Anker Soundcore Liberty Air vs Apple AirPods - a review by Gizmodo

I’ve been using the Liberty Air since I got them from the CES event thread here in the forum, and I’m quite enjoying the experience. There are already enough reviews of the Air here, so I’ll just link them instead of writing a new one: by Andrew, by Rob, by Kevin, by Tyler, by Kumar.

Gizmodo published today a sort of comparison between the Liberty Air and the AirPods, with focus on construction, pairing and noise isolation. Of course, Liberty Airs are not AirPods. Still, at the price point the Liberty Air has, it seems to be a killer solution. Here are some highlights:


The charging case is a bit larger than Apple’s too, yet holds slightly less charge (20 hours vs. 24), and feels like it’s made from a fairly cheap plastic compared to the solid and well-built AirPod case.

The Liberty Air case is just fine for me. They are smaller than I imagined from the photos, so even if they are larger than AirPod’s cases, it’s not like they are taking a lot of space. And I actually prefer the matte finish on the Liberty Air case.


Apple is the only company that’s really nailed the Bluetooth pairing and management process, and that’s because they own the whole stack, from the W1 Bluetooth chip on the headphones, all the way up to the devices that you pair them to.

The walled garden has its advantages. While I don’t own AirPods, I had the chance to test a friend’s, connecting them to my own phone and everything. The pairing does seem like magic. That said, it’s not like pairing the Liberty Air - or any other wireless phone for that matter - is that hard. At least on Apple devices. You just have to do the pairing once. It’s true that pairing to a second device is a pain and will most likely break the pairing with the first device, but that’s more of a generic Bluetooth problem - that Apple seem to have addressed with the W1 chip.

…while you can use either the left or the right AirPod independently (say, for making a call), you can only use the right Liberty Air earbud in this manner since the left bud connects to the right, rather than to your phone directly.

Ah, that’s a real difference. In the Zolo Liberty+, calls only came from the right earbud. Calls on the Liberty Air come from both ears, finally, but the whole “left connect to the right which connects to the device” thing really needs to be fixed in future iterations.

Noise Isolation

If Apple’s AirPods have a fatal flaw, it’s that they don’t seal off your ear canal to block out noise.

For me, it’s not so much the noise isolation, but the grip. Apple’s earphones are fine - on my ears at least - if I’m not moving around too much. Any sudden movement and one of them will fall off. The silicone tip makes a big difference here, as does the ability to choose the tip size.

All photos are from the Gizmodo article.


Good write up. Having owned both AirPods and Liberty buds (Liberty, plus, and air), the convenience of device switching with the W1 is too amazing to use anything else on the daily. The AirPods go with me everywhere.

I still use some headphones and earbuds for different things that they do better than the AirPods. For instance, when bigger sound is what I want, I use the Soundcore Vortex. When I’m in the gym, I use the Spirit X buds.

Sound quality, AirPods get a B-, but convenience, they get an A++ and that’s good enough for me.

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I agree. The sound quality on the AirPods are not the best and the seal on them could be better BUT with that said, they are still my go to earphones. The convenience of the size, portability, and connection makes it a win for me.

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Nice review comparison

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Good points made on the comparison review @tiagomota

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Great review comparison ! Good job!!

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For me it all comes down to the W1 chip and seamless connectivity between all my apple devices. I wish that other manufactuers could use that tech, but alas, Apple is very protective of its proprietary tech.

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My experience has been the same!

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Great comparison!

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I think that coming up with “Android AirPods” is going to be very tricky. Google and Samsung are on their way with Pixel Buds and IconX, respectively, but only if you own their phones. Therein lies the rub.


I’ve never tried the Pixel Buds, but no review I’ve read had good things to say other then they were beautiful… Anyone here tried them? It seems Google itself let them go…

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I think google is more focused on competing with the Apple Watch since they just made big purchases with fossil to try to step up their watch game

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In my opinion, having no noise isolation is the biggest strength of Airpods. Try to make a phone call conversation with both liberty airs in your ear. Not being able to hear your own voice (or reduced hearing) makes the phone call really weird.
With Airpods you are aware about your surroundings all the time which is big plus. I always have to remove left earplug when making a call from Liberty Air so that I can hear myself back.

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I agree about the calls. Plus the mic on the Air sucks a lot.

But still, I prefer them due to the earpieces not falling out of my ears. I had the AP before, but had to switch.

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