TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97 True Wireless Earbuds Review

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Quick Analysis


Overall design




Battery Life


Audio Quality



  • Comfortable, ergonomic fit.
  • Sturdy build with excellent water-resistance.
  • Long-lasting batteries.
  • Smooth, rich bass.


  • Soft touch controls are a bit twitchy.
  • High frequencies are a bit too powerful.

These days, it seems like everybody is wearing a pair of wireless earbuds. But not too long ago, they were hard to find. The reason is that before True Wireless Stereo (TWS) technology, wireless earbuds generally weren’t worth owning. The audio was low-bitrate, and you could only listen in mono. For anything more demanding than a spoken word podcast or hands-free call, they were useless.

They were so useless, in fact, that people thought Apple was crazy for making the iPhone 7 wireless-only. TWS existed by that point, and Apple was banking on TWS both for the iPhone 7 and the associated Apple AirPods. But many in the tech media began proclaiming the end of an era, since the iPhone 7 would inevitably fail. Such was the bias against wireless earbuds at the time. But as we know, things went quite well, and the AirPods were hugely successful. Other electronics manufacturers jumped on board, and we ended up where we are today. Now, instead of too few options, we have too many.

So, how do you know which wireless earbuds are worth investing in? One way is to look for a reliable manufacturer. On the list of good earbud manufacturers, TaoTronics sits near the top. Now, we’re about to review the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97 true wireless earbuds. They’re compact, with a vertical case that’s unusual for this type of earbud. But how is the audio performance? And how good is the hardware under the hood? To find out, we’ll need to dig a little deeper. We’ll take a close look at all of the SoundLiberty 97 earbuds features, benefits, and shortcomings. Once that’s done, we’ll render our verdict.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

Overall Design

The SoundLiberty 97 wireless earbuds have a compact design that sits flush with your ears. There are no protrusions or parts hanging down that might get snagged. On the other hand, this design requires a secure fit in order to work properly. Without a bottom-heavy design, loose ear tips will simply pop out when they feel like it. To this end, TaoTronics includes three sets of extra ear tips in the package. They come in three different sizes, with a spare set of mediums just in case. If the tips are too tight or too loose, try a smaller or larger pair respectively. When properly fitted, they should offer not just security, but also some passive noise isolation.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

The earbud shells themselves are constructed from black ABS plastic, which is easy to keep clean. They feel nice and solid in your hands, as if they’ve got a bit of heft to them. They’re mostly smooth and rounded, but the backs are totally flat. These backs function as soft touch buttons, which allow for easy operation. You can use them to skip tracks, answer or end calls, change the volume, and more. You can also call up your voice assistant if you want hands-free control. Unfortunately, the control surfaces are a bit twitchy. If you just brush them lightly, they’ll go off. Similarly, the earbuds can easily get confused between single, double, and triple-taps. On the other hand, the soft touch design is comfortable to operate if you have sensitive ears. You’ve got to pick your poison.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

The SoundLiberty 97 earbuds have a water-resistance rating of IPX8. This is the highest water-resistance rating available, and requires custom testing. Since the testing is different for every IPX8 product, it’s hard to say how waterproof they actually are. What we do know is that they’re more water-resistant than IPX7 products, which are submersion-proof. The SoundLiberty 97 earbuds can be submerged for at least 30 minutes, at a depth of at least three meters. A morning post-workout shower will not pose any hazard.

With all of that being said, you might want a pair of earbuds that looks as sharp as it sounds. In that case, the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 80 earbuds are an excellent choice. Their chrome shells are sure to catch anyone’s eye, and their audio quality is very rich. This comes at the expense of shortened battery life, though.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

The SoundLiberty 97 case is designed to match the earbuds, with a similar black construction. It’s also compact and pocket-sized, measuring 2.27 inches wide, 1.8 inches high, and only 1.1 inches thick. With both earbuds inside, it weighs only 3.84 ounces, or slightly less than a McDonald’s burger patty. As a result, the SoundLiberty 97 earbuds are easy to carry around with you from place to place.

The case has a vertical design, which is unusual for earbuds without posts. That said, it works well enough, with a spring-loaded lid that stays shut when you need it to. There’s a single LED under the lid to let you know the buds are charging. This shouldn’t be much of a concern, though. The earbuds snap into place with magnets when they’re dropped into the case. This means you’re guaranteed to get a reliable charge. Charging the case itself is also a snap. It plugs in with a six-inch USB Type-C cable, which is included with the kit. Six inches is on the short side, but it will get the job done.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

To top it all off, the SoundLiberty 97 earbuds come with a 90-day no-questions-asked return window. Even if you just decide you like some other earbuds better, you can send them back for a refund. You’ll be responsible for return shipping, though. If something goes wrong after the first 90 days, you’re still covered. There’s a 12-month warranty against manufacturer’s defects.

Battery & Connectivity

The battery in each earbud will work for up to nine hours on a full charge, according to manufacturer specs. Testing for these specs is performed at medium volume, so you should never take it at face value. In practice, seven hours is more reasonable at full volume. Cold weather and other adverse conditions can also affect your battery life. Even so, you’re looking at some of the longer-lasting earbud batteries we’ve seen. The charging case provides an additional two charges, with a little left to spare. In total, you can expect anywhere from 23 to 29 hours of battery life without plugging in.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

If you need to top off your buds in a hurry, don’t worry. A 10-minute quick charge will provide up to two hours of battery life. That’s enough to get you through a morning workout, with plenty of juice left to spare. An hour-long charge will have the batteries topped up entirely. On a similar note, the case will also charge in about an hour via USB Type-C.

The SoundLiberty 97’s long-lasting batteries should come as no surprise. That’s one of the things SoundLiberty has come to be known for. For example, the SoundLiberty 95 earbuds offer similar battery life and better audio, but no water-resistance.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

Along with its reliable battery, the SoundLiberty 97 utilizes Bluetooth 5.0 technology. This is the latest Bluetooth standard, and it allows for lower latency, so you can watch movies or play games. In addition, it has a more stable signal than earlier Bluetooth versions, and allows higher bitrates. The SoundLiberty 97 earbuds will automatically pair with your phone when the case is opened. You’ll need to pair them manually the first time, but after that, everything is automatic.

You can also pair the earbuds in either single or Mono mode. Single mode is for when you need to hear your environment, such as when you’re driving. It’s great for hands-free calling in particular, since you might want to keep an ear free. Either bud can be used in this way, so you can double your battery life by switching back and forth. Of course, you’ll always want to return to stereo mode for listening to music.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

Audio Quality

In terms of audio quality, the SoundLiberty 97 earbuds are a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the bass is surprisingly good for the size, and the mids are nice and clear. The treble is also clear, but high frequencies come far forward in the mix. This doesn’t cause any distortion, but it can make some songs sound harsher than they ought to. The soundstage is also a bit cramped. It sounds better than cheap Walmart earbuds, but it’s not as wide as we’d have liked. That said, the SoundLiberty 97 buds use the aptX Low Latency codec. This codec is perfect for games, movies, or any low-latency application.

One thing these earbuds don’t offer is any kind of noise cancellation. To be fair, ANC is uncommon on earbuds, as opposed to headphones, but it’s still available. If that’s what you need, consider the TaoTronics SounderLiberty 94 earbuds. They have an ANC function and similar battery life to the 97. However, they also have some audio shortcomings, and you may find that the sound lacks texture.

Call quality on the SoundLiberty 97 is surprisingly good. These buds use CVC 8.0 noise cancelling technology to isolate the sound of your voice. It’s quite effective, even with only a single earbud inserted. Even in a crowded, noisy environment, the other person should have no trouble hearing you. As always, how well you can hear them will depend on their mic quality more than anything else.

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97

Final Verdict

So, are the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 97 wireless earbuds the right choice for you? It all depends on what you need your earbuds to do. As we pointed out, the audio quality is only so-so. On the other hand, all the other features are top tier. To find a pair of earbuds this well designed, you’d typically expect to spend a lot more. They’re waterproof, they’re compact, they’re comfortable, and they’re easy to pair. Not only that, but the battery life is better than we expected. The case is also well designed, with magnetic earbud wells and a spring-loaded lid. Combine all that with fast, easy charging, and there’s a lot to like here.

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