Soundcore Liberty 4 review: These awesome earbuds just keep recuperating

Soundcore Liberty 4 review: These awesome earbuds just keep recuperating

MSRP $150.00

“The Soundcore Liberty 4’s addition of a heart rate sensor makes an already great value even higher.”


  • Excellent sound quality
  • Tons of customizations
  • Killer call quality
  • Handy heart rate tracker


  • No find my earbuds feature
  • Might not be secure enough for all workouts

On paper, it’s getting really hard to match a product just like the recent $150 Soundcore Liberty 4 to earbuds just like the $249 AirPods Pro and still declare Apple’s buds the winner. The identical will be said of Sony’s $280 WF-1000XM4 for that matter. Soundcore has put in nearly every feature you possibly can ask for: noise cancellation, transparency, wireless charging, Bluetooth multipoint, a high-res Bluetooth codec (LDAC), good battery life, and a companion app with tons of personalization options.

And if that isn’t enough, these earbuds even have spatial audio with optional head-tracking, plus built-in sensors for monitoring your heart rate. They usually’re still $100 lower than Apple’s flagship buds, and $130 lower than Sony’s.

All of this makes the Liberty 4 an unbeatable value from a pure features standpoint, which implies the one query left is that this: How do they perform?

Taking inspiration from Apple

For essentially the most part, the reply to that query may be very well indeed. For the Liberty 4, Soundcore has kept what has worked previously (like a compact, wirelessly charging case with an ideal sliding lid mechanism), but hasn’t been afraid to toss things that weren’t as successful, like its usual touch controls. As a substitute, it took a page from Apple’s playbook by going with force sensors on the stems of every earbud. You squeeze to click on the small, flat sections, identical to on the AirPods Pro. It’s a gesture that’s not quite as fast to perform as a faucet, nevertheless it’s far more accurate and comes with an audible click sound as confirmation that you just did it right.

The Liberty series are amongst essentially the most comfortable earbuds I’ve ever used.

The controls aren’t the one inspiration that Soundcore has taken from Apple: The buds themselves are much smaller than their predecessors, the Liberty Air 2 Pro, and at the moment are almost the identical size and shape because the AirPods Pro.

The Soundcore app continues to supply an enormous variety of personalization options, including the flexibility to assign any function you would like to each of the six gestures (single, double, and triple-click on each earbud). The one thing missing is a long-squeeze gesture for a complete of eight commands, but most individuals might be advantageous with picking six. A set of damage sensors allows you to routinely pause your tunes if you remove earbuds and it really works like a charm.

The mixture of the ergonomic shape of the buds themselves and the alternative of 4 size, nevertheless it also helps with keeping the earbuds in place. The app also helps with this in the event you need it, with a fit test that lets you already know if you’ve got seal. They’re about as secure because the AirPods Pro for me, which implies they’ll stay put for moderate activity. But you may want something more robust in the event you’re going to be pushing yourself. In case you do wish to work out (more on this in a moment), an improved IPX5 rating will protect the buds from water and sweat higher than previous Liberty models.

Sound decisions

Sound quality out of the box is excellent. But in the event you don’t find it irresistible, Soundcore wins the prize for essentially the most ways to tweak EQ. You possibly can pick from an enormous variety of presets, you should utilize the eight-band equalizer to create and save your individual custom mix, or you may make the most of the HearID feature, which uses some clever algorithms to rebalance the sound based in your personal hearing profile.

I used HearID and it significantly improved each clarity and the depth of the soundstage. Overall, the Liberty 4 offer excellent detail through the mids and highs, and a bass response that’s well-executed, but conservative to provide a sound signature that may be very balanced. Bassheads might find themselves wishing for a bit more oomph, but I discovered the sound to be really pleasing, especially if you pair the Liberty 4 with an LDAC-capable phone and mix that with a source of 24-bit, lossless music like Apple Music or Amazon Music Unlimited. Not every set of earbuds profit from the presence of LDAC, but I could hear the improved detail and dynamics when listening in a quiet setting, versus AAC on an iPhone.

Now, about that recent spatial audio feature. Here’s the thing, it’s fun, nevertheless it’s still mostly a gimmick. Using a setting throughout the Soundcore app, you may give any audio you’re listening to the spatial treatment, which effectively widens and deepens the soundstage after which repositions a number of the instruments to make the most of that larger virtual stage.

In case you enable head-tracking, a few of those music elements (often the vocals or lead guitar) stay placed on that stage as you switch your head, enhancing the sense of “being there.”

Unlike Apple’s version, it really works with any audio, not only Dolby Atmos or 5.1 surround sound. In reality, it doesn’t appear to know whether you’re listening to those formats or not — every thing gets treated the identical way. I prefer Apple’s version, but even then, there are only rare instances where I’d select to make use of it. In case you prefer it, great — like I said, it’s fun. But definitely don’t buy the Liberty 4 just to make use of it.

Monitoring wellness

The Liberty 4’s other recent feature, heart rate monitoring, is arguably far more useful. The Soundcore app will be used to trace any form of activity you would like by simply recording your heart rate over a time frame that you just select, or it will probably guide you thru just a few predefined walking and running workouts. You possibly can determine in the event you want audio feedback during your tracked activity — something I turned off as I discovered the interruptions to my podcasts too long and never something I cared about, although I can see the way it is perhaps helpful.

In case you spend a variety of time on calls, you’ll get great results using these earbuds.

Alternatively, you may simply decide to have the app monitor your stress levels if you’re not engaged in a workout. It’s all thoroughly specified by the wellness section of the app, and after I compared the outcomes to those from my Apple Watch 5, the 2 devices were inside 2 to three beats per minute of one another. With out a skilled heartbeat monitor, I can’t say which is more accurate, but some studies have shown that the ear is a more reliable location than the wrist.

The one downside to the wellness portion of the Soundcore app is that the info isn’t shareable to other fitness apps like Apple Health, which limits what you may do with it.

ANC is just OK

Lively noise cancellation (ANC) is a little bit of a mixed bag. The Soundcore app uses a version of HearID to tune ANC to your specific ears, nevertheless it didn’t work any magic for me. Even at the utmost setting, it appeared to struggle to maintain noise at bay. Don’t get me mistaken, it still offers a noticeable and welcome relief from unwanted sounds, it’s just not as powerful as the most effective ANC buds you may buy. Transparency mode, however, works rather well — no complaints there.

Multipoint works flawlessly, letting you turn between two connected devices seamlessly — just have in mind that enabling the LDAC codec (whether you’re actively using it or not) disables multipoint. It’s also price noting that in the event you’re listening to music on a pc and a call is available in in your phone, the connection won’t switch until you answer the decision — the incoming call ring is not going to be audible.

And while we’re on the subject of calling, holy cow, these earbuds are impressive. In loud background conditions, like traffic or construction, the Liberty 4 effortlessly erased those sounds and kept my voice perfectly clear. In quiet settings, it sounds just nearly as good because the built-in mic on my phone. For many who spend a variety of time on calls (each voice and/or video), that is an increasingly essential feature, and also you’ll get great results using these earbuds.

Bang to your buck

Soundcore says you’ll get nine hours of use from the batteries, with two full charges within the case, but that’s under optimal conditions at 50% volume, without using ANC, transparency, LDAC, spatial audio, or heart rate monitoring. So in the actual world, it’s going to be substantially less, but still reasonable. For instance, when using LDAC, and ANC, and with volume at 50%, I got about five hours per charge. Had I been using AAC as an alternative (which is what I expect a majority of individuals will do), I’d have gotten about seven hours. And in the event you need a bit of extra juice, a quick charge of quarter-hour will buy you an additional three hours (again, under ideal conditions).

So are the Liberty 4 missing anything? Only one thing that I can consider: There’s no find my earbuds feature as you’ll get with Apple or Jabra. It might be handy, but is it a deal-breaker? Hardly.

It’s at all times been easy to recommend Soundcore’s wireless earbuds to folks who’re in search of maximum bang for his or her buck, and the Liberty 4 makes it even easier. For $150, I can’t consider any earbuds that provide their unique combination of features. The superb Jabra Elite 5, come close and are arguably higher for individuals who need a safer fit, but even the Elite 5 can’t match the Liberty 4’s sound quality or their handy heart rate monitor.

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