You may not have heard about Anker Innovation’s Soundcore brand, but they are making sure that you can hear like never before.
If you look beyond the mainstream earbud/headphones offerings from companies like Samsung, Apple and Huawei, you’ll find some serious tech competition from the newest offering from soundcore (with a lowercase ‘s’), the Liberty 4.
The Liberty 4 follows the sequentially named Liberty 2 Pro, and Liberty 3 Pro and is the first set of ‘stick’ earbuds from the brand. The intention behind this design is to offer users greater sound clarity, and a better listening experience. There’s also a few party tricks on offer to entice buyers with features including the touted ‘Ultra-immersive Experience’ and heartbeat tracking capabilities.
From the first touchpoint that many of us have with a product, the packaging, soundcore wants to make sure you know that you are in for a premium experience. The box panels slide out to reveal the various manuals and additional earbud heads, as well as the primary earbuds case in a manner that is reminiscent of opening a high-end watch rather than a mid-range pair of earbuds.
The metal case has a premium feel in the way that the top ‘lid’ slides back effortless in a ‘reveal’ of the buds themselves. One minor gripe this writer found was that when replacing the buds into their position, if you place them incorrectly the lid will still close however poorly and risk breaking the tracks it runs on.
soundcore is promoting what they are calling ‘360 degree Ultra-immersive Experience with Spacial Audio’, and while the name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the user experience is definitely elevated for those who are used to a more ‘standard’ earbud experience. soundcore claims that the Liberty 4 is endorsed by Grammy-winning audio engineers and musicians with its 3D sound profile capability. The Liberty 4 also supports LDAC decoding, which is a form of audio coding tech developed by Sony which allows high-level bluetooth audio streaming. In practice they certainly provide a great amount of noise cancellation and the clarity of the audio is amongst the best this writer has experienced.
Also on the list of talents of the new Liberty 4 is the ‘Cloud Comfort’ ear tips. Claimed to be based on consumer feedback, the ear-tips are softer and smaller than experienced with other brand such as Apple and Beats. Within the packaging you are offered a variety of sizes and depths to make sure that you have the option for the most comfortable experience. In use during a short run, the earbuds remained firmly in place and managed to provide a good amount of noise-cancellation without totally blocking out ambient background noise. A big downside to the user experience is that when a call came through, the person on the other end of the line was unable to hear at all, and so the set had to be un-tethered in order to take a call. It’s a clunky experience overall, and the product would be elevated even further with this capability.
The Liberty 4 attempts not just to just cover the side of the market that caters to those after a premium audio experience, but also appeal to the sporty amongst us with Heartbeat tracking, available via the soundcore app. Bose, Phillips, Jabra and Google all offer similar tech and user experiences so while it’s not a new concept, it’s a novel speaking point for those keen to keep on top of the tracking of their heartbeats while they listen to music or exercise.
Overall, the Liberty 4 is an attractive, and well-priced mainstream alternative that provides a premium listening experience that, while missing the call capabilities is definitely worth a look-in for those who appreciate sound quality and user comfort.
Tech Addict Rating: 6.5/10
The Liberty 4 in Black will be available on au.soundcore.com.au at an RRP of $219.99.