The new flagship earphones from Anker are packed to the gills with features that put them in direct competition with Apple’s AirPods Pro 2.
The earbuds are a product of Anker’s Soundcore line of audio accessories, and they go by the name Liberty 4. They’ll include active noise cancellation with HearID ANC and spatial audio, just as the AirPods Pro 2. The Liberty 4 are the only wireless headphones that have a built-in heart rate monitor, a feature that was planned to be included in Apple’s wireless headphones but was omitted.
According to the instructions, the heart rate sensor must be activated using the Soundcore app (opens in new tab) before it may be used. Soundcore says that the sensor can detect low blood oxygen levels by lighting a small red LED. The firm recognises that the function may not be as accurate because it is designed for general health and fitness purposes rather than a proper medical equipment.
Adding to the other capabilities, the Liberty 4’s spatial audio is designed to immerse listeners in the soundscape. The functionality is enhanced with in-built gyroscopes, which allow for real-time head tracking. So the sound won’t change when you move your head around.
According to Soundcore, HearID ANC (opens in new tab) (Adaptive Noise Canceling) is unique compared to conventional noise cancelling capabilities since it adapts to the user’s immediate environment. In loud settings, such as public transit, HearID ANC will be more noticeable than in quieter settings. In addition, HearID enables you to tailor equalisation profiles for various music using the official app. There are also Music and Movie Modes, which, as their names imply, offer specialised sound settings for music and movies, respectively.
The wireless charging cover may extend the device’s playtime from the projected nine hours to a maximum of 28 hours. But battery life decreases with each enabled function. Soundcore claims that the addition of HeadID ANC reduces playtime to seven hours, and that adding spatial audio reduces it further to five hours.
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On the surface, the Liberty 4 seems promising, but we have a few concerns.
In the first place, there is a dearth of biographical details about the presenters. Soundcore says that the “two dynamic drivers” in each bud allow for “crisp sound” and “deep bass.” You may be confident of a high-quality wireless audio stream thanks to LDAC certification on the product page (opens in new tab), a codec developed by Sony specifically for this purpose.
The lack of an IPX rating, often used to indicate resistance to water, stands out most. Though the headphones themselves aren’t designed for exercise, it’s not hard to picture someone putting them in before heading out for a jog. Inquiring minds want to know how the Liberty 4 earphones fare in wet conditions. When we hear back from Soundcore, we will revise the report accordingly.
Soundcore’s website sells a set of Liberty 4 earbuds for 149.99, which is 100 less than Apple’s asking price for the AirPod Pro 2. The Cloud White variant is expected to arrive on or about October 20 but is currently unavailable.