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Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro wishlist: All the features I want to see

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro should provide even more high-end features than its predecessor while sticking to its affordable roots.

Published onFebruary 19, 2024

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbuds inside open charging case on wood table with plant in background.

Anker has been in the audio game for nearly a decade. In that time, it has released some of the best wireless earbuds on the market. The company’s latest Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC are a testament to this fact. Users gain a bass-heavy sound profile and up to 35dB of noise canceling. The buds also host a string of high-end features and a comprehensive companion app for less than $100. Anker’s flagship Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro places the workout-conscious squarely in its crosshairs. Users gain a string of ear tips and wings to help achieve a secure fit. An IPX4 water-resistant rating also protects against sweaty workouts. It is little wonder why sporty fans are chomping for the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro.

However, given that the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC are such formidable and affordable earbuds, is there room for the next-generation Liberty Pro? At the very least, the buds will need to fix some of the pain points that the Liberty 3 Pro inherited from the Liberty 2 Pro. Anker has no choice but to bring its A-game to continue undercutting the big dogs. Read ahead for all of the features I want to see in the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro.

Stronger noise canceling

A chart showing the isolation and ANC attenuation performance of the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro, with minimal attenuation in the frequencies below 1kHz.
Active noise canceling (ANC) provides up to 10dB of additional attenuation below 1kHz.

It is commonplace nowadays to expect your hard-earned earbuds to come equipped with noise canceling technology. The attenuation differs for many reasons — from securing a sealed fit to the depth of your wallet. Unfortunately, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro does not do enough to make it among the best noise canceling earbuds. The buds’ ANC reduces noise below 1kHz by up to 10dB. However, the isolation provided by the ear tips and wings makes the most difference. Here, passive isolation blocks frequencies between 1kHz and 15kHz so they sound half to one-quarter as loud.

Altogether, the ANC and isolation provided by the Liberty 3 Pro make for passable noise suppression. But when pitted against earphones like the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the former falls short of the mark. Anker’s Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro will need stronger ANC than their predecessor, particularly in the bass and sub-bass frequencies. This would help to block out intrusive rumbles from cars, planes, and trains. It would also make the Liberty 4 Pro an attractive alternative to the Liberty 4 NC.

More reliable wireless connectivity

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbuds resting on a wood surface.
The 10.6mm drivers in each earbud deliver a lot of bass out of the box.

For many people, Bluetooth codecs remain an elusive and inconsequential part of wireless listening. However, choosing the most appropriate codec to link your source device and wireless headphones can make a big difference. From prioritizing signal strength to opting for the best-quality streaming, codecs play an integral role. Anker recognizes this, providing its Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro with Bluetooth 5.2 that connects wirelessly via the SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs. AAC generally works best for iOS devices, while LDAC provides Android users with transfer speeds of up to 990kbps and 24-bit/ 96kHz audio sampling.

However, in search of the highest bitrates transfer speeds, Anker sacrifices a stable listening experience. The Liberty 3 Pro is prone to connection stutters and drop-outs while moving. Even when placed only a few feet away from the source device, the earbuds can completely lose connection. Re-installing the Soundcore app and hard resetting the earbuds may help a bit. However, Anker has yet to release a firmware update to fix the issue. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro should host a more reliable wireless connection before it comes to shelves.

A less bassy sound profile

A chart showing the frequency response of the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro, with significantly more low-end frequency volume compared to our house consumer curve.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro (cyan) boosts low-end frequencies by roughly 5dB more than our ideal consumer headphone curve (pink).

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro follows the U-shaped frequency curve of many consumer headphones. This leads to a significant boost of over 10dB in the lows below 150Hz and a substantial increase of nearly 12dB above 6kHz. The underemphasis in the mid-range between 300Hz and 1kHz leaves fundamentals sounding comparatively quiet. While this does not match our pink target curve above, some people will find the earbuds pleasing overall. For example, those who enjoy working out will likely appreciate the thumping low end of these buds.

This frequency response also complements genres like high-energy EDM. Unfortunately, more nuanced music suffers. In particular, vocals will sound significantly subdued against amplified sub-bass, hi-hats, and percussion. Tweaking the custom EQ within the Soundcore app should resolve some of these issues. Nevertheless, I am hopeful the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro will host a flatter default frequency response than their predecessor.

A more robust IP rating

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro in box with ear tips accessories.
Anker includes four ear tip sizes and four ear wing sizes with the earbuds.

Workout enthusiasts will enjoy the variety of ear tips and wing sizes packaged alongside the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro. The box contains four different sizes for each type of attachment. These come in XS, S, M, and L. The package even provides a fit guide to help you achieve the best possible positioning and security. The Liberty 3 Pro is designed with the workout-conscious and avid gym-goer in mind.

That said, it is curious why the earbuds do not host a dust-resistant rating. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro boasts an IPX4 water-resistant rating to protect against omnidirectional splashes. This is useful for sweaty workouts but does little to resist dust from climbing walls or beach sports. Dust ingress would also make the earbuds safer to use in drier environments. When the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro releases, I am hopeful it will wear a water and dust-resistant IP rating.

A smaller form factor

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbud in right ear.
The ear wings hook inside your ear to ensure the earbuds do not fall out during workouts.

True wireless earbuds come in all different shapes and sizes. Some of the best AirPods alternatives take their design blueprints almost directly from Apple. Others, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, look unlike anything else on the market. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro is more like the latter, opting for a stemless bean-like design. At roughly 13.6g per earbud and a 15.1 x 4.7 x 15.1cm case weighing 59g, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are easily portable.

However, the included wing tips are a tad bulky. When attached to the buds, the Liberty 3 Pro protrude from the ear. This makes it uncomfortable to lie flat while being worn. This should not pose a problem most of the time, but it could cause some floor exercises to be more difficult. It also means listening to your favored bedtime playlist is more of a hassle. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro would benefit from a smaller form factor when it comes to fruition.

What would you like to see Anker bring to the Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro?

213 votes

Will there be an Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro?

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro in charging case being held in a hand.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro is an audacious attempt at the best true wireless earbuds.

Let us face it — Anker is not a household name for many. When most people consider upgrading their earbuds, they likely turn to Sony, Apple, Bose, and Samsung. Nevertheless, Anker has forged a name in the oversaturated headphone market. It has torn up the rule book, bundling flagship features into its earbuds for a fraction of the competition. There has been no official announcement yet. However, I expect the company will bring its updated flagship buds to fruition in the summer of 2024.

Anker released its most recent earbuds, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, as recently as June 20, 2023. While these are among the best wireless earbuds for under $100, they have some flaws. Namely, they wear a bulky design that make them less well-suited for rigorous exercise than the Liberty 3 Pro. If Anker wants to continue being the preferred choice for those who do not care about big-name brands, they must bring the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro to market.

  • Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro — May 31, 2019
  • Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro — August 12, 2021

Having expanded from its battery pack roots, Anker has consistently produced great value audio products over the last few years, from its Flare line of Bluetooth speakers to its diverse Liberty true wireless earbuds. The Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro were released in the spring of 2019, while the updated Liberty 3 Pro came to market in the summer of 2021. It seems Anker favors releasing its Liberty Pro line of earbuds in the spring and summer months.

The company also prefers a minimum two-year window before updating its earbuds. For example, the Liberty 3 Pro came to shelves on August 12, 2021 — two years and three months after the Liberty 2 Pro on May 31, 2019. By that metric, it seems likely that we will see the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro debut by the summer of 2024. However, without an official announcement, we will have to be patient.

Should you wait for the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro?

A hand holds the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC earbud showing the outer angle.
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The Anker Soundcore Liberty4 NC’s lack of wings or stabilizers means your fit relies chiefly on the ear tips.

The original Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro remains on sale from most major retailers, including Amazon and the official Soundcore website. However, given that the next-gen earbuds are predicted to cost more at launch than their predecessor, it is fair to question whether the upgrade is worth it.

At present, you can fetch the Liberty 3 Pro for ($79.98 at Amazon.) For the price, you gain a comprehensive list of flagship features in the Soundcore app. For example, the earbuds host the company’s HearID sound test. This analyzes your ability to hear different frequency bands and adjusts your custom EQ automatically. This is in addition to intelligently learning which background frequencies the ANC should systematically attenuate. The app provides access to equalization presets, wind noise reduction toggles, wearing detection, tap control customization, and “Vocal Mode” transparency settings. The buds also last over six hours on a single charge with ANC and provide three hours of playback time from 15 minutes of charge. The default frequency response is a little wonky, and the ANC feature is not the strongest. Nevertheless, it is hard to go wrong with the price.

If you are invested in the workout earbuds game and have some extra cash, the Jabra Elite 8 Active ($199 at Amazon) are worth considering. Instead of using attachable wing tips, these earbuds wear Jabra’s proprietary ShakeGrip coating to keep the buds in place. They also house an IP68 water and dust-resistant rating that protects against total dust ingress and 30 minutes of water submersion up to 1m. The buds profit over nine hours of ANC-enabled playback time, and a five-minute top-up rewards 60 minutes of playtime. The onboard noise canceling reduces frequencies up to 36dB below 100Hz, effectively muting intrusive low-frequency noises. The Jabra Elite 8 Active have pleasing sound quality, following our target frequency curve tightly. However, the relatively hefty price tag could put off those looking for a steal.

For military-grade water and dust resistance, the Jaybird Vista 2 ($117 at Amazon) hit the mark. In addition to a robust IP68 rating, the earbuds wear a MIL-STD-810G build. This protects the buds from total dust ingress and total submersion in water. Even the charging case houses an IP54 rating to protect the earphones from light splashes and drier outings. The Jaybird Vista 2 has a consumer-friendly sound that will please most people. Unfortunately, the noise canceling is a little hit-and-miss. It is also more difficult than it should be to secure a comfortable fit with the included proprietary ear tips. Battery life is average, lasting roughly five hours on a single charge.

iPhone owners looking for a discounted alternative will benefit most from grabbing a pair of Apple AirPods Pro (1st Generation) (on the product’s website.) While they sport a very different design to Anker’s Liberty Pro line of earbuds, they are some of the most comfortable earphones on the market. They also reproduce excellent sound quality, with a frequency response that tightly follows our ideal target curve. The original AirPods Pro also benefit from powerful noise canceling, and there is even an ear tip fit test to ensure you achieve the best possible fit. However, the earbuds have an ANC-enabled run time of just over four hours. This is towards the lower-end average for true wireless earbuds. Nevertheless, iPhone owners will struggle to find a more compatible pair of earbuds for the price.

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 ProAnker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro
Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro
Multipoint Bluetooth • Various ear tips • Custom EQ and ANC
MSRP: $169.00
Ton of features and customization
Anker packs plenty of high-end features into this compact package. Adjustable EQ and ANC alongside a multitude of ear tips and ear wings provide a truly customizable fit.

Yes, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 benefits from the company’s proprietary HearID adaptive noise canceling feature.

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC has significantly better noise canceling and battery life than its more pedestrian predecessor. This makes it more suitable for long work commutes and in noisy environments.

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 Pro have not been released yet. However, I fully expect the company’s flagship model to host at least an IPX4 water-resistant rating. This should protect them from omnidirectional water splashes.

Given the updated Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC can be found for less money than their more pedestrian predecessor, you are likely best off buying the newer model. This boasts much stronger noise canceling and longer battery life.