The Soundcore Liberty 4 impressed us with their comprehensive package of features: from dual driver technology, a customised listening profile, high-resolution LDAC codec and Spatial Audio to ambient noise control and heart rate, activity and neck posture tracking. All this is combined in compact, wireless in-ears.
The Soundcore Liberty 4, available in night black and cloud grey, come with transparent “CloudComfort” ear tips, which are designed to promote a comfortable fit and enable heart rate measurement. According to the manufacturer, the sensor placed in the housing on the right side is not compatible with other ear tips. However, replacements are available from Soundcore, and these earphones come with a choice of four variants. Indeed, the fit is comfortable and offers sufficient stability during sports activities, as long as the in-ears are not exposed to strong vibrations. It is also possible to wear them under a cap, provided it is not too tight, as the housings protrude slightly. Thanks to the water-resistant finish in accordance with IPX4, the system is also protected from weather-related moisture outdoors.
With the volume turned up, the Soundcore Liberty 4s achieve eight hours of listening time in basic mode; this drops to a decent six hours when using the personalised noise cancellation in the maximum setting. In addition, the earpieces can be fully charged twice in the case, which opens with a sliding mechanism, and then once more to provide capacity for about three hours. This gives a total runtime of 27 hours in standard mode and not quite 21 hours in maximum ANC mode. While the in-ears are fully charged again after 90 minutes, a fifteen-minute quick charge provides capacity for up to four hours. However, these earphones do not have a charge indicator. The case’s battery reserve is restored after just under two hours when the supplied USB-C to USB-A charging cable is used. It is also possible to charge wirelessly via Qi.
Pairing the headphone can be done directly by opening the case; this turns the system on and automatically puts it into pairing mode, while placing them back in the charger turns them off. Manual switching on and off of the Soundcore Liberty 4 is not provided via the pressure-sensitive stem buttons. Instead, a timer can be configured via the app, but this currently does not work; however, it could be remedied with an update. Once a wireless connection has been established, there is a range of up to 25 metres over an open space, while inside buildings, several rooms can be covered. Multipoint connections with two devices at the same time as well as single-sided use in single mode are supported.
In factory settings, playback can be controlled, forward and backwards skipping is possible, and telephone calls can be handled via the earpieces. It is also possible to switch between ANC and ambient mode, and this can be supplemented with standard mode via the app. In addition, volume control and control of voice assistants can be retrofitted if required. Complementing the pressure control, these in-ears are equipped with wearer detection, which can be deactivated and whose reliability can be increased by means of calibration.
A central element of the Soundcore app (Android and iOS) is the ambient noise control, which is divided by default into a general noise cancellation, a transparency mode and a mode for amplifying voices. By scanning the auditory canal (Hear ID ANC test), the noise cancelling can also be specifically optimised, with three static and one adaptive mode, “Weak”, “Moderate” and “Strong”, subsequently available for selection. The sound can also be personalised via the app by creating a Hear ID. This is based on a two-stage test that determines the user’s hearing ability and checks the sound preferences using an A/B comparison. Imbalances between the ears, as with the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro or Liberty 3 Pro, are not analysed. In addition, an EQ with eight bands is available for custom settings that can be saved as pre-sets. There are also 21 pre-configured EQ settings to choose from, so a wide spectrum is covered. It is a great advantage that the listening profile and the EQ can be used individually, as well as being combined, as this enables comprehensive sound customisation of the Soundcore Liberty 4.
In addition to the option to configure the control, the headphone settings also include a fit test and activation and deactivation of multipoint connections. It is also possible to carry out firmware updates.
Heart rate measurement
Another feature of the Soundcore app is the ability to collect health-specific data, but this requires registration. If desired, the heart rate can be recorded and logged as daily, weekly and monthly statistics. In addition, a personal exercise level is determined and a stress test can be completed. Even if the results seem quite accurate, headphones cannot and should not replace medical equipment, which of course is something that the manufacturer points out. Furthermore, you can record your training sessions and define weekly targets, with various statistics being provided. Another function determines the position of your neck, and this can be calibrated. The load on your neck is recorded and displayed graphically. If you wish, you can also activate a reminder that plays a warning tone if your head is in a lowered position for more than five minutes.
For a spatial listening experience, there are several options available via the app’s sound settings with Surround Sound and Spatial Audio, as well as sound modes for “Music” and “Movie”. An integrated gyroscope and special algorithms are used to track head movements. In music mode, both settings lead to very different results. While modern music styles sounded rather tinny and the bass range can distort, the more spatial reproduction of live recordings, ambient soundscapes or rock ballads succeeded considerably better. The movie mode also performed surprisingly well, making use of the larger sound stage and offering a high enjoyment factor for everything from action-packed fare to sports broadcasts. During gripping football matches, the stadium atmosphere quite quickly created a real feeling of being “right in the middle” of the action.
Speech intelligibility on the phone
In a quiet environment, the Soundcore Liberty 4, which has three microphones per side, can be used to make flawless phone calls. The filtering of wind noise also worked well, as even stronger gusts were not detrimental to the sound quality. Background noises were perceived by the person on the other end of the line, and the user’s voice was transmitted in the foreground, which meant that communication remained possible.
How good is the ANC and transparency mode of the Soundcore Liberty 4?
There was an underlying noise in voice mode, which was amplified in ambient mode. However, apart from this, there was clean amplification of external noise in both settings, which was more intense in transparency mode to allow awareness of the surroundings during playback. In voice mode, it was also easy to communicate when playback was paused.
The Soundcore Liberty 4’s general noise cancellation already significantly attenuated low and high-frequency noise sources and noticeably reduced background voices. However, the Hear ID ANC improved the result in all areas. The manual ANC mode in the maximum setting particularly reduced voices effectively and was superior to adaptive noise cancelling. However, noise cancellation also affected the sound, as the bass range was boosted, resulting in a richer, fuller reproduction.
The sound of the Soundcore Liberty 4
The Soundcore Liberty 4s feature two dynamic drivers per side and offer a direct, powerful fundamental sound with traction that is enjoyable across genres with its slight bass emphasis. Although the low frequencies reached far down and were full-bodied even in the lower ranges, the bass reproduction always sounded defined and did not seem overloaded while remaining powerful. The warm mid-range was also present and was assertive in mobile use and reproduced with appealing clarity. Voices were centrally positioned and well-intelligible. The upper registers were harmonious and coherent; they had verve and did not fall off, but they did not go as far as to become overbearing. All in all, this was a very successful set-up that was pleasing both during sports use and while sitting on the sofa.
An individual listening profile can also enrich sound reproduction with further details since it counteracts things like age-related reduction in hearing in the high-frequency range. This widens the presentation so that there is more space between the individual instruments, which makes them sound more distinct and provides greater definition and sharpness of contours. Complex productions, in particular, sounded more differentiated and colourful, thus increasing the listening pleasure.
The Soundcore Liberty 4 succeed in combining a wide range of functions for a very attractive price. Their strengths are the personalisation options for sound and noise cancellation, which already make the powerful basic tuning of the headphones impressive. The surround sound and spatial audio in movie mode also provide listening pleasure. The recording of health-specific data such as neck posture, activity and heart rate extends the range of applications. Apart from the background noise in transparency mode, there is nothing to complain about with these True Wireless in-ears.
- comfortable fit
- fast charging function
- customisable noise cancellation
- case supports Qi wireless charging
- multipoint connections
- app with extensive (sound) customisation options
- spatial audio and surround sound in movie mode
- support AAC and LDAC
- can track heart rate, activity and neck posture
- earpiece without charge indicator
- noise floor in transparency mode
- 149,99 € *To the offer
- 149,99 € *To the offer
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Weight without cable6g each, case 43 g
What's in the box
- Eartips in 4 sizes (S, M, M long, L)
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Charging case
- Available in black and grey
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC
- BT version: 5.3
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