review

Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 Wireless Hybrid Earphones

Friday, November 15, 2019

For years, the bread-and-butter of in ear monitors (IEMs) has been hybrid driver setups, using dynamic drivers with balanced armature drivers to achieve their distinctive sound signature. While hybrid earphones aren't a new thing, hybrid driver earphones that are completely wireless are hard to come by.
The release of the Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 brings to market an exciting pair of wireless hybrid in ear monitors with a rather unique dual driver arrangement (1DD + 1BA) where the drivers sit on top of each other in the same axis, rather than next to each other like with most multi driver in ears. The Liberty Pro 2 dual driver same-axis setup causes the sound to be slightly out of phase and sound thinner than your average multi driver IEMs.
The slightly out of phase sound does set the Liberty Pro 2 does give it a unique sound signature and, while the sound isn't as full as with regular multi driver setups, the thinner sound does minimize distortions between the drivers, making the tone of the the Liberty Pro 2 more defined, which is perfect for listening to music genres with squawky sound like reggae, dub, hip hop and funk.
The Liberty Pro 2 dynamic driver (DD) is the larger of the two and handles the low end frequencies (bass), while the smaller balanced armature (BA) driver handles the midrange and high frequencies (treble).
No matter what music genre you listen to, you will enjoy using the Liberty Pro 2 because of the wide soundstage and volume loudness. The bass is clean and accurate with elevated/forward midrange and treble, which is specially noticeable if you listen to music at 100% volume. Luckily, you don't have to play the Liberty Pro 2 at full tilt. Anywhere from 70% to 80% is sufficient to get good sound and volume out of them.
The Liberty Pro 2 also bring with them a quirky-looking IEM design that seems to have been inspired by futuristic footwear. In fact, you could easily mistake the Liberty Pro 2 earbuds for a nifty pair of space boots (or even ski boots) when looking at them close-up, side by side.
There are three gold-plated charging contacts on the side of the Liberty Pro 2 earbuds and a single physical button on the opposite side. The buttons are tactile and easy to press and because of their location on top, you don't have to press the earphone inwards into the ear-canal.
The commands of the buttons can be customized via the Soundcore mobile app, which also provides the ability to update the firmware of the Liberty Pro 2.
The Soundcore app also lets you adjust the sound via a standard EQ and HearID, which is a new addition that lets you create a tailored-made sound profile tuned to your ears.
HearID, essentially, builds a custom equalizer preset automatically for you that tends to have a flatter, punchier frequency response.
HearID isn't entirely a new concept as there are mobile apps that do a similar job. Where Soundcore's HearID is different though, it's how both left and right channels are independently equalized.
Two of the four microphones on the Liberty Pro 2 are located on the tip section, while the other two microphones are located on the front panels, which have a nice dark space grey finish. Each Liberty Pro 2 earphone has, essentially, a dual microphone setup and can be paired and connected to two devices separately.
Both Liberty Pro 2 earphones cannot be connected to multiple devices at the same time. The amplification of the microphones during a call is superb, particularly when you have both ear pieces inserted. The noise reduction is effective, making the call audio clear and pronounced.
The space-boot design isn't the only interesting thing about the Soundcore Liberty Pro 2. Under the hood, the Liberty Pro 2 integrate Bluetooth version 5.0 with support for SBC, aptX and AAC Bluetooth codecs; hence hi-res audio. You can get hi-resolution audio though, only if your smartphone also supports aptX or AAC, which is the default audio compression codec used by Apple's iTunes and YouTube.
AAC is supported by both iPhone and Android smartphones but not all Android phones support AAC or aptX. The best way to find out whether your Android phone supports aptX and/or AAC, it's by simply going to the Developer Options where the Bluetooth Audio codec setting is located.
Under the hood of the Liberty Pro 2 earphones, you also find a 65mAh lithium battery, the Knowles BA driver and the massive 11mm dynamic driver. The weight of each ear piece is 8.5 grams with a total combined weight of 17 grams.
The Liberty Pro 2 earphones take 1.5 hours to fast charge and can hold 2 hours worth of battery power in just 10 minutes. Full charge to 100% takes 2 hours and can provide up to 8 hours of playtime when listening to audio on 50% volume and, when connected to a bluetooth 5.0 device.
The charging case that comes with the Liberty Pro 2 integrates a 500mAh battery that fast charges via USB-C connection, as well as wireless charging. The wireless charging coil is located on the bottom of the case and, it is compatible with any Qi-wireless charger.
Charging the case via USB-C is faster though, taking just 2 hours versus 3.5 hours via wireless charging. There is no support for fast wireless charging.
The Liberty Pro 2 charging case can hold 24 hours worth of battery power; hence you can charge the Liberty Pro 2 earphones three times over.
The charging case has a nice rubberized matt finish that doesn't easily mark with fingerprints. The pebble-like shape and grippy finish makes holding the charging case really comfortably in the hands.
The bottom of the charging case has a flat base. On the back, you find the USB-C charging port with a rubber cover and the battery led button. The Liberty Pro 2 earbuds will automatically pair with each other when the charging case cover is open, which is convenient.
On top, you find the cover of the charging case, which has a cool drop-top convertible design with a curved cover that retracts backwards.
Sliding the charging cover back and forth is easy and closes tightly without any gaps. The earbud charging area, which is magnetized, also has a peculiar shoe storage box design. Whomever designed the Liberty Pro 2, definitely, had footwear in mind!
As far as their size, the Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 are larger than your average true wireless in-ears but, their larger size means larger acoustic chambers for the drivers to work their magic. While the Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 are bulky, they do stay in the ears better than you may expect, thanks to the integration of ear wings, which come in three different sizes.
The Liberty Pro 2 can handle normal day to day activities, including gym workouts and jogging outside since they have IPX4 water resistance.
The fit is comfortable and feels secure as long as you aren't doing something like mixed-martial arts or gymnastics.
The ear wings and ear tips that are included with the Liberty Pro 2 have a nice quality feel to them and come nicely organized inside a plastic retainer.
There aren't many coaxial dual driver in ears out there, not to mention wireless ones; hence the Soundcore Liberty Pro 2 are on a league of their own in terms of sound quality and driver construction.
Gadget Explained disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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