Libratone Track+ (2. Gen)

Neckband in-ear headphones with ANC and Bluetooth 5.2

In its second generation, the Libratone Track+ continues to offer good wearing comfort, a balanced but somewhat matte sound and noise-cancelling that is a little too subtle. On the plus side, the Bluetooth has been updated to version 5.2, as well as increased battery life and an attractive price.

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The Track+ from Libratone reaches its second generation. The first version of these neckband headphones from Denmark received a good review from us about four years ago (to the review). The attractively packaged new model now boasts Bluetooth 5.2, increased battery life and some technical innovations. What remains the same is the neckband design in matt black which is both comfortable and decorative and the accompanying tried-and-tested app for iOS and Android, which enables extended function control, including an equaliser and control over the integrated noise cancelling.

In terms of audio codecs, the Track+ (firmware status: 36) offers SBC and AAC, but unfortunately no higher-quality formats. Depending on the volume, the runtime is about 14 hours – significantly more than its predecessor. A charging time of 1.5 hours is required, including a quick-charge function that, according to the manufacturer, enables about one hour of music playback after five minutes.

In practice

The Libratone Track+ (2nd Gen) are comfortable and secure to wear, even for long periods of time, due to their light weight of 29 grams and their ergonomically designed earpieces. A selection of silicone fittings is rounded out with an ear hook. Moreover, since this device now meets the IP54 standard when it comes to protection against sweat, splashed water and dust, I would also classify these headphones as explicitly suitable for sports use.

The rubber coating feels pleasant on the skin and is also non-slip to a degree. When the earphones are not in use you can simply let them dangle around your neck. The device is elegantly switched off by connecting the two earbuds via the magnets on the back. However, I would have preferred the magnets to be somewhat larger and more powerful. I also felt there should be a function for manual switch-off.

The operating concept is comparable to the previous model. There are metal elements at the ends of the neckband that conceal the electronics. On the right, there are three buttons that, with a little practice, can be found quickly and safely. Inside is the pairing switch, which is also used during operation to switch between the noise-cancelling modes. Next to that is the central rocker switch for volume control and finally the start/stop switch, which also calls up a voice assistant when pressed and held. You can skip tracks by double- and triple-clicking. This button is also used to make phone calls.

Controls can be further enhanced by using the app. Control of the noise-cancelling modes can be replaced with switching between the last three Bluetooth devices used or used for a rough adjustment of the noise-cancelling intensity.

In the app, you will find a simple EQ with a neutral setting and variants with bass and treble boost. Although this was easy to use, the result was rather poor, as the sound variations were rather subtle. Generally, the wireless link turned out to be quite stable but not particularly far-reaching.

Noise cancelling

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The new Libratone Track+ (2nd gen) offers integrated noise cancelling, which can be adjusted in 20 stages via the app. This is a rare but welcome feature. However, the noise cancellation is not too strong even at full intensity. For example, the noise of a high-speed train was moderately reduced, but not suppressed. The attenuation of disturbing noises beyond the passive damping was also rather discreet. I would have expected more from these headphones. In practice, I did not use the attenuation but always listened at full volume.

Running Mode is a special feature that operates at a lower intensity. In addition, there is switchable detection of your movement pattern, in which the Libratone Track+ (2nd gen) independently switches to increased transparency while running. This works quite well in practice but is a little too roughly applied.

Finally, the Libratone Track+ (2nd Gen) offers a transparency mode, in which the external microphones feed ambient noise into the ear, thus enabling better perception of the environment and allowing communication when the headphones are on. This mode is turned on and off at the touch of a button.

Sound

With my iPhone 8, the Track+’s dynamic 11.8mm drivers sounded quite balanced, but also a little unspectacular. These headphones deliver contoured bass all the way down to the lower registers, which, at the right level, definitely makes them fun to listen to. There was a slight emphasis in the bass, which increased the pressure at the expense of neutrality and was quite beneficial in mobile use. The midrange was coherent and delivered good results with voices, instruments and dense mixes – from pop to metal. There were no unpleasant tinny highs with distorted guitars and even classical music was well handled. However, the treble lacked detail and sparkle. This affected the fine resolution, the “liveliness”, as well as the width of the projected stereo stage. I didn’t notice any harshness, even with the treble boost switched on via the app’s equaliser.

This tuning makes the Libratone Track+ (2nd gen) an all-rounder, especially recommended for pop and rock music. However, the dynamic reproduction and the treble range do not meet audiophile requirements. As an everyday accessory and for sports, however, the Track+ certainly does a good job.

Finally, they lose points for the voice quality. Libratone advertises intelligent speech enhancement and noise suppression in the microphones. Nevertheless, the person I spoke to using these headphones rated the call quality as merely adequate. There was interference noise in the high frequencies, resulting in less than adequate intelligibility.

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Ulf Kaiser
7 months ago by Ulf Kaiser
  • Rating: 3.5
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Libratone has technically refreshed the Track+. The neckband concept remains the same for the Libratone Track+ (2nd Gen) but they have been updated, especially with regard to battery runtime and Bluetooth codec. However, in terms of sound and function, I didn’t see any significant progress, and this included the noise cancelling. These headphones are comfortable, sound balanced and are offered at a fairly reasonable price. If you’re not comfortable with true wireless solutions then these offer you a plausible alternative.

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingIn-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)at 1 mW, 1 kHz: 105 dB
  • Weight with cable29 g

What's in the box

  • 4 pairs of silicone earplugs (S, M, L)
  • 1 pair of ear hooks
  • USB-C charging cable

Special features

  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC
  • BT version: 5.2

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