Wireless earbuds are one of the most exciting tech products of our times. Such is the interest, that it is a market full of wireless earbuds across price points. You’re spoilt for choice. In a way, you also tend to get a fairly good idea of what sort of features and performance to expect, for a price tag. For instance, if you have a budget just less than Rs 10,000 for wireless earbuds, you should be largely expecting good sound with large audio drivers in play, a fairly okay-looking set of earbuds and case and even some form of noise cancellation. But that is before you lay your eyes on the new Soundcore by Anker Liberty Air 2 Pro wireless earbuds, priced at Rs 9,999. They genuinely offer features and performance that you’d otherwise get in wireless earbuds if you spend upwards of the Rs 15,000.
From the outset, the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro do well to stand out visually too. That is easier said than done in a space that is very competitive and as a consumer, you have almost countless choices. The case, for example, has a really curvy finish that gets your attention pretty quickly. What I have for the review is the Titanium White colour, which gives the case a very stone-esque look when you see this up close. That’s a really premium look. Your other choices are Onyx Black, Sapphire Blue and Crystal Pink, and I have a feeling the Blue option could be a pretty visual thing too. Unlike standard fare earbuds charging cases that have a lid which pops open, the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro’s case has a lid mechanism that slides back to reveal the earbuds. It is all extremely premium to touch, feel and experience. And that’s always helpful when you’ve just bought something after spending your hard-earned cash. The value proposition doesn’t end here. Anker bundles as many as 9 different sized silicone ear tips with the Soundcore Liberty Air2 Pro, and that simply means you’ll not have much problem finding the ones that fit your ear best. One thing though, I’d have liked some foam ear tip options among these, and that would have seriously pushed forward the premium-ness dial. Nevertheless, the buds themselves have a pretty conventional stem design and a nice dual finish with a dash of silver bordering the white.
The Soundcore app (free for Android and iPhone) is a worthy companion for the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro. In fact, this is right up there in terms of the efforts that Sony, Jabra and Sennheiser have made with the companion apps for their wireless earbuds. The app lets you take an audio test called HearID which understands what frequencies your ears can hear or not hear and tailors the sound signature and detailing so that you don’t miss out on the finer elements. It’s something we have seen with the Jabra Elite 85t. You can also take a Tip Fit Test which will help you determine whether the ear tip size that you’re using is the perfect fit, and in case it isn’t, it’ll suggest a better option to pick from the box. This is something we have seen with the Apple AirPods Pro, for instance, which is more than 2X the price of the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro. You also get a plethora of EQ settings as well as the detailed active noise cancellation (ANC) options. There are two schools of thought here. Some users simply want plug and play and no further complications. And then there are those, including yours truly, who prefer these options and the ability to tweak the finer things.
In each ear are 11mm audio drivers with what Anker calls the PureNote driver tech, and by any definition, these are large and that gives the earbuds a great foundation to build on. I am sure you’ll appreciate how the Soundcore Liberty Air2 Pro have a fairly neutral sound signature from the outset. At least that is how it is with the default Soundcore EQ setting, and to be fair, Soundcore by Anker has got the pulse right on cue there to show off what these earbuds are capable of. Then there are the usual suspects, including bass booster and vocal booster options among many, for you to choose from. There’s the custom EQ option too. Music, and I preferred the default EQ, sounds quite wide, unshackled and the finer details are more than noticeable even if there is some ambient noise around you. While the demands of the times ensured I didn’t have the chance to wear these in really noisy environments, the noise cancellation does a fine job of blocking out the riffraff from around you. Mind you, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro came across with much more powerful noise cancellation, a lot of users may not actually need to dial things up that much. The bass comes across as quite sophisticated all through—it is there in generous amounts but never sounds too powerful or unnatural. Even the Bass Booster EQ dials it up a notch, but at no point can this be called bass heavy. If you’re looking for earbuds that really pump up the lower frequencies, the sophistication of the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro doesn’t allow it to do unnatural boosting.
Battery life is quite robust too. Anker claims 7 hours of battery usage time for the earbuds with the ANC turned off and 6 hours with it turned on. Most of my usage was with ANC off indoors, and the battery runtime was pretty much as claimed. That makes the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro one of the longer lasting wireless earbuds before they need to be docked for charging. At that point, the case does a good job too—adding as much as 20 hours of charge. There’s also the quick charge feature where 10 minutes of charging the earbuds gets you 2 hours of listening time. That is great if you’ve forgotten to charge the buds and need it for a quick (and hopefully safe and health incident free) commute.
The Last Word: Beautiful Sound And Blowing Competition Out Of The Ring
The Soundcore by Anker Liberty Air 2 Pro haven’t had it easy. At all. Competition is tough. Choices aplenty for users. It is undeniable that the price tag of Rs 9,999 gives these earbuds a significant advantage over rivals that are similarly priced, because there is more on offer. This is an extremely sophisticated package overall, one which starts with great looks and adds substance at every step—the audio hardware, the sound tuning, the companion app and the ability to tweak as you go along. There is absolutely no doubt that the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro gets you premium sound and the sort of feature set that are usually seen on wireless earbuds that cost around Rs 15,000 or so. Whichever way you look at it, Soundcore by Anker is making its mark in the audio space. Admit it, this brand wasn’t figuring on the top of the mind recall as you considered which wireless earbuds to buy? It should, it seriously should.