It should come as no surprise that Anker, the company you probably associate with battery packs, is now one of the better manufacturer’s of audio products around. In the last few years the company has consistently offered great value with products like their Flare Bluetooth speaker or Liberty Air true wireless earbuds. With the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro true wireless earbuds the company isn’t just trying to offer good value: it’s aiming to be the best. So how do these hold up?
Editor’s note: This post was edited on July 16, 2020, to answer questions in the FAQ regarding ear tip material and active noise cancelling.
Who’s it for?
- Anyone who wants prioritizes sound. While there are some options for good sounding true wireless ‘buds, the list is short. That said, you can definitely add these to that list.
- People who don’t want to spend too much. While $150 isn’t exactly cheap, it’s significantly less expensive that something like the AirPods Pro or Sony WF-1000XM3 which dominate the true wireless conversation.
Using the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but a first impression goes a long way—especially when it comes to something like true wireless earbuds. The first thing I always take notice of is the case, and thankfully Anker makes a good first impression with this charging case. It’s a slightly odd shape and about as big as two AirPods cases, but all those negative thoughts go away when you open it up. Over the course of this review I found myself just absently fidgeting with the empty case while it was in my pocket, because the door is super smooth. The case is made of a soft plastic that looks like it should be a fingerprint magnet but it isn’t.
The earbuds themselves are held in place magnetically, which is nice if you ever catch yourself trying to put them back in the case when the lighting is less than ideal. Just dropping the earbud in the general vicinity of where it should be will work, as it’ll just snap nicely into place. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro also fit nicely in my ears, whether I was walking around or just sitting at my desk thanks to the plethora of tips they come with. And yes, you really should take the time to figure out which ones fit you best because that can have a huge impact on how your music sounds.
If you were hoping for a pair of true wireless ‘buds to bring with you to the gym then you’ll be happy to hear these have an IPX4 rating meaning that they’re sweat-resistant but not completely waterproof.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro rock a custom balanced armature and 11mm driver which basically means that one is nested in the center of the other. It’s a pretty clever design that allows Anker to save a little space in the earbud housing.
That said, these are still pretty big in the ear. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro isn’t as big and bulky as something like the Bose Soundsport Free earbuds—which I see around and stare at often—but they’re not small either. While the earbud portion fits nicely in my ear, the external bit that houses all of the tech juts out from the side and isn’t really discreet at all. The control buttons are located on top of each earbud and are thankfully nice and clicky. Despite the lack of an IP rating, I’m really impressed with the overall build quality. These are still made mostly of plastic, but the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro doesn’t feel cheap and the sliding lid of the charging case is one of my favorite designs in any pair of true wireless earbuds.
If you wanted stylish true wireless earbuds, however, these aren’t it. They’re not as out there as something like the AirPods but they’re also not minimal. They remind me more of the Sony WF-1000XM3 with a bigger logo font. It isn’t a huge deal but since these aren’t meant for the gym: I have to assume that they’re meant for everyday use. And if I’m going to use something everyday my personal preference tends to lean towards discreet and unobtrusive, which these aren’t.
How to connect to the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
Pairing to the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is very easy. Just place the earbuds in the charging case and close the lid so that the earbuds power off. Then open the lid, but don’t remove the earbuds. There should be a white flashing LED light that means you can connect to the earbuds in the Bluetooth settings of your device. Once paired to the right earbud, it will then pair to the left earbud and then you can take the earbuds out of the case and use them normally.
From then on, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro will automatically connect to the device as soon as you take them out of the case which is super handy. It’s also pretty good at automatically disconnecting when you put them back in the case, though I did have a couple of instances where the earbuds that were still playing audio even though they were securely back in the case.
You can also pair more than one device pretty easily. First you need to put both earbuds back in the charging case and close the lid. Once the earbuds power off, slide the lid back open and like before: don’t remove the earbuds. On the back of the case, there’s a small button next to the USB-C charging input. Hold that button down until the LED light on the right earbud begins rapidly blinking white. That means the earbuds are in pairing mode and from there you can find the earbuds in the Bluetooth settings of your second device and pair to them as normal. I had no problems using these with both my computer and my iPhone 11 Pro, though switching between them was not seamless and requires going through the Bluetooth settings on both devices.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro true wireless earbuds get a lot of things right in the tech department. Let’s get all of the specs out of the way because yes, these are rocking Bluetooth 5.0. On top of that, these also have both AAC and aptX so whether you’re on Android or iOS you shouldn’t have lip sync issues when watching videos on your phone or tablet.
As far as playback controls go, each earbud only has a single button but the controls work as you’d expect. A single tap on either button will pause/play music, or answer phone calls; while a double tap can either return to the previous song, or skip to the next song depending on which earbud you’re clicking. You can also raise the volume by holding down the right button while holding down the left one will decrease the volume. You can customize the buttons and also reroute them to access the voice assistant on your phone instead but you’re going to have to use the Soundcore app on your phone to do so. The app is available on both Android and iOS and also offers an equalizer setting, but I recommend just using the HearID function built into the app. This takes you through a short hearing test, and then customizes the sound profile to your hearing. It’s worth at least trying out because you can always just create a custom EQ profile however you want to anyway.
How’s the battery life of the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro?
Anker claims that the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro will last you 8 hours of constant playback on a single charge with the charging case providing another three full charges. In our testing we got 8 hours and 35 minutes, which still isn’t the best we’ve ever tested but is actually slightly better than what Anker claimed so kudos to them. The case also has wireless charging so you can place it on any Qi wireless charging mat and juice it up to full.
Does the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro have a microphone?
Yes they do, but that doesn’t mean they’re good. While these earbuds have a mic that’s good enough to answer a personal call, I wouldn’t suggest anyone use these for business meetings or conference calls as the quality is little hit or miss. While these do have four noise cancelling microphones, the frequency drops off pretty hard at around 250Hz. In practice this means that the deeper notes of your voice won’t be as loud, which is good for speech intelligibility. However, it will make you sound a bit weird to the person on the other end—just like you would on any phone call.
How do the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro true wireless earbuds sound?
Anker was intending for the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earbuds to be the best sounding true wireless earbuds around, and while I don’t think that’s true I think most people won’t have an issue with how they sound. They have a very consumer-friendly sound, meaning that lower notes are more heavily emphasized than notes in the mids or highs. Practically, this means that bass notes will come across louder when compared to other parts of the frequency range.
This can be heard throughout the song Get By by Talib Kweli where the bassline is just overpowering right from the beginning of the song. All throughout the verse you can hear the volume of the vocals dip a little as the bass gets particularly loud. That said, it didn’t exactly sound bad and I didn’t find it being an issue in most other songs.
For example, the song Tremors by SOHN has plenty of bass in it too, but I found the subtle bass to be basically perfect throughout the entire song and vocals came across perfectly as well, even after the heavy synths came in around 0:45 seconds into the song.
Highs were also decent considering these are a pair of true wireless earbuds, but it’s here that you can see the unique driver architecture flexing a bit. Shakers and hi-hats throughout the song Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John sounded clear and present without ever becoming harsh.
Should you buy the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro?
If you’re after good-sounding true wireless earbuds and that’s it, then yes. The sweat-resistance, sound quality, and ease of use make them a solid choice even if they are a bit bulky for my taste. The charging case is a joy to use and even though it’s a little bigger than I’d like, the sliding mechanism makes it one of my favorite designs to date. The connection strength is solid and I experienced minimal skips or stutters, and the $150 price tag makes these very competitive.
While there are options that cost less and do more, they don’t sound as good as the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro. Basically, if you want a pair of true wireless earbuds for everyday listening these should be on your shortlist. For the price, the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro definitely impressed me.
Frequently Asked Questions
The ear tips of the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are made of silicon, which is typical of budget true wireless earbuds.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro doesn't have active noise cancelling, which isn't surprising considering the costs associated with ANC integration. If a pair of ANC true-wireless earbuds is on the top of your priority list, and if you're willing to fork up some extra cash, check out our list of the best noise cancelling earbuds.