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OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC: Only One Winner!

OnePlus has just dropped their latest earbuds, the OnePlus Buds 3, and they’re making waves at a price point that’s neck and neck with another fan favorite, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC.

If you’re here, chances are you’re caught in the middle, trying to figure out which pair is the better bang for your buck. And, hey, I get it.

With so many options on the market, making the right choice feels like a bit of a puzzle. That’s exactly why I’ve put together this comparison of the OnePlus Buds 3 and the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC.

My goal? To help you sift through the noise and find the earbuds that are music to your ears. Let’s dive in and see which of these contenders you should be taking home.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC: Price & availability

When it comes to picking out the perfect pair of earbuds, the price tag is often the first thing we glance at, right?

So, let’s talk numbers. OnePlus previously had us used to a bit of a higher price range with the Buds Pro launching at $149 and its successor, the Buds Pro 2, hitting the shelves at $179. However, OnePlus decided to shake things up a bit with the Buds 3, sliding into the market at a more wallet-friendly $99. That’s a move that definitely turns heads!

Now, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC matches this approach almost to the penny, stepping into the ring at $99.99. It seems both brands are keen on not just competing on quality but on making sure your bank account doesn’t take too much of a hit either.

Color-wise, OnePlus keeps it sleek and simple with the Buds 3, offering them in two shades: a vibrant Splendid Blue and a classic Metallic Grey. On the flip side, Soundcore seems to be playing the field of personal expression a bit more broadly with the Liberty 4 NC, which comes in a palette of five colors: Velvet Black, Light Blue, Navy Blue, Clear White, and a soft Pastel Pink.

Where to Buy?

ModelBest Deal
OnePlus Buds 3View on AliExpress
View on Amazon
Soundcore Liberty 4 NCView on AliExpress
View on Amazon

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC: Specs comparison

FeatureOnePlus Buds 3Soundcore Liberty 4 NC
Battery Life (ANC on)6.5 hours + 21.5 hours with case10 hours + 50 hours with charging case
Noise CancellationYesYes
Microphones3x per bud6 mics
IP RatingIP55IPX4
Supported CodecsAAC, SBC, LHDC 5.0Not specified
Spatial AudioYesYes
ChargingUSB-CUSB-C, Wireless
Driver Size10.4 mm woofer + 6 mm tweeter11mm
Dimensions58.7 x 50.2 x 25.8mm55 x 30 x 55mm
WeightCase: 40.8 g
Buds: 4.8 g each
Case: 48.6 g
Buds: 5.7g each
Color OptionsSplendid Blue, Metallic GreyVelvet Black, Light Blue, Navy Blue, Clear White, Pastel Pink

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC: Design

Stepping into the ring of earbud design, the OnePlus Buds 3 and the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC both offer up their unique takes on what it means to blend style, comfort, and practicality into a tiny package that sits right in your ears.

Starting with the OnePlus Buds 3, they present themselves with a level of sophistication that’s hard to ignore. The charging case is the first thing you’ll notice, with its soft matte finish that gleams under the light, subtly hinting at the premium experience waiting inside. Once opened, the buds make a statement with their all-aluminum stems and plastic sound ports, capped with silicone tips for a snug fit.

The design is not just about looks; it incorporates larger mic grilles and slim touch panels for functionality, maintaining a sleek aesthetic without compromising on usability. The buds come with an IP55 rating, ensuring they can withstand dust and water, making them a durable choice for everyday use. The case isn’t left behind with its IPX4 rating, ready to face those accidental splashes.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

In terms of interaction, OnePlus has really dialed in on the touch controls, making them exceptionally intuitive. A tap here and a long press there feel natural and responsive, quickly becoming second nature as you play music, skip tracks, or summon your favorite voice assistant with minimal effort. This seamless integration of design and function showcases OnePlus’s commitment to creating an earbud that’s not just heard but felt.

On the flip side, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC takes a leaf out of the AirPods’ book with its stem design, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s just another imitation. The stems play a pivotal role in guiding the earbuds into the perfect spot in your ears, almost like they’re pointing the way to auditory bliss.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

This design choice pays off, providing a balanced fit that’s comfortable for hours on end. Inside, the 11mm drivers promise a sound experience that’s as big as the buds are small, with Anker including multiple ear tip sizes to ensure everyone gets a perfect fit.

The charging case for the Liberty 4 NC might remind you of the AirPods with its egg-shaped design, but it has its own charm. A press of a button elegantly reveals the earbuds, emphasizing ease of use without the clutter of unnecessary buttons. The only signs of life are the USB-C port for charging and an LED indicator, keeping things simple and functional.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC: Sound quality

When it comes to sound quality, the OnePlus Buds 3 and Soundcore Liberty 4 NC both bring their A-game, each with their own set of strengths and quirks that make for an interesting head-to-head.

The OnePlus Buds 3

These earbuds pack a punch with their dual dynamic driver setup, featuring a 6mm tweeter and a 10.4mm woofer. The result? A soundstage that’s clean, energetic, and warm. Bass lovers will appreciate the heavy yet balanced bass, a noticeable improvement over previous models.

The fine-tuning of the frequency range gives vocals and high-pitched sounds the spotlight they deserve. Listening to classic rock tracks like David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel,” you’ll be impressed by the edgy vocals and the iconic guitar riff, all delivered with exceptional instrumental separation and zero distortion.

The OnePlus Buds 3 don’t just stop at delivering great sound; they also offer a suite of sound features. The default LHDC codec works with compatible devices to stream music at up to 900kbps, but you can switch to SBC to save battery life.

The Sound Master EQ, with its customizable 6-band equalizer and presets, lets you tweak the sound to your heart’s content. OnePlus 3D Audio tries to expand the soundstage further, although it might not hit the mark for everyone, especially when compared to Apple’s Spatial Audio.

What’s truly impressive is the ANC performance and call quality. OnePlus has stepped up its game with four ANC modes designed for different environments, from quiet offices to noisy streets. The Max mode, in particular, does a stellar job of minimizing ambient noise. Call quality is another high point, with clear voice transmission even in windy conditions.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

Soundcore Liberty 4 NC

These earbuds have a sound that’s generally very good, supported by LDAC and Hi-Res audio for a high-quality listening experience. They strike a nice balance, with a smooth mid-range and a detailed high-end, though the bass can be overwhelming, bleeding a tad into the mid-range. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for tracks that aren’t bass-heavy to begin with.

Volume-wise, the Liberty 4 NC has plenty to offer, delivering loud, immersive sound even at 80% volume. Call quality is mostly good, with clear voice transmission, although some echo can be detected, which might distract during conversations. The capacitive controls are a nice touch, allowing for customization, but they require a deliberate touch to avoid missed inputs.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC: Battery and charging

When we zero in on the battery life and charging capabilities of the OnePlus Buds 3 and Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, it’s clear that both sets of earbuds have their own set of perks and quirks, designed to keep you plugged into your music or calls for as long as possible.

Starting with the OnePlus Buds 3, these earbuds boast a solid 6.5 hours of playback with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) activated, and an impressive 10 hours with ANC turned off. While the charging case doesn’t support wireless charging, which might be a bummer for some, it compensates by offering up to 44 hours of additional battery life.

The fast charging feature is nothing to scoff at either; a quick 10-minute charge can get you back up to 2 hours of listening time. However, it’s worth noting that engaging all the special features like ANC, LHDC, and spatial audio simultaneously can significantly dent the battery life, reducing playtime by about 2.5 hours.

On the flip side, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC doesn’t lag behind, offering a commendable 10 hours of playback on a single charge, sans any special processing like ANC or transparency mode. For those who find themselves on long-haul flights or just away from power sources for extended periods, these earbuds are a reliable companion, with the charging case extending the total battery life to a whopping 50 hours.

Moreover, the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC edges out with its fast charging capability; a mere 10-minute charge in the case promises an additional four hours of use, making it a slightly more efficient option for those in a rush.

Both the OnePlus Buds 3 and Soundcore Liberty 4 NC offer commendable battery lives that cater to heavy and light users alike. The absence of wireless charging in both models might be a miss for some users, especially in an era where wireless convenience is increasingly valued.

However, the generous battery capacities and fast charging features somewhat soften this blow, ensuring that your tunes keep playing and your calls stay clear, even on the busiest of days.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Soundcore Liberty 4 NC: Which Should You Buy?

Alright, let’s break it down simply. Between the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC vs OnePlus Buds 3, the OnePlus Buds 3 takes the cake.

Why? Well, it’s like when you find that perfect pair of sneakers that look great, feel awesome, and don’t empty your wallet. The OnePlus Buds 3 hit the sweet spot with their design, sound, and how easy they are to use. They sound fantastic, letting you hear every detail in your music, and talking to your friends on a call is crystal clear, too. Plus, they’re comfy to wear for ages.

They’ve got this cool touch control that actually does what you want it to, without any fuss. Sure, the battery could last longer if you’re using all the bells and whistles, but even then, a quick charge gets you back in action fast. While the Soundcore buds are good in their own right, the OnePlus Buds 3 just offer that bit more, making them the ones to go for.

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