The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 have everything that one may expect from a pair of affordable true wireless earbuds, such as the small form factor design, the compact charging case and the promise of an excellent sound quality, but, unlike most of its competitors from the entry-level market segment, the SoundLiberty 79 also promises 8 hours of battery life on a single charge and up to 30 hours by relying on the charging case.
This is more than enough to help it stand out of from the crowd considering that you rarely see any entry-level TWS earbuds going past the 4 hour mark, but that’s not all that the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 have to offer since there is also the smart AI noise reduction technology.
The manufacturers really like using terms such as smart and especially AI when promoting their products, but the smart AI noise reduction tech is just an alternative to the Qualcomm cVc which, when implemented correctly, does help a bit with the call background noise, but don’t expect any miracles.
That being said, TaoTronics has often made some impressive TWS earbuds from the cost to performance perspective, so the targeted audience remain those that are on a tighter budget, but still want to experience a decent sound quality, without too many other compromises. Are the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 able to rise up to the expectations? Let’s find out.
Build Quality and Design
Unless you’re going for the Apple AirPods (which are slim and white), I am not entirely sure whether there are any other TWS earbuds brands so easily recognizable and yes, Sennheiser was a bit more cunning with its metallic outer plate and Sony went seriously overboard with the design of the WF-1000XM3 (which are ridiculously large to include ANC), but everyone else, from the entry-to-mid-range segment up to the higher-end devices seem to have preferred to keep an unassuming look.
Each TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 earbud is made out of black plastic just like most of its competitors, but it does have some faux metal pieces on the sides to give it a more premium look and I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the manufacturer has steered clear the pill-shaped design (nor did it take the AirPods clone route) and instead, it actually studied the inner ear shape and constructed some of the most comfortable true wireless earbuds in their price range. That right, despite sporting a larger battery than usual (50mAh) and being thicker than most under $50 TWS earbuds, the SoundLiberty 79 are very comfortable to wear and you can immediately find the right position without needing to move the earpiece around and constantly readjust it.
It’s worth mentioning that each earbud measures 0.94 x 0.94 x 0.47 inch (2.4 x 2.4 x 1.2 cm) and each weighs approximately 0.17 ounces, so they’re quite lightweight despite being a bit on the larger side. Another important aspect is that the neck of the earbuds (the part that ends with the speaker) is short and that’s something that I also liked about the cheaper BlitzWolf BW-FYE5 and the Tronsmart Onyx Neo, ensuring that you don’t have to push the earbud too far into the inner ear, relying more on the silicone tips to form a noise blocking seal (as they should). The SoundLiberty 79 do have touch-sensitive areas for music control, instead of the regular buttons and I did like that these areas are a tad less sensitive than on the Tronsmart Onyx Neo, reducing the number of false positives. The Play/Pause function is done by a double touch on the designated area of any of the two earbuds and, if you want to play the next track, tap on the right earbud three times (tap on the left three times for the previous track); to answer a call, tap any earbud once and to either hand up or reject a call, tap and hold on either earbud for a couple of seconds (you also get the option to redial by tapping four times on any of the two earbuds).
Not many affordable true wireless earbuds have volume control, but the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 do allow you to increase the volume (by tapping once on the right earbud while the song is playing) or to decrease it (by tapping once on the left earbud). On the bottom side of each earpiece, there is a fairly large microphone opening and on the top, TaoTronics has added an LED – it flashes blue every few seconds while it’s paired to a device and, it cycles through red and blue when it’s ready to be paired. I haven’t yet found a pair of TWS earbuds that doesn’t pride itself as being suitable for workouts and outdoor exercising, but only a select few will survive constant sweat (or rain) and even fewer will not fall out of your ear.
The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 do carry an IPX7 rating, so they should survive being submerged under 3.3 feet of fresh water for up to 30 minutes without experiencing any damage. Each earbud also has a small silicone hook that anchors the device to your ear and doesn’t allow it to slip out regardless of the head movement – so yes, you can use the SoundLiberty 79 while working out or outdoors without worrying that you may lose them. These hooks are removable and you do get a pair of silicone straps without hooks as replacement. The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 come with a compact charging case and no, it’s not the smallest I have seen so far (this spot is reserved to the BlitzWolf BW-FYE5), but it is quite close, measuring only 2.6 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches (it’s also lightweight, weighing 1.3oz) – this does mean that you won’t have any trouble carrying it around with you anywhere (just push it in the pocket of your jeans).
The case is made of plastic covered by a black matte finish and with a narrow glossy band going around it for some light sense of style and on the rear side, the case does have a USB-C port to recharge the internal 300mAh battery. The charging case does open easily and closes magnetically and each earbud has a designated space where they also attach magnetically and begin recharging as soon as you close the lid (the earbuds will also start the pairing process immediately after you open the lid). On the front of the charging case, there are four small LEDs, the first two showing the status of the left earbuds (less than 50% and more than 50%) and the last two LEDs are dedicated to the right earbud.
Note: Inside the package, TaoTronics has added a small USB-C charging cable.
TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79: Connectivity and Sound Quality
There isn’t very much information about the internal hardware available, but I could find that the SoundLiberty 79 true wireless earbuds make use of a 6mm PEEK+PU dynamic speaker driver and, while the size of the driver doesn’t necessarily say too much about the sound quality, the tuning and the quality of the used materials will have a higher impact. Furthermore, the TWS earbuds do use Bluetooth 5.0 instead of the older v4.2 and some of the improvements from the previous generation are the larger range and a slightly higher throughput (can go up to 2 Mbps of data transfer rate, not that the earbuds will need that much). The manufacturer says that the Bluetooth range can go up to 66 feet which is not entirely what I experienced and instead, just like with all other Bluetooth 5.0 true wireless earbuds, the signal started degrading to the point of affecting the connection after I passed 30 feet.
The pairing process doesn’t require more than a few simple steps: after taking the case with the earbuds from the package, it is advisable to recharge them to 100% and, after that’s done, simply open the case lid. At this point, the LEDs on the earbuds will start flashing blue and red (which means that they’re ready to be paired), so enable Bluetooth on the device of your choice and let it discover the SoundLiberty 79; after that’s done, simply click Pair (this is the common process when using a Google Pixel 2 XL, but it should be identical with any other Android smartphone). The LEDs should stop cycling through red and blue and start blinking blue and if you have the earbuds in your ear, a voice will confirm that the SoundLiberty 79 are not only paired to the phone, but they’re also connected between each other. You do have the option to pair a single earbud at a time (it will automatically work in mono mode), but, unfortunately, there is no support for Bluetooth multipoint (which is a very convenient feature, but surprisingly missing from far more expensive models, such as the Sony WH-1000XM3).
To get a better grasp of the sound quality of the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 I decided to use a few tests from the audiocheck.net guide which do help get a basic view of the frequency response. Before going ahead and expect audiophile sound quality, it’s useful to remember that these are only a bit above the entry-level segment price-wise, so a few compromises had to be made to keep the cost affordable. Thankfully, not too many, since the the highs were good, the mids were decent and, while the bass could have been deeper, it still was good enough for most types of music. I did notice that the sound is a bit rough, which makes for an excellent effect when you’re listening to some rock, but can be a bit overwhelming when listening to electronic music (some songs such as Equilibrium from Bad Company UK sounded almost painful).
But, from a technical point of view, the drivers matching was straight in the middle (I am sure that the shape of the earbuds and the way they just immediately fit in the right position have a huge effect on this aspect), the sound is very clear and I saw little to no buzz in a quality test; as for how high the sound could go, my ears could hear the sound up to 17kHz and as for lows, it’s down to 20Hz, the limit for the human ear.
So, overall, the sound quality is quite decent considering that there is only support for SBC and AAC codecs; I also have to mention that the volume can go very high, but I usually prefer to keep it at about 40-50% which was enough for a semi-quiet environment.
TaoTronics has put the smart AI noise reduction technology as a main feature for improving the call quality, so I took the earbuds for a quick test: I responded to a call using the SoundLiberty 79 earbuds and I could hear the caller clearly (the person was driving) and my voice was also well isolated from the background noise – since it’s difficult to find a noisy crowded place at this moment in time, I simulated the sound using some separate speakers and the TaoTronics SoundLiberty did a good job at keeping the call quality as clear as possible. Since I know some of you may be wondering, no, there is no active noise cancellation, the TWS earbuds relies solely on the passive blocking of the sound.
The Battery Life
As for the battery life, TaoTronics says that these earbuds can go up to 8 hours on a single charge and in my test (70% volume of watching continuous YouTube videos), the battery ran out after about 6 hours and 45 minutes, so it’s not that far from the advertised performance.
The TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79 are an excellent pair of true wireless earbuds especially when you consider how many things the manufacturer has gotten right while also keeping the price affordable. The earbuds are comfortable, stay in your ears when you’re jogging, they have volume control and last for a long time until needing charging. The sound quality is not audiophile level and nobody really expected them to be, but for the usual music consumption, the earbuds cover a very large sound range and will definitely be on the taste of the large majority of people. As a final conclusions, considering the price tag, there aren’t any major minuses, so if you were wondering whether to give the SoundLiberty 79 a chance, I’d say it’s definitely worth it.
TaoTronics SoundLiberty 79-
- Very comfortable
- Won't fall out of your ears when jogging or working out
- Have volume control
- A very good battery life
- I am not a fan of the touch-sensitive control since it can easily be triggered by mistake
- The two-LED per earbud is a weird system