Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
First, tips. Try out all the supplied ear tips to find one that sounds the most accurate first. The ear tips you select determines how soft, bassy, bright these earphones are. Secondly, on the Soundcore app, switch the profile to “Piano.” I tried all of the profiles, and this sounds much closer to my reference system. It’s pretty muffled otherwise. Also, aside from sounding superb with piano music, it’s a good all-rounder preset.
Unfortunately, I can’t customize the “Piano” EQ and save it as my own. I would take the highs down a tad and boost the 200-300 Hz region. Reason being that these earphones have this ever-present coarseness in the mids. It’s kind of edgy, hissy, screechy, and resembles static at times. These adjustments would hopefully close the micro-caps and hopefully smooth over the grain.
If you’re a tone snob, the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is the most naturally colored TWS earphones I’ve heard so far. In fact, it has better color than most multi-thousand dollar sound systems I’ve heard (seriously). It also has an impressive amount of bass output. It’s tight and doesn’t bleed into the other frequencies – which is uncommon in a TWS earphone. This, in turn, promotes more depth and dimension to the sound. Now, the problems are in the upper regions. Almost every consonant has sharp sibilance, especially “S” and “F”s. And the treble sizzles and comes off metallic at times – but somehow still “truthful.”
Aside from a more jagged midrange, there’s not much to complain about here. It has plenty of resolution and the best representation of timbre out there. It also has timing that is very impressive. This solidifies instrumental placement on a soundstage. Anything from a kick drum to a harp is played out with a believable will and character. This makes the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro a great reference piece to keep around for “artistic intent.” Not just for headphones, but for stereo systems as well. So, if you want a better idea of how a voice or instrument really sounds – grab one of these.
Aside from the somewhat strong sheen in the upper-mids (which could use a little soul injection), I can’t complain. I mean if they sort those two things out, these TWS earbuds will be too good. I have a feeling a pair of Comply tips may be able to cut the edge and add some meat to the sound. We’ll see!
- Jaybird Vista: The Soundcore has a bit of a thinner sound and is more energetic. It still beats the Jaybird as far as tone and clarity.
- Soundcore Liberty Neo (Original): The Liberty 2 Pro is much quieter, more detailed, and has a much larger bass presence. It’s also far more transparent and spacious sounding. It doesn’t compare.
- Beats Powerbeats Pro: The Beats are more sculpted and fleshed out with a darker tone. The Soundcore has better tonality and detail – and, surprisingly, more bass.
- 1More Stylish Truly Wireless: The 1More sounds a bit dull and sloppy when compared to the more atmospheric qualities of the Soundcore.
- Sony WF-1000XM3: The Sony has a more casual and silky articulation. It doesn’t accentuate anything complex and keeps things simple and sweet. It’s more analog and soothing. The Soundcore sounds more like a party animal in comparison.
- Master & Dynamic MW03 GO: The M&D is more tangible and smoother, there are no hard edges. However, It sounds colorless in comparison to the Soundcore (grayscale neutral). The Soundcore sounds more open and has punchier bass that reaches much further into the ear. M&D is far more nuanced in the lower level details and textures – and has more “gapless resolution” however.
- Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless: I honestly don’t believe the Sennheiser is a great sounding TWS earphone. There’s this hazy glaze that is supplemented with strong bass that covers every recording.
- It doesn’t really auto-pair as well as the other earphones. I have to disconnect and reconnect. Not a big deal, but not something I have to do with most of the other TWS earphones.
- Manual EQ’ing was a bit clumsy so I resorted to the “Piano” preset. If Soundcore allows us to adjust the presets and create our own – this may be the only true wireless earphone you’ll need.
- Again, there seems to be an optimal volume to get the most out of these buds (louder).
- Give it a bit of body, smooth up the top mids and treble, and this sounds very close to my very expensive reference system. Unfortunately with EQ, you lose volume on Android.
Who should buy this?
If you’re sensitive to sibilance or rougher mids, this may not be for you. However, I’ve experimented with some Comply foam tips, and it seems to mitigate this. That said, the onslaught gets pretty sharp at times – revealing itself with mostly vocal recordings. Of course, this depends on how you EQ the sound. The reason why the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro is at the top of this list is that it’s a chameleon. It has the capacity to be tuned to whatever you want you. It has so much dynamic range and adjustability without having to sacrifice much tonal quality.
However, if your sound quality non-negotiable is tonality – the Liberty 2 Pro gets you there the closest. Aside from a more heightened signature, thinner and rougher midrange, there wasn’t much to complain about. However, If you’re looking for a fuller, weightier, and meatier sound, there are plenty of better options. Aside from these tradeoffs, my intuition says that this earphone probably gets you closer to what the musicians wanted you to hear.