Active Noise Cancellation in TWS earbuds is usually reserve for higher end TWS earbuds. But thanks to companies like TaoTronics, that isn’t the case anymore. But just how good is it is the brand’s first ANC TWS, the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 94 ANC TWS Earbuds? Well, folks, that is exactly what I am going to find out today.
Before we go on, here’s rundown of the basic specifications:
• Driver: 9.2 mm hi-fi dynamic driver • Bluetooth: 5.1 • Playtime (Earbuds): 5 hours • Playtime (Total): 32 hours • Charging: USB-C • Features: Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation, quad-mic setup, Ambient Mode, IPX5-rated
TaoTronics SoundLiberty 94 ANC TWS Earbuds is super compact – both the earbuds and the charging case. Especially the latter. I have handled quite a few TWS at this point and this little guy felt a lot smaller so far. In fact, it is almost too small for my gorilla-size hands. On the flip side, it slips into the pocket and you won’t feel a thing. I guess that’s what we users want.
Both the earbuds and charging case comes in matte black finish with a little sheen to it. I must say it does have a very nice to touch, but dry hands may find it a tad slippy. That said, the void of texture and sleek contour sometimes make picking up the earbuds up from the case a little challenging. It’s just an observation that has bearing on the performance.
Unlike most TWS earbuds, SoundLiberty 94 does not come with fins, removable or otherwise. It does, however, come removable ear tips, with additional two other sizes for a custom fit. The no fin does not bother my concha and ear canal a bit. I find the one that came fitted with the earbuds out-of-the-box is just right for me.
It has been a couple of hours since I had it on and I felt no discomfort or anything of such. At times, I almost forgot it was there – if not for the music. As far as fit goes, they stay like they supposed to. Jumping and shaking my head at a discomforting speed, I don’t feel they are about to pop out. Plus point for that. Especially for those who hate fins.
The build is quite up there too. Good solid hinge on the charging case. The same goes for the earbuds. Nothing to complain about, really.
Bluetooth 5.1 proves to be a winner. Connection is solid over the last couple of hours that I was using it. There was a drop once, momentarily, but it came back before I could swear (just kidding!). I tested it with a Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. The real-life range for me was about 19 feet before it started to lose connection, but mind you that I am in a concrete walled environment and the distance that I made had no line of sight to the source device.
Finally, an affordable earbuds with ANC that has pretty damn good bass. I am not kidding. The bass is pretty up there. That, along with good separation of highs and mids, make this pair a good earbuds for electronic music. Oh, it is pretty awesome for movies too. And, yeah, I tested with movie too because, why shouldn’t I? More on that in a bit.
As far as music goes, Sabrina Carpenter vocal on Alan Walker’s On My Way was angelic – if that’s any indication. But nothing win me over more than Underworld’s Born Slippy NUXX/Remastered. Man, the bass just kills it.
For the same track, I listen both with and without ANC. And I do notice something: ANC does muddle the audio by teeny weeny bit. In other words, when ANC is not active, highs are more pronounced then it is on. Similarly, I find lows are a tad lower when ANC is on.
But not is not very perceptible, unless you listen to it extremely intently. So, does the ANC does what it supposed to do? Well, it certainly does.
In fact, I have it on and off without anything playing back, and the distinction is immediately clear. The ANC even works for loud, low-flying military aircraft. Traffic noise is, goes without saying, reduced to pretty much nothing. Then again, most of the time, earbuds’ seal is enough to kill traffic noise (can’t say the same if its in Manhattan, though!).
Anywho, it so happened that it rained, very heavily, while I was testing this. I didn’t even realize that because, the ANC effectively eliminated the rain noise. Plus point for that.
We noted that the unit is IPX5-rated, but we didn’t not test it. All we know is, a little sweat and rain won’t kill it, but as a rule of thumb, don’t go immersing it in water. Like, who would do that?
As for battery, I can’t say I have tested it for long. Couple of hours is all I am willing to let my ears exposed to near-ear music. Nearly two hours of audition, with ANC on 80 percent of the time, I am still having 80% battery. So, I am guessing the 50 mAh battery is holding up pretty well.
Before I continue… for the record, I think ANC is not quite essential for earbuds because, earbuds in itself already have pretty good seal against ambient noises. But if it had it, it’s a bonus. In any case, I only use earbuds when on the move, so in that respect, I guess it is a nice to have feature.
As for my take, I can only say that it performs better than I have expected. Obviously, it is not going to be on par with the likes of Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Apple AirPods Pro, but given that it is under US$60, I’d say the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 94 ANC TWS Earbuds excellent value for money.
I think it will be a good ANC TWS earbuds for anyone who can’t bear to part with hundreds of their hard earned dough.
All photos by Mikeshouts.com.