Anker's new Soundcore Liberty 4 earbuds can do something that Apple's AirPods Pro 2 cannot
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As close to perfection as Apple has undoubtedly managed to bring its second-gen AirPods Pro, the highly anticipated and long overdue noise-cancelling earbuds didn't end up integrating the potentially game-changing technology that was tipped for months by several different insiders ahead of their official announcement three weeks ago.
iPhone 14 Max name, you're definitely going to have to wait another year or two (or more) to be able to measure your heart rate from your ear.Whether or not this was actually planned at any point in the AirPods Pro 2 development process and nixed at the last minute like the
Alternatively, you can order the $149.99 Soundcore Liberty 4 right now in Midnight Black and Cloud White hues. Yes, the latest super-premium earbuds sold under Anker's Soundcore sub-brand come with a built-in heart rate sensor (in the right bud) alongside other more "traditionally" high-end features and capabilities including adaptive noise cancellation, spatial audio, and up to 28 hours of (combined) battery life.
Interestingly, Anker isn't exactly advertising the heart rate monitoring very aggressively, highlighting a number of other things as the Liberty 4's apparent key selling points and thus suggesting the health tracking technology may not be particularly advanced or reliable.
That was certainly the case when Samsung tried something similar with the Gear IconX forerunners to the Galaxy Buds family all the way back in 2016 and 2017, and it might help explain why Apple isn't rushing its eventual first heart rate-tracking AirPods generation to the market.
Of course, even if we file that feature under useless gimmicks, which may or may not prove to be the case in real-life Soundcore Liberty 4 use, these bad boys still deliver objectively great value for your 150 bucks (at least on paper).
That's a significantly lower price point than those of the second-gen AirPods Pro or Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, mind you, yet Anker promises to offer super-crisp and clear sound with the help of a no doubt state-of-the-art ACAA 3.0 coaxial acoustic system, 360-degree immersive spatial audio (like we know what other earbuds), and "cloud-like" comfort for up to 9 hours on a single charge, with a bundled wireless charging case boosting that endurance rating all the way up to the aforementioned 28 hours.
Alas, Anker's battery life claims are reduced to 7 and 24 hours with active noise cancellation enabled at all times and 5 and 15 hours with spatial audio also switched on, but those are still pretty decent numbers... all things considered.
Given that this is a company with not one but two products currently listed among the very best wireless earbuds money can buy, it's safe to expect these seemingly superior fourth-gen Liberties to join that roster before long. The black flavor is already shipping from the official US Soundcore website, with white models set to start going out "before October 20."
If you hurry, you can even get your choice of a $25.99-worth 32W Anker charger or $16.99-worth PowerLine III USB-C to USB-C cable included in your 150 bucks at no extra charge as long as you go the black Soundcore Liberty 4 route. While this special bundle offer is technically scheduled to run until the end of October, there are apparently only 500 freebies available (each or in total?), so snoozers might end up losing their chance at a nice little deal sweetener.
Fortunately, all of the super-advanced above technologies and capabilities and a decidedly sleek and presumably ultra-lightweight design make these budget-friendly AirPods Pro 2 "killers" a bargain either way, currently even undercutting the non-noise-cancelling AirPods 3.