Anker’s Soundcore division has got a new set of wireless earbuds. And while the name may sound familiar — they’re called the Liberty 4 NC — their price is a nice surprise: just $100. That buys you a set of hi-res-capable wireless earbuds that Anker claims have really impressive active noise cancellation (ANC) and battery life.
Anker calls it “Adaptive ANC 2.0” a system that uses two mics — one inside your ear and one on the outside of the earbuds — to adapt ANC performance instantly in any environment. The company must be confident that the system works well; it claims it blocks out up to 98.5% of external noise. Not even the superb Apple AirPods Pro 2 claim that kind of performance.
We’re not sure if these numbers are with ANC on or off, but the Liberty 4 NC supposedly offer a huge 60 hours of total playtime, with 10 hours of use per charge in the earbuds and an additional 50 hours hidden in the charging case. That’s a big jump over the $150 Soundcore Liberty 4 (nine hours per charge, 28 hours total).
We also don’t know exactly how the use of Sony’s hi-res LDAC Bluetooth codec will affect these numbers (it will definitely reduce them), but the feature is included if you happen to have an Android phone.
So the Liberty 4 NC have a new ANC system and better battery life than the Liberty 4, yet they cost $50 less? It makes you wonder what you’ll be giving up.
Anker hasn’t provided the full Liberty 4 NC specs yet — technically the product won’t be released until the end of June — but we can see from the provided photos that Soundcore has moved away from the fancy sliding lid design for the charging case, opting for a simpler (and presumably cheaper) traditional hinge.
The Liberty 4 NC will be available in five colors at launch: white, light blue, navy blue, pink, and black, and Anker promised they’ll come packaged in a 98% plastic-free box with 100% recyclable materials.
It’s not clear whether the Liberty 4 NC will support wireless charging or Bluetooth Multipoint, or whether it has built-in wear sensors for auto-pausing music — all things that you get with the Liberty 4. We also don’t know if the NC version will have spatial audio with head-tracking or a heart rate monitoring feature — again, both are available on the Liberty 4.
Still, even if Anker omits spatial audio and fitness tracking, there’s still tons of value left when you consider the price.
- Jabra’s latest wireless earbuds have Dolby spatial audio
- Beyerdynamic adds noise canceling to its Blue Byrd neckband earbuds
- Skullcandy’s new earbuds mimic the AirPods Pro for just $100
- Denon snaps up Nura, says new personalized-sound earbuds arriving this year
- Sony debuts the WF-C700N, its most affordable noise-canceling earbuds