The Anker brand may be more popular in the country for their powerbank offerings, while it may not be a household name when it comes to its audio products. Well, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air looks set to change that.
The second-gen Apple AirPods took the world by storm when it first launched, and the Soundcore Liberty Air has also made a name for itself for being a worthy competitor to the former, while costing RM200 less.
Sure, at this point each product has their follow-ups already – the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 and the AirPods Pro, but the original models still offer great quality for less money.
And that’s just what the Soundcore Liberty Air does – it offers you the kind of music and call quality you’d get from the AirPods.
But being the cheaper of the two, there are areas that the Liberty Air lack compared to the AirPods – the most notable is the lack of a wireless charging case and voice-activated assistant feature.
But it’s the basics that the Anker gets right with this. The most basic is of course, sound quality and for the price you’re paying, this is some of the best in its class. Mids are crisp, while highs can be drowned out by the boomy bass. There is a slight lack in frequency balance but at least you can go quite loud on this without crackle.
When it comes to calls, the earbuds engage noise cancellation and drowns out the background quite well – not completely, which is important. The call clarity is also fantastic – as it should be considering it’s one of the Liberty Air’s most advertised feature. Seriously, on their website and box, “Crystal-Clear Calls” is the order of the day for these pair of earbuds. There’s is no hear through feature however, so we recommend lower volumes when you’re around traffic.
In terms of fit, walking and running with the Liberty Air should be no problem with the right earbud size, but the in my experience, tilting my head down makes the earbuds slip out. I haven’t experienced this with other earbuds that I’ve used, but I reckon this could just be the shape of my ear that’s causing this.
But hey, at least there’s touch controls on both earbuds – for music, long taps on either side skips to the next or previous song, while double taps pause and play songs. For calls, double tapping answers and end calls. Simple features, but undoubtedly useful when you’re out and about.
Here’s what I would criticize the product for – at this point in time, the SoundCore app doesn’t support this model anymore – instead, it supports the newer SoundCore Liberty Air 2. This is a huge bummer because you’re supposed to be able to tweak the equalizer settings and more from the app. So you’ll need to try a third-party equalizer app if you want to tweak your outputs.
Plus, the overall build quality of the earbuds and charging case can feel a bit cheap – it’s especially noticeable if you’ve used other wireless buds of the same class. The Apple AirPods does a better job at this with a sturdier-feeling case with stronger charging magnets inside.
But those are only minor gripes that I have – one thing that I can’t complain about is the battery life. Anker promises 5 hours of listening time, and that is true, if not slightly better. With the charging case, you should get a little less than the 20 hours of listening time Anker claims, but that’s still impressive. Once drained, the earbuds can be charged up to full in about an hour – a three lit dots on the front of the case indicate how much juice you have left – a feature I that’s useful for those who don’t like fully draining their devices before charging.
The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air is a decent buy, especially for its price. It’s almost half the price of the Apple AirPods at RM439, and for that you get great call quality, good fit and fantastic battery life. The AirPods win out with a more balanced audio frequency output, but if you like your music with bass, then the Liberty Air is your pic. Head over to their official Shopee page to make your purchase.
- Great call quality
- Long battery life
- Fast charging
- Decent depth in sound quality
- Good fit
- Convenient touch controls
The Not so Good
- No Voice Assistant support
- Not the best signature balance
- Lack of companion app support
- Scratch-prone materials
- Lack of hear through and noise cancellation features for music