Back in 2019, we were stunned by the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro wireless earbuds. The Astria Coaxial Acoustic Architecture (ACAA) design of their drivers allowed for an enjoyable and distinct representation of highs, mids and lows. They effectively presented the best sound that Anker’s Soundcore line had to offer at the time. So, when the latest Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro’s dropped this month, needless to say, we were quite excited. This time around, Soundcore’s latest and greatest features ACAA 2.0 sound technology and the active noise cancelation that would have loved to see in previous Liberty Pro earbuds.
Soundcore’s latest ACAA 2.0 driver technology features a blend of components aiming to deliver a rich sound with accurate representation of the various sound ranges. Each earbud houses a 10.6mm Dynamic Driver coupled with a coaxial structure and a Knowles balanced armature driver. The coaxial structure allows for discernable treble and bass while the customized Knowles driver enforces a highly detailed treble presentation.
Let’s dive right into the $169.99 Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro wireless earbuds, available in Fog Gray, Midnight Black, Frost White, and Dusk Purple.
Build, Controls and Comfort
A purchase of the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro headset comes with the earbuds, four pairs of ear tips, four pairs of ear wings, a charging case and a USB-C charging cable.
The out of the box assortment of wings and earbud tips allowed me to find the perfect fit for the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro. During my evaluation period, I found myself on several occasions using the earbuds from a full charge to almost full battery depletion, without ever feeling any kind of wearing fatigue. Anker truly brought their “A-game” in the comfort department when it came to the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
The control schema of the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro banks off of touch control surfaces on each of the earbuds. What single, double, triple or long-hold taps controls are totally up to you. Through the free Soundcore app, you have complete control of how you manage your headset and its media. Here, I went with a wireless ear bud control scheme that was familiar to me.
For the most part, controlling your media and headset behavior is quite manageable with the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro’s touch controls. However, the touch controls did give me some trouble whenever I tried to employ a “triple-tap” to trigger “Previous Track”. Many times, the headset registered it as either a single or double tap, causing me to reach into my pocket for my phone in order to correct the music track movement error. Otherwise, single taps, double taps and press-and-hold controls actuated accurately and without fail. The previous iteration of this headset, the Liberty 2 Pro, did not have this issue at all as it used buttons instead of touch controls.
It was totally my personal preference to employ triple taps, since it was what I am used to. So, it should be mentioned that the flexibility of the Soundcore app allows you to employ alternative controls as needed. As such, a remedy to my problem was already available. However, the sensitivity or accuracy of the touch controls is something worth mentioning if you try to employ triple-taps as I do.
At its base, Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro truly continues the sound performance legacy that its predecessor started. Crisp highs allow you to enjoy the cleanest of percussions. The lows are warm and immersive, bringing you a deep bass that envelopes you without overwhelming you. Mids are not to be left behind, ensuring a solid representation of spoken word and lyrical music. Even more impressive, this base performance is unaffected by the changes in various listening modes, such as Transparency Mode and ANC, regardless of the level at you apply each. Even if you never experiment in the vast collection of EQ’s that the Soundcore app offers you, you will be more than satisfied with the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro’s default Signature Sound settings.
However, the optional LDAC listening mode will present you with the best sound quality that the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro can offer. At the expense of a faster battery drain, LDAC technology opens up a Hi-Res Audio Wireless certified listening experience for the earbuds. Three times more data is transferred to the headset, leading to a fuller and more-enriched sound. It was a setting that I simply did not turn off once I enabled it, even at the expense of battery life. Using LDAC, earbud battery life was brought down from about eight hours to a still very respectable five and a half hours. In the end, the bump in sound quality was well worth the additional cost of battery life.
Going deeper into the listening experience, you have a collection of EQ’s available to you through the Soundcore app. You can either choose the experience you prefer, or manually customize and label your very own EQ as you wish.
As far as the packaged EQ’s go, here are some of EQs that got my attention.
Bass Booster – If you want more bass, you will have more bass. However, it will be at the slight expense of the high and mid ranges. Nevertheless, what you lose in the other ranges does not hurt too much if more bass is what you wanted. So this EQ does a great job at somehow not muddying up the additional bass while not destroying the other ranges.
Treble Booster – This EQ is practically the polar opposite of the Bass Booster EQ, but in a bad way. While Bass Booster gives you more low range without killing the other ranges too much, Treble Booster gives you more treble with an unsatisfactory sampling of the other ranges. This is not an EQ I would lean on, considering that there are so many better EQ’s to try here.
Rock – Here you have more percussion and bass with a noticeably slight dip in vocals. A very solid EQ for people who, like me, really like instrumentals. The hit that vocals take with this EQ does not hurt this presentation to the point that I would find listening less than enjoyable. Having reviewed so many headsets, products with a solid percussion and bass focused EQ would often have found that sweet spot with me in their EQ selection. That is of course if I did not experience this next EQ.
Acoustic – My favorite EQ setting for the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro. This EQ takes the solid balance that Signature Sound achieves and injects life in both instrumentals and bass. Somehow, it does that without noticeably hurting vocals. This vibrant sound presentation easily became my home EQ, or my very own “Signature Sound”.
3D Surround Sound came across as a bit strange, offering what felt like a serious lean on the highs and lows. The mids felt as they were almost completely muffled out by the other two ranges. I was not too sure if what I felt was a “surround sound” experience, but it definitely was not a setting I stuck with for very long when listening to music. I gave the listening mode a go with Modern Combat 5, assuming that the 3D Surround Sound mode would add more in a first-person shooting game experience. However, I did not really experience that much more in my level of immersion than what I would get from any of the other music-focused EQs.
The ANC on the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro is impressive enough to handle the bulk of your everyday listening scenarios. The HearID feature offers an interesting option for balancing ANC intensity with the noise levels in your environment. Through the Soundcore app, you can employ HearID to auto-detect and auto-adjust ANC to the environment you trigger it in. The HearID ANC feature will not actively adjust to the changes in your environment as you move from one environment to the next. However, it does well if you apply it as you arrive somewhere where you plan to settle for some time.
At its highest levels, with your media playing at over 65% volume, the ANC does a great job at canceling out some pretty active scenarios. From walking the streets in New York City to settling at a busy pub on a weekend, only loud vehicles or very loud (and bad) singers will make it through the ANC barrier at a level that I would call “disturbing”. Otherwise, the ANC can hold its own in a busy city environment. Riding the subway? You’ll be treated to practically perfect silence, with music playing at a light 45% volume. Only the louder of high-range sounds will make it through from time to time.
However, when I am traveling to and from the office in NYC, I prefer to be more aware than aloof. Here is where Transparency Mode flourished. As mentioned before, the sound performance was barely affected by the change in listening modes. So being able to maintain a safe level of awareness without sacrificing sound quality was quite the treat with the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro.
The Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro does not disappoint in the battery department either. The 32-hour total life span of the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro held me off for two weeks before I considered charging the charging case. Monday through Friday, I would spend at least two hours a day using the headset in my daily commute and during lunch. On top of that, in a given week, I would spend two to three of those days using the earbuds in non-stop 5-hour spurts, with LDAC enabled. Even then, the earbuds appeared to have enough power for another hour of usage before needing to be placed back in the case.
For the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro to overcome its predecessor, it merely had to add decent ANC features to an already impressive sound performance. However, the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro did not only do just that. It also improved on both comfort and sound quality. The comfort and battery life of this headset makes it the perfect companion for a long weekend. Being able to get three hours of usage from these earbuds after just a 15-minute charge in its case comes in handy during a pinch. On top of that, you have a headset that stays comfortable for the full duration of the earbuds’ lifespan. If it is just for a weekend, you may not even need to bring a charging cable for your trip.
The sound quality on the Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro is bound to satisfy as you are likely to find the perfect EQ setting for you. LDAC and Hi-Res Audio Wireless certified sound only pushes that quality even higher. If finagling through EQ settings is not your cup of tea, there are several automated customization options available through the Soundcore app. Don’t want to do the work of finding the perfect EQ, ANC level, or fit for you? Let the Soundcore app do the work for you. It actually does a decent job at dumbing down the setup process that helps make this headset into your very own.
For me, these are the wireless earbuds to beat this year. Do yourself a favor and check out the $169.99 Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro for yourself by clicking here.
†As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro headset for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.