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We don’t usually post about Kickstarter campaigns, but Anker’s reputation for making excellent gadgets makes the Zolo Liberty+ headphones a lot more interesting than the average crowd funding effort. Zolo is Anker’s new smart audio brand. Their wireless earbuds attempt to fix common issues that Bluetooth earbuds—even Apple’s EarPods—face. What are those issues? According to Anker’s Kickstarter campaign, the issue lies in four areas: the fit of the buds, the sound quality, Bluetooth connectivity, and the battery life.
The Liberty+ earbuds use sweat resistant liquid-silicon ear tips that are intended to be a softer and more comfortable fit that also helps isolate the sound. Anker also developed what they refer to as GripFit technology, which is basically different sized ear hooks that you twist in your ear to lock them into place. It sounds painful, but Anker claims it’s quite comfy
Wireless earbuds pack a lot of components into a very small space, which can have a negative effect on sound quality. If large, portable Bluetooth speakers have problems providing a full, clear audio spectrum, how can little earbuds accomplish it? Anker developed a nanosheet made of Graphene that they place over the headphone drivers that is supposedly 100 times harder than steel. The sheet’s ability to maintain shape should provide a more precise and clear sound quality. The outside of each bud is touch-sensitive, so you can tap it to answer a call or summon smart assistants like Siri or Alexa.
One of the most frustrating aspects about wireless earbuds is the wireless connectivity itself, which somehow seems to drop out at the worst possible times. This is especially pronounced when each earbud requires its own separate Bluetooth connection. The Liberty+ tries to solve this by doing a two things which they claim will provide an “almost unbreakable link.” They use Bluetooth 5.0 and are built with an LDS antenna commonly used in drones. The antenna is incorporated into the earbud’s body instead of making it a separate component which result is a stronger connection because of the “larger surface area.” The whole thing acts like an antenna.
Lastly, Anker packs 3.5 hours worth of battery capacity into the earbuds themselves, but the included case can quickly recharge them, providing up to 48 more hours of play time before you need to find an outlet or a computer with a USB port.
The Zolo Liberty+ earbuds are already lightyears past the intended fundraising goal—obviously others have faith in Anker too. There are still have some rewards left if you want to take part in the campaign. Check it out here. The Liberty+ earbuds will be released in October and sell for $150.
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