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Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Professional Evaluate: studio element, enormous soundstage

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro

“As with a personal concert, the Liberty 2 Pro can beat the best – and win.”

Incredible audio quality

Solid call quality

Good battery life

Wireless charging

Excellent noise isolation

Special value

Bulky design

Fiddly buttons with no functions

I’m going to break our valuation tradition here and just come out and say it: The Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are truly exceptional. If you’ve already considered these, then don’t need to read any further: buy them.

But if you’re wondering why I’m so in love with these particular buds, I have a lot to say. They’re not perfect in all aspects, but if sound quality is paramount to you and you crave detail, balance, and a tremendous soundstage, you can’t get anything better than the Liberty 2 Pro right now – especially not in its $ 150 price range .

No, that’s not an exaggeration.

A luxurious box

The first time I pulled the Liberty 2 out of the shipping box, I let out an audible “wow”. The product box is the prettiest I’ve ever seen of an audio product on my huge pile. Its triple style is covered in some sort of texture that feels like a high quality matte paper magazine. On the inside of the folding cover are stunning graphics of the company’s audio hardware design. The two buds and the charging case are displayed behind a transparent plastic cover.

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earphones rating earphones 11 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro Earphones Rating Earphones 12 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earphones rating earphones 13 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earbuds rating earbuds 14 The box has a very satisfactory texture which hopefully can be seen here. Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Under this paper and plastic tub you will find a very large pile of paper documents (based on the excess paper that is also contained in the Spirit X2, this could just be a Soundcore thing), a charging cable and six (!) Additional silicone earbuds and two extra wings that help keep the buds in place when carried. The seven earplug sizes offered here are well above the industry average and certainly contribute to comfort (more on that later).

Given the sturdiness of the box and the plastic tubs it contains, I can’t agree with Anker when it comes to sustainability, but at least they seem to have given their all on the first impression. I’ve seen worse eco-friendly cardboard boxes that had a lot less impact. This box is so beautiful that I would like to keep it as long as I have the buds.

Chunky, bulky design

The Liberty 2 Pro has almost everything right outside of the design. Here, however, they stumble.

Let’s start with the case: it feels a lot bigger than it needs to be, and the buds aren’t sitting in it intuitively.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

That doesn’t mean I think the case is big, but it is certainly one of the bigger ones I have on hand. It’s bigger than the Master and Dynamic MW07 just because the sides are so dramatically rounded, but it’s thankfully smaller than the Sony WF-SP800N and WF-1000XM3, both of which are almost noticeably large. It’s almost twice the size of the Jabra Elite 75t. I don’t think I’d have such a big problem with the case if I didn’t think it was made bigger for the design, not because it had to be. It seems to waste a lot of space, and the bottom of the case (where the battery appears to be) is so thin and relatively light that I just have to think that there is a better way to design it.

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earphones rating earphones 9 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro Earphones Rating Earphones 10 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Although the lid slides backwards satisfactorily, the buds are set particularly deep into the case and, oddly enough, sit in the holder. Most of the buds on the market snap down with either the earbuds (like the WF-1000XM3) or the antennas (like the Airpods). The Liberty 2 Pro are designed to sit on their side in their case, which makes taking them in and out a process that I have to actively think about to make sure I’m doing everything right. I’ve been using these for a few weeks now and every time I still have to play around with them.

Next, let’s talk about the buds themselves: they’re bulky.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

You won’t notice their girth when you wear them, but they protrude significantly from your head and everyone around you will be very aware of the buds. They are impossible to ignore.

One final note: although the Liberty 2 Pro allows you to pause / play / skip, turn it on and off, and answer / hang up calls, the button to do it is extremely small and poorly positioned. It’s a tiny button on the top of the right earbud and reset. You certainly won’t accidentally press this button, which is probably a nice perk, but it’s a lot easier to control your phone or smartwatch.

This tiny button is no fun. Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

There’s also no way to control the volume on the buds yourself, which is another nuisance. But since, due to the fiddly buttons mentioned above, I’ll likely be using my phone to manage which song I’m listening to right now, that’s probably not that big a deal.

Features and comfort

When the design doesn’t get in the way, we can talk about the good things – and there are a lot of good things.

While they don’t have as long battery life as their sporty brother, the Spirit X2, the Liberty 2 Pros have an excellent 8 hour battery life when you look at comparable performance-focused earphones. Another three fees in this case increase the total listening time to 32 hours. They last at least as long as the Sony WH-1000XM3s, are better than the 19.5 hours you get from the Panasonic Technics TWS AZ70s, and far superior to the sad 14 hours of the Master and Dynamic MW07s. They don’t match the 13 hours of the Sony WF-SP800N or the 9.5 hours of the RHA TrueConnect 2, but they beat the Jabra Elite 75T, which only took around 7 hours in our tests.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

After a charging time of just under 10 minutes, you also get 2 hours of listening time. The charging case is also compatible with USB-C and wireless Qi charging, which is impressive.

Soundcore has an excellent app that is compatible with the Liberty 2 Pros that allows you to convert the EQ from the standard sound profile (which is honestly pretty good) to one of 10 suggested calibrations from professional music producers, your own EQ, or a personalized one change a sound profile that is compiled based on a hearing test that you can perform through the app.

Personally, I enjoy making a custom EQ based on my own preferences, but it was interesting and even fun to try out my favorite songs with different calibrations from the industry pros. The personalized profile through the app felt kind of great, and the profile it created for me wasn’t my favorite. I applaud the effort, but stick with the custom EQ.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Unfortunately, the Liberty 2 Pro doesn’t have a sensor that detects when a bud is removed from your ears. Hence, you have to stop the music manually.

The Buds support a wide variety of codecs including aptX which is good to see.

Soundcore makes a solid argument that earbuds don’t need active noise-canceling technology based on how good they are at noise isolation. When they are worn and playing music even at low volume, the sound is so well isolated that I could swear they had noise canceling. While they’re not the best to wear on a plane with no music, they do a great job without the ANC.

This noise isolation means the buds will be quite snug against your ear. If you are particularly sensitive to pressure in your ear canal, it can make you feel tired. Personally, I like the fit. I use the smallest ear plugs and fins and they stay in my ears very well. I could wear them for hours without any problems.

Soundcore makes a solid argument that there is no need for active noise cancellation technology in earphones.

They aren’t the most comfortable earbuds I’ve tested, but they strike a very good balance between comfortable and safe. I have a hell of a lot of time holding the Sony WF-1000XM3s in my ears, and the very comfortable Master and Dynamic MW07s do a very poor job of isolating. For me, the Liberty 2 Pro are the goldilocks of this situation: They are exactly right.

Incredible soundstage

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro has a wider, richer soundstage than any other earbud I’ve tested in 2020. You can keep up with the raw bass performance of the Jabra Elite 75T and have a deeper and more robust projection of that bass. Compared to our usual standard, the Sony WF-1000XM3, the Liberty 2 Pro offers a bigger sound and a stronger bass without losing details. The XM3s sound great, but they lack detail. The Liberty 2 Pro is both sturdy and detailed, which is surprising and impressive.

That’s right, I think they sound better than an earbud that costs almost twice as much.

The Liberty 2 Pro are the closest thing to the professional over-ear studio monitors I’ve seen in an earbud.

While I really have to pause and listen carefully to find out the background details of Katy Perry’s Daisies on both the Sony and Jabra, this is clear and obvious on the Liberty 2 Pro. In Hans Zimmer’s No Time for Caution, I have the feeling of sitting in the Imax Theater and seeing Interstellar again for the first time.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

When I listen to music through Liberty 2 Pro, I feel like I’m in the middle of my personal theater with my favorite band playing just for me. Somehow, Anker Soundcore managed to give me all the details about lows, mids and highs that I crave while keeping my balance flawless. Even if I change the EQ so that the bass is as high as possible, it never overpowers any of the other levels. The detail is still there.

The Liberty 2 Pro are the closest thing to the professional over-ear studio monitors I’ve seen in an earbud. While studio monitors tend to be more neutral in their projection to maintain balance and bring out details, the Liberty 2 Pro somehow manages to give me the nice depth and warmth that is great for easy listening without sacrificing that balance and criticism to need detail. I can’t get enough of the music these buds offer, the sound is so extraordinary.

If sound quality is most important to you, the Liberty 2 Pro are hard to beat.

For me, the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are the new standard.

Call quality

I am pleased to announce that the call quality with the Liberty 2 Pro is very good for both parties. Not only can I hear the other side of the conversation very clearly, but they can also hear me clearly. They’re not the best for calling out of all of the earbuds we tested – the Apple AirPods Pro are better – but they do a great job.

Anker Soundcore says they achieve the solid call quality through four microphones and uplink noise cancellation and voice isolation. I’m not familiar with their jargon or their technology, but I can say that it works very well which makes these buds great not only for music but also for work.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Our opinion

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earbuds may not be the prettiest buds on the market, and their charging case is a bit cumbersome, but they make up for it all with the best audio quality you can expect from true wireless earbuds. At $ 150, they not only dominate their price segment and beat the excellent Jabra Elite 75t and RHA TrueConnect 2, but they go even further and beat well beyond their weight class against buds that can cost twice as much. If sound quality is most important to you, the Liberty 2 Pro are hard to beat.

Is there a better alternative?

In all honesty, if audio quality is most important to you, no. We haven’t found a better-sounding pair of buds for $ 150. Sound isn’t everything, however. If you want to get closer but want to get smaller and more comfortable buds with a tiny charging case, the Jabra Elite 75t are great. The RHA TrueConnect 2, Happy Plugs Air 1 ANC, and Samsung Galaxy Buds + are also in the $ 150 range and are worth considering.

How long will they last?

Anker Soundcore offers an incredible 18 month guarantee on its products that is way above the norm. The build is solid too. I expect these will easily take several years.

Should you buy it?

Definitely yes. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are standout headphones with the best high quality, detailed soundstage we’ve seen in real radio buds. You want her.

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