Soundcore continues to make things very difficult for the great protagonists of “true wireless” headphones such as the AirPods Pro or the Sony WF1000XM4 with a product that offers us more than we could ask forespecially if we take into account its price.
What do we ask of True Wireless headphones? After several years with this product on the market, the bar is very high, so we must be ambitious and we are going to ask them for everything we can think of: noise cancellation, transparency mode, wireless charging, multipoint Bluetooth connection, long autonomy, customizable equalization, spatial audio with head movement tracking. There was a time when all this was only offered by Apple AirPods, but now there is more competition and the Soundcore Liberty 4 offers you everything, and even more. Because to this list we can add a heart rate sensor that monitors your heart rate during exercise. And the price? Well, as usual, we will reveal it at the end of the review, but I can tell you that they cost half as much as Apple’s AirPods Pro 2.
- drivers φ9.2mm + φ6mm Dual Dynamic Driver
- Hi-Res sound
- Spatial Audio, with music and video mode
- Codecs LDAC, AAC, SBC
- heart rate sensor
- Sound PersonalizationHearID Sound 2.0
- Active Noise Cancellation (with HearID Technology)
- Fast charge 15 minutes = 3 hours
- Charging via USB-C and Wireless Charging (Qi)
- Autonomy 9/28 hours
- Active Spatial Audio up to 5/15 hours
- Active noise cancellation up to 7/24 hours
- Conversation 5/15 hours
- 6 microphones for calls
- Voice assistant (Siri compatible)
- Multipoint connection (2 devices)
- Auto Pause/Play when taking off/putting on the headset
- Customizable touch controls
- Application with customization options
- Bluetooth 5.3
- 4 pairs of silicone earplugs of various sizes
Soundcore has kept their hallmark with these Liberty 4: the square sliding lid charging case. It is a really elegant design, and above all different from what most manufacturers offer. The matte finish of the two colors in which we can buy these headphones (black and white) contributes to this elegance, as well as the elongated white LED that indicates the charging process of the case or headphones when inserted. The sliding lid thing is a real vice, surely you are not able to hold the case in your hands without repeatedly opening and closing the lid. They won’t open in your pocket or backpack, no way.
A small ridge and the Soundcore logo are the only things that stand out on the case due to its glossy finish. When opening the lid, the interior is indeed piano black, all shiny, and we find a almost imperceptible button to reset the pairing of the headphones. The two headphones are magnetically attached to their respective holes inside the case, and when we open the lid we see how their silicone caps light up blinking. It’s only an effect that lasts for a couple of seconds, but it’s quite impressive, especially when you see it for the first time. There is no lighting on the headphones when you wear them, don’t worry about this.
The design of the headphones is not too original, opting for the AirPods-type design and with a size very similar to that of the AirPods Pro. If you have put on Apple headphones, the sensation when wearing these Liberty 4 is practically identical. In-ear design with silicone tips fit perfectly in the ear canal and partially insulates outside noise. The headphones are comfortable, do not cause a feeling of fatigue and are perfect for playing sports, they do not fall out.
Anker has wanted to change the controls of these Liberty 4 and go from touch controls to pressure controls, like those of AirPods Pro. For me it is a success, perhaps because I am used to those controls, I find it much more comfortable to use that type of gesture than the “tap”. You hardly have to press, basically what you have to do is touch with two fingers, but it is enough so that an accidental touch does not cause an unwanted command.
You have an application for iOS and Android with which to configure these headphones, and it is not the typical app that is there to comply with the file and that you will not use. It is really an application that adds a lot of value to headphones, and it is worth exploring carefully to see all that it offers you, because your experience with your headphones will vary greatly depending on how you set it up. Not only can you customize the controls or install firmware updates, you can also improve your experience when listening to music or series, with personalized equalization to your unitive capacity or to your tastes, you choose.
In addition to the equalization you can customize the noise cancellation, test to see if the pads used are adequate, choose between various transparency modes, or how you want the spatial audio to behave, following your head movements or fixed. Within the app you will also find a “fitness” application where you can control your heart rate during your exercises, provided you have your headphones on, of course. Too bad it doesn’t integrate with the iOS Health app, but everything will come.
The headphones sound really good right out of the box, with no setup required. But I recommend that you customize the sound because you will be able to bring it very close to what is the ideal sound for you. Yes indeed, as long as your ideal sound includes relevant bass, because these headphones do not have a very balanced profile and inevitably lean towards the lowest part of the frequencies. Do not go to think that the mid and high frequencies are lost, at all, but the protagonist is evident. I have chosen to personalize the sound using the HearID function that automatically adapts it to my hearing capacity, and I really like it.
As for the sound volume, no one will be disappointed, because they sound very loud and without distortion except at an excessively high volume and not at all recommended. At the same volume, the AirPods Pro and the Liberty 4 have a huge difference in favor of the latter. then we have the “Spatial Audio” effect that I really like to watch movies or series, not so much for music. Of course, the option to follow the movements of the head is always deactivated. Accustomed to AirPods Pro 2, I am very glad that these Liberty 4 have this functionality.
Noise cancellation is good, perhaps a bit below that of the AirPods Pro 2, but pretty good. You have an automatic cancellation that adapts to environmental noise and a manual one that you can set. I have used the automatic during these weeks and it has always done its job well. The Transparency mode is different, here the difference with the Apple headphones is evident, in favor of the AirPods Pro 2, but we are talking about the best transparency mode on the market, so the bar was very high. Ambient sound in this mode is somewhat canned, and the quality of the audio you were hearing suffers. Still, it’s not bad and it’s practical.
Finally we have the quality of the microphones when making calls. As much as most manufacturers always talk about new technologies and selective cancellation of noises foreign to your voice, the reality is that I never find big differences. The sound is more than enough for a call or video callbut I wouldn’t do any kind of recording with it.
The battery life is really good. Soundcore ensures that they reach 9 hours of autonomy and that the case offers two more full charges, but of course, as long as you don’t use noise reduction or transparency mode, or Spatial Audio. The reality is that using the headphones at will, with the functions that I wanted to use at all times, the autonomy is greater than 4 hours without the slightest problem. And if you run out of battery, 15 minutes in the box gives you another 3 hours of autonomy.
exercise and health
Heart rate tracking can be useful for those who don’t have an Apple Watch (or similar), but you’ll need to use the Soundcore app for this, because the tracking isn’t constant when you’re wearing them but works only when the app is on. active. Unfortunately it does not integrate with the Health app, as I pointed out before, but we hope that this will be corrected in future updates. Regarding the measurement of stress… well, if I pay attention to it, I’m stressed most of the day, which surprises me, but I’ll have to pay attention to it.
For less than €150, these Soundcore Liberty 4 are without a doubt the best True Wireless headphones you can buy right now because they offer you everything you can ask for, and they meet a good grade in all its facets. The simple fact of comparing them with headphones that cost twice as much as them and that in some aspects equal or even exceed their performance is more than enough to justify their purchase. You can buy them on Amazon (link) for €149.99.
- Publisher’s rating
- Rating 4.5 stars
- Soundcore Liberty 4
- Review by: louis padilla
- Sound quality
- build quality
- Personalization via app
- Excellent autonomy
- Heart rate and stress monitor somewhat anecdotal