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Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Review

Last updated: 6 months ago
11 min read
Editor
rating
4.0
Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro earbuds

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are premium true wireless earbuds with pristine sound quality, excellent comfort, good battery performance, and average features.

As soon as you open the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro box, you know you’re handling a higher-end product.

The new earbuds look more like a piece of jewelry and feel excellent in your ears, despite their relatively enormous size. Also, the included air wings help a lot with stability.

Pairing them with the Soundcore app enables multiple features like custom EQ, HearID for sound and ANC, control customizer, and a toggle to enable LDAC Bluetooth codec.

The powerful sound quality is brilliant. That is if you apply an extensive EQ since it’s bassy and overly bright out of the box.

On the other hand, active noise cancelling isn’t very strong, and it produces a faint hiss in the background. The ambient sound mode could also sound a bit fuller.

The HearID feature for sound is unusable, and the adaptive ANC feature isn’t the most optimal.

Therefore, should you spend $170 on Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro? Or should you instead browse for another pair? Let’s find out.

  • Excellent audio quality with big, thumping sound (after EQ)
  • Comfortable fit
  • Premium unboxing experience
  • Quality build
  • Feature-rich companion app
  • Somewhat average ANC with a slight background hiss
  • Clumbersome touch controls
Editor
rating
4
By HeadphonesAddict
User
ratings
4.2
User Ratings: 8
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Table of Contents

    Sound

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    The sound quality from a dynamic and balanced-armature duo is exceptional, but only after an extensive EQ tweak. Otherwise, it’s boomy and annoyingly bright.

    Check the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Sound Test

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    Like with the Anker Soundcore Life Q30, I don’t know what those 20 Grammy-winning producers were doing when recommending the tuning of these earbuds.

    Out of the box, the Liberty 3 Pro have more than a 10dB boost in bass, another moderate boost in upper-mids, and again a significant boost in the treble. That’s hardly hi-res audio.

    Therefore, equalization is a must if you want to enjoy the great sound as those Grammy artists probably intended. Also, enabling ANC helps to tighten up the bass.

    Bass

    As mentioned, there’s a heavy emphasis on the sub-bass, which makes the sound boomy and uncontrolled.

    The dual driver system helps them sound slightly tighter in the bass region than their bigger brothers, the Life Q30.

    Thankfully, applying EQ reduces the “boominess” significantly, letting the sound breathe. Enabling ANC mode further tightens the bass by reducing the quantity.

    After EQ, you can easily enjoy even faster musical genres, where they use a lot of double-pedals, like rock or metal.

    Sadly, the EQ slider only goes down to -6db, meaning you can’t bring the bass to neutral.

    Consequently, some drum plays, like during “Calling Elvis” by Dire Straits, get lost in the mix. In comparison, the bass on Sony WF-1000XM4 reveals far better control and detail.

    On the other hand, extra warmness isn’t too bad since it adds body and fullness to the sound.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro bore
    Fancy-looking nozzle with an “Astra Coaxial Acoustic Architecture 2.0” engraving on the Liberty 3 Pro.

    Midrange

    By default, frequencies between 200 and 800Hz are perfectly neutral. However, the sound gets noticeably boosted after that, right up to the very end of the spectrum.

    As a result, vocals sound loud, thin, and occasionally sibilant. The same goes for the instruments, which are harsh at times. But the instrument separation is excellent.

    So, after applying some EQ tweaks, the sound gets more natural. It loses a bit of dynamics, but that’s a fair trade for more faithful sound reproduction.

    The EQ isn’t specific enough to fully bring the earbuds to a neutral level, but they sound lively and detailed.

    Treble

    Nicely detailed and shimmery, but only when you reduce it in the equalizer. On its own, it’s harsh to the point where it makes your face wrinkle as if you just ate a lemon.

    Bringing it down to -6dB makes it nice and shimmery but far less cringy. Thanks to the balanced armature driver, the detail is good, too.

    The sense of soundstage is great, and the sound feels roomy. It isn’t exceptionally wide, but it’s not mushed together, either.

    The imaging is also quite satisfying, thanks to clear treble reproduction. The powerful bass sometimes creates a veil, so you can’t pinpoint the exact location where the sounds are coming from.

    In conclusion, the sound quality is more than excellent, even at high volumes, if you’re ready to make some tweaks. But without EQ, the Liberty 3 Pro sound way too boosted in all areas. Thankfully, the companion app is free.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro EQ Presets Comparison

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro EQ Presets Comparison – HeadphonesAddict

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Frequency Response

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro frequency response measurement
    The only flat part of the stock tuning is the region between 250Hz and 800Hz. Everything else is boosted.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Expect excellent comfort without fatigue and an overall stable fit during regular use. However, running or jumping will gradually push them out of your ears.

    The new Liberty 3 Pro are noticeably smaller than the previous Liberty 2 Pro. However, they’re still on the bulky side.

    Despite having a couple of shiny elements that look like metal, the earbuds are entirely plastic. While it sounds a bit disappointing, it also lowers the weight.

    In combination with an ergonomic design, Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro feel exceptionally comfortable. You can wear them for hours without experiencing wearing fatigue.

    Stability is aided by ear wings (ear fins) that come in 3 different sizes. However, they aren’t suitable for sports activities.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro on a concrete
    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are beautiful to look at, but both the tips and wings attract a lot of dirt.

    While silicone ear tips withstand regular activities like outdoor walking, they start losing their grip during running or jumping.

    Speaking of ear tips, they’re made of soft silicone that’s somewhat sticky, so they quickly accumulate dirt and dust. Make sure to clean your earbuds regularly to avoid problems.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    While both earbuds and the case feel nice in hand, they don’t seem highly durable. The lid also slides to open, making it susceptible to breaking. At least the buds have a sweatproof IPX4 rating.

    The earphones are made of quality plastics with glossy outer and matte inner parts. While they’re constructed from multiple pieces, they don’t seem like they’ll burst open when dropped on the floor.

    Despite the plastic, earbuds look luxurious, with shiny parts and small lettering describing all the technologies inside.

    Furthermore, the buds are ready for excessive sweating or rain. They’re rated at the IPX4 rating, meaning they can survive light splashes of water but can’t be submerged.

    However, I have a couple of concerns. Firstly, the glossy outer part (probably made of acryl) could potentially scratch and start looking ugly with use.

    And secondly, softer, sticky tips do offer a better grip, but they could tear if you don’t remove them carefully.

    The charging case looks attractively minimalistic with a shiny edge and an Anker logo.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro charging case inside
    Glossy interior of the charging case.

    When you open the lid, 2 white LEDs shine through semi-transparent tips, displaying the earbuds as if they’re a piece of jewelry, which is a cool touch.

    However, there’s one major problem with the case. To open the lid, you have to slide it backwards.

    While that looks cool, it could also become a potential breaking point, especially if the case falls on the floor.

    The latter is possible since it’s challenging to pick out the earbuds, especially if you’re wearing gloves. You have to grab them by the air wings and pull them out. In which case you could lose the grip of earbuds or case.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    You get a decent battery life of just over 5 hours on a single charge (with ANC), another 25 hours inside the Qi wireless charging case, and support for super fast charging.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro battery comparison

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro battery graph

    Since it’s crucial to use ANC for the best sound quality, it’s also essential to have a big battery.

    In our test, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro lasted up to 5 hours and 7 minutes per charge with active noise cancellation enabled. It’s about average. Without ANC, the battery life jumps to eight hours per charge.

    The charging case holds an extra 25 hours of battery life, charging your earbuds for at least 3 more times.

    Moreover, the case supports wireless charging and fast charging via USB-C and it’s really fast.

    A quick USB-C 15-minute charge of the Liberty 3 Pro adds another 3 hours of playtime.

    The battery percentage is more accurately displayed in the Bluetooth menu. The app only shows a battery icon and 5 stripes, indicating the remaining battery life. There are also three LED lights in front of the charging case.

    P.S. I’ve noticed that my pair is never more than 90% charged, regardless of how long they’re in the charging case. It could be a bug or a safety measure to prevent battery degradation. Still, Anker should be more transparent about this “feature”, if it actually exists.

    Features

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Like other premium headphones, Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro come packed with features. You get ANC, ambient sound mode, multipoint, LDAC, free app, EQ, and more.

    You know what you’re paying for with the Liberty 3 Pro. They come packed with features to fully customize your listening experience.

    Since I covered earbuds’ main features in separate categories, like ANC and transparency mode, let’s move to the Soundcore app.

    Inside, you find the HearID feature for both sound and ANC. For sound, the hearing test plays various sounds at different loudness, and you select it whether you hear that sound or not.

    Later, the app creates a personal EQ based on your hearing. However, it’s useless since it takes the measurement too directly.

    Earbuds simply reduce or amplify a specific frequency in a particular channel, creating a completely unbalanced sound.

    If you want to correct the sound signature, you have to use the custom equalizer. It works really well, and you can make the earbuds sound incredibly lively and natural.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro app sound settings
    You can pick one of the EQ presets or make your own. Mine (on the right) is trying to be natural, fixing original tuning.

    There are also 22 different EQ presets, but none are really good (for my tastes).

    Another great feature…

    The Soundcore app lets you customize the touch controls. You can select the command you want for a specific gesture, from volume controls to summoning voice assistant. The Sony and JBL apps are much worse in this regard.

    Microphone Quality

    Overall call quality is pretty decent, with good results when speaking in a quiet place, and mixed ones in a noisier environment.

    When there’s no ambient noise to bother you, the Liberty 3 Pro remain nice and clean but lack a bit of bass. Consequently, they make vocals sound very thin.

    When making phone calls in a noisy environment with lots of traffic noise, the mic’s performance drops noticeably. Sometimes it’s tolerable, but in most cases, it completely scrambles your voice, making it hard to understand.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro microphone test

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    The passive isolation is pretty good and on par with other in-ear headphones. Earbuds with multiple-flanged or foam tips can still do much better.

    As long as you pick the right ear tip size (you get 4 pairs of tips in the box), you shouldn’t be bothered by moderately loud background noise.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro charging case with buds
    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro stay in your ears quite well but don’t isolate that much.

    Like other earbuds with silicone ear tips, the Liberty 3 Pro muffle the midrange frequencies and a little bit of highs, whereas the lower end stays unchanged.

    Engine noises or home appliances are sufficiently dampened and don’t annoy you when listening to music.

    Noise Cancelling

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    Active noise cancellation blocks low-end frequencies but can’t fully reduce the high-end. Also, there’s a faint ANC hiss in the background when you don’t play any sound.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro active noise cancelling test

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro ANC Test – HeadphonesAddict

    As most premium true wireless earbuds, the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro also have active noise cancellation.

    The overall performance from a total of six microphones is good but not as good as with a cheaper model EarFun Free Pro 2.

    Earbuds manage to successfully block low-end hum, making them a splendid tool for eliminating engine noise, home appliances, and construction works.

    While they do a decent job with higher frequencies, too, they still let through a good chunk of high-end shimmer.

    Previously mentioned EarFun earbuds are a bit better in that regard. High-end models like Sony WF-1000XM4 are in an entirely different league for ANC performance.

    Still, if you mostly need noise cancellation for commuting, the Liberty 3 Pro will do just fine.

    But there’s something you have to know.

    One thing to note is that the earbuds produce a faint hiss when using ANC in a quiet room. It’s doesn’t ruin the experience, but it still shouldn’t be in a premium pair like the Liberty 3 Pro.

    The Soundcore app also lets you tune the noise cancellation (HearID ANC test) based on your ear canals for slightly better performance.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro ANC app settings
    The app also offers Adaptive mode, boosting ANC performance based on environmental noise.

    The Adaptive ANC changes the intensity of active cancellation based on surround sound. Since the ANC helps with the sound, for outdoor use, keep the Wind Noise Reduction feature enabled.

    It’s a handy feature if you want to save some battery. But in general, only the highest setting removes low-end frequencies. So, using manual mode is preferable.

    Transparency mode is good but not great. It primarily focuses on voice clarity but cuts away the low-end, making the sound thin.

    Still, it does the job. Turn on the Transparency mode and speak normally to a person next to you, then turn off when you want to listen to music again.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    The Bluetooth 5.2 connection is reliable and offers excellent range, even with LDAC enabled. The true wireless earbuds support mono mode and multipoint, but without LDAC.

    Lately, many wireless gadgets surprised with their excellent Bluetooth range, and Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are no different, doing an outstanding job.

    Their connection lasted for around 60 feet in Bluetooth range, after which the audio completely cut off. There were at least 2 brick walls in between.

    That is more than impressive since, on average, Bluetooth earbuds stop working right after passing the second brick wall or at a distance of 50 feet.

    1. When pairing for the first time, you simply place the true wireless earbuds in the case and close the lid.
    2. Then open back the lid, and the lights under the tips should start blinking, indicating that earbuds are in pairing mode. They should appear in your Bluetooth menu.

    For the second pairing, place the buds in the case and hold the button on the charging case for 3 seconds until the LEDs start blinking.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro right side indicator
    Strangely, the left earbud lacks the “L” indicator. There’s also only the right-side indicator inside the charging case.

    The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro support multipoint, connecting themselves to two devices simultaneously. However, you have to turn off the LDAC codec to keep the feature.

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    Earbuds use SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. The latter only works on Android phones. The highest-quality codec for iOS devices is AAC.

    • In the app, you select the “Preferred audio quality LDAC” under the Sound Mode. Then, the app asks you to update the firmware to install LDAC support on your earbuds.
    • After a successful update, you have to go into the Bluetooth menu, find Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro, go into settings, and enable LDAC. Otherwise, the in-ears will keep on using an AAC codec.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    There’s a noticeable lag when using LDAC, even during YouTube videos. Changing codecs to AAC or SBC helps perfectly sync the audio with the lips.

    Mobile gaming is doable, too. However, while a minimal lag is okay for casual gameplay, the delay is too severe for competitive games.

    Should You Get Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro?

    As an overall product, Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro offer a compelling package. True wireless earbuds come with premium packaging and an excellent set of features that make them perform better.

    They’re very comfortable, have a good battery life, and have excellent sound quality (after EQ).

    The active noise cancellation isn’t impressive, but it does the job, much like the ambient sound mode.

    Still, the price at $170 is probably set a bit high. That’s much higher than what their predecessor was selling for (around $130).

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro case on rock
    The Liberty 3 Pro charging case is sleek and modern but a bit slippery to open.

    Nevertheless, if you want nice-looking earbuds that sound amazing and can also block some of the background noise, then Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are more than an excellent choice. They’re surely among the best wireless earbuds out there.

    On the other hand, if you want earbuds to exercise with, then Jaybird Vista 2 is a better option.

    If you want an improvement on all fronts, you have to look at the Sony WF-1000XM4, but those cost around $100 more.

    How Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro compare to the competition?

    • They have an overall cleaner and more lively sound than the competition (after you apply custom EQ).
    • Earbuds come in premium packaging, adding a wow factor to the user experience.
    • The Soundcore app is feature-rich and offers a high level of customization. Other apps come very close but aren’t as customizable.
    • The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro support the LDAC Bluetooth codec, which puts the TWS earbuds in premium bracket.
    • The battery life is good and comparable to other true wireless earbuds in the price range.
    • Active noise cancelling is comparable but somewhat average and could be better.
    • Passive noise isolation lags behind the competition.

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Alternatives

    Jaybird Vista 2

    Jaybird Vista 2 on the ground

    They have a smoother, more balanced sound out of the box, but it isn’t as engaging.

    The Vista 2 aren’t as comfortable due to the higher ear canal pressure they produce yet provide superior stability for sports activities.

    They’re also more robust, with an IP68 rating on the buds and an IP54 rating on the Qi wireless charging case.

    Earbuds support ANC, but it’s worse in comparison.

    Jaybird Vista 2 review

    JBL Live Pro+

    JBL Live Pro+ earbuds

    Slightly V-shape-sounding earbuds that can also sound better after some EQ.

    Their AirPods Pro-shaped housing makes them comfortable and more stable in comparison.

    The JBL app is good but not as in-depth or customizable as the Soundcore app.

    Earbuds can also reduce background noise with ANC, but it isn’t as efficient as the Anker one.

    JBL Live Pro+ review

    Skullcandy Indy ANC

    Skullcandy Indy ANC earbuds and the case

    A slightly V-shaped sound gets better after some tweaks in the app, but not nearly as good as the Liberty 3 Pros.

    The app is okay but doesn’t offer as many features. Instead of custom EQ, you’re stuck with only 3 presets.

    Overall comfort and stability are great, and you can easily use them for light workouts.

    However, both earbuds and the case are bulky and not as elegant as the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.

    Skullcandy Indy ANC review

    What’s in the Box?

    Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro accessories
    • Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro true wireless earbuds
    • Charging case
    • USB-C charging cable
    • 4 pairs of silicone ear tips (XS, S, M, L)
    • 4 pairs of ear fins
    • User guide

    Specifications

    Type: True wireless
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 10.6mm dynamic & balanced armature
    Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Weight: 0.2 oz (5.6g) per earbud
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: IPX4
    Battery life: 8h + 25h in case
    Charging time: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging
    Active noise cancelling: Yes
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
    Wireless range: 50ft (15m)
    Microphone: 6 microphones w/ AI-uplink noise reduction