Recently, Headphone Dungeon has been covering the SoundLiberty series of true wireless earbuds from Taotronics. The 80, 95, and 95 have made an impression here, delivering a comfortable sound for an affordable price. If you’re familiar with Taotronics on Amazon, you’ll know that they’re a good jumping-off point when getting into true wireless systems. They sport some unique design with mostly simplistic driver components, and sometimes that’s enough for a set of wireless earbuds that are less than a hundred bucks. Now we have the SoundLiberty 97, so let’s jump right into them.
What You Get
- 1 x TaoTronics True Wireless Stereo Earbuds (TT-BH097)
- 1 x USB-C Charging Case
- 8 x Ear Tips (S/M/L/XL: two are equipped on the earbuds)
- 1 x USB-C Charging Cable
- 1 x User Guide
- 1 x Quick Start Guide
Look and Feel
Despite being one of the more scaled-down models of this line, the overall aesthetic is a touch on the bland side. The oval-shaped housing melding with the circular faceplate is a nice consistent design, but the all-black, hard plastic material is seen all to often on these types of true wireless systems. However, I think the SoundLiberty 97 features one of the most seamless fits for Taotronics due to its miniature appearance. When inserted into your ear, you can barely feel them, as they cause no major distractions.
Design and Functionality
It isn’t made clear just how big the driver system is within SoundLiberty’s housing, but there are some interesting touch-sensitive functions to mention. Tapping both earbuds twice will enact play/pause, as well as activate voice assistant and answer incoming phone calls. A single tap on the right or left bud is used to operate volume control, and three taps will skip and rewind tracks. I personally prefer the single tap gesture for simple actions like play/pause, but all of the functions respond pretty consistently with a short delay.
The SoundLiberty 97 supports Bluetooth 5.0 for the best bandwidth and range up to 10m. It supports aptX, SBC, and AAC which is a standard variety of CODECs, but the inclusion of aptX is respectable.
One of the highlights of the SoundLIbery 97 is its relatively beefy battery life. You’ll get nine hours of playtime off of a single charge. Combined with its charging case, the SoundLiberty 97 can last up to 29 hours. The large single charge is great, but it isn’t much of a significance when paired with the case, which only supplies two charges. Some wireless earphones for even less can supply at least three or four, but in terms of a day, the SoundLIberty 97 should be able to get you through one or two commutes to work before having to charge.
I am very pleasantly surprised here. Rarely does a true wireless system at this price range fulfill such a full and accurate image, but the SounsLiberty 97 presents one of the very best from this line. This brand has never really impressed me in this area, yet here I thought the image was very properly dispersed, and spatiality actually felt somewhat accurate. The instrumentals seemed like they were given an ample amount of headroom to properly express their tone to the best of the earbuds’ ability. Usually, with true wireless, I feel that the sound is too boxed in, but the SoundLIberty really lets the image breathe a bit. It isn’t the widest or the deepest image, but the stage still offers a respectfully authentic stereo field.
If you’re looking for a bass punch, you’ll definitely get it here. However, the impact of it isn’t much and rarely gets to be anything more than a limited boost to a more uneventful low end.
There are some genuinely clear midrange qualities that almost shocked me with how crisp their response was. Vocal ranges exhibit some great resolution and instrumentations receive a wide range of bands with very few notches. It is given a smoother timbre that responds well to certain low and high band accents that appear fast and dignified.
The treble is very recessed and lacks a lot of significant energy. However, there is a small sliver of sparkle in some highs I found quite nice, especially with bells and hi-hats.
Overall I think this is not only one of the better models from the SoundLiberty series but from Taotronics as a whole. There are still some significant issues, but this is one of the most solid releases from this manufacturer. For a $51.99 true wireless earbud, it holds a certain leg up over other offerings.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Soundstage, midrange clarity, fit, functionality
Cons: Bland design, case charges
The Taotronics SoundLiberty 97 is available on Amazon.
Update: If you’re looking for the best true wireless earbuds on a budget, check out our review of the new Strauss and Wagner SW-TW401 earbuds!
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