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