In this article, we are reviewing the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, some of my favorite affordable true wireless earbuds of 2023. Now, Soundcore is always a solid bet if you want a pair of premium earbuds without completely draining your savings, and the Liberty 4 NC is no different. They offer an adaptive ENC, crazy battery life, 11mm drivers, and all of that for just $99 dollars. I’ve been testing them out for a couple of weeks now.
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To start with, the case is something I really, really like. Not only is it compact and rounded, making it comfortable to slip into a pair of shorts or trousers, but when you pop it open, it has glowing lights.
As for the buds themselves, it has to be said that they aren’t the most compact. They have similar dimensions to Apple’s AirPods and they do have the drippy-down stems, which I’m not a massive fan of. However, these buds are lightweight and comfortable to wear in your ears for a good few hours at a time. I didn’t experience any discomfort or constantly fiddle with them. The box also includes different sizes of silicone tips, so hopefully, you’ll be able to find a size that suits your ears. The app also has a tip test feature to double-check if you have a good seal.
I really like the light blue color option as well, as it stands out from the rest of the true wireless earbud crowd. But if you want something more mundane, you can just grab them in black. I can confirm that Soundcore Liberty 4 nc buds are pretty sturdy because I have accidentally dropped the case and scattered the buds everywhere a couple of times. They are also IPX4 splash-resistant, so it’s good news if it suddenly starts pouring with rain again.
Liberty 4 NC Setup
We have Bluetooth 5.3 on the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC for pairing up with your smartphone or streaming device of choice, and pairing is nice, quick, and easy. If you have an Android smartphone, you’ll get the usual Google Connect message pop-up. I did experience a few occasional skips and stumbles in the audio streaming when I was in a crowded environment. However, these were very minor issues and quite rare.
There’s also a peculiar glitch where these buds would occasionally make a noise as if they’re connecting to another device, which is particularly confusing when I’m alone in the woods with nothing but the earbuds, and they’re already connected to my device. It’s like they’re losing the plot or there are woodland creatures with built-in Bluetooth stalking me. Hopefully, that’s just a weird bug that will be fixed before the actual general release.
Overall, like most Bluetooth 5.3 buds, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC provides a reliable and stable connection.
You can connect to two devices simultaneously, which is great news if you’re fortunate enough to have two phones or if you want to connect a phone and a laptop. You can control the connections within the Soundcore app. The Soundcore app is pretty good, The app includes all the controls and features that you would expect from a true wireless earbud app. You can quickly and easily check the battery status, adjust the ANC (active noise cancellation) settings, explore various equalizer and audio effects, and access plenty of other features.
If you dive into the settings, you’ll find a lot of useful stuff in there as well, including the fit test that I mentioned earlier, along with the usual find device tool.
In the Soundcore app, you can fully customize the touch controls. Unlike many true wireless earbuds with stems that have squeeze controls, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC utilizes tap controls. The area you tap is located at the top end of the stem. Thankfully, tapping doesn’t cause them to jiggle around in your ears. I found the touch controls to work really well and they are very intuitive. A single tap on either bud can pause or play your music. Double tapping the right bud allows you to skip forward a track, while double tapping the left bud allows you to skip back a track. Additionally, I have it set up so that a triple tap will either raise or lower the volume. There is also audio feedback in the form of a little tone each time you successfully tap, which confirms that you’re doing it right. Furthermore, you can long-press the buds to cycle through the different noise canceling modes. All of these controls are fully customizable, offering a good range of options. Alternatively, you can disable the touch controls if you’re not a fan. Overall, the touch controls are great.
The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC also features in-ear detection. However, for some reason, it seems to take a good second or two for the buds to realize that they have been removed before pausing your music. The same delay occurs when you put them back in your ears.
The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC is equipped with 11mm drivers, which is quite impressive at this price point. These earbuds have high-res audio certification and full LDAC support as well. If your audio streaming device is up to par, you can expect powerful and robust audio.
In the Soundcore app, under sound effects, you can fully customize the audio to match your personal preferences and hearing abilities. Like the best earbuds out there, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC offers a hearing test that helps assess your hearing capabilities and allows you to adjust the audio accordingly. Whether you need a boost in the highs or lows or have trouble hearing certain frequencies, you can tweak the audio to enjoy the full experience without having to spend a lot of time fussing with equalizers or trying out different presets. However, if you desire further customization, there are various presets available, and you even have the option of manually adjusting the equalizer settings.
Overall, it would be challenging to find a better audio experience than what the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC offers. Additionally, I must mention that I really appreciated the inclusion of the safe volume mode by Soundcore. This feature prevents the earbuds from blasting audio at 110 decibels into your ears when you start a song and forget that the volume was set too high from listening to a podcast or something else. That can be quite unpleasant.
Active Noise Cancelling
When it comes to noise canceling, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC once again impresses. It features six microphones in total, three per bud, which pick up on the surrounding sounds. This information is then processed by the Liberty 4 NC’s internal system to cancel out the background noise and provide you with a peaceful experience. In my testing, I found that the active noise canceling (ANC) does a good job of reducing background noise. There are different modes to choose from, including dedicated transportation modes, depending on your situation. However, I personally found that leaving the adaptive noise canceling enabled worked well, as the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC automatically adjusts to the surrounding environment.
While they may not be as effective as some of the top-tier noise-canceling earbuds on the market, which can perform miracles in blocking out background noise, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC is still highly impressive. They work particularly well in environments such as trains, cars, or busy streets, allowing you to listen to podcasts without needing to crank up the volume all the way. Of course, they can’t eliminate the hideous screeching on the Northern line, for example, but then again, few things can, aside from resorting to extreme measures like jamming a screwdriver into both ears. Here’s a top tip: make sure to turn on the wind noise reduction mode to minimize any wind-related feedback. I experienced significant improvement after enabling this feature.
In addition, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC offers two transparency modes, including a vocal mode that is intended to enhance voices in your surroundings. However, I didn’t notice a significant difference compared to the standard transparent mode, to be honest.
Now, let’s conduct a microphone test, and unsurprisingly, given the multitude of microphones on the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, they do an excellent job of picking up your voice. Even when there is a lot of background noise, they still manage to filter it out effectively, ensuring that your voice sounds clear.
One of the significant improvements in the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC compared to previous Soundcore earbuds is the battery life. These buds can provide up to 10 hours of usage before they need to be recharged in the case. However, with active noise cancellation enabled, I found that the battery life was closer to eight hours. Nevertheless, this is still an impressive feat, surpassing the battery life of most other true wireless earbuds I’ve recently tested.
When it’s time to recharge, simply place the Liberty 4 NC buds back into case. Just a five-minute charge in the case will give you a couple of hours of music playback. The case itself can recharge the buds approximately four times before it needs to be recharged as well. This overall performance is fantastic, particularly for individuals who frequently engage in long-distance commutes or international travel.
For added convenience, the case can be charged wirelessly. If you have a phone that supports reverse wireless charging, you can simply place the case on the back of your phone to replenish its battery.
So, I absolutely love the Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, they offer stunning value for money. You can get these buds for under a hundred dollars, which is remarkable considering the premium features they provide. In fact, they offer features that are usually found in buds priced twice as high. They are particularly great for long-distance travelers due to their excellent battery life.
Not only do they excel in battery life, but they also deliver pretty good audio quality. You can even customize the sound to suit your personal preferences. Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, so please share your comments below.
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