Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Review – High-res audio TWC earbuds with ANC

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Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Review Rating

Summary

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro ticks about every box you could want from a pair of TWS earbuds and it does it while costing significantly less than big brand names. It's a little disappointing that the out of box sound profile is so bass dominant but this is easily fixed withing the app via the extensive level of customisation. This also has the best ANC of any earbud I have used that is anywhere near this price. 

Overall
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  • Overall - 90%
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Pros

  • Feature-rich for the price
  • LDAC 
  • Best ANC I have used at this price
  • Unrivalled level of sound customisation 

Cons

  • Out of box sound profile has a very bass-heavy sound profile

Anker's subbrand Soundcore announced the Liberty 2 Pro two years ago, they then launched an upgraded version of this just 3 months ago.

Neither of these models has ANC but the similarily named Liberty Air 2 Pro does.

Now Soundcore have launched the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro, which adds in active noise cancelling and makes them so of the most impressive earbuds I have used, recently.

Soundcore by Anker Liberty 3 Pro Noise Cancelling Earbuds,...
  • Recommended by 20 GRAMMY Winning Producers
  • ACAA 2.0: Our exclusive coaxial dual driver...
  • Personalized Noise Cancelling: Standard noise...
  • Fusion Comfort Fit: Liberty 3 Pro’s earbuds have...

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro vs Liberty 2 Pro Upgraded Specification – What is different?

Product NameLiberty 3 ProLiberty 2 Pro Upgraded VersionLiberty 2 ProLiberty Air 2 Pro
Drivers10.6mm ACAA 2.011mm Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture11mm Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture6mm Dimond-coated Drivers
ANCYesnoNoYes
Single Bud UseBoth earbuds Both earbuds
Playtime6hours / 8 hours
24 hours / 32 hours
7/26 Hours8/32 Hours7/26 Hours
WaterproofIPX4IPX4IPX4 (earbud only)IPX5 (earbud only)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.2Bluetooth 5Bluetooth 5Bluetooth 5
Codec TechnologyLDAC、AAC、SBCLDAC、AAC、SBCSBC/AAC/aptXSBC/AAC/aptX
Micphones6 microphones & AI uplink4-mic Uplink Noise Cancellation4-mic Uplink Noise Cancellation4-mic Uplink Noise Cancellation
Other FeaturesTransparance, EQ, HearIDTransparency、App (HearID Sound Effect)HearID Personalized Sound; Wireless Charging;HearID Personalized Sound; Wireless Charging
Fast ChargingWireless & USB-C
Charge for 15 minutes, listen for 3 hours
Charge for 15 minutes, listen for 3 hoursCharge for 15 minutes, listen for 2 hoursCharge for 10 minutes, listen for 1.2 hours
Price£139.99 / $169.99129.9979.9979.99

The biggest change is the inclusion of active noise cancelling. These are 30% smaller than the Liberty 2 Pro use the new ACAA 2.0 driver technology, the driver size is listed differently, but I am not 10.6mm could be marketed as 11mm. Battery life has improved, which is always welcome, but the Liberty 2 Pro Upgraded already had a good battery.

Key Features

  • Recommended by 20 GRAMMY Winning Producers
  • Golden Sound: Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture 2.0 is the latest version of our groundbreaking coaxial driver technology. A 10.6mm dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver are aligned on a single axis to deliver pure, detail-rich sound to your ears. With its upgraded structure and materials, pure sound is delivered directly to your ears. Bass is strong, mids are enhanced by 150%, and treble is increased by 460% for an ultra-wide and immersive soundstage.
  • Personalised Sound: Each of us hears music in a slightly different way so Soundcore's proprietary HearID technology intelligently tests your hearing and creates a tailor-made sound profile that's unique to your ears.
  • Tailored Active Noise Cancelling: Liberty 3 Pro's active noise cancelling automatically adapts to noise levels in your surroundings. It's enhanced by HearID technology, which analyses in-ear pressure and the way noise moves within your ears to create a personalised noise cancelling profile.
  • Multi-Mode Transparency: For total awareness of your surroundings use Fully Transparent, reduce low frequency noise and amplify voices around you with Vocal, or increase the volume of voices further with Enhanced Vocal.
  • Hi-Res Listening Experience: Liberty 3 Pro noise cancelling earbuds support LDAC mode, a Bluetooth codec which transfers 3x more data to preserve details and sound quality.
  • 3D Surround Sound: The algorithm processes audio in real-time and enlarges the sound field for an instantly immersive listening experience.
  • Exceptional Clarity: 6 microphones and an AI-uplink noise reduction algorithm filter out background noises and enhance your voice in real-time so you can be heard clearly.
  • Multipoint Connection: Connect Liberty 3 Pro noise cancelling earbuds to 2 devices and switch between them effortlessly.
  • Long-Lasting Playtime: Enjoy up to 8 hours of music (at 50% volume in Normal mode) from a single charge of the wireless earbuds and extend the playtime to 32 hours with the charging case. If the case itself needs recharging, simply place it down on a wireless charger or use the included USB-C cable.
  • Wearing Detection: Sensors in the earbuds detect when one is removed and pause the music until the earbud is returned to your ear.
  • Fusion Comfort Fit: Liberty 3 Pro's earbuds have a triple-point ergonomic shape and built-in ear pressure relief for all-day comfort. 4 sizes of liquid silicone ear tips and flexible ear wings ensure you get a strong seal and secure grip.
  • Easy-to-Use App: Use the Soundcore app to choose from a wide selection of EQ modes, activate 3D Surround Sound for immersive listening, customise the touch controls, and more.

Design & Fit

When I opened up the box, my initial impressions of these were very positive when. The fold-out design of the box reveals some impressive looking earbuds (as far as these things go) and a decent selection of ear tips and rubber anchors.

The overall aesthetic is not quite as impressive as the Nothing ear (1), but I don't really care what my earbuds look like in the first place.

I think I preferred the fit of the Nothing earbuds, they seemed to fit in naturally in my ears with no effort, but these fit well too and the little anchors help keep things secure during vigorous exercise.

I have used these for both the gym and outdoor running and experienced no issues with them falling out. I'd prefer a better IP rating, but IPX4 should be good enough.

The plastic silver case has a slide open lid giving it some sort of alien / spaceship vibes.

App and Set-Up

These have the most involved set-up procedure of any earbud I have reviewed. Normally that's a bad thing, but in this case, the set-up steps are voluntary and are designed to get the best possible performance out of your earbuds as possible.

You can, of course, just pair them up and use them like any other earbud.

However, with the Soundcore app, once you select your earbuds it will guide you on how to fit them into your ear. You can then test the seal to make sure you have an ideal fit.

It is then possible to use HearID to customise the ANC and tune the earbuds based on your specific hearing. Customising the tuning takes a few minutes and involves testing each ear with a  beep test using different frequencies and different volumes.

Sound Quality

These earbuds feature the Sony LDAC, which is the highest quality codec you can get; however, there is less phone compatibility with it than aptX. I had to upgrade the earbuds to the latest firmware before LDAC was enabled.

The out of box sound profile is very much like the Soundcore Life Q35, which is very bass dominant, bordering on a bit too much. I did find it a bit overwhelming when I first put them on, but it did seem to settle down with use.

However, this is not too much of an issue if you don't like large bass emphasis.

Within the app, you have 4 sound settings to choose from. You custom HearID Profile, 3D surround sound (not compatible with LDAC), the default settings and then the option to customise your own sound.

Under default, there are 22 predefined sound profiles which includes things like the Soundcore Signature profile,  bass booster, bass reducer, various genres of music and treble booster/reducer. So if you don't like the out of box performance, it is very likely you will be able to find something to your liking here.

If those 22 profiles don't work for you, then you can create multiple custom profiles.

The overall customisations on offer are above, and beyond any TWS earbuds I have used in the past.

Even without fine-tuning, once you move beyond the bass, the mids and treble are good, I had no issues with harshness or sibilance from the treble, nor did I find these fatiguing to listen to.  

Battery

With the ANC on the earbuds are rated for 6 hours of use at 60% volume, this then increases to 8 hours with ANC off.

You can get a total of 24 hours or 32 hours of use when charging via the case.

I'd say this is roughly accurate, and this is better than most ANC earbuds, and the same performance as the older Sony WF-1000XM3 had, but the newer WF-1000XM4 offers better performance.

You also get wireless charging, which I like for my earbuds as it is much more convenient to put the case down on a charging pad than remembering to plug it in.

Active Noise Cancelling

Most earbuds under £150 have middling, if not poor, active noise cancelling. Things have been improving. Both the Earfun and Nothing earbuds offer surprisingly good ANC for under £100.

The Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro take it to the next level. Using my standard aeroplane cabin noise test, these dropped out a massive amount of the low end, moving well into the mid-range, leaving mostly just a high-end hum. This was with my speakers at a very high volume, so I would be quite happy to use these on a flight when I finally get a chance to travel again and I will likely use these as my main travelling earbuds moving forward. Playing music or movies on top of the ANC almost eliminates the high end too.

Microphone and Other Features

I don't take calls very often so rarely use earbuds for voice, however these work well. In a quiet room, the microphone sounds just as good as my USB Blue Yeti Nano but it picks up a bit of sibilance from my S's.

The earbuds also work independently both for the left and right, again this is not a feature I personally use but someone always mentions it.

Price and Alternative Options

The Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro have an RRP of £139.99 / $169.99, which is £10 more than the RRP of the former Anker Liberty 2 Pro upgraded version, which has only been on Amazon for 70 days.

The Liberty Air 2 Pro are currently just £79.99

The Nothing ear (1) are quite a bit cheaper at £99.99 but I think the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro easily justify the extra money. The EQ customisation makes it easier to get a sound you like and the ANC is significantly better.

I was a big fan of the Huawei Freebuds pro, which jump around in price, but I think these are a much better buy now. Again, better ANC, EQ settings and also a better battery plus IPX4.

Overall

I have not used the Anker Liberty 2 Pro Upgraded Version, so I can't say if these offer a significant or any improvement from the previous generation.

Compared to other TWS earbuds, at this price and above, the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are extremely impressive. The overall feature set and the massive amount of customisation within the app far outclasses most earbuds.

The ANC is superior to all TWS earbuds I have reviewed, however I haven't had significant hands-on time with either the Sony or Bose ANC earbuds which are often viewed as the gold standard, but also cost double.

The out of box sound profile is excessively bassy to my liking, and I like some bass emphasis, but this isn't too much of an issue thanks to the extensive EQ adjustments on offer.

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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