We are checking out another pair of truly wireless earbuds, this time the Zolo Liberty’s. While you probably haven’t heard of Zolo before, you’ve probably heard of Anker which is the parent company behind Zolo and is obviously a very well known and reputable brand in the tech space. These earbuds were originally launched on Kickstarter a few months ago as zero- compromise totally wireless earphones with graphene enhanced sound at a pretty competitive price point considering the other products in this space. There are 2 versions of the Liberty, the standard model I have here which retails for just 79.99 right now, and the Liberty+ for 149.99 which will be officially launching in about a month. I’ll explain the features and difference between the two in just a minute, but as always I’ll have links to everything down below in the video description if you want to learn more or pick up a pair for yourself.
As far as the unboxing experience, you get a nice presentation with the earbuds and charging case front and center here, and obviously the overall setup with the buds and case are very similar to everything else on the market. Digging a little deeper inside the packaging, there’s also an included bright yellow braided micro USB cable for charging the carrying case, a collection of paperwork and instructions, as well as 2 additional ear tips and 3 addition gripfit rubber jackets which should allow you to find a decent fit for your unique ear.
Like I mentioned, you get a pretty standard setup here with the earbuds being housed in the charging case when they aren’t in use, the charging case itself is maybe a little bigger than I would have liked but still compact enough to fit in a bag or even in your pocket with a magnetic latch to keep the earbuds securely in there. And with these standard Liberty earphones, the charging case offers up to 24 hours of battery life, but if you opt for the Liberty+, you can expect 48 hours of battery life with the case. There are a trio of LED indicators on the case to show how much battery is left, and the micro USB port is located on the side covered by a small rubber flap. To charge the earbuds in the case, you just need to lineup the small gold pins and connectors and whether the case is opened or closed the earbuds will be charging.
The earphones themselves are fairly compact at least in the realm of truly wireless earbuds with a shape and design that’s aimed for a very specific fit inside your ear which I’ll talk about in a second. The rubber ear tips are removable of course as well as the rubber jacket around the earbud, and some of the included interchangeable ones also have ear fins for an even more secure fit.
Both earbuds also have buttons on the side to play, and pause music, activate a personal assistant like Siri and power them down if needed.
As far as the list of features, the Liberty’s check many of the necessary boxes in order to be considered a pretty good pair of wireless earbuds. You get up to 3.5 hours of music playback, they are sweatproof and relatively water resistant, but if you opt for the Liberty+, along with that longer battery life from the charging case, you get support for Bluetooth 5.0, sound isolation and the Zolo Life App for some further sound customization.
Connecting and setting up the Liberty’s was super simple, you only need to connect them to your phone once, and from there they’ll remain connected, so each time you want to use them, just pull them out of the case and they’re ready to go. And I personally didn’t have any connection drops or issues up to about 30 feet of range.
For their fit and function, I personally used the default set of ear tips and rubber jackets and that ended up working out for me just fine. They will up a good portion of my ear without sticking out too far and while they aren’t exactly noise canceling, they do a fair job of blocking out some of the outside sound especially given how Anker suggests you put them in. They require sort of an insert and twist manuvuer to get them really deep inside your ear canal, and with these that sort of unique setup really gets the earbuds good and stuck inside your ear, couple with the rubber jacket there wasn’t any room for them to wiggle and they didn’t fall out of my ears at all which as you guys know has been a problem with some earbuds in the past. The sort of “down and in” design with all that rubber for grip really keeps them in place.
The button controls on the sides of the earbuds work like they’re supposed to, but personally I find it a little uncomfortable to use since you’re pressing kind of hard directly on your ear, I’ll always prefer the touch control that AirPods have since it ends up being a little more comfortable in practice.
As far as sound quality goes, I was actually really impressed with what these put out. They’re very comparable to AirPods which I think in the realm of truly wireless earbuds is a pretty good comparison. They might lack bass a little bit, but I think that’s really the only thing I could critique and again, if you opt for the Liberty+ model, you can actually adjust the sound profile of the earbuds in the Zolo Life app, so if you’re particular about sound quality or want a certain sound profile, you’ll have that option.
Now there is 1 negative aspect with the Liberty’s that needs to be mentioned. When taking phone calls or interacting with a personal assistant, you only get sound coming from the right earphone which acts as the master earphone. I don’t use Siri much, and I don’t talk on the phone really ever, so for me this wasn’t a deal breaker. But especially if you’re looking for something to use often with phone calls, only having sound come from 1 earphone is kind of a bummer. I’ll also say that when watching video, there is some noticeable lag with the connection. This is something that’s present in a lot of truly wireless earbuds and unfortunately also present with the Zolos.
In general though, especially with the standard Liberty’s being only 79 dollars, and basically coming from a brand as respectable as Anker, these are a really good deal. They sound excellent, battery life is there, the unique fit works with someone like me with pretty picky ears. I think if you’re trying to get into the truly wireless headphone game, these are an excellent start even with the couple of drawbacks which to some folks might not be a huge deal anyway.