Anker Zolo Liberty+ Truly Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
7.0
Mixed Usage
7.0
Neutral Listening
7.5
Commute/Travel
7.8
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
5.3
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
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.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Isolation 8.2
Microphone 6.3
Active Features 5.0
Connectivity 3.0
Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Breathable and portable for sports.
  • Durable build.
Cons
  • Bulky earbud design.
  • Not the most stable option.
  • Short continuous playtime.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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7.5

Design

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ are truly wireless in-ears that have a bit of an awkward fit due to their very bulky design. Not everyone will be able to achieve an air-tight seal with these headphones. On the upside, they are well-built and are easy to carry around on top of being breathable, which is great for sports. However, they aren’t the most stable truly wireless earbuds we’ve tested so far, and you’ll need to use the stability fin sleeves to keep them in your ears during physical activity. They come with a good charging case that's advertised to offer 48 hours of extra battery life, which is excellent.

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 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.

5.8 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Ease of use : Decent
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
Yes
Additional Buttons : N/A

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 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 Portability
L : 1.6 "
W : 1.1 "
H : 1.1 "
Volume : 1.9 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

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 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 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 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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
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Sound

They have a powerful, extended and consistent bass, a well-balanced mid range and a very good and accurate treble. However, their bass is ever so slightly boomy, their mid range is slightly recessed (which pushes the vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix), and some S and T sounds in the treble range may sound overly sharp. Nevertheless, these headphones are versatile for a wide variety of music genres and will sound good on bass-heavy genres. We measured these headphones without any EQ presets selected in the app.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
8.9
Bass-Heavy
:
7.6
Warm
:
2.9
Bright
:
8.6
7.3 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.81 db
Dips
:
1.18 db
9.1 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.

9.3 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.

0.6 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.

7.1 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.426
WHD @ 100
:
0.239
8.2

Isolation

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ isolate quite well passively and are even better than some noise cancelling headphones. If you can get a good seal with the provided tips, they prevent a lot of ambient noise from seeping into your audio. They also barely leak, which makes them a suitable option to use on the bus, train, or at work, and you’ll be able to raise your listening volume without disturbing people surrounding you.

7.5 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 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.

6.3

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Zolo Liberty+ integrated mic's performance is mediocre. Speech recorded or transmitted with this microphone will sound quite thin and lacking in detail and presence. It will still be relatively easy to understand in quiet environments, but will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud places, like a busy street.

6.6 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 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.

5.0

Active Features

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ have a poor continuous playtime and their companion app doesn’t offer a lot of features. You only get about 3 hours of battery life from a single charge, but the case holds an extra 48 hours which is convenient if you often take breaks during your listening sessions. Unfortunately, they take more than an hour to charge, which is disappointing considering the limited battery life. The Liberty+ app also lacks a few features and feels a bit bare-bones.

4.9 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
2.8 hrs
Additional Charges
:
16
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 App Support
App Name : Zolo Life
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
:
Presets
ANC control
:
No
Mic Control : No
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : 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.

3.0

Connectivity

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ are straightforward Bluetooth truly wireless headphones. They have very high latency, but their wireless range is pretty good. They come with a charging case that acts as a charging dock and is advertised to hold 48 extra hours of battery life. These headphones support Bluetooth 5.0, but our current dongle only supports 4.2. So, if your source is 5.0, you might experience better results than what we’ve measured. We are planning to upgrade this in the near future.

7.2 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
237 ft
Default Latency
:
358 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

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 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

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

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
No
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
2.2 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.

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

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.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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

Anker SoundCore Liberty Lite Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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

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.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker Zolo Liberty+ are more versatile truly wireless headphones than the Apple AirPods 2 2019 because of their closed-back design that isolates more ambient noise. This makes them better suited for the office and for commuting. However, the AirPods are more comfortable and feel slightly better-built than the Liberty+. They 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 AirPods. On the other hand, the Zolos have a better sound quality and have noticeably more bass than the AirPods.

7.0 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.

7.0 Neutral Listening

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.

7.5 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.

7.8 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.

6.6 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.

5.3 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.

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