- Strong noise-cancelling for the price
- Clear, detailed, balanced audio
- Impressive stack of features for the money
- Comfortable fit
- Battery not as extensive as Anker claims
- EarFun rival better for ANC
Our pick for best affordable earbuds of 2023 was the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, a budget true wireless pair that has the type of features you’d expect from a flagship earbud.
That said, it wouldn’t be right to expect a flagship level of performance from these earbuds, but they do extract an impressive performance for the price, boasting strong noise-cancellation, good audio quality, and a varied set of features that can be customised and personalised to your liking.
The design is nothing new for a true wireless bud, though the Liberty 4 NC are a little looser in terms of their fit. So while they’re not the most snug pair, they are comfortable. Controls are responsive, and the buds could be used for workouts and gym work with their IPX4 rating, with a charging case that’s compact enough to slot into a pocket without trouble.
Battery life isn’t quite as strong as stated number, with the Liberty 4 NC falling short of its claims in our tests. But it’s still good enough to get you through a couple days listening before they completely run out of battery. There’s support for LDAC, which allows for higher quality audio streaming over Bluetooth, as well as multipoint support for listening to two devices at the same time.
The wireless performance is solid, holding on in busy areas. The noise-cancellation is strong, reducing traffic, people’s voices, and ambient noise on public transport like on the Underground well, though we’d rate the EarFun Air Pro 3 as the more convincing of the two. The transparency mode is clear, with a selection of modes to choose from to lock onto people’s voices, but again, we find the EarFun better in this department.
Where the EarFun isn’t as good as the Soundcore is with its audio performance. The Liberty 4 NC is the clearer, detailed, and more openly expressive pair of the two earbuds; with a clearer midrange performance, more detailed treble, and a more balanced bass performance. They are a satisfying, all-round pair of cheap earbuds, hence their position at the top of this list.
Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC