The clones of AirPods on the market are no longer counted, with many brands that have launched their own version of the True Wireless earphones. Among these there are many low cost clones, which beyond the aesthetics, however, do not actually offer a sound quality up to those of the Apple. Soundcore Anker Liberty Air, in addition to detaching itself slightly from the aesthetics of AirPods, also distance themselves from low-cost clones: they cost half of AirPods, but offer a quality, in many respects, comparable. Here's what we think.
How they are made
As already mentioned, Soundcore Anker Liberty Air slightly take the distance from AirPods, especially for the fact of being classic in-ear headphones, with the usual silicone rubber pads of various sizes to be inserted inside the ear cavity. However, they offer an elongated shape, just like AirPods, therefore different from those earphones that have a button shape instead. As for the charging case, it's a bit stockier than the Apple one, but it's still well made, made with well-made plastic, even if not up to par with the AirPods one.
Soundcore Anker Liberty Air are presented, right from the opening of the package, as a refined product, far from those low cost earphones. A medium-sized cardboard, which opens like a book, reveals the case underneath a white plastic, inside which the earphones are kept. In a compartment below, however, there are different silicone rubber pads, of various sizes, which allow you to wear the earphones at their best. In addition to the manuals, then, there is also the charging cable of the case, unfortunately MicroUSB. It is clear, it does not need a great charging speed, but now the standard for top peripherals seems to be USB-C.
The earphones are small, light, also well made, with a smooth plastic to the touch, which leaves a feeling of a peripheral certainly not cheap. From the point of view of workmanship and aesthetics, AirPods remain more original, particular and more refined, but these Soundcore Anker Liberty Air certainly have nothing to envy.
Aesthetics passed with full marks.
As they wear
Let's start with a simple observation: the writer can't stand in-ear headphones. Yet, these Soundcore Anker Liberty Air will almost totally succeed in being appreciated even by the public who does not like this type of earphones. They are really comfortable, they fit inside the ear, and with the right silicone rubber, they will be able to “perfectly” weld inside the ear cavity, without the slightest risk of them falling. Of course, using them on a bus, train or plane, so while standing still, you will have the sensation of having them literally glued to your ear, without them being able to move in the slightest.
We also tried to run there with excellent results, although certainly in this case the fear that the jerking movements could make them fall is not lacking. As already mentioned, these are very light earphones, so they wear well, are comfortable in the ear, and allow them to be used without any discomfort for medium-long sessions.
Similar to the AirPods, the earphones have a small soft touch button on the external pavilion, thanks to which you can control music and calls. By double tapping the functional touchpad on the right earphone you can start or pause music playback, while holding it down for 2 seconds you can skip to the next song. Touching the left touchpad for two seconds should, instead, go to the previous song, but in reality the effect you can have is to restart the song being played.
During calls, on the other hand, with a double tap on the right touch the call is answered / closed, while pressing the right touch for two seconds refuses the call. During the call, a double tap on the right panel puts the call on hold, allowing you to answer the incoming one, while tapping and holding the right touchpad transfers the call from headset to phone.
The controls are many, they work well, except for the one to go to the previous song, which actually restarts the song, and after getting familiar with it they will allow total control over music playback and calls. Obviously, double tapping the left soft touch panel will call up Siri or the Google Assistant.
First and subsequent pairing
The advice we can give you, when opening the package, is to put the case to charge. In our case, for example, it arrived completely discharged, and while charging the case we had some difficulty in starting the earphones correctly. After charging the case and unplugging the MicroUSB charging cable, we paired the earphones in the blink of an eye.
It was, in fact, enough to remove them from the case, start the iPhone bluetooth menu, and perform the pairing. No sooner said than done. The subsequent pairings, on the other hand, took place completely automatically within about a second. Never a problem. Same thing when we reset the earphones to test them with an Android terminal. Perfect match also in this case.
How they sound
Ok the aesthetics, ok the materials, ok the first match, but how do these Soundcore Anker Liberty Air sound? Magnificently well. It is true, they do not cost 20 or 30 euros, but the 99 euros requested are absolutely justified. The volume is not very high, but it is more than enough to completely isolate you from the outside world, when the in-ears are well positioned to the ear. The sound quality does not reach that of the AirPods, but it comes close, with a sound full-bodied, full, enveloping, and above all well balanced and balanced from all points of view.
There are no distortions, there is no interference of any kind and, above all, the sound is warm, far from that coldness that is often obtained with a pair of low cost earphones. In short, they cost almost half of the AirPods, less than half when you consider the version with the wireless charging case, but the sound is really nice.
The audio on call also surprised us, even if the maximum of telephone conversations is obtained when you are indoors, in a room without too much background interference. Overall, the audio of the interlocutor that you get in the headset is very good, and the microphone also does a good job: during our tests we have always managed to complete a hands-free telephone conversation, without having to use a smartphone. .
The manufacturer ensures 20 hours of battery life and 5 hours of playback on a single charge, and an additional 15 hours of playback with the use of the case. During our tests we verified that, at medium volumes, the headphones allowed us to listen for about 4.5 hours, a figure that is therefore close to the real one. Even the case actually allows you to recharge them for 2 and a half times, even if there is a small detail to note. The three LEDs that indicate the residual charge status of the case, which on the one hand should potentially be particularly useful, are not too reliable: it is not uncommon to see the 2 LEDs still on and suddenly go out.
Soundcore Anker Liberty Air is really the middle ground for those who do not want to spend 179 or 229 euros for the AirPods, but who want to have a pair of quality earphones in their ears as much as possible, in terms of sound, of the Apple ones. They usually cost 99 euros on Amazon, so almost half of AirPods 2 with standard cases and less than half of those with wireless cases. The price is right for the quality offered, close to Apple competitors and far from that of numerous low cost 30 euro earphones. Absolutely a good compromise.
Price and availability
Soundcore Anker Liberty Air can be purchased on Amazon for 99 euros, available in the white or black variant.