Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro
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The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro true wireless earbuds deliver great sound quality, a tidy battery life, and come with the added assistance of the feature-filled Soundcore companion app. The dual-driver design helps the Liberty 3 Pro buds handle any musical genre you throw at it, and these really are an excellent addition to Anker's Soundcore brand.
- Brand: Anker Soundcore
- Battery Life: Up to 32 hours
- Noise Cancellation: Yes
- Mono Listening: Yes
- Bluetooth : 5.2
- Microphones: 6 microphones
- IP rating: IPX4
- Supported codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
- Charging: USB-C, wireless
- Great sound quality
- Decent noise cancellation
- Good battery life
- Soundcore app full of extra features
- Comfortable to wear with the right ear tip and ear wing combination
- Touch controls don't always work
- Sometimes tricky to find the right ear fit
Anker's Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro true wireless earbuds have a lot to live up to. The Liberty 2 Pro buds, released in 2019, were a firm favorite among those looking for excellent sound without forking out reams of cash, doing so with a smart and stylish design.
The 2021 update comes with an updated design, all-new active noise cancellation, support for the high-res LDAC codec, and comes with support from Anker's brilliant companion app, which is already one of the best around.
So, do the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro buds carry on where the Liberty 2 Pro's left off? Are the new Liberty 3 Pro earbuds worth the price bump? Find out in our Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro review.
Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Comfort and Style
I'll start by saying I wish I'd started using these earbuds sooner. Anker has gone all out to make the Liberty 3 Pro earbuds comfortable for any user, with any ear shape. In the box, you'll find four different ear tip options, along with four different ear wing options. The sizes range from extra small to large, and the ability to combine ear tip and ear wing combinations is a great option for those who struggle to find earbuds that fit perfectly, or you find your earbuds coming loose while walking, running, or otherwise.
The combination of the ear wing and ear tip and the Liberty 3 Pro's oval shape makes them look slightly unusual. You're not confronted with the typical cookie-cutter AirPods-esque design here. The wider rear casing helps the Liberty 3 Pro buds stand out versus other more conventional designs. Whether that's your cup of tea or not, it's certainly nice to have something that looks different from the usual design tropes.
Regardless, the Liberty 3 Pro earbuds have been designed with comfort and long-wearing sessions in mind. Once you find your ideal combination of ear tip and ear wing, the ergonomic design should enable you to keep them in-ear for hours at a time. I'd also add that the Liberty 3 Pro's ear wings are an upgrade from its predecessor, too. If you used the Liberty 2 Pro, you might have found (like many others) that the ear wings weren't all that accomodating to a wide range of ear shapes. Now, with the inclusion of four different sizes, you should find a combination that locks the Liberty 3 Pro into place.
The only consistent downside to the Liberty 3 Pro's overall design versus a standard stem-style earbud is getting them in and out of the case and into and out of your ears. Once they're in your ear, they're going nowhere, which is excellent. But there is no elegance to the Liberty 3 Pro. You'll inevitably find yourself fiddling to get them out, then twisting them into position, giving them a poke to make sure they're snug before continuing.
Aside from the sometimes tricky maneuvers with the earbuds, the Liberty 3 Pro case is smooth, rounded to fit into your hand, and somewhat mimics the shape of the earbuds themselves. You'll find the sliding mechanism delightful too, slipping up to reveal the earbuds inside with a flick of the thumb, but strong enough to remain in place while in your pocket or a bag. Another nice touch is the small lights inside the case that let you know the buds are back in their proper position and charging.
Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Sound Quality
Long-time Anker Soundcore users will have high expectations for the Liberty 3 Pro. Their predecessors, the Liberty 2 Pro, were excellent and delivered sound above their station, surprising most users and reviewers with quality.
Happily, the Liberty 3 Pro earbuds deliver an exceptional audio experience, the 10.6mm dual driver system working in combination to cover every musical genre with dynamic response. Out of the box, the Liberty 3 Pro comes with a balanced level of bass, pushing it slightly in the low end but not overdoing it and certainly not making it the focal point of the earbuds. The dual driver system certainly gives the Liberty 3 Pro buds license to take on any type of audio without worry. Pairing one driver with the low end and one with the mids and highs means you'll never find the Pro 3 pushing out muddied, confused audio when confronted with particularly tricky compositions.
One specific upgrade outside the audio hardware is Liberty 3 Pro LDAC support. The Liberty 2 Pro buds didn't support the high-resolution LDAC codec, although that wasn't a major miss at the time. Now, with multiple companies pushing out support for higher-resolution audio streaming, LDAC support will become an important feature for any music lover. That said, we would have liked to have seen additional support for Qualcomm's aptX for another high-resolution audio option (present on the Liberty 2 Pro), but that has been dropped in favor of LDAC.
Customize the Liberty 3 Pro Sound with the Soundcore App
Defining the difference between your regular audio experience and one powered by LDAC is tricky. If you're not paying absolute attention, the subtleties of high-resolution audio will pass you by. Indeed, they didn't always register with me, but for those that demand high-res audio, the Liberty 3 Pro buds are another handy option.
Of course, if the default Liberty 3 Pro soundstage isn't right for you, there's always the option of the Soundcore companion app to change things up. Once connected, you can use the Soundcore app to create and customize an EQ, check the fit of your earbuds using the integrated test, and adjust the type of active noise cancellation between active, passive, and passthrough modes.
If you're not keen on pushing the EQ sliders yourself, the Soundcore app's HearID tool will create a unique EQ tuned to your ears. The unique EQ tool works best when the earbuds have a good fit and answer the questions accurately, after which you can integrate your favorite Soundcore effect into the custom EQ or just leave it as is.
Also found in the Soundcore app is the virtual 3D surround setting. Now, while the option does provide the sense of a 3D soundscape, the audio quality it delivers isn't brilliant and certainly isn't on par with the rest of the Liberty 3 Pro. When you switch it on, the audio experience suddenly lacks depth and gains echo to simulate a 3D surround.
Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro ANC and Battery Life
It's always worth considering active noise cancelation up against battery life, as one affects the other closely.
First, a word on the Liberty 3 Pro ANC, which is good, but not great. It doesn't provide a total sense of isolation and lets sound through, varying on your proximity. Typing with a mechanical keyboard, the keystrokes remain fairly clear despite having ANC switched on. Adjusting the ANC with the Soundcore app's custom ANC mode makes a small difference, but it doesn't ramp it up significantly. I found the ANC on other Anker earbuds a better proposition, like the Soundcore Life P3.
Transparency mode does exactly as it says on the tin. Sound comes through with decent clarity, and if you switch the vocal mode on, your voice will also become clear.
So, how does ANC playoff against the Liberty 3 Pro battery life? You'll get six hours of playback with ANC switched on, rising to eight hours with it switched off. The Liberty 3 Pro carry case delivers another 24 hours of battery with ANC, ramping up to 32 hours when off. The Liberty 3 Pro fast-charge delivers up to three hours of battery life on a rapid 15-minute charge.
Customizable Touch Controls
There are also adjustable controls to be found in the Soundcore app, where you can tweak the Liberty 3 Pro touch controls to your liking. You'll find options for single, double, and triple tap options, which you can toggle to your perfect combination.
However, whether you'll find the touch inputs of any use is a different story. All too frequently, touch controls are ignored or misinterpreted by the Liberty 3 Pro, be that single, double, or triple tap. The most common issue was a single tap being misinterpreted as a double, but it happened in all directions.
Are the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro ANC Worth Buying?
So, the final question: should you buy the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbuds?
Currently, the Liberty 3 Pro retail for $170, which is pretty good value for money given the brilliant audio quality and the extensive options the Soundcore app delivers.
The range of ear tips and ear wings means almost any user will find a comfortable and secure fit. Furthermore, the EQ and customization options available means you can tweak the Liberty 3 Pro earbuds audio to your liking, and it can't be emphasized enough how much of a difference the Soundcore app makes to the overall experience.
So, yes, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro is very much worth buying!