Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo Review
You can use Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo to commute, for casual listening or sports. They’re versatile and a good value for anyone on the budget.
The overall score: 3.4 out of 5 points.
Anker is continuously striving to make the best wireless headphones for the lowest price possible. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are another true wireless earbuds that are following the rule.
In terms of comfort, these are fantastic. They are very lightweight (5.5g per earbud) and are covered in a soft silicon cover with an ear fin. It helps them stay in your ears, even if you take them out for a run or to the gym. These are IPX7 water-resistant, so you can definitely do that.
Liberty Neo’s don’t have the best battery life (3.5 hours per charge) and are not feature-packed, but they are great at doing the basics. Especially the sound, which is fun and punchy and ready to shake your head in the rhythm of the music.
PROS & CONS
- Very comfortable
- Ear fins provide secure fit
- Reliable Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- IPX7 water resistance
- Good sound quality with graphene drivers
- Pretty decent build quality
- The charging case seems a bit flimsy
- Charging via micro USB
- Bass isn’t very agile
- Physical controls are annoying and only support basic commands
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- What’s in the Box?
- Comfort & Fit – 4/5 Great
- Noise Isolation – 3/5 Good
- Bluetooth – 4/5 Great
- Battery – 3/5 Good
- Durability – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect
- Features – 2/5 Acceptable
- Sound – 3.5/5 Almost Great
- Why Buy Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo?
Connection: Wireless Bluetooth
Driver size: 6mm
Frequency range: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
Weight: 11g both buds, 51g with the case
Cable length: 60cm
Microphone & Controls: Yes (built-in)
Bluetooth: Version 5.0
Battery life: 3.5 hours on a single charge
Charging time: 10 minutes for around 1 hour of playtime, full charge 1.5 hours
Active noise-cancelling: No
Charging cable: Micro USB
Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
Wireless range: 33ft (10m)+
Type: Built-in microphone
Mic design: n/a
What’s in the Box?
- Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo true wireless earbuds
- Charging case
- 4 pairs of silicone ear tips
- 3 silicone ear fins for each earbud
- MicroUSB charging cable
- User manual
Comfort & Fit – 4/5 Great
Very comfortable wearing experience is accompanied with great security, provided by the included ear fins. Unfortunately, the physical controls ruin the otherwise high score.
Comfort-wise, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are great. They are very light, weighing only 5.5 grams per earbud. In the box, you get 2 sizes of ear fins and one silicon cover with no fin. This prevents the hard plastic from touching the skin. They don’t irritate your ears even after a few hours of listening.
Fit on these is a bit tricky. It is not hard to find the perfect seal, but you have to insert the earbuds a little deeper into the ear canal. Because of that, they create a sort of vacuum. While this is good for isolation, you can hear the earbuds bouncing when walking and especially when running.
Overall, comfort gets worse when using the physical buttons for controlling the playback. They are on the outside of the earbud, which means that when you press them, you also push the earbud deeper into your ear. Of course, this gets quite annoying, so using your phone for all but answering calls is much more advised.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo uses proprietary silicone tips, so you can only use the tips that are inside the box.
Noise Isolation – 3/5 Good
A deep seal makes for decent isolation. Loud noises are still audible, which in a way is a good thing.
Even though you have to push them a bit deeper into your ear canal, the noise isolation is rather average. Of course, when you play music, you don’t hear much of the surroundings, so they are still suitable for commuting. You also don’t have to worry about sound leakage, since there is none.
There is a minimal wind noise present while using them outside. They are fine for running, but walking on a windy day or cycling might make the wind noise more prominent.
Bluetooth – 4/5 Great
Strong connection, that breaks only over 2 walls.
Bluetooth 5.0 connection is surprisingly good for a budget pair of true wireless in-ears. There are no problems if you take them for a walk, with a phone in your pocket.
Pairing for the first time is also a breeze. All you have to do is to put both earbuds out of the case. This initiates the pairing mode, which makes them visible in your phone’s Bluetooth search menu.
You can easily put 1 thick brick wall between the earbuds and a source and experience no audio distortion or connection stutters.
However, the audio completely cuts after the second wall. But at that point, you are probably on the other side of the house, so the connection stability is on par with the competition.
Can You Connect to 2 Devices at the Same Time (Multipoint)?
You can’t connect them to two devices at the same time. You have to disconnect them first and then reconnect them to some other Bluetooth enabled device.
What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Support?
These support only SBC and AAC. This is quite fair for their price point, and even though they don’t have aptX, they still perform well in terms of video delay on Android devices.
Is Video Delay a Problem?
Despite the lack of faster Bluetooth codecs, Soundcore Liberty Neo on Android shows no audio delay whatsoever when watching YouTube videos. If there is one, it is hardly noticeable.
However, on iOS, the audio does lag just a little bit. Videos are still watchable, but the delay is more noticeable compared to Android.
Battery – 3/5 Good
At 3.5 hours per charge, these are not the longest-lasting out there, but this should be enough for a decent walk, workout session, or a few episodes on Netflix.
Buds themselves can hold up to 3.5 hours of battery life, with the charging case adding an extra 19 hours (24 in total). In our test, we got around 5 hours out of them. This is a better battery life than expected but still somewhat average compared to the competition. Thankfully the case isn’t too big: you can easily take it with you.
Flashing LEDs let you see how much of the battery life is still in the buds. A white light indicates a high battery, red light indicates a low battery. Sadly this is the only information you get, besides the female voice, telling you the battery is high or low every time you put them out of the case. You also can’t see the battery percentage anywhere on your phone.
The charging case indicators are slightly better since you have more blinking lights to look at. 3 LEDs in this situation.
Durability – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect
The hard plastic housing of the buds shows no noticeable weak points and appears durable. The only problem spot is the lid on the charging case.
All plastic housing appears durable enough to survive a couple of drops. They are also packing an impressive IPX7 water resistance, which means you can dip them to 1 meter into water or wash them after a sweaty exercise.
The only thing that might eventually tear are the ear fins. The silicone is very thin, and it needs to stretch when you put it on the earbud. If you use them a lot on the outside, the sun can stiffen up the silicone after a while, making it easier to tear.
The charging case is made of plastic and fits nicely in the pocket. It has a very glossy finish but thankfully is not a fingerprint magnet. The lid is a little bit flimsy, and it doesn’t open all the way up. You have to be cautious about this because if you use too much force, the lid can break.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo have physical buttons that produce a nice, reassuring click in terms of controls.
There is a 90 days money-back guarantee, with the 18-month warranty if something on the earbuds goes wrong.
Features – 2/5 Acceptable
Besides basic controls for music and calls and the automatic connection to your device, these are not very exciting when it comes to features.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are not especially feature-packed, but it is hard to complain too much at this price. There are some cool features, though, that can make your user experience a bit easier.
You can expect to have basic controls like answering calls, skipping and pausing music, but sadly no volume controls. You have to use your phone to change that.
Each earbud has a small LED light that flashes in red or white color. It usually blinks white when pairing and when they’re on standby mode. When you’re using them, the blinking stops.
As mentioned, the controls are physical and very basic. Buttons are nice and clicky, but using them is a bit annoying.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo controls:
- Play/pause – one press on right or left side
- Accept/end call – one press on right or left side
- Reject call – press the button on the right or left side and hold for 1 second
- Next song – press the button on the right side and hold for 1 second
- Restart/previous song – press the button on the left side and hold for 1 second
How is the Microphone Quality?
The difference between speaking into your phone or via Liberty Neo is very minimal. There is a little bit of muddiness, but overall these true wireless earbuds are good for phone calls.
That is if you’re in a quiet room. When the background noise is introduced, the quality drops significantly.
Sound – 3.5/5 Almost Great
Good bass extension and punch, with surprisingly clean vocal rendition and smooth treble, makes Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo awesome pick for those who listen to more popular genres.
The audio quality is pretty good, considering the price range. They are slightly bassy, but not on the basshead level. The low end has a good punch, but it isn’t very fast or detailed. The latter is showing mostly in progressive music or metal, but it works just fine with EDM and other popular genres.
Compared to the bass, the midrange is somewhat recessed and very warm. Consequently, the instruments don’t possess the dynamics that would make them sound more natural. The vocals, however, remain very clean, even on more busy tracks.
Treble has decent clarity and is extremely smooth. It also rolls-off very quickly, which is why these buds lack a bit of airiness.
Liberty Neo’s have just enough soundstage so that the music doesn’t sound like it’s playing in your head. The instrument separation and imaging are also quite decent.
These are very laid back sounding earbuds, with absolutely no harshness, even at slightly higher volumes (60-70%). You can, however, push these to insane loudness. This is, of course, when they start to distort, but at this loudness, the Neo are very painful to listen to.
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo can please a wide range of users. They are not groundbreaking in terms of the sound quality, but for the casual non-audiophile listeners, they should be more than enough.
Why Buy Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo?
These are very attractive for someone who doesn’t want to spend much for a good pair of earbuds.
The silicone covers with fins do the trick when it comes to comfort and secure fit. We did some running and also head shaking, and the buds stayed firmly in our ears.
Their sound quality will make everyone but the most demanding audiophile happy. It’s punchy and enjoyable to listen to, regardless of its flaws.
Their Bluetooth connection is great, giving you the freedom to walk around the house without worrying too much about drops or stutters.
At under $40, these Anker Soundcore earbuds are a good value true wireless earbuds. If you don’t want to complicate too much at what kind of budget true wireless earphones you want to get, you should give it a chance.
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