Here is my review that I posted on Amazon. Here is a link to the product listing on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2F5luWm
I purchased these right after they were listed and available for purchase on Amazon. I have followed the development of these earbuds since their kickstarter last summer. I was unable to back the kickstarter at that time, though I wanted to. You can say, I have been highly anticipating these earbuds and after all of that anticipation, I am thoroughly satisfied with this great, but far from perfect product. Here is my review.
These earbuds are a great attempt at achieving a truly wireless pair of earbuds without compromising as many have done in the past. I am reminded of my first foray into truly wireless earbuds, the Samsung Gear Icon X, and although the sound was passable, the battery life was frustrating. I then moved to bluetooth earbuds that had a cable that attached both earbuds and I was satisfied with those. For most purposes, these earbuds are great, and perhaps for you, they will be enough. I am most interested in TRULY-WIRELESS earbuds and with that, I find myself being optimistic with these.
These earbuds excel where my previous pairs of fully-wireless earbuds failed. The sound in the Liberty+ are a step above any others I’ve used. The bass is seriously good, which is something I desire in earbuds. The mids are OK; not bad but not great either. The high frequencies are very good in my opinion. They can be screechy at really high volumes with a couple of the EQ options depending on the songs, but in 90% of my testing, across many different genres, they produced brilliant audio in this regard.
The fit that I was able to achieve with these earbuds were great as well! After some fiddling with the included gripfit jackets and eartips, I found a fit that I think is near impossible to break. I used the largest jacket with the medium short tip and even after running, and doing sprints they withstood the jostling and contorting of my head during the exercises.
I am amazed by the battery life that Zolo is offering with this package deal. I say package deal because the earbuds themselves don’t boast incredible battery life, but with the convenient charging case where the buds live while not in use, you get a crazy amount of battery life. Zolo claims that you will get 3.5 hours of battery life per charge, but that you will get an additional 48 hours of battery life with the charging case. During my use I have only charged the case the initial time out of the box and despite heavy use over the last few days, I am still at ~70% power in the charging case (⅔ LEDs lit up).
One great positive is the convenient pairing of these earbuds; when I take them out of the charging case, they are already paired to my phone right they are put in my ears. Within seconds they are playing music and the controls on the earbuds themselves are intuitive; single press of the button on either earbud for pausing, double press for Google Assistant/Siri and others. Without a doubt, Zolo gets A LOT right with these earbuds.
With all products, there are some downsides despite all of the good that is accomplished. And despite how much I have enjoyed using these earbuds, there are a lot of things I don’t like about them. I’m willing to overlook some things, weak mids – OK, somewhat bulky design – OK, but there are things that need to be addressed before the second generation/iteration of the Liberty comes to market.
There are noticeable latency issues with the Liberty+ earbuds. I consume a considerable amount of content from YouTube and using the Liberty+ is frustrating whenever I am watching videos where someone is speaking to the camera. The sounds coming out of their mouths are a millisecond behind and sometimes it is worse than that. This a great disappointment to me because I enjoy YouTube so much. I am hoping that they can address this in a future software update, because it makes any video content a bad experience.
Also, the ‘Zolo Life’ app is somewhat disappointing. Compared to other apps that have been developed for the Liberty+ competitors the EQ settings are hollow. You only have the choices between Pop, Jazz, EDM, Classical and Balanced. An equalizer that allowed the user to be more specific about what kind of sound they wanted would be great. This is a feature that people using Jaybird and Bose earbuds have already been enjoying and I am hoping that as time goes on, Liberty+ users will have more options. The ‘Zolo Life’ app is just unimpressive and half the time doesn’t recognize that the buds are connected to my phone even though my phone says they are. Hopefully, future updates will improve functionality of the app, like previous updates have improved it.
Last of my gripes about the device has to do with connectivity. There are infrequent times when sound will only play from the right bud and when they won’t connect to my phone out of the case. During these times I have to put the buds back in the case and then pull them back out again to sort of reset them. This can be frustrating, but thankfully has only happened a handful of times.
All in all, I am happy with this purchase decision. I paid full retail price at $150 and I truly believe it was worth it. Knowing Anker, the company behind this apprentice brand Zolo, it is only a matter of time before there will be satisfying discounts of this product. The value of these buds will only improve in time as the minor kinks are worked out and the user experience is refined. I believe in Anker as a company and I am optimistic that if any of the more frustrating issues arise with my pair, they will be swift in fixing them.
All of this being said, I rate these a 4.5 out of 5. They aren’t a perfect product, but might get there with some refinements or future iteration.
Battery Life: A
I highly recommend this product, but I also caution you, be prepared for some growing pains.