Liberty Air 2 Pro - Are they Worth it?

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is doing well!

As the title suggests, this is my Liberty air 2 Pro review. This semester was very unusual and I was pretty busy so couldn’t really test these out during the semester. My sibling is the one who uses these regularly for team meetings for certain classes or Youtube/lecture recordings so the only time I had with these is about a week while I was testing the battery life.

Before I start though, I want to say that I didn’t buy these but won them in December Leaderboard back in late February. This review has not been influenced by that and is perfectly honest one from my short experience. I’ll add things that I didn’t notice but my sibling did to ensure it is as fair and complete as possible.

With that “disclaimer” out of the way, let’s start with the review. These are new earbuds from Soundcore which are successors to Liberty Air 2 and I opted for the White color since it seemed like other regular members are going for Blue or Black. They were released in January of this year and were hyped for their ANC. They are available on Amazon and Soundcore website.


Packaging

The box looks great and is pretty heavy which was honestly unexpected. This gives it a solid and somewhat a premium feel. The box itself is textured which is a nice touch. The box opens in a fold-out fashion with couple magnets on the flap to ensure it is shut securely.

When opened, you can see the earbuds and case inside a thick black box.

Below the box, you see the standard Soundcore “HOW DO WE SOUND?” card, Manual, Safety booklet, 8 sizes of EarTips, and USB-A to C charging cable (wish it was the white one to match the earbuds).


Comfort

These don’t fit me perfectly and tend to feel a little loose but stay in perfectly fine. This just reduces the confidence even if they won’t go anywhere. I think the issue is not having any silicone/rubber around the shaded area which makes the earbuds wiggle a bit as my ears are probably is too small for the earbuds.

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Mic Quality

LA2P has one of the best mic quality that I’ve to date as can be heard in the recording here. They are pretty much as good as my iPhone 7 which honestly has great mics in general. The recording clip from my phone can be heard here for comparison. I was a little quite when recording so it’s not an issue with the mics but something I didn’t realize until I finished recording and am a little lazy to record again :sweat_smile:.


Sound Quality

These earbuds are pretty bass heavy but I found Piano under the preset EQ options to be nice balance between flat and Soundcore Signature (default EQ). Piano enhances the mids and vocals which is what we prefer when listening to songs. The bass is more than adequate for me and over all perfect EQ setting for our tastes. However, to my surprise my cheaper Spirit Dot 2 I own, don’t distort as much as these on higher volumes (~70% or higher on phone). Distortion is mainly in the low end and upper end spectrums (around 100 to 200 kHz and around 6.4 to 12.8 kHz ranges). Another disclaimer I should add is that I’m by no means an audiophile or any kind of expert in sound but I felt the range of sound is pretty wide.

When testing these my volume levels ranged from 20% to 50% depending on the ambient mode I was in. I’ll talk more about the ANC and Transparency modes in the next sections though. All I want to say here for all 3 modes is that sound quality didn’t seem to drop when switching out of normal mode. The hiss/white noise that I noticed in Spirit Dot 2 is not as obvious on these which is a major plus in my books.

When using on laptop, which is about 99% of the time, it was a little tough to compare quality between different modes since you can’t easily change them between all the options we have in the app.

When tested the sound quality over a WhatsApp call on my laptop, it worked flawlessly but I had a few issues when I tried a call over Bluejeans (by Verizon). It wasn’t an issue with the earbuds themselves but the internet since it requires more bandwidth than WhatsApp. Haven’t had any issues with MS Teams either so they worked just as expected in our usage.


ANC and Transparency Modes

When I started testing these, I was on firmware version 03.54 which I updated to when I took them out of the box in late February. The battery life in that firmware was extremely disappointing due to a couple of reasons:

  1. I don’t listen to stuff at 60% volume ever (which is normally the volume level when Soundcore tests their products.

  2. I always get higher numbers when testing on my own due to the volume level, but when testing these the numbers were lower than advertised numbers.

I’ll talk more about the battery life in the next section.

Coming to the ANC and Transparency modes, I felt they weren’t quite as distinct from Normal mode as I would like and hope. When testing on my laptop I found ANC was very finicky and felt as if it stopped working out of nowhere. ANC also makes the volume drop drastically. It is very quite forcing the user to increase volume quite a bit.

In both the updates (v 03.54 and v 03.62), Indoor ANC was pretty weak and phone calls are unnaturally amplified making it feel like Transparency mode is turned on. It gets rid of all AC noise which is all it does so makes it very difficult to hear the difference. It doesn’t even get rid of leaf blower noise which was a good distance away from our closed windows.

Transport blocks out most of engine noise (when something is playing on the earbuds) but not tire/road noises when a car is speeding near you. Airplane and truck engines (actual big trucks, not pickups) are too loud to block out but are significantly reduced. It also removes lots of vocal noise as long as it is not near you or at normal loudness. When vocal noise is loud or near you, it feels like the headphones are on transparency mode. The volume is lower than normal mode but not as low as Indoor ANC.

Outdoor ANC has noticeable white noise but less than my Life 2. Rain noise or any kind of water noise doesn’t get cancelled out at all. Thunder is not cancelled out either so the ANC strength is somewhere between Indoor and Transport.

Full Transparency does absolutely nothing and just feels like Normal especially when something else is playing in the earbuds. In the older update (v 03.54), vocal mode was supposed to enhance voices but it actually did the opposite for me. This was corrected in the newer 03.62 update which made it go from very underwhelming no matter where my head was pointed to pretty good and great to the point that I would hearing outside noise more than what was playing in my earbuds. Vocal Mode also had lots of white noise/hiss in older update but not as noticeable anymore probably since the mics actually pick people’s voices better.


Battery Life and Charging

And finally the last section of this review is battery life and charging. I drained the case and earbuds completely to see the time it takes to charge completely. Using the USB 3.0 port on my laptop and cable provided in the box, the case and earbuds charged from nil to full in

Keep in mind that I listened to music, and used it for Youtube and shows. The battery life claims by Soundcore are normally based on volume set at 60% volume. I don’t listen to anything at 60% volume so higher numbers are not unexpected when I test any Soundcore product. However, as I said in the previous section, the numbers I got were rather disappointing. The advertised playtime numbers on Japanese Amazon listing are:

  • Normal mode: Up to 7 hours (earphone unit only) / Up to 26 hours (when using charging case)
  • Noise canceling mode: Up to 6 hours (earphone unit only) / Up to 21 hours (when using charging case)
  • External sound capture mode (Transparency mode): Up to 6.5 hours (earphone unit only) / Up to 23 hours (when using charging case).

Here is the table of battery life tested with v03.54 which shows the lower numbers I got out of the earbuds:

Sound Mode Left Earbud Playtime Right Earbud Playtime Max Volume
Normal 5 hrs 53 mins (primary) 6 hrs 24 mins 25%
ANC Indoor 5 hrs 29 mins 5 hrs 15.5 mins (primary) 50%
ANC Outdoor 4 hrs 59 mins (primary) 5 hrs 26.5 mins 30%
ANC Transport 5 hrs 21 mins 5 hrs 11.5 mins (primary) 30%
Transparency 5 hrs 22.5 mins (primary) 5 hrs 23 mins 35%

This shows I got more than an hour less playtime on primary earbud in Normal mode, about 45 mins less in Indoor ANC mode, about an hour less and little over 45 mins less in Outdoor and Transport ANC respectively. Transparency mode also gave a little over 1 hrs less playtime than advertised.

As evident, Normal and Outdoor ANC modes also has a big playtime difference between primary and secondary earbuds at 31 mins and 27.5 mins, respectively.

After updating to the firmware version to v 03.62, the battery life dropped further in most of my tests which came as a major surprise since it was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. The numbers can be seen below:

Sound Mode Left Earbud Playtime Right Earbud Playtime Max Volume
Normal 5 hrs 39 mins (primary) 6 hrs 10 mins 25%
ANC Indoor 5 hrs 26 mins 5 hrs 17.5 mins (primary) 50%
ANC Outdoor 4 hrs 53 mins (primary) 5 hrs 14.5 mins 30%
ANC Transport 5 hrs 15.5 mins 5 hrs 9.5 mins (primary) 30%
Transparency 5 hrs 24 mins (primary) 5 hrs 18.53 mins 35%

Also note that in Transparency mode, the secondary earbud died out before the primary which was just crazy to me.

I made sure to keep the volume levels steady in both tests (before and after updating firmware). I also made sure to keep primary earbud in the first test as primary in second test as well to make it a fair comparison.

The case itself charged the earbuds about 2.5 times when the earbuds were on both firmware versions.


Suggestions

Here are a couple suggestions I would like to add that maybe @Loz, @sean.L, or @Hannah can forward to the appropriate teams.

  1. Please make some sort of app for Windows and MacOS so we have the ability to customize the options straight from our devices instead of messing around with unpairing and re-pairing.

  2. Settings/changes didn’t “save” on the earbuds from app. When I made changes on my iPhone app (turn off wear detection - Auto Pause/Play), I unpaired from phone and connected to laptop but the audio still stopped when I removed the earbuds.

  3. ANC, as stated above, was very finicky when using with laptop as it would stop working at times. This was very evident when someone would speak or car would pass by. Of course I can’t be 100% sure if ANC mode changed because there is no way of knowing from the laptop.

  4. I would love an option to power these on or off via press on the touch sensors. Forcing me to put them in the case was a little inconvenient when I was testing the battery life of the earbuds. Not a deal breaker for everyday usage but options are good (most of the times :smile:).


Conclusion

To wrap this review up, I want to answer the question I put in the title. At $130, these are pretty expensive and there is no way around that fact. Yes, these are cheaper than possible competitors like Apple’s AirPods Pro, but are still the most expensive earbuds in Soundcore’s lineup so people would look at these with a critical set of eyes. That being said, I probably would not buy these for ANC only. Soundcore has several options for earbuds whether you want ANC or not at much lower price points which makes it difficult for me to recommend these.

I would suggest taking a look at Life A2 NC or Life Dot 2 NC which are both supported by the app and have almost all the customizability that LA2P offer. Keep in mind I neither have these nor have I ever tried them.

Life A2 NC and Life Dot 2 NC have higher advertised battery life and are also both cheaper than LA2P at $80 on Amazon and $78 in Walmart, respectively. Neither of these are stem style earbuds so keep that in mind when comparing and thinking of comfort.

In terms of sound quality, I would recommend Spirit Dot 2 (if app compatibility is not a priority) or Liberty 2 Pro which has great reviews from community users here. Spirit Dot 2 is cheaper than Air 2 Pro and you can find good deal on Liberty 2 Pro which would make them cheaper than LA2P. The price of L2P was actually dropped to $100 but is now back up at $150.

And that concludes the review. If you reached this far, thank you so much for spending the time to read my review which always ends up being pretty long :sweat_smile:. If I missed something, let me know and I’ll add that in. My Life Q35 review is on the way as well so keep an eye out for that if you like my format.

Thank you again and hope you have great rest of the day/night!!


Other Reviews
Anker Soundbuds Slim Review
Anker Soundbuds Slim Problem
Flare Mini Review
Anker PowerExtend 12 Strip Review
Spirit Dot 2 Review
Life Q35 (Placeholder)

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Wow.

An Excellent review, real effort and constructive critique.

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Thanks a lot! I hope to repeat that for Q35 review as well

Thanks for putting in the time and effort required to make this review. The only thing I noticed is you said the Liberty Air 2 Pro is more expensive than the Liberty 2 Pro. I just checked because that didn’t sound right. The LA2P retails for 129.99 and the Liberty 2 Pro retails for 149.99 ($20 more).

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nice review personally I think ANC on earbuds is still far from perfect and isnt as easy to implement as it is on over ear

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Well wow the price actually went down to $99.99 but seems like they are back up. Will just update the review real quick. Thanks for catching that!

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You’re welcome. I would have messaged you but that doesn’t seem possible (I wasn’t trying to be a jerk). The only quality Earbuds I own are the LA2P (I also won mine), so I don’t really know how they compare to the rest of them. I do know that I think they sound pretty good. As I’ve typed in other threads, I prefer listening to speakers. Since I have 2 Motion Booms (in TWS) I can take my speakers outside if necessary:laughing:. However I do like the Earbuds for blocking out loud sound like my old gas powered golf cart. Thanks again for the review. :+1:

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You were fine. I actually didn’t check the price and assumed it would be the same as earlier so definitely nice catch on your end. Also shows you read through that long review :joy:

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ANC is actually easier in-ear but you must sacrifice sound quality. The reason is physics.

Higher frequencies can be more blocked in-ear as the bud itself is the block. The lower frequencies get past so a microphone right in the ear detects that and sends the out-of-phase sound to cancel it. The further out from the canal is that microphone the more miscalculation occurs (trigonometry) so causes hiss.

That microphone though gets in the way of the drivers so you have to compromise sound quality.

Over-ear if you block the higher frequencies you get a comfort issue, the holes you allow for vapour to escape the ear then lets higher frequencies in, if you try to cancel those as the microphone is well outside the canal you cause even more hiss. My Sony headphones do a better ANC job but less comfortable than my Q30.

Tough set of engineering choices, difficult juggling them all.

Prices fluctuate, the primary decision is do you want a product, then patience for it to get to the price you want.

3 Likes

I laughed when I read that part.
PS I did read through the whole review. :+1:

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Hmmm interesting you are correct in that but wouldn’t the less space for more microphones to noise cancel and the betttr steal for the wide validity of ears that over ear does also have an impact?

Compare these the LA2P

Shows how the passive noise cancelling

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The passive blocks the higher frequencies more but the ANC actually adds sound, the added hiss.

Vs

image

If you compare the black lines, passive noise isolation, the in-ear does a better job at lower frequencies than can the over-ear, but both do a better job of blocking higher than lower frequencies as the shorter wavelengths bounce off lower go around and where the ANC is needed, but to not add hiss is a challenge.

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Very detaile and nice review. Thanks

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Thanks @Shivam_Shah for such a good, well thought out review.

Good summary on battery life w/ the table. Made it easy to read and compare.

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Lol yea I’m guessing you read all of it which I really appreciate because it was pretty lengthy. But I remember someone putting an “easter egg” in their review to see who read it completely :joy:

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And thank you @VertigoXX and @TheSnarkyOne!

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Great review there @Shivam_Shah
I can see lots of effort has gone into that :+1:t2:

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Thanks mate! And yea battery test was kinda ridiculous on this with so many different modes lol

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Thanks for your long - including criticism - review. I have read the whole thing.
In my opinion, the “king” of Soundcore earphones is one: Liberty 2 Pro!
However, in my opinion, there is one thing that the Liberty Air 2 Pro is better than other headphones: it looks. The Liberty Air 2 Pro is the most beautiful Soundcore in-ear headphones.
Liberty 2 Pro are great, but for example for women - girls are not suitable.

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Thank you! I’m pretty sure not many in the Soundcore team will like my criticism at the end :joy:. But the one thing I’m unsure about L2P is the wing. My ears are a little on the smaller side (maybe normal for Indian descent) so wings could be an issue.

For girls, I would say having touch controls is also a difficult to use because of hair messing with the sensors

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