Made popular by its super portable speakers back in 2007, the Singapore-born X-mini brand has been making quite the comeback lately, expanding into Bluetooth earphones, soundbars and the like – which leads us to the Liberty S.
A follow-up to last year’s Liberty, the brand is marketing the earbuds as True Wireless Xoundpods, boasting an increased playback time of 4.5 hours on their own and 18 hours with the charging dock.
Upon unboxing the pack, the most immediate reaction to the earbuds is that it certainly looks and feels more premium than its $79 retail price.
The earbuds each light up at its logo, doubling up as an indicator on battery life. The charging dock is also sturdy, with a satisfying pull and push mechanic.
But of course, the most important aspect of the review would be its sound quality.
Having dabbled with the BeatsX – originally priced around $198 – and a pair of ZNE Firefits, which cost me no more than $30, I was expecting the X-mini Liberty S to sound closer to the ZNEs.
To my surprise, however, the Liberty S held its own in the audio department and sounded closer to the BeatsX than I was expecting.
The mids, particularly on vocals, were crisp and clear. Instruments such as guitars and synths also shine. When listening to tracks such as John Mayer’s Gravity, the overall sound was very well balanced. Highs were equally crisp.
And while the lows didn’t quite match up to the BeatsX, it was still very decent considering that these were a pair of truly wireless earbuds. What I found that really helped in the bass department was to position the main body of the earbuds so that it touches the outer part of your ear. Trust me, the difference is night and day.
What’s more, while the pair isn’t marketed as a noise-cancelling earbud, I was pleasantly surprised at how effective the in-ear buds were at drowning out ambient noises, particularly with music playing at an optimal level.
In terms of comfort, the set comes with four different sizes of silicone ear tips. I found the default ones to be a little too big for me, but the smallest ones were just nice.
Connectivity-wise, there were instances in which one side would momentarily lose audio for a second or two, but these were far and few between.
Thanks to its sweat resistance, I mostly used the earbuds on runs and found them to be reliable regardless of running speed.
For review, I paired the Liberty S to my Apple Watch and they worked great together. There were also comfortable for all-day use when I would get plugged in at the office and would sometimes forget that I had them on.
All in all, the Liberty S is well worth its price tag and its audio quality triumphs, even pulling its weight against pricier competition.