Soundcore Liberty Neo Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds Review

The desire to upgrade your wireless headphones increases year on year, more so when makers like Apple cut out the 3.5mm headphone jack from their iPhone and iPad devices. You’re left with either choosing their own bundled headphones or seeking an alternative, such as a pair of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds.

Thanks to advancements in Bluetooth technology, we now have an increase in wireless headphones to choose from, all at various price ranges. Now in their 2nd generation, Apple’s wireless AirPod headphones are great, but to audiophiles out there they are not perfect, they also do not match certain ear types, resulting in simply falling out when doing anything active. But to the wider general public, they sound great and they have been carefully designed to fit a majority of ear shapes. The downside? They cost the Earth when you compare them to their more simpler wired brothers.

Today, the prices are falling on many capable Bluetooth headphones, some imitate Apple’s own AirPods – avoid these at all costs – yet there are more acceptable wireless headphones out there that also fall in the budget buying category. The Soundcore Liberty Neo wireless earbuds fall into this exact category.

The Neo earbuds come close to Apple’s on AirPods in terms of sound whilst keeping the cost down to a reasonable wallet friendly level. At a mere $44.99 from Amazon, you might think that these earbuds being so cheap means that they sound awful, do not last long, they lose their connection and come with limited features and accessories. Well, these in-ear earbuds compete in all of these areas, and at a fraction of the price, the Liberty Neo earbuds are an absolute steal for anyone seeking true wireless earbuds on a budget.

Like the Apple AirPods, the Neo comes in a handle pill shaped carry case, which can also be independently charged to keep each earbud topped up with power should they run out whilst on the move. There LED lights on the case keep you clearly informed of the cases own battery level as well as charging too. It’s a little bulkier than the AirPod case yet the size of it isn’t too overwhelming and it is certainly pocketable.

Charging time takes 1.5 hours, whilst listening to audio chimes in at 3.5 hours. Considering the size of the earbuds that’s pretty good going and the case will lengthen this listening time to around 9 hours, which could see you last at least a whole days worth of commuting, general listening during the day and working out.

A pick of soft ear tips and wings (ear hooks) come supplied with the Neo, allowing you to mix and match them to get the perfect fit in your ear canal. A perfect fit will result in deepbass, and if you use an in-ear tip that’s too big or too small it will feel uncomfortable tip or the sound will not sound as good as they can be with a better fit.

At a weight of 5.5g per earbud the Neos don’t sit too heavy in your ear. The AirPods do feel and bit lighter at 4g, so prolonged use of the Neo earbuds might start to become uncomfortable for some.

Charging is done by simply connecting the bundled micro-USB cable into the port located case itself. The earbuds cannot be individually charged. Each earbud needs to earbud into the case and the case will then charge them first before charging its own internal battery.

Music audio playback sounds great in the Liberty Neo. I would say they come very close to the Apple AirPods. Mixed with the better fitting ear tips, you get a better level of bass through them whilst much of the outside world is silenced due to the ear tips reaching more into your ear canal. This means having a conversation with anyone with them inserted can be a challenge to hear them, resulting in you having to remove them each time.

You have to consider the price when listening to these in-earbuds. For a tiny fraction of the cost of Apple’s AirPods, they are a pretty compelling purchase. I did experience one or two dropouts during my testing and thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 the connection to my iPhone is quick. Bluetooth range is also better than the AirPods, with the Neo being able to penetrate through two solid concrete walls where the AirPods could not manage to break through and lost their connect.

The Liberty Neo earbuds are generally a great budget solution for anyone looking for wireless earbuds. They only come in black and they don’t stick out too far from your ear to look ‘uncool’ for anyone. if I were to nitpick, I found the tips and hooks didn’t quite give me the kind of perfect comfort as I had hoped. The button controls also required a medium level of pressure to interact with the start/stop of audio or for accepting calls. Doing so created such an uncomfortable amount of pressure, channelled through the ear tip and into the ear, that it was not a joy to skip tracks or generally interact with them.  

For me, this was my biggest letdown of the Neo earbuds, which is a big disappointment that I am sure could have been avoiding with some level of field testing. However, if you can see past this issue, then the Liberty Neo wireless Bluetooth earbuds certainly worth checking out if Apple’s shiny white AirPods are simply out of reach.

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