Libratone Track Air+ full review
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Libratone is best known for its Zipp range of speakers – which, admittedly, are a tough act to follow – and its more recent headphone products haven’t attracted the same level of attention. Furthermore, its new Track Air+ headphones are entering a crowded market, as true wireless earbuds are very much the in-thing at the moment.
However, the sleek Danish design, versatile features and attractive sound quality of the Track Air+ should help them to stand out from the crowd.
We reviewed the Track Air+ earbuds, which cost £179 and are currently only available via Amazon in the UK (with a US release date yet to be confirmed). The ‘+’ bit refers to the ‘active noise cancellation’ technology (or ‘ANC’) that is built into the headphones.
If you don’t really need noise cancellation then you can opt for the standard Track Air headphones instead, which look identical but omit the noise-cancellation and bring the price down to £139. Alternatively, if you’re worried about losing the little wire-free earbuds, then both sets of headphones are also available with ye olde rubber neckband. The Track+ are priced at £169 with ANC and just £90 for Track Sport.
The charging case that comes with the Track Air+ has a USB-C port for charging its internal battery, but also supports the Qi wireless charging technology, and Libratone sells a separate charging base called the Coil for £34 – which, of course, can be used with other Qi-compatible devices as well.
There are some serious rivals at cheaper prices such as the £149 RHA TrueConnect and £119 Cambridge Audio Melomania 1. However, they don't have noise cancelling so a key rival is the Sony WF-1000XM3 which are £229.
Check out our chart of the best true wireless earbuds.
Design & Build
True wireless earbuds often look a bit odd, poking out of your ears as you walk around, but the elegant Danish design of the Track Air+ actually looks pretty neat.
They’re available in black or white, and the bulk of the rather bulbous earpieces stays hidden inside your ear, leaving just a sleek little metallic triangle protruding from your ear like a rather large ear-stud. Each earbud weighs just 5.6g and Libratone includes four sets of rubber ear-tips to ensure a good fit, so they’re lightweight.
And while we've had trouble getting other wire-free earbuds to actually stay in for any length of time, the Track Air+ fit pretty well and didn’t feel like they were about to fall out every few minutes.
The earbuds feel nice and sturdy too, despite their lightweight construction, and they’re rated IPX4 for water- and sweat resistance, so they’ll be able to cope with some serious workout sessions in the gym or accidental splashes.
The battery life is around six hours, but the charging case can extend that to 24hrs, and the case is small enough to slip into a jacket pocket or backback with no trouble at all. Our only complaint here is that the battery indicator on the case isn’t very helpful – it only tells you when the battery is at 20% or fully charged at 100%.
If you want to monitor the battery level while it’s charging then you have to open up the Libratone app on your smartphone or tablet – which might not always be convenient, especially if you’re charging the case from a mains power socket while your phone is in another room.
Sound Quality & Features
We often prefer to use conventional wired headphones whenever possible, but the sound quality of the Track Air+ is as good as we’ve heard from Bluetooth headphones in this price category, and might tempt you to switch to Bluetooth permanently. This might be especially true if your phone doesn't have a jack and using a dongle is annoying.
The multi-layered harmonies of Somebody To Love by Queen sound clear and detailed, and the compact little earpieces manage to produce a relaxed, open soundstage that allows the Queen wall of sound to really soar.
Bass output can be a weakness with small earbuds such as these, but the Track Air+ manage to dig deep and produce a nice, slinky bass sound on Billy Eilish’s Bad Guy. The app also includes EQ presets for enhanced bass or treble – although it’s a shame that it doesn’t also provide manual EQ settings for fine-tuning the sound.
The noise cancellation feature works well too, reducing background noise very effectively, but without muffling the sound as sometimes happens with other noise-cancelling headphones. Let's remember this is a rare feature for true wireless earbuds with only Sony offering it at the moment.
You can adjust the noise-cancellation manually, using a slider control on the Libratone app, but there’s also a ‘smart’ option that will automatically adjust the noise-cancelling effect in response to changes in background noise around you.
And if you’re jogging near traffic then there’s an ‘ambient monitoring’ option that intentionally lets in some of the background noise so that you can stay aware of traffic and other life-threatening hazards.
Dual microphones allow the little earpieces to pick up your voice very well during phone calls and, like Apple’s AirPods, the Track Air+ allows you to just wear a single earpiece for taking calls.
Libratone’s app has a few rough edges, though. There’s a rather confusing approach to Bluetooth pairing that requires you to pair your device to the left and right earpieces separately, whilst also assigning one earpiece to be the ‘master’.
It’s not very good at explaining other features either, such as the ability to program the ‘double-tap’ button on each earpiece to perform different functions. And while the app does include some help files, these are actually online and require an internet connection. We often found that the app would fail to load them – despite having a perfectly good Wi-Fi connection – leaving us randomly tapping on buttons to try and figure out how various features work.
The Libratone app could be a bit more helpful when you’re first getting started, but the Track Air+ headphones provide really good value for money. They get the basics right with good sound and build quality, and then throw in useful extra features such as effective active noise cancellation, good battery life and wireless charging case, while still maintaining a pretty competitive price.
There are more expensive wireless earbuds available that might have a slight edge on sound quality such as the RHA TrueConnect, but the all-round versatility of the noise-cancelling Track Air+ is hard to beat at this price.
Libratone Track Air+: Specs
- Driver: 2x 5.3mm
- Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Range (unobstructed): 10m
- Noise-cancellation: Active – 30db
- Charging Time (from 0%): 1.5hrs
- Sweat/splash resistance: IPX4
- Weight (earbuds): 5.6g (each)
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 2 years (Europe only)
- Included in box: Track Air+ earbuds, charging case, USB-C charging cable, eartips – XS/S/M/L
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