When I settle in for some quality headset time, a pair of wireless earbuds generally isn’t the first thing I reach for. But Anker’s Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earbuds (go.macworld.com/lnt2) are making me rethink my listening preferences.
Armed with a unique coaxial configuration of dynamic and balanced armature drivers, the Liberty 2 Pro earbuds give you the best of both worlds: finely detailed treble and deep yet controlled bass, not to mention an impressively wide soundstage. There’s also a HearID feature that generates a custom EQ preset tailored to your ears, aptX support for CD-like sound, and plenty of extra eartips and ear wings help to ensure a comfortable fit.
That’s all pretty impressive for a pair of $150 earbuds, but there are some compromises you’ll have to accept, including the lack of active noise cancellation (although there is uplink noise reduction for the four built-in mics), as well as a charging case that’s a tad on the large side (albeit nicely designed).
The Liberty 2 Pro earbuds themselves are small and oval-shaped, measuring slightly over an inch long, about 0.6 inches wide, and (again) a little more than an inch when measuring from the tip of the earpiece to its oval base. The earbuds jut out of your ear a bit while you’re wearing them, but not in an ungainly way, and you can use one of three included sets of ear wings to help keep them in place. Anker also includes a generous seven pairs of eartips in the box.
Once I settled on the best-fitting eartips, the Liberty 2 Pro earbuds felt quite comfy, and I was able to shake my head vigorously without fear that the earbuds would fly out. With its IPX4 rating for resistance to splashing water and sweat, the Liberty 2 Pro earbuds could make for an ideal workout companion.
I’m also a fan of the case that comes with the Liberty 2 Pro earbuds. While it’s considerably larger than the pillbox-sized case that comes with the original Apple AirPods, the Liberty 2 Pro case comes with a flattened oval design that felt good in my hand.
The top of the case slides open and closes with a smooth, satisfying snap, and you get another nice snap when the earbuds fly into their magnetic seats. A three-LED battery status indicator sits on the front of the case, while a USB-C charging port (protected by a rubber flap) and a Bluetooth pairing button are in back. If you’d rather not deal with charging cables, the case is compatible with Qi wireless chargers.
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