall asleep, listen to podcasts in bed or other extremely quiet environments, then the Aukey EP-T10 or the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 might be the better choice, even though the sound is a bit worse for my taste.
Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro
Probably the most hyped but also the most controversial wireless headphone at the moment is the new Apple AirPods Pro. The Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro almost looks cheap again at the price of $235 at Amazon. But the AirPods Pro with ANC and listening mode also offer technology that the Liberty 2 Pro doesn’t offer. But the Anker headphones have HearID, which the Apple headphones don’t have.
In this comparison I would like to refer only to the sound and I have to say that I simply like the soundcore Liberty 2 Pro better. Of course, the Apple AirPods Pro are not bad headphones either, but in comparison to the sound of the Aukey EP-T10 I see them at eye level.
The bass of the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is even a bit more powerful and “brute” when you push the equalizer. In addition, they offer this great stage, as already mentioned above, the AirPods Pro simply sound a bit flatter (on a high level) to my liking.
As already explained under Design & Processing, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is not the smallest headphone. With a weight of 7.4 g, they are also not the lightest headphones. Due to the large selection of ear posters and the matching ear hooks, however, I had no problems at all with a bad fit or falling headphones in the test.
In addition, the design and the size didn’t bother me either. After the first listening I didn’t care how big the listeners were, because the sound simply convinced me and the design, at least for me personally, only plays a subordinate role.
In my opinion, our smartphone expert Thorben described the appearance of the earphones in the ear quite appropriately. He says that although the handsets are unusually large, they don’t seem to be in the wrong place and I’d sign that exactly, what do you think?
For good performance as a headset, Anker Soundcore equipped both versions of the headphones with four microphones with “uplink noise reduction”. The aim is to minimize background noise and optimize your own voice. Until now, the wireless in-ears from Soundcore could not shine with very good headset microphones, so I was all the more excited about the performance of the Liberty 2 Pro!
During the test phone calls, they perform significantly better than the Soundcore Liberty Air 1, for example, but the Liberty 2 Pro doesn’t really get that much fame either. In the test my conversation partners could usually understand me, but the voice quality was not the best and at a certain point background noises are audible. Too bad, I would have expected more from a $150 headset.
The Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro do not have touch panels on the back of the handset. Instead, there are two small push buttons on the top of the handset.
While the Play/Pause or Answer/End Call function is fixed to a single press, the shortcuts “Press for one second” or “Press twice” can be freely assigned in the Soundcore App.
The following options are available for individualizing the operation:
- Increase/decrease volume
- next title/previous title
- Activate/deactivate language assistant
Unfortunately, only two of these three functions can be selected at the same time. However, if your personal requirements change, you can simply exchange them in the Soundcore App. Personally, I have decided to use the volume and title control and can therefore control everything that is important to me via the handset.
Smartphone app with useful functions
With the Soundcore App, which Anker introduced some time ago, the Chinese manufacturer provides an, in my opinion, underestimated advantage over other Chinese headphone manufacturers.
Meanwhile there is an extension in the Soundcore App for almost all current Soundcore loudspeakers and headphones with individual meaningful functions. According to our observations it is constantly updated and further developed – very good!
General advantages are, for example, that updates for the respective audio gadget are provided via the app. Not even Xiaomi or Aukey offer that alone, because the interface is missing without the app.
With the point Operation I have actually already described a useful function of the Soundcore App for the Liberty 2 Pro. Here you can customize the buttons. But the app offers even more useful functions for the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro.
Functions of the Soundcore App:
- Customize button functions
- View battery status
- Choice of 32 Equalizer Pre-Sets
- Headphone software updates
- HearID – Frequency test for personalized sound
HearID – personalized sound for your hearing!
The HearID function is another innovation from Anker Soundcore alongside the “Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture”. With HearID, the owner’s hearing is tested using the app in combination with the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro headphones. Similar to what you might know from a hearing test at an ear specialist, sounds in different frequencies are passed on to the ear.
In the app you can then indicate whether you can hear a frequency or not by touching or releasing the mobile phone screen. If it is not audible, the volume of the respective frequency will be increased until you indicate that you can hear it. If you give them to hear, the volume of the frequency will be reduced again until you say you can’t hear them.
The test thus determines how good your hearing is in the left and right ear by means of seven tones at different frequencies. Based on the results, the equalizer for your hearing is then personalized for the left and right ear separately.
If, for example, the HearID test finds that you hear very high frequencies less well in the right ear than in the left, the intensity of the respective frequency range in the right ear is increased accordingly.
Prior to the test, the app also asks for your approximate age and uses the smartphone microphones to check the volume of ambient noise in decibels. If it is too loud in your environment, the test cannot be started, otherwise the test result is not meaningful – smart!
Does HearID work?
have to say: HearID hasn’t worked for me personally. Why? My hearing seems to be too good (which makes me very happy). In the HearID test, I could hear all frequencies even at the lowest volume provided for in the HearID test.
Of course, I also manipulated the test once and indicated that I could not hear a frequency range so well. Afterwards it was already audible that a certain range is more pronounced, but to what extent this helps people who actually have more impaired hearing, I cannot judge. Maybe one of you has already had some experience here, please write it in your comments, I would be very interested!
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are equipped with Bluetooth 5. In the test, the connection quality between mobile phone and headphones is outstanding. In the three weeks or so I’ve been using the Liberty 2 Pro, I haven’t had a disconnect in everyday life – very good!
In the test, the connection remained stable at a distance of about 20 meters, a very good value. In closed rooms it is a bit less, depending on the obstacles the radio connection has to bridge. All in all, the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is definitely one of the headphones with the best Bluetooth connection, besides the Meizu Pop 2.
Video streaming with the Liberty 2 Pro
In the video streaming test with Youtube and Netflix I could not find any delay between sound and picture in the test. So the headphones are also suitable for watching movies & series, sound and lip movements fit together perfectly.
Best battery life – finally sensible through everyday life!
In the area of battery life, Anker sets another high point! Although a capacity of 500 mAh in the charging box and 65 mAh per listener sound completely unspectacular at first, Anker Soundcore gets by far the best battery life for a wireless in-ear from China!
If you trust the manufacturer’s specifications, it has a battery life of up to 8 hours at a time. Of course, you don’t need a power socket after the 8 hours, four more complete charging processes are possible with the charging box. This way you can achieve a total battery life of up to 32 hours!
We tested the headphones at a volume of ~60% and just let them go at it. Only after 7 hours and 46 minutes was the end! Since most manufacturers check their data at half volume, I see the manufacturer’s data as confirmed. In everyday life, where I used the headphones about 4 times a week for about 2-3 hours, recharging the charging box was only necessary after two weeks, this is simply fun!
Wireless charging & USB-C
The recharging process took about two hours in the test via USB-C cable. If you like, you can also charge your Liberty 2 Pro wirelessly via a Qi charging station. Corresponding technology is installed on the underside of the charging box.
Finally, most wireless in-ears currently have the same technology as Smartwatches like the Xiaomi Mi Watch. They are usable, but the low battery life and the constant recharging is simply annoying. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are the first headphones where I didn’t find it annoying in the long-term test that there is battery in the wireless in-ear headphones, because the battery life is simply reasonable – very good!
Conclusion – Buy Soundcore Liberty 2 pro?
In my opinion, the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is the best wireless in-ear headphone Anker has ever released. Its great stage and the precision across such a wide frequency spectrum is currently unique, at least for China headphones.
What really annoys me is the noise thing. Anker should have had this under control somehow before the release! Now I can only recommend the headphones with restrictions, because the quiet background noise, depending on use, can actually be a disturbing factor, but it doesn’t have to be.
With HearID, the whole app, the new driver architecture and the sonic tuning the manufacturer did everything right in my eyes. In addition, the long battery life in daily use is a real blessing.
Whether you like the design with the somewhat larger handsets or not, everyone has to know for themselves. But it doesn’t bother me personally, in everyday life I didn’t have the feeling that I was looking at myself crooked because of the listeners.
For me personally, the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro with its sound, app functions and battery life is the best wireless in-ear from China and is at least currently unrivalled. Therefore, I would rather see it as comparable to the Sony WF-1000MX3 and the Sennheiser MOMENTUM wireless, even though I unfortunately couldn’t test the headphones in direct comparison.To the gadget