Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Review: Style Meets Substance

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Soundcore Liberty three Professional

MSRP $170.00

“Soundcore’s flagship earbuds are actually even higher, with ANC and hi-res audio.”

Execs

  • Glorious sound high quality
  • Good noise cancellation
  • Excellent transparency
  • Excellent name high quality
  • Wi-fi charging
  • LDAC hi-res audio

Cons

  • A bit cumbersome
  • Barely awkward charging case

Anker’s Soundcore audio model has routinely wowed us with wi-fi headphones and true wi-fi earbuds that ship spectacular worth for cash. We thought final yr’s $150 Liberty 2 Professional have been a superb alternative due to their large and detailed sound high quality. With its newest mannequin, the $170 Soundcore Liberty three Professional, the model is taking an enormous leap ahead with the addition of lively noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, put on sensors, and hi-res audio by way of Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec — all options that the Liberty 2 Professional lacked. That’s not dangerous for what’s principally a $20 bump on value. Do these additions make the Liberty three Professional a no brainer for followers of high-quality audio? Let’s verify them out.

Smaller and sleeker

Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro seen next to Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
Soundcore Liberty 2 Professional (left) and Soundcore Liberty three Professional. Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

As a lot as we loved the Liberty 2 Professional’s sound, their form and magnificence didn’t actually do it for us. Our reviewer famous that they caught out from his head fairly a bit, and that “anybody round you goes to be conscious about the buds; they’re unimaginable to disregard.” The Liberty three Professional are significantly sleeker. They’re nonetheless arduous to disregard, however this time, it’s in a great way. Our Fog Grey evaluation unit’s extremely polished exterior appears to be like like jewellery, not a plastic audio accent.

Soundcore has changed the Liberty 2 Professional’s tiny, hard-to-use bodily buttons with contact controls, which additionally helps to maintain the earbuds in place. As an alternative of needing to squeeze them between your thumb and index finger, you’ll be able to simply faucet.

Additionally improved are the silicone “ear wings,” or wingtips. On the Liberty 2 Professional, I discovered them too comfortable to supply any actual added safety. However the three Professional’s wingtips are extra sturdy and wedge themselves deeper into the folds of my ears. Soundcore continues to supply a superb collection of each wingtips and ear ideas — 4 sizes of every.

A case for higher ergonomics

Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

One of many Liberty 2 Professional’s coolest options — the sliding lid on the wirelessly charging case — makes a return on the Liberty three Professional, and it’s simply as satisfying to make use of. The mechanism permits you to slide the lid open and closed one-handed and I assure you’ll end up enjoying with it like a fidget toy even if you don’t want the earbuds.

Sadly, what has additionally returned is the awkward orientation of the earbuds contained in the case. There’s merely no option to pull them out and stick them in your ear in a single steady movement — god is aware of I’ve tried. It’s equally awkward placing them again if you’re executed. One thing in regards to the orientation they have to be in if you’re sporting them versus how they need to be positioned within the case defies each intuition your mind has about the way it ought to work.

However what the case lacks in ergonomics, it makes up for in fashion. Although bigger than many charging circumstances, its completely clean, rounded contours really feel nice in your hand, and if you slide open the lid, you’re handled to a lightweight present from the embedded LEDs — the Liberty three Professional appear to be they’re from an imagined sci-fi future.

Elegant sound

Man wearing Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

I’ve had the possibility to judge a number of Soundcore merchandise: The Life Q30 ANC headphones, Liberty 2 Professional, Liberty Air 2 Professional, and Life P3. Every has carried out effectively above my expectations contemplating the opposite merchandise you should purchase at comparable costs. The Liberty three Professional are not any exception, delivering superbly daring sound that can do justice to any music style you care to throw at them. Their dual-driver structure, which pairs a dynamic driver for the low frequencies, with a balanced armature driver for the mids and highs, works like a allure.

Bass response is superb. The Liberty 2 Professional additionally provided highly effective bass, however the three Professional do it in a extra managed trend. Listening to the Dolby Atmos Music model of The Doorways’ Riders On The Storm, you’ll be able to really feel the deep thrum of the bass line because it kicks off the monitor, however at no level does it intrude with the tinkling notes of Ray Manzarek’s Rhodes piano that appear to flit by the air, utterly weightless. There’s a slight tendency towards sibilance within the very highest registers, however due to the Soundcore app’s large variety of EQ presets and guide changes, it’s attainable to dial this again if it begins to trouble you.

The HearID function, which is designed to personalize the earbuds to your particular listening to profile, really labored for me — a shock on condition that I’ve not had nice luck with these sorts of digital enhancements prior to now. Turning it on gave me a much-needed enhance to sure frequencies and I loved the best way it altered the sound. Your mileage might fluctuate.

Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Soundcore features a simulated 3D encompass setting in its app. This does improve the sensation of house, however it additionally hollows out the sound, and it may possibly’t compete with a real Dolby Atmos monitor.

The toughest a part of the Liberty three Professional to evaluate is their wi-fi hi-res audio, made attainable by the inclusion of Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec. In doing so, Soundcore selected to ditch the Liberty 2 Professional’s aptX, however I feel it’s an appropriate tradeoff.

In a quiet room, listening to a really top quality recording, it’s possible you’ll detect an additional stage of smoothness and depth.

As an apart, if you wish to use this function, it must be enabled within the Soundcore app first, in any other case, Android units gained’t acknowledge it as an LDAC-capable set of headphones. It’s additionally value noting that iPhones don’t help LDAC.

My expertise with LDAC is that it may possibly create enhancements in audio high quality. However the distinction is extremely refined, even with very high-quality headphones, and if you’re streaming lossless, 24-bit tracks from a service like Amazon Music. Such is the case with the Liberty three Professional. In a superbly quiet room, listening to a really top quality recording, it’s possible you’ll detect an additional stage of smoothness and depth — like somebody has rigorously pruned the sharp bits, leaving you with a extra natural-sounding signature. Or, it’s possible you’ll not discover the distinction in any respect.

On condition that turning on LDAC comes with a reasonably vital hit to battery life (4.5 hours with it on, versus eight hours when it’s off) and it prevents the Liberty three Professional from connecting to a second Bluetooth system (extra on that later), it merely won’t be value it to you.

Not fairly quiet

Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

ANC is an efficient addition to any set of true wi-fi earbuds, however not all ANC programs are created equal. In Soundcore’s case, it has but to grasp the artwork of full silence. On the Liberty three Professional, I discovered the identical scenario as I did on the corporate’s Liberty Air 2 Professional: ANC positively reduces exterior sounds, however if you happen to’re not enjoying any music, you’ll hear a small quantity of hiss. Is it a deal-breaker? No, however it does imply that if you happen to’re shopping for a set of ANC earbuds with the intention to silence the world so you’ll be able to assume or sleep, it’s best to most likely look towards different choices, just like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Jabra Elite 7 Professional, or the Technics EAH-AZ60.

Transparency mode, alternatively, may be very efficient, particularly if you happen to activate the vocal mode possibility, which does a superb job of letting you hear voices, together with your individual.

There are some fascinating tweaks to each settings due to the Soundcore app’s HearID perform, however I didn’t discover that they made an enormous distinction.

Good name

Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro box contents.
Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

The Liberty three Professional’s a number of mics do a extremely good job of capturing your voice for calls. It’s a full, pure, and resonant sound that — underneath optimum circumstances — is nearly as good or higher than what your telephone’s mic can do.

That modifications considerably when issues round you begin to get loud. Apparently, your callers might by no means pay attention to these different sounds as a result of the environmental noise-canceling is superb. However because the software program works extra time to masks these sounds, it additionally goes a bit overboard, creating a definite warble to your voice. That compression may be excessive at occasions. Nonetheless, discover a comparatively quiet spot and your callers should not have any drawback listening to you loud and clear.

Goes the space

Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
Simon Cohen / Digital Traits

Battery life is greater than sufficient, with six hours on a single cost (24 complete with the charging case) if you maintain ANC turned on. This jumps to eight/32 if you change it off. These are numbers that put the Liberty three Professional on par with among the greatest ANC earbuds and provides them a wholesome lead over the AirPods Professional.

Do you have to run out of juice, a 15-minute fast-charge within the case will get you a further three hours, which is superb: Many of the competitors will solely get an additional hour from a 10-minute cost.

Extras

Soundcore doesn’t skimp on the bells and whistles. You’ll be able to customise the contact controls with full freedom to select every perform and every gesture on each earbuds — even the quantity, which the Liberty 2 Professional lacked. There’s a match take a look at that will help you determine the best ear tip dimension, and you’ll determine if you’d like the wear and tear sensors to auto-pause your music or not if you take away an earbud.

Every earbud can be utilized independently for each calls and music, and as I alluded to earlier, you’ll be able to pair the Liberty three Professional to 2 units concurrently —  an enormous comfort for folk who must routinely change between their laptop and telephone and don’t need to dive into their settings each time.

Lastly, an IPX4 score for water resistance means they need to haven’t any drawback surviving even a really sweaty exercise or a wet run.

Our take

Although nonetheless beefier than many different true wi-fi earbuds, the Liberty three Professional are simple to suggest, with glorious sound high quality, succesful ANC, and a ton of helpful and handy options.

Is there a greater different?

At $170, Soundcore has carved out an fascinating area of interest for the Liberty three Professional. If you happen to spend a little bit extra — say $200 — you will get the Jabra Elite 7 Professional, that are, on this reviewer’s opinion, an ideal set of earbuds. They’re smaller and extra comfy they usually’ve bought higher ANC efficiency, however I’m unsure they sound fairly as dynamic because the Libertys. And, sarcastically, they at the moment lack Bluetooth multipoint, which has been a signature Jabra function, whereas the Liberty three Professional have it.

Spend rather less — say $150 — and you will get the Technics EAH-AZ40, with unbelievable sound high quality, however only a few bells and whistles. There’s no wi-fi charging, no ANC, and no superior Bluetooth codecs.

How lengthy will they final?

Onerous to say with any true wi-fi earbuds, however the Liberty three Professional have a number of issues going for them that ought to assist with longevity: A superb beginning battery lifetime of eight hours (this tends to drop because the earbuds age), an 18-month guarantee, and an IPX4 score for water safety. If you happen to care for them, they need to final for a few years of use.

Do you have to purchase them?

Sure. They’re a superb worth in a set of noise-canceling true wi-fi earbuds.

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