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CNET First Look
Zolo Liberty Plus earphones are totally wireless AirPods competitorsAnker's new Zolo brand is set to take off with a premium set of cord-free buds that cost a little less than the competition.
Anker's better known for its battery accessories for mobile phones and tablets, but lately it's been making a serious push into the headphone market with a line of inexpensive bluetooth headphones. Now it's going a bit more upscale with a set of totally wireless earphones called the Zolo Liberty Plus That it hopes will put a small dent in Apple AirPod sales. The earphones aren't due out till October, but Anker's launched a Kickstarter campaign to spur preorders with some sub-$100 pricing. Eventually the Liberty Plus is set to Retail for $150. And it's worth noting that it's sweat resistant so you'll be able to use it at the gym or even running with it. I got a chance to try a pre-production sample for a short listening session. The earphones fit my ears snugly and comfortably. I got a tight sealant thanks to the little silicone ear hooks that cover the ear buds. They stayed in my ears. I did think they sounded quite good for this type of totally wireless earphone. Offering decent clarity with relatively plump but well sculpted base. I'll reserve final judgement on sound quality. Until I get a final shipping sample. But my initial impression is that they sounded better than Apple's Airpods. Anchor says the liberty plus will be Amazon Alexa enabled and support other voice assistant but those features weren't available in the early sample I took for a spin. Battery life has rated it 3.5 hours and the included charging case allows you to charge the earphones more than 10 times on the go. That $150 retail price isn't terrible. But delivery plus is certainly a more attractive option at less than $100. While China-based anchor is an established company with lots of products. With any Kickstarter, there's a chance the product will never ship. So proceed at your own risk. I'm David [UNKNOWN] for CNet.com. Thanks for watching.