Really wireless earbuds look like a big part of the future of personal audio and fortunately are no longer very expensive. Getting into this combo is easier at reasonable prices, and it's possible to purchase a good pair of truly wireless headphones for less than Rs. 10,000 today. However, if you have an even smaller budget, make sure you have enough money for your money.
An affordable pair of truly wireless headphones that promise a lot is the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite. This brand is known for its affordable and powerful accessories, including chargers and power banks. Priced at Rs. 6,999, the Soundcore Liberty Lite earbuds are well designed and have impressive specs. But how do they sound? We find out in our test.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite design and specifications
Really wireless earphones are said to be small, light, and discreet, and the Anker Soundcore Liberty Light earphones are just that. They don't attract too much attention, don't protrude too much from the ears, and fit comfortably and securely. The outer parts of each headphone have a button with which the playback can be controlled and the voice assistant can be called up on a paired smartphone.
However, you cannot control the volume using the headphones. This must be done on the source device. There is also an indicator lamp while the inside of both earphones have contact points for charging.
The sales package contains the two earplugs, the charging case, four pairs of earplugs, four pairs of earplugs and a micro USB cable for charging the case. We found the fit of the earphones to be the most comfortable when using the non-winged fittings. We were impressed with the noise insulation offered. This can prove to be a little risky when you use these earphones outdoors and in public as they effectively keep you away from ambient noise.
The Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite's pill-shaped charging case is slightly larger than the one that comes with most options in this segment. It is made of plastic, has a micro USB connection for charging and offers three full charging processes for the two headphones.
The buds themselves ran about 2.5 hours on a full charge, which means we have an average battery life of about ten hours. The right earbud is the primary one that is connected to the source device and can be used independently. The left earphone only works when the right one is active.
While many options in this category only support the SBC Bluetooth codec, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite also supports the AAC codec, which can deliver improved sound quality on both Android and iOS devices. The earphones use Bluetooth 5 for connectivity and are IPX5 compliant to ensure water resistance. They are therefore suitable for use during training.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite performance
The sound quality of truly wireless earbuds is generally in line with pricing, but this is not always the case. The Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite is such an exception – the sound quality is excellent for the price, thanks in particular to the superior AAC Bluetooth codec, which enhances the sound when a compatible source device is used.
We tested the Soundcore Liberty Lite earbuds with a OnePlus 7 Pro (review) and an Apple iPad mini (2019), largely relying on the AAC Bluetooth codec. We played music with Spotify and some high definition audio files for testing.
Starting with Notaker's Fatal System Error, we were immediately impressed by the finesse and subtlety of the sound. The smooth beginning of the track felt deep, present and real and showed the fantastic sound stage of the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite headphones. As the track evolved into a more exciting bass core, the Soundcore Liberty Lite earphones could easily keep up. The bass drop was equally haunting and aggressive without overdriving the mids or highs – just the way we like it.
With Focus from Hocus Pocus, not only did the aggressive low-end show, but we also found that the middle and high-end are equally responsive. This somewhat neutral acoustic signature creates a sound that provides both details and gross excitement. The result was clean and sharp, without losing drive and attack.
Besides that, there was also a strong sense of direction for the sound, and we could easily hear subtle shifts between the stereo channels. The switch to the SBC codec has significantly reduced the level of detail, which shows the significant difference that the AAC codec makes when it comes to providing detailed information and sound imaging.
For voice calls, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite did a good job in a relatively quiet environment like our office. Louder outdoor environments caused us some problems as people reported issues with our voice quality when we spoke to them. In favorable conditions, the strong center frequency of the headphones ensures clear and sharp voices. This also helped if you were using the Soundcore Liberty Lite headphones while watching videos on our smartphone or tablet.
The sound quality of the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite earphones is good for the price, but not nearly as good as what you can get with our current favorite pair of truly wireless earphones, the much more expensive Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. However, the sound is what you can get with options that are a little more expensive than the Soundcore Liberty Lite, such as Samsung Galaxy Buds and Nokia True Wireless Earbuds.
The price advantage is the biggest here and together with the excellent noise isolation, these headphones are worth an investment. For only a thousand rupees more than the really wireless Blaupunkt BTW-01 headphones, the sound improvement with the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite is significant.
Best really wireless headphones you can buy
However, the average total battery life and inadequate controls on board hold back the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite, and for these reasons it might be worth spending a little more on the Samsung Galaxy Buds.
However, if your main focus is on low costs, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Lite earphones are worth an investment thanks to their excellent sound quality. Also worth seeing are the much cheaper Leaf Pods, which offer similar sound quality at a much cheaper price, but the Liberty Lite is a bit more detailed overall.
Price: Rs. 6,999
- Discreet design, comfortable
- Very good noise isolation
- Clean, detailed sound
- Excellent reactions across the board
- AAC codec support
- No volume controls on the headphones
- Average battery life
- The quality of voice calls outdoors is poor
Reviews (of 5)
- Design / comfort: 4
- Audio quality: 3.5
- Battery life: 3
- Value for money: 4
- Overall: 3.5
Is Samsung Galaxy S10 + the best Android flagship overall? Are Samsung Galaxy Buds the Best Really Wireless Headphones in India? We discussed these things on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast. You can subscribe to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode or just hit the play button below.