Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Review Liberty 2 Pro Comparison LDAC + 3D Sound Support

Friday, October 08, 2021

The Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro are the newest dual driver true wireless earbuds to hit the market, improving on the previous version - Liberty 2 Pro - with the following upgrades: LDAC support, 3D surround sound, Bluetooth 5.2, wind reduction mode, multipoint connection and 6 microphone setup for calls.

The Liberty 3 Pro retains the same quirky "space boot" design as the Liberty 2 Pro but with a more premium construction, integrating glass-like front panels as well as a metal accent for the nozzle neck/guard (copper) and chrome metal rim around the mid-frame. The small mesh cutout on the front of the earbuds is also made of metal and conceals the feedforward anc microphone. The main body is made of plastic. The Liberty 3 Pro also integrates text engraving around the nozzle neck and across the chrome rim.

The Liberty 3 Pro 500mAh charging case is also similar to the Liberty 2 Pro charging case but with a neat upgrade - two large battery led indicators for the earbuds - which are located inside the charging area. Other than that, the Liberty 3 Pro has the same bathstyle wireless charging case with fingerprint resistant matte finish. The Liberty 3 Pro also has a "sunroof" lid mechasmism that opens and closes by sliding back and forth. The Liberty 3 Pro charging case area is magnetized too so, the earbuds won't fall out when the charging case lid is open.

The Liberty 3 Pro have a bulky earbud design so, they stick out of ears, although they are noticeably more compact (and slightly lower in weight) than the Liberty 2 Pro. Despite the bulk and weight (8 grams per earbud), the Liberty 3 Pro are comfortable and do not fall out of the ears, thanks to the rubber wingtips. The Liberty 3 Pro charging case weighs 43 grams and measures 7cm long, 5.5cm wide and 2.5cm high.

As far as hardware, the Liberty 3 Pro integrates a 10.6mm dynamic driver (DD) and a Knowles balanced armature (BA) driver per earbud; hence the same dual driver setup as the Liberty 2 Pro. The differences are a the larger 11mm dynamic driver size (in the Liberty 2 Pro) and "air pressure relief" design for the Liberty 3 Pro, which does a better job at reducing the pressure-like feeling you get when turning on active noise-cancellation (anc).

8 hours per earbud plus an additional 16 hours from the charging case makes it a total of 32 hours, which is the same as the Liberty 2 Pro. The rated 8 hour battery life is achieved when turning off anc and setting volume to 50%. With anc on, battery life is 6 hours. Battery life also decreases substantially when using3D sound and LDAC (2.5 hours with anc on and 4 hours with anc off). The Liberty 3 Pro charging time is 1 hour (30 minutes quicker than the Liberty 2 Pro). There is faster quick charge support too (15-minute quick charge = 3 hours of playtime). The Liberty 3 Pro charging case takes 2 hours to charge via cable and 3.5 hours via wireless charger (same as Liberty 2 Pro).

Thanks to the dual driver setup and large body, the Liberty 3 Pro are able to deliver a more clear and detailed sound separation than your average single driver earphones. By default, the Liberty 3 Pro have a big bass sound signature with lively vocals and punchy treble (not harsh). The bass response becomes deeper when anc is turned on. The sound signature can be completely altered via the Soundcore app.

The Soundcore app is feature rich - one of the most comprehensive earbud mobile apps on the market - offering a myriad of audio settings to choose from to tweak the sound to your liking. You get battery level indicator for each earbud and charging case too. There are 22 sound presets, an 8-band equalizer, 3D surround sound (works a bit like 7.1 surround sound opening the soundstage) and HearID Sound for personalizing the sound further.

Speaking of HearID, Soundcore has integrated a new feature on the app, called HearID ANC, which gives you access to a manual anc mode so, you can manually increase and decrease the anc. The "manual anc" feature isn't new as it's also available on the Life P3 earbuds and Life Q35 headphones. What's unique about HearID ANC though, it's that it allows you to manually calibrate the anc microphones so, they perform more accurate in specific settings. Transparency mode can also be tweaked via two sub-modes: Fully Transparent and Vocal. 

The Bluetooth 5.2 chipset supports absolute bluetooth volume and multipoint connection so, you can connect to two separate devices at the same time. Multipoint is not supported in LDAC. There are three extra microphones per earbud for calls. The call quality is very good - on par with the Liberty Air 2 Pro earphones (supports LDAC codec too) but a bit more aggressive at cutting background noise. As far as anc performance, the Liberty 3 Pro uses hybrid anc (two anc mics) that suppress very well constant low frequency type sounds (e.g. car engine, extractor fan, etc). High pitched noises and people chatter are supressed very little.

Codecs suported include LDAC (for ndroid devices only), AAC and SBC (aptX is only supported by the Liberty 2 Pro version). In-ear detection can be disabled via the app and, you have the ability to remap all touch control functions as well as disable touch control functionality completely. Each earbud supports a maximum of three touch control functions per earbud via a single tap, double tab and long press.

Touch control functions include power on/off (very long press), volume, next/previous, play/pause, voice assistant and ambient sound, which includes anc mode, transparency mode and normal mode (disables anc and transparency modes). You also have the ability to disable one ambient sound mode (e.g. you can disable anc, transparency or normal mode) so, you only have to toggle between two modes). When toggling between touch control functions, you will hear a short beep. This beep can be disabled via the Soundcore app too.

From the Soundcore app, you can also enable "wind noise reduction", which is only avaialable in anc mode and transparency mode. Wind noise reduction makes the outer anc mic (feedforward mic) less sensitive ,making it effective at reducing wind. In transparency mode though, wind reduction does decrease the transparency performance so, outside sounds aren't picked up as clear. While the Soundcore app is very comprehensive, there is no low latency (game) mode support.

Bluetooth pairing is straightforward and, you can switch between earbuds for mono or stereo listening. Switching is seamless without the earbuds disconnecting or pausing the audio. Reconnection is instantanously so, there is no re-connection delay. The Liberty 3 Pro earbuds cannot be paired separately with different devices.

As far as accessories, the Liberty 3 Pro only comes with four different size silicone eartips and three different size silicone wingtips; whereas the Liberty 2 Pro comes with seven pairs of silicone eartips and two pairs of wingtips neatly organized on a detachable holder than you can carry with you. The Liberty 3 Pro doesn't have a detachable tip holder. A Soundcore-branded charging cable (USB-A to USB-C) is also include. You can buy the Liberty 3 Pro from Soundcore and amazon when they become available. Check out the review of the Life P2 Mini and Space A40 buds.

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