The Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are a solid set of true wireless earphones for a casual music listener looking for an affordable option for the morning commute or gym. But spend a little more and there are better sounding options available.
- Great fit
- Super cheap
- Solid connection
- Audio lacks dynamism
- Charge case feels a little cheap
- Review Price: £56.49
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Graphene drivers
- 3.5 hours' playtime (9 hours' charge case)
- Wing tips included
- IPX5 waterproofing
What are the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo?
The Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo are one of a growing sea of affordable earphones, aiming to offer the 2019 Apple AirPods’ blissful cable-free, true-wireless experience – but for a third of the price.
They sit alongside numerous other true wireless earbuds such as the Motorola VerveBuds 500 and, on paper at least, do little very little to differentiate themselves.
But having listened to the Liberty Neo for a solid month, I can confirm that, although not revolutionary, they get enough right to meet the needs of most budget buyers.
Related: Best true wireless earbuds 2019
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo design and connection – Unassuming, but they offer a good fit and a stable connection
The Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo look like reference design true-wireless earbuds. The pebble-shaped charge case has a shiny, cheap plastic finish. Aside from the rubber port covering its micro-USB charge port, it’s about as unassuming as you’ll find.
The use of a micro-USB connector, rather than USB-C, is a minor but forgivable annoyance at this price. The buds tick most of the right boxes when it comes to functionality. The case has three easy-to-read LED lights on its front, which let you view how many charges remain (it offers up to three).
The earbuds’ quoted 3.5 hours of playback proved correct during testing, and puts the Liberty Neo on a par with most true wireless sets on the battery-life front. The only set of earphones I’ve tested to significantly improve upon this figure at six hours are the EOZ Air, which cost considerably more.
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Considering their price, the headphones also offer a surprisingly good fit and stable connection. The latter is largely down to the use of Bluetooth 5.0, the former a result of the impressive array of tip options Anker has supplied with the Liberty Neo.
Unlike many affordable earphones, the Liberty Neo comes with a diverse number of silicon tip and wing options. The wing options are a rarity on buds at this price and make it possible to get a good seal. The wings, plus the buds’ IPX5 sweat-proofing makes them a great-value option for gym-goers and runners looking for an affordable alternative to the Jaybird Vista.
Outdoor runners will be pleased to hear the Liberty Neo generally offer a wonderfully stable connection. The only time I suffered regular dropouts was when moving through busy signal areas – train and underground stations, for example.
Related: What is Bluetooth 5?
Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo audio quality – They’re fine for casual listening, but lack dynamism
The custom Graphene drivers offer decent enough tonal balance. Listening to orchestral arrangements the highs, mids and lows are suitably separated and offer enough detail for casual listening. Stereo image is non-existent, but what do you expect at this price?
My only quibble with the audio quality is that the Neo don’t offer much dynamism. Fast-paced punk sections didn’t have the attacking quality heard when listened to on more expensive sets. Post-rock crescendos were also missing the swooping quality that makes them great. You’ll suffer this issue on all sub-£100 true wireless earphones, though, but it’s something to be aware of nonetheless.
Should I buy the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo?
If you’re looking for an affordable set of true wireless earphones for the morning commute or gym, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo will do the job.
They don’t offer any industry-leading features, but they get the basics right – and you’ll struggle to do better for less than £100. If you’re willing to spend even a little more, however, there are better sounding options – the TicPods Free – available.
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