Here it is guys – the SoundCore Liberty 4 NC. We’ve been using it for the past few weeks. Oh wow, it feels good to be able to say that line 🙂 Enough flexing – here are 10 reasons why you should or… should not buy it!
Let’s start with what we love about the Liberty 4 ANC. 10 reasons – let’s go!
(+) Reason 10: The NC is Liberating! Active Noise Canceling
You might not have been the only one to think that it was weird that SoundCore took an existing product name and slapped two letters at the end of it. The NC in the Liberty 4 NC, does live up to its name. We rank noise cancelling on THIS scale. And the Liberty 4 NC came in at Tier A guys! Impressive for a pair of buds at this price point. This puts them in the same class as the Sony LinkBuds S and the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Especially at low end sounds. The mids and highs were… not quite as good. But still impressive overall. In the app you can turn on wind reduction mode and it actually works. The wind doesn’t disappear but it definitely reduces it a great deal. And to boot, you get adaptive ANC that changes ANC levels based on your surroundings. That’s a plus 1.
(-) Reason 9: Microphones and testosterone
Vakmannen – listen up! There will be popsicles, popped, icicles iced and test…
What do I think? There are two stories to be told here. Let’s start with mine. My advice: stay away from the Liberty 4 NC for your calling needs. I’ve personally been told off by 3 different people already. 2 colleagues found it hard to hear me on a Teams call and my voice wasn’t clear to them. This happened in quiet conditions, mind you. I thought it was a Teams thing, but then the last person to complain was my mom on a cellular call. Moms can put up with a lot, but this was too much even for her.
Yeah – for me too. I literally asked Kevin to stop using these buds even though we were testing them. I personally didn’t face these issues. So we think this might have to do with two things:
- The noise floor and
- The kind of voice
Kevin’s deeper beard – I mean voice – probably is somehow getting ‘cancelled’ when he speaks in short bursts. For longer sentences without a pause, it seemed to work better. Whereas my not so deep voice seems to be picked up fine. So… don’t buy these buds if your testosterone is super high?
Not to be outdone though – I did face other sorts of issues. Especially with connectivity. When answering a WhatsApp call, the call wouldn’t go to the buds but stay on the phone. I had to manually change the microphone to the earbuds. And when I did change it, there were multiple occasions that the call wouldn’t stay on the buds but switch back to the phone.
So WhatsApp calls worked fine for me. But as you can see, a mixed bag of opinions here guys. Fingers crossed that some firmware updates fix these issues. Stay subscribed for updates.
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🎧 Buy the SoundCore Liberty 4 NC
(+) Reason 8: The Design’s on the button
The way these buds open in combination with the white color we have here, reminds me very much of space pods from Dragon Ball Z. Anyone else? No? Ok.. Well it may not be a space pod.. But it can be a phone stand! That large button to open the case is a unique design element that does many things – it helps you open the case one-handed, functions as a pairing button AND acts a color-blind friendly battery indicator. That’s a lot of tech packed into one tiny button. Thankfully it also means that there’s no tiny shameful dinky pairing button you need to dig into using the corner of your nails. Cough status between 3 ANC cough.
Ok and in true SoundCore fashion, the color options are plentiful. The Liberty 4 NC comes in 5 different colors. The color is different on the charging case, the silicone tips and the stems. Oh and speaking of those stems – the controls include volume – yay! We did have to configure the triple tap to do volume in the app though.
(-) Reason 7: Transparency’s… not very transparent
Ok – we’re going to be transparent about what’s pushing our buttons guys. More transparent than these buds are. We are not a fan of the transparency mode on the Liberty 4 NC. We ranked them at Tier C. The amount of ambient noise that gets piped in is just ok. The overall volume is rather suppressed and we find ourselves taking the buds out if we really need to be aware of our surroundings or need to speak to someone. But if you’re in a rush and quickly need to let in environmental noise, these will be ok. But definitely nothing to write home about. And these buds might find their way to your home. We have a giveaway at the end of the video.
(+) Reason 6: Going the Extras Mile
You might get these buds for $0, but let’s not forget the price point for the rest of us. At the psychologically clever price of $99 – SoundCore didn’t cut corners in the features department. You get multipoint support meaning the buds stay connected to two devices at the same time. You will sacrifice LDAC of course, but we’ll talk about sound quality in a bit. The charging case supports wireless charging if you’re into that kind of thing. There’s also a wear sensor on the buds so your audio will automatically pause if you pull the buds out of your ear, and will resume when you put them back in. No audio FOMO. And of course, the feature rich SoundCore app. Giving you so many options one must wonder if they’re compensating for something. Either way you can tweak the noise cancellation to your heart’s content as we said. You get an option for wind noise reduction, custom and preset EQs, controls customization, see your connected devices, toggle between them and many more.
(-) Reason 5: We’re not touched about these controls
The Liberty 4 NC can only be operated using a touch sensor on either bud. No pinch like on the Liberty 4. We do like that when you tap the touch sensor you get feedback in terms of a beep. What we don’t like is that you have to hit the touch sensor at the right place. A bit to the edge or too low on the stem and it won’t register it. Oh and if you’ve set up volume control to be a triple tap, you need to time those taps properly. If the tap speed of all three taps isn’t quite right, then it may register it as a single or double tap. Overall – not the best implementation compared to buttons or a combination of input methods like touch and pressure sensitive stems or touch and buttons.
(+) Reason 4: Comfortably built and built for comfort
The Liberty 4 NC has been really comfortable for us. The oval shaped silicone tips do a good job and despite oval tips not being the optimal choice for fit, these did fit us quite securely. So a decent candidate for workouts too, especially since it also has an IPX4 rating. SoundCore does supply 4 sizes of tips in the box. Apart from that the overall build quality feels solid. The case is reasonably pocketable, the hinge feels stable, without any creakage and since it closes and opens magnetically you don’t have to worry about mechanical parts ruining the closing mechanism.
(-) Reason 3: These phone calls are out of control
An opinion we both did share was that we love buds that support volume controls straight from the buds. Out of the box, these are not enabled. You can hop into the app and set, for example, the triple tap to volume up and down. Now this worked fine for music. But they do not work for calls. Neither on cellular or WhatsApp. A real shame since we spend a lot of time on calls. And there’s more guys. You also cannot change the ANC mode when on a call nor mute the microphone straight from the buds.
(+) Reason 2: Sound Quality
As we’ve come to expect from SoundCore – these are very good sounding buds for casual listening. There’s big bass coming from those 11mm drivers, LDAC on board for the best possible resolution. They also sound pretty decent WITHOUT LDAC, which is important for the next reason.
Now are these the best sounding true wireless earbuds in the world? Well maybe not. But you know what? All our ears and heads are so different what matters less is a single great sound signature, but flexibility. And with the sheer amount of customisation that the app offers with 22 EQ presets – yes we counted, a hear ID custom hearing test – we’d say you can pretty much get any sound of it that you desire. Do we have criticisms about it? Sure – we’ll save it for our rundown of top buds at $99, so stay subscribed for that video.
(+) Reason 1: It’s full of life!
The battery on the Liberty 4 NC is definitely full of life! SoundCore claims 10 hours on the buds without ANC and 8 with ANC. After our DHRME me and on the AAC codec. Now this is top tier when it comes to battery life on ANC buds.
You’ve been conscious of your test test testosterone And we’ve been DHRME Namaste!