Anker has been making prime quality cellular equipment and promoting them at an affordable value for years. Their audio emblem, Zolo, is in in this motion too: The
corporate’s first actually wi-fi headphones, the $150 Zolo Liberty+, are certainly relatively priced. You’ll get the most lasting battery lifetime of any actually wi-fi earphones that I’ve examined to this point. On the other hand, connectivity problems and mediocre sound imply chances are you’ll no longer wish to pay attention for too lengthy.
In-ear headphone design doesn’t range a lot—the issues need to be formed to suit right into a person’s ears, in the end—however Zolo did properly on this house. The Liberty+ with ease are compatible into my ears proper out of the field, and even supposing it hadn’t, Zolo comprises 3 other ear tip sizes and 4 pairs of ‘Grip Are compatible’ sleeves to create a just right seal and stay the earphones in position.
Multifunction buttons are constructed into the again of each and every earbud. Tapping each whilst the earbuds are of their battery case starts the pairing procedure together with your track supply. One paired, the buttons are used to renew or pause track, settle for or reject a decision, or engage together with your instrument’s digital assistant.
The earphones have an IPX score of five, making them roughly sweat resistant. I wore them within the bathe to check this—and so they survived the deluge. Whilst I don’t counsel repeating my experiment as an ordinary observe, the Liberty+ does appear well-made and must put on properly if correctly cared for.
The Liberty+’s battery case is swathed in a slick, aluminum shell—a pleasant improve from the everyday plastic instances I see. The case’s extraordinarily slippery external takes clear of a few of its lustre, on the other hand. I additionally discovered that whilst the case securely retail outlets the earphones, making sure that they rate accurately, disposing of the earbuds from their cradles is hard.
For battery lifestyles, Anker leveraged its technology from its USB energy financial institution trade when designing the Liberty+’s case: It might give you the earbuds with a shocking 48 hours price of overall playtime. Sadly, despite the fact that, the interior battery within the earbuds simplest permits for round 3 hours of use between fees. In my overview of Sony’s $199 WF-1000x headphones, I knocked the headphones for precisely the similar reason why. On the other hand, for a collection that prices on the subject of $50 not up to the Sony ones do, it’s a shortcoming that’s a little bit more straightforward to swallow.
Listening Revel in
In line with Zolo, the Liberty+ options 6mm Graphene Dynamic drivers with a frequency reaction of between 20Hz and 20kHz, in addition to AAC and SBC audio formats. With those specifications, I used to be taking a look ahead to giving the Liberty+ a just right, lengthy pay attention. Sadly, my enthusiasm for the earbuds used to be stifled by way of mediocre sound.
Don’t get me improper, they don’t sound unhealthy. However they don’t sound just right both, particularly compared in opposition to Apple’s in a similar way priced AirPods. While the the earbuds delivered deep, punchy bass at all audio levels, I found that mid-range frequency was almost always muddy sounding, no matter what I was listening to. High frequency sound fared a little better, but not by much.
I also experienced a limited sound stage—songs that I know well lacked much of the nuance heard in them while listening with higher quality headphones. It’s worth mentioning that sound profile of the earbuds can be tweaked with Zolo’s free Life app, but to be honest, I didn’t hear much of a difference between the five available EQ settings.
Watching videos proved to be just as much of a let down, with audio lagging behind any media that I attempted to watch. Such lag isn’t unique to the Liberty+, though. Many of the truly wireless headphones I’ve looked at have suffered from this issue as well.
As if sound quality and lagging audio weren’t enough to hold against the Liberty+, I also experienced frequent, momentary connectivity issues. Despite their Bluetooth 5.0 pedigree, a turn of my torso or head would cause popping sounds or second-long gaps in what I was listening to, no matter how close the phone was to me.
The Bottom Line
Despite offering extraordinary battery life, the Zolo Liberty+’s less than stellar audio performance and minor-but-frequent connectivity issues make them difficult to recommend. That’s especially so when Apple’s well-balanced and easy-to-use AirPods can be had for just $10 more.