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Soundcore Liberty 4 NC by Anker

Great sounding True Wireless in-ears with adaptive noise cancelling and LDAC

In a nutshell

Considering their price range, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC impressed us with the options to personalise the listening experience, support for the premium audio codec LDAC as well as extensive ambient noise control and app connectivity. Six microphones with AI are also designed to ensure you can conduct phone calls with clear intelligibility.

Pros:
  • Customizable sound
  • Comfortable seat
  • Multipoint connections
  • Extensive possibilities via app
  • Adjustable hearing protection function
Cons:
  • No manual on and off switching
  • Stronger background noise in transparency mode
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The younger sister of the Soundcore Liberty 4 is available in black, blue, light blue, pink and white and, thanks to a water-resistant finish in accordance with IPX4, they are both suitable for sporting activities and protected in a rain shower. Ear tips in four different sizes are included, and this enables you to make specific adjustments to these in-ears to suit your own ears. Once the appropriate attachment has been determined, the fit is stable and comfortable, even over long periods of time.

Comparison: Soundcore Liberty 4 and Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

The Soundcore Liberty 4 and the NC model provide an identical custom listening profile using Hear ID 2.0 and support SBC, AAC as well as LDAC audio codecs. Both these sets of headphones offer a Multipoint connection with two devices at the same time and optional wireless charging of the case via Qi.

While the significantly cheaper Soundcore Liberty 4 NC offer a longer battery life, you will have to make do without the heart rate measurement feature, spatial audio and dual-driver technology. In addition, it is not possible to personalise the noise cancellation like with the Liberty 4.

Battery life

In standard operation, a listening time of nine and a half hours could be achieved with the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC at a raised volume. This was reduced to six hours when the noise cancelling was used at the highest level and the additional wind noise reduction was activated.

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Since these in-ears can be fully charged in their case a total of five times, the total runtime was a good 47 hours in basic mode and 30 hours with maximum noise cancellation. A ten-minute quick charge of the earpieces provided capacity for up to another four hours and these in-ears were fully charged again after about 90 minutes. When the included USB-C to USB-A charging cable was used, the case’s battery reserve was restored after a little less than two and a half hours.

Operation

These wireless in-ears support Bluetooth standard 5.3 and Google Fast Pair for quick Android device pairing and single-sided use.

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While we found that the wireless link could span up to 25 metres outdoors, inside buildings, there was a decent range of ten metres, and it even stayed connected across several rooms.

With the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC’s touch controls, you can control playback and handle telephone calls as well as skip forward and backwards. Furthermore, it was possible to switch between ANC and transparency mode, and this can be supplemented by standard mode via the app. A voice assistant and volume control can be retrofitted.

But the option of being able to switch the earpieces on and off manually via the touch-sensitive surfaces is missing, which means that the case is always needed. In addition to the touch control, these in-ears also have a wear recognition feature that reacts using a slight movement, and this can be activated or deactivated via the app.

Soundcore app

The app’s ambient noise control (for Android and iOS) provided no less than three operating modes for noise cancellation to choose from: an adaptive mode that independently adjusts to the environment, a manual mode with five intensity levels and four transport modes for aeroplane, train, bus or car.

The ambient mode is divided into “full transparency” and optimisation for voices. Here, both the attenuation and amplification of outside noises can be supplemented with special wind noise reduction. Another section of the app is for sound personalisation and this allows you to create a hearing profile based on a two-step test. First of all, the user’s hearing ability is analysed in order to determine preferences by means of an A/B comparison. This Hear ID can still be adjusted with an EQ that uses eight bands or 21 pre-configured settings; this has been implemented very well and allows you to make comprehensive sound adjustments to the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC. Alternatively, the EQ and pre-sets can also be used independently of the listening profile.

In addition, the app provides a fit test and timer, a search function via beep and firmware updates. A gaming mode can also be activated, and this can improve the synchronicity of picture and sound, especially when using the SBC codec. Another exemplary feature is the hearing protection function with configurable maximum volume and an informative decibel scale.

Speech intelligibility when talking on the phone

When it comes to voice transmission, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC offered a fairly high standard of quality, which made it possible to communicate flawlessly in a quiet environment. Wind noise was largely filtered by the microphone technology, so even in stronger gusts there was not an impairment. However, background noise might be perceived by the person on the other end of the line at a reduced level, while one’s own voice was clearly transmitted more loudly and remained intelligible.

Noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency mode

The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC’s noise cancelling reduced low-frequency external noises extremely effectively in both adaptive and manual modes when in the maximum setting. Background voices were also significantly attenuated so that they hardly influenced the playback. In contrast, keyboard noises were only slightly reduced, while birdsong or the sound of a circular saw could be filtered with a more pronounced effect. Overall, the noise cancellation performed surprisingly well considering the price range, even if there was amplification in the bass range when in ANC and transparency mode and the sound seemed fuller overall.

When amplifying external noise, you will have to accept a stronger background noise. However, apart from that, a conversation could easily be held in voice mode when playback was paused without having to take the earpieces out of your ears. In the general transparency mode, the perception of the surroundings could also be increased, although the representation appeared a little diffuse due to the noise level.

Sound of the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

The Soundcore Liberty 4 NC have a coherent, powerful basic sound that offered plenty of listening pleasure across genres. At the same time, the full-bodied but well-defined bass reproduction reached far down and reproduced modern music styles with punch, while quieter pop or rock ballads did not seem overloaded in the lower realms.

The appealingly clear mid-range also had the ability to assert itself while in mobile use and, at the same time, revealed details if used for relaxing on the sofa listening to music. Voices were reproduced with presence and pleasant basic warmth.

The upper registers were not lacking in energy either, setting accents without overshooting the mark. Even at higher volume levels, there was no unpleasant harshness to worry about, even if sibilants became a little more prominent.

However, the 3D sound of these headphones was not convincing. Although the presentation seemed more spacious overall, it also seemed quite reverberant and tinny in the mid and upper-frequency range. However, the manufacturer recommends the use of the listening profile, and this offers real added value. Especially as more complex productions sounded noticeably fresher and livelier, with the reproduction gaining overall precision and clarity.

Conclusion

The price-performance ratio of the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC by Anker was excellent! These comfortably fitting True Wireless in-ears excel with powerful, customisable sound reproduction, effective noise cancellation and extensive customisation options via the app. Speech intelligibility during phone calls was also impeccable. However, there was room for improvement in the transparency mode due to the strong background noise.

10 months ago by Maike Paeßens
  • Rating: 4.63
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingIn-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Weight without cable5,5 g each, case 49 g

What's in the box

  • Eartips in 4 sizes (XS, S, M, L)
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Charging Case

Special features

  • available in black, blue, light blue, pink as well as white
  • BT version: 5.3
  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC

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