Soundcore's Liberty 2 Pro ($149.99) falls into the true wireless earphone continuum that exists between the super high-end and the downright budget-oriented. They occupy much the same territory as the Urbanista London ($149.99) and Apple's AirPods ($159), and offer passive noise isolation, IPX4 sweat resistance, and CVC (Clear Voice Capture) 8.0 noise reduction combined with a four-mic array to deliver enhanced call clarity even in the noisiest conditions.
Perhaps the most distinctive thing about the Liberty 2 Pro is the reliance on what Anker calls Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture, which combines a Knowles balanced armature and an 11mm dynamic driver in a single body for enhanced integration and alignment of bass and treble.
Like many of its better competitors, the Liberty 2 Pro boasts the latest Bluetooth version 5.0, which results in excellent battery life, extremely low latency (no noticeable lip-sync lag when watching video content or playing games), and quick and easy syncing to your mobile devices. The pairing process for the Liberty 2 Pro took less than a minute, and reconnecting and switching between sources have worked perfectly every time since.
The Liberty 2 Pro will also connect you to the digital voice assistant of your preferred device (Google Assistant for Android users, Siri for iOS) by way of a long press on the side button of either ear casing. And like all true wireless earphones, these come with a charging case and soft tips with multiple size options for excellent fit that can accommodate a variety of ear shapes.
I found the fit of the Liberty 2 Pro easily adjustable to remain secure, even under strenuous activity (they never fell out), while still allowing a nice level of outside sound in. This prevents the stuffy, closed-in feeling of some other earphones. At normal and even loud listening levels, others around me could not hear my jams, while at normal volume, I was able to hear others when they talked, and I heard cars passing, horns honking, etc. The effect was very similar to using true wireless earphones that have a dedicated "hear through" feature, just without the adjustability.
The Liberty 2 Pro is supported by the Soundcore companion app, which adds several useful features, namely a beautifully realized EQ section and custom controller area where the function button on each earbud can be customized to suit your preferences. The EQ area has a HearID section that maps your personal hearing sensitivity at multiple frequencies to tailor an EQ setting and create a personalized sound profile for you. I quite liked the results.
There is also a "Soundcore Signature" default setting that is very good, so if you just want to turn it on and not bother tweaking anything, I think you will be very happy with the sound right out of the box. Soundcore also includes ten Grammy-award-winning producer profiles, which are also quite good. Some were noticeably bass heavy, while others were a bit shiny for my tastes, but clicking on each one allows for easy comparison and makes it fun to walk through them all before settling on your goldilocks EQ.
If that weren't enough, there is a custom setting area where you can adjust eight frequency bands (100HZ, 200Hz, 400Hz, 800Hz, 1.6kHz, 3.2kHz, 6.4kHz, and 12.8kHz) up to +/- 6dB. If you can't find your sound amongst all those options, maybe these Liberty 2 Pro just isn't for you.
The function button on each earbud can be configured as you choose for play/pause (answer/hang up calls will be the same as play/pause), previous/next back, volume up/down, and voice assistant. The default settings follow the same logic as all current true wireless earphones, and are intuitive and easy to remember, not to mention well-described in the included quick setup guide.
So, what about battery life? The Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro offers a best-in-class eight hours on a single charge, with another three full charges available from the battery in the storage case. The case supports USB-C cable or Qi-certified wireless charging.
I auditioned several diverse musical genres to see how well the unique Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture handles everything from light and airy musical passages to dense and bottom-heavy workout tracks, and even spoken word podcasts and audiobooks. Bottom line? They sound really, really good across all musical spectrums.
From my FLAC library, I cued up Alesso "Midnight" featuring Liam Payne to hear the subtle vocal intonations that sit relatively alone in the mix during the first minute of the track. The results were absolutely beautiful. Then there are deep low frequencies that come to the party and move the track forward. These were present and full without taking anything away from the clarity of the mids and highs.
My reference for what this track should sound like is my personal benchmark Sennheiser HD650s, as well as my DAS Monitor 8 near-field monitors connected to a Glow Amp Two tube amplifier, and that's exactly what I heard on the Liberty 2 Pro earbuds, which speaks to the quality of Anker's coaxial balance armature/dynamic driver architecture.
During the pandemic, I've been listening to podcasts and audiobooks more and more often while jogging -- a habit I hope to continue after this mess is over. If you are into science-fiction, check out A. Lee Martinez' The Automatic Detective. It's a great story but it's also extremely well narrated by Marc Vietor.
If you're looking for an experience that transports you to another time, another world, another life, you just might find it here. The Liberty 2 Pro enhanced the experience by allowing the subtle intonations of Mr. Vietor's narration to shine through clearly with no fatigue after hours of listening.
While jogging, the Liberty 2 Pro earphones never even threatened to fall out, yet they never pinched or rubbed, either. I do prefer the openness of Transparency Mode on my Apple Airpods Pro to the more passive approach of the Liberty 2 Pro, but considering the price difference, I was happy with the results. Had I never heard Apple's Transparency mode, I don't think I would miss that feature.
If you're shopping for a high-performance true wireless headphone at this price point, you're likely deciding between the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro and Urbanista's London. If active noise cancellation is very important to you, Urbanista will likely win out.
If, on the other hand, app control, sound customization, and battery life rank higher for you, the Liberty 2 Pro is probably your better option. When in need of really notching out airplane noise, they would not be my choice. It's quite possible Soundcore purposefully and consciously made this trade-off to give users a choice of better battery life and all the aforementioned features at a great price.
You really can't make a bad decision choosing a pair of mid-priced true wireless earphones from the current heavyweight contenders. That decision will come down to what's most important to you. All sound great, integrate with your devices and digital assistants, and offer great clarity for making and taking phone calls. The Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro combines a compelling feature set at a competitive price. If battery life, customizable sound profiles, and price are the three most important factors for your truly wireless earbud needs, the Anker Liberty 2 Pro is a great choice.
• Visit the Soundcore website for more product information.
• Check out our Headphone + Accessory Reviews page to read similar reviews.
• Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless In-Ear Monitors Reviewed at HomeTheaterReview.com.