Anker Zolo Liberty+ Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Apr 26, 2019 at 10:29 am
Anker Zolo Liberty+ Truly Wireless Picture
6.8
Mixed Usage
6.4
Neutral Sound
7.3
Commute/Travel
7.7
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
5.1
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ are acceptable truly wireless in-ears. They are very portable and easy to carry around, but their bud design is a bit bulkier than average, which makes them a bit less stable for sports and they may fit awkwardly in smaller ears. They sound decent, but will be better suited for bass-heavy genres. Unfortunately, they have a very short battery life and will often need charging. On the upside, their case is advertised to offer 48 hours of extra battery life. They can be used for short commutes since they isolate ambient noise decently well.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

Acceptable for mixed usage. They have a satisfactory audio reproduction, and their small and portable design will be great for commuting, especially since they have a decent noise isolation performance. They can be fairly stable for sports if you use the stability fin sleeves, but their bulky bud design might not fit everyone well. They barely leak, which is great for the office, but their very short battery life won’t be suitable for a normal workday. Like some truly wireless headphones, their latency is very high and won’t be suited for watching TV content. Also, their latency issues and their mediocre microphone make them a very poor option for gaming.

Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Breathable and portable for sports.
  • Durable build.
Cons
  • Bulky earbud design.
  • Not the most stable option.
  • Short continuous playtime.
6.4 Neutral Sound

Decent for neutral listening. The Anker Zolo Liberty+ have a powerful, extended, and consistent bass, a well-balanced mid range, and a very good and accurate treble. However, the bass is ever so slightly boomy, the mid range is slightly recessed (which pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix), and some S and T sounds in the treble may sound overly sharp. Nevertheless, these headphones are versatile for a wide variety of music genres and will sound good on bass-heavy tracks. You can also select a few EQ presets in their app.

7.3 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting and traveling. Their in-ear fit offers good isolation performance, but they don’t do that much against lower-end frequencies like engine rumble. However, you’ll be able to listen at higher volumes since they barely leak. They are easy to carry around, but their 3-hour battery life won’t be ideal for long rides and flights. On the upside, with up to 48 hours of battery life advertised in their case, you should have enough battery for most trips, if you take breaks during your listening sessions.

7.7 Sports/Fitness

Good for sports. These headphones won’t make you sweat more than usual when working out, which is great. They are fairly stable, if you use the sleeves with a stability fin, but they might fit awkwardly for some people. Head movement doesn’t make the headphones fall off, but it might break the seal.

6.5 Office

Passable for the office. The Anker Zolo Liberty+ barely leak, so you’ll be able to listen to your music at high volumes without bothering anybody surrounding you. However, their fit isn’t the most comfortable and their battery life is very short, so you’ll have to charge them at lunchtime if you want to use them later. You’ll also need to charge them before leaving if you want to use them during your commute home.

5.2 Wireless Gaming

Bad for gaming. These headphones have too much latency issues for gaming and their microphone is mediocre for online games. They also won’t be comfortable for long gaming sessions, and their short battery life will only last you about 3 hours. They also won’t be customizable like some gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far. These headphones should not be used for this use case.

5.1 Wired Gaming
6.4 Phone Calls
  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.3 Commute/Travel
  • 7.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.5 Office
  • 5.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.4 Phone Calls
  1. Update 3/2/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Zolo Liberty+ are very bulky truly wireless in-ears. Their big oval design protrudes quite a bit of out the ears, which some people may dislike. They seem to fit awkwardly in most ears due to their size. On the upside, they look good and come in an all-black or all-white design. You can also give them a bit of a sportier look if you use their stability fins.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These in-ears are not very comfortable due to their very thick bud design. They fit awkwardly in some ears and can put pressure on the inner ear, which gets noticeable after a short period of time. On the upside, they come with different sleeves and tip sizes, which does slightly help with the fit. If you don’t usually like in-ears, you’ll likely experience some discomfort with these.

5.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The control scheme of the Zolo Liberty+ is fairly limited due to their one-button scheme on each bud. You can play/pause on both earbuds, answer/reject calls, and skip tracks forward and backward. You can also trigger your device’s voice assistant and enable their talk-through mode. However, track skipping and talk-through are both “hold” commands, but with different timers. Hold for 1s for track skipping, and 3s for talk-through. This will take time to get used to as you don’t get any audio prompt to let you know when you need to release the held button to skip tracks. It would also sometimes register as a pause command if you do it too quickly just to be sure not to enable talk-through.

On the upside, the buttons are sensitive, and you won’t need to push the earbuds inside your ear canal to register a command. Unfortunately, they don’t have volume control and you can’t manually put them in pairing mode, which can get annoying if you're often switching between Bluetooth sources.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 C

Like most in-ears, these headphones are very breathable. While their design is a bit bulkier than most truly wireless earbuds, you won’t notice a big difference in temperature. They will be suitable for sports, as you shouldn’t sweat more than usual when wearing them.

9.4
Design
Portability
L 1.6 "
W 1.1 "
H 1.1 "
Volume 1.9 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ earbuds are very portable. Like most truly-wireless headphones, you can easily slide the two buds inside your pockets or in a bag. They also come with a charging case, which is a bit bulkier than average, but should still fit in most pockets.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.4 "
W 1.9 "
H 1.2 "
Volume 7.8 Cu. Inches

The Zolo Liberty+ come with a good hard charging case. The case is advertised to offer up to 48 hours of extra battery life but is fairly bulky when compared to other models like the Samsung Galaxy Buds or the AirPods 2 2019. Unfortunately, while the case feels heavy and well-built, the lid is feels thin and fairly fragile.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Zolo Liberty+ are well-built headphones that should survive a few accidental drops without too much damage. The buds are dense and feel solid, but they don’t have an official IP rating for dust and water resistance. The case also feels well-built and heavy, but the lid is fairly flimsy and seems to be the weak point of the overall build.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Zolo Liberty+ are fairly stable if you use the stability fin sleeves. Their bulky design doesn’t fit well in all ear shapes and sizes and tend to slightly pop out when moving your head around. The fins help to keep the buds inside the ear without falling to the ground, but the seal can easily break during physical activity. They are not as stable as other similarly-designed truly wireless headphones.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Anker Zolo Liberty+ earbuds
  • Charging case
  • 3 tip sizes
  • 4 sleeve options
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.43 db
Treble Amount
-0.01 db
9.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.19 dB

The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips, then the Zolo Liberty+ should be getting a consistent bass and treble delivery with each re-seat. However, if a proper seal is not achieved, the user will experience a noticeable drop in bass.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.3 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.3 dB
Mid-Bass
6.51 dB
High-Bass
6.93 dB

The bass performance of the Zolo Liberty+ is very good. LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 10Hz, which is excellent. This and the fact low-bass is within a dB of our target curve indicates that these headphones will be able to produce an adequate and accurate amount of thump and rumble. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kicks, is also well-balanced, but high-bass gets elevated by 3dB, which adds a bit of boominess to the mix.

8.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.84 dB
Low-Mid
1.59 dB
Mid-Mid
0.14 dB
High-Mid
2.42 dB

The mid-range of the Zolo Liberty+ is very good. The response throughout the range is well-balanced and fairly flat, which results in an accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, the 3dB dip in mid-mid will push vocals and leads to the back of the mix, but it shouldn’t be too noticeable for most people.

6.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.76 dB
Low-Treble
2.35 dB
Mid-Treble
5.12 dB
High-Treble
-0.31 dB

The treble range is also very good. The response is well-balanced and even. Unfortunately, the peaks around 7.5kHz and 10kHz will make sibilants (like S and T sounds) feel overly sharp and piercing. However, not everyone hears treble frequencies the same way, so your experience may vary.

6.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.17 db
Dips
1.25 db
9.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.19
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.28
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.85
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.14

These headphones have excellent imaging. Their weighted group delay is 0.19 which is very low, great, and typical of most closed-back in-ears. This results in a tight bass reproduction and a transparent treble. The L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response. This ensures accurate placement and localization of objects, such as footsteps, voices, and instruments in the stereo field. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.6

The soundstage is poor. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is such that it fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. Also, because these headphones have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019, Google Pixel Buds, or the Bose SoundSport Free.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
7.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.426
WHD @ 100
0.239
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated
Isolation
7.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-23.03 dB
Bass
-7.01 dB
Mid
-19.64 dB
Treble
-43.51 dB

Their noise isolation is decent. In the bass range, where the rumbles of airplane and bus engines sit, they achieve about 7dB of isolation, which is okay. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve about 20dB of noise isolation, which is very good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds and A/C noises, they reduce noise by 44dB, which is excellent.

9.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
24.16 dB

The leakage performance is excellent. The significant portion of the leakage is concentrated in the treble range. This results in leakage that is very thin sounding. The overall level of the leakage is very quiet too. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at around 24dB SPL and peaks at 32dB SPL, which is way below the noise floor of most offices.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
6.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
289.23 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.06 dB
HFE
3368.2 Hz
Weighted THD
3.267
Gain
41.87 dB

The recording quality of the mic is mediocre. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 289Hz suggests recorded/transmitted speech that sounds quite thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.4kHz indicates speech that is intelligible but lacks brightness and airiness. However, this is a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol and most Bluetooth headphones perform similarly.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
11.45 dB

The noise handling of the integrated microphone is mediocre. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 11dB, suggesting it is best suited for quiet environments and may struggle to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud environments.

Active Features
4.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
2.8 hrs
Additional Charges
16.0
Total Battery Life
47.6 hrs
Charge Time
1.2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The battery life of the Liberty+ is disappointing as it barely offers 3 hours of continuous playback on a single charge. This is even more disappointing since they take more than an hour to charge fully. They also don’t have any power saving features, so be sure to put them in their case when you’re not using them. On the upside, their case is advertised to offer up to 48 hours of extra battery life.

6.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Zolo Life
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The companion app for the Liberty+ (not available on the regular Liberty model) offers minimal controls and customization options. You can trigger your voice assistant directly inside the app or enable the transparency/talk-through mode. You also get a small amount of EQ presets for specific genres of music, and they also offer an anti-loss feature which lets you find your buds if you’re looking for them.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
237 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
358 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
345 ms
Android Latency
278 ms

The Liberty+ are Bluetooth compatible truly wireless headphones that support version 5.0. However, they can only be connected to one device at a time and they don’t support NFC for quicker and easier pairing.

The latency of the Liberty+ is very high. Even if some apps and devices offer some sort of delay compensation, they won’t be ideal for watching video content and playing games. Most people should see a noticeable delay between audio and video content.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

As expected, these truly wireless headphones can’t be used wired in any way.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB

The Liberty+ comes with a charging case that offers multiple additional charges; up to 48 extra hours according to the spec sheet. However, the case doesn’t have any inputs, is a bit bulkier than average, and the lid is a bit fragile.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ are acceptable truly wireless earbuds that don’t necessarily set themselves apart due to their performance. They have decent sound, but their bulky design can fit awkwardly in some ears, meaning it won’t be the most comfortable or stable option. For some better overall options, see our suggestions for the best true wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds for running, and the best wireless earbuds for iPhone users.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 65t are more premium-feeling headphones than the Anker Zolo Liberty+. However, they perform quite similarly to the Liberty+, but have a less accurate bass. On the upside, you’ll get about twice the battery life on the Elite 65t and you also get a nice app with a good EQ. You can connect the Elite 65t to two devices, and they have slightly better latency as well. On the other hand, the Liberty+ have better sound out-of-the-box and may offer better overall value.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Lite Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundCore Liberty Lite Truly Wireless and the Anker Zolo Liberty+ Truly Wireless are practically the same truly wireless headphones, but the SoundCore will be more suited for sports thanks to their better fit and stability. Both have a pretty short battery life, but the Zolo last a bit longer, on top of having an app with a few features. On the other hand, the Zolo are bulkier, but their case holds more additional charges. Overall, these headphones are very similar.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless are better truly wireless earbuds than the Anker Zolo Liberty+ Truly Wireless. The SoundCore are more comfortable, stable for sports, and their sound quality is slightly better as well. You also get more continuous playback time on the SoundCore and a more compact and portable case. On the other hand, you get an app that offers a few features with the Zolo, and they feel a bit better-built since they don’t have the same glossy and plastic feel of the SoundCore.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ Truly Wireless are more versatile truly wireless headphones than the Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019 because of their closed-back design that isolates more ambient noise. This makes the Anker better suited for the office and for commuting. However, the Apple are more comfortable and feel slightly better-built than the Anker. The Apple are also more portable, thanks to their great case. If you use them with an iOS device that can take advantage of the H1 chip, we expect noticeably lower latency on the Apple. On the other hand, the Anker have better sound quality and have noticeably more bass.

Anker Zolo Liberty+ Truly Wireless Price

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