I am something of a self-confessed Anker hardware fan. I've been using their cables, power supplies and portable chargers for years now. However, I never really thought of Anker in the audio space, until now. Soundcore is an Anker brand with just audio products out there, as the name suggests. So, I needed some new earphones for my daily multi-mile walks and thought I'd give Soundcore a go. Especially when I saw these 'Liberty Lite' wireless earbuds were so much cheaper than the big brand versions from the likes of Apple, Bose and Samsung. Not that I have an iPhone, I'm currently a Samsung kind of a guy for my sins. Anyway, I took the plunge and as these earbuds have had something of a mixed bag of reviews on Amazon I thought I'd share my experiences with DaniWeb users.
First things first then, the price. Here in the UK, Apple is currently asking a whopping £159 ($200) for a pair of AirPods. Way too expensive an ask for me, especially as I say I don't have an iPhone. OK, so seeing as I do have a Samsung phone what sort of price are a set of the latest Gear IconX earbuds? Erm, amazingly they are even more expensive at £179 ($230) which is the same as a set of Bose SoundSport buds. All far too rich for my blood I'm afraid. There's always the you get what you pay for argument to consider, which is why I wouldn't go near the no-brand £20 a set clones that are all over Amazon. The Liberty Lite's, however, are branded and hit the middle ground when looking at cost: you can currently pick them up at Amazon for £59.99 ($75).
What do you get for your money? Well, what you don't get is the quite the same top-end feel as those other aforementioned products. Yes, you get a charging case but it's very much a hard plastic job and not particularly pleasant to hold. Do I care? Nope, why would I? The thing stays either in my backpack, my pocket or on my bedside table. It works, and works well. Drop the buds in, and they snap into place thanks to the magnetized charging points, and start charging immediately. You get nine hours of charge from the case, with LED indicators on the outside to show the current level as well as LEDs on the buds to show they are charging. That's on top of the three hours the buds hold themselves.
The buds are also a little plasticky, but not so as to be uncomfortable in the ear. Not least as you get a bunch of different ear tips (in sizes ranging from extra small to large) and a bunch of rubberized 'wings' which make for a much nicer touch experience once fitted. More importantly, I was able to find a combination of the two that fit my unhuman-shaped ears really nicely. Comfort has not been an issue even when worn for two hours straight during one of my walks around the West Yorkshire countryside where I live. Nor do I fear that they are going to fall out and I'll watch my investment quite literally go down the drain.
I kind of miss having a volume control, you can only skip backwards and forwards between tracks, pause and take/reject calls with different presses of one or the other buds. Talking of which, I also miss the volume being a bit louder if I'm honest. Yeah, I know, it's not good for me but I'm a big boy now and can deafen myself if I want. Except I can't, at least not with these buds. Don't get me wrong, they are not stupid quiet, far from it. They just aren't as loud as I am used to. They are pretty noise isolating though, which kind makes up for it.
What they are, though, is truly really nice sounding. I was half expecting a compromise on the audio, but was pleasantly surprised to discover a really broad soundstage delivery and a decent amount of warmth in the tone. I've had more detail from headphones, but generally they are going to be closed ear jobbies and costing twice as much as these babies. Again, no complaints from me on the audio quality whether I'm listening to Adele or Five Finger Death Punch!
As for the specs, seeing as we are all tech geeks here, the Liberty Lites don't disappoint either. Bluetooth 5 makes for a reliable connection, and I've not experienced the dropouts I note some buyers on Amazon have complained about. There's the IPX5 'sweat proofing' which is good enough not to worry about a bit of singing in the rain. They aren't waterproof though, so no singing in the shower.