These new True Wireless in-ears from TaoTronics are named the SoundLiberty 53 and offer amazingly good sound credentials with impressive levels of workmanship.
This enticing piece of hardware is delivered in a small and unassuming cardboard box, with all the usual accessories to be found inside. There’s the main audio kit itself, four sets of ear moulds in various sizes, a charging case with USB cable, plus instructions. The design of the SoundLiberty 53 is clearly inspired by the Apple AirPods, or at least by the aesthetics on display with the test model provided to us. However, unlike those, they have a more angular design in simple black, rather than the white and roundish appeal of the Apple option. In any case, these are sweat and rainproof, in accordance with IPX7. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, the device can be connected without any fuss and the sound output can be enjoyed without the need for a cable.
AptX as a codec standard isn’t to be expected with a device in this price range, but AAC, as found here, proves quite adequate. This is certainly made clear upon first use with the SoundLiberty 53, with sound delivered remarkably well. A decent bass, not to mention a quality mid-range and fine treble, can be expected at sufficient volumes. It’s a pleasant all-round listening experience, with a surprisingly wide stereo stage to look forward to. It doesn’t overdo itself either, although there’s a tendency towards thinner trebles evident. That being said, this doesn’t push things the proceedings into unsavoury sound territory.
What unfolds in the ears is not a complex, audiophile-level sound, but it’s not bad at all. More elaborate pieces don’t immerse you too deeply, yet there’s a lack of imaging performance knocking things down slightly. Nevertheless, the SoundLiberty 53 sounds remarkably good for a headphone model going for under 60 Euros. Even the integrated microphones, which are more clearly directed toward the mouth thanks to the design of the in-ears, bolster the specs on show here. The human voice can occasionally sound a little choppy and sharper than the ideal when telephony applications are the order of the day, yet this is down to the noise suppression features trying to filter out interference. As such, it’s a fair compromise.
These in-ears have a touch control surface that proves very user-friendly, with no tendency to react too sensitively. This is worth pointing out as a highlight as, when compared to even more expensive models on the market, such a quality isn’t a given. However, the number of assigned actions here is somewhat unusual when compared to the competition. Tap left once to turn volume down, tap right to increase it. Tap left or right twice to commence playback or stop it, or alternatively accept/terminate calls. Tap left or right three times to skip a track forward or backwards. Tapping twice to control music playback might take a little getting used to, yet exhibiting a little patience in this regard is well worth it.
Battery Life and Charging Case
The charging case is of a generous size and can be easily carried about your person in a pocket. The in-ears, which require a recharge every four to five hours of playback, can be inserted into this case simply thanks to magnetic elements within the design. The battery within the case itself is sufficient to deliver approximately seven charges, which should amount to a combined operational output of 36 hours. This isn’t bad at all, while the 4.5 hours of battery life the in-ears deliver as standard outshines the spec offered by more expensive competitor models.
It’s amazing how much you can sometimes get for a little investment. What’s more, it’s remarkable when you enjoy such a result without any real compromise whatsoever. The workmanship of the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 is great, although you’ll only find plastic as the chief component here. This is perhaps one of my only key criticisms of the model we’re testing here, mainly due to the fact the plastic results in the in-ears and case both being much too smooth. Fishing them out of your pocket can prove a little fiddly thanks to these smooth surfaces, whereas a rubber coating in certain places or a rougher overall material would have alleviated this slight usability and handling issue.
The sound, on the other hand, brings about little cause for complaint. Even though a better overall tuning for more clarity and naturalness would have been a wish come true, the SoundLiberty 53 delivers a powerful and neutral sound spec that should satisfy most everyday listeners.
All in all, the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 offers an all-round successful package that proves an affordable and rewarding entry point to the world of True Wireless in-ear technology.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
What's in the box
- 4 pairs of ear tips in different sizes
- USB charging cable
- Charging case
- BT codecs: AAC, SBC
- BT version: 5.0