Review: Taotronics SoundLiberty 79 – Rumble In The Jungle

The faceplate of the SoundLiberty 79
The faceplate of the SoundLiberty 79

An affordable True Wireless Earbuds with great bass and good call quality

General Usage 69.2
Audiophile Usage 65.1

Score Breakdown

85.9
What We Like
  • 40 hrs of playback time
  • Portable case
  • Comfortable with good fit
  • IPX7
  • Stable Bluetooth connection
  • Easy switch from mono to normal usage
  • Decent voice pick up from mic
  • Good bass
What We Don't Like
  • Terrible earbuds UX
  • Cannot switch earbuds off without inserting into case
  • No touch feedback

Where To Buy

The Taotronics SoundLiberty is available on Amazon.

Introduction

Hmmm, a true wireless earbuds (TWS) with a single dynamic driver selling at an affordable price (< $50).

Where have we seen this before?

Throw a stone and you can hit someone wearing such a TWS.

From the spec-sheet, the Taotronics SoundLiberty 79 looks like a run-of-the mill chi-fi TWS.

On closer inspection, features like “Smart AI Noise-Cancellation” microphone technology and 40hrs battery life perks my attention.

Taotronics proceeded to casually mention the IPX7 waterproof rating. Any higher, and they will be suitable for swimming.

Perhaps, there is something more to this.

After using the SoundLiberty 79 as my daily driver for the past 1 month, I must say Taotronics has smartly positioned this TWS to fulfill mass-market desires – a sweatproof, multi-purpose earbuds with great call clarity at an affordable price.

Are the mics that great? Is the battery life that long? And does it even sound good?

Let’s find out.

The packaging of the SoundLiberty 79
The packaging of the SoundLiberty 79

Case

Battery

  • Battery Life: 32 Hours of playback time
  • Connector: USB-C
  • Wireless Charging: No

According to specs, the charging case can hold 32 hours of playback time. This translates to charging the earbuds of up to 4 times.

I cannot attest to the full 32 hours of the battery length. But throughout my 1 month of usage, I only charge the case fully once. My usage level averages around 12 hrs per week.

The case has one USB-C connector (situated at the back of the case) for charging. There is no wireless charging and for this price range, I will be surprised if there’s one.

SoundLiberty 79 and its accessories
SoundLiberty 79 and its accessories

UX

  • Can be open easily with one hand: Yes
  • Pass the shake test: Yes
  • Light Indicators: 4

The case cover is easy enough to open with one hand. Even with a few hard shakes, the earbuds did not budge from the case.

Even so, the earbuds are easy enough to be retrieved from the case. This is usually the case for lightweight earbuds where a slightly strong magnetic hold can secure the earbuds snugly in the case.

There are 4 LED light indicators on the front of the case. It represents the current battery life of the charging case. You activate it by opening the cover or plugging in the charging cable.

This indicates that both the left and right earbuds are in the case.
This indicates that both the left and right earbuds are in the case.
I noticed something interesting about the light indicators that I don’t see in other TWS. After you closed the cover, the light will indicate which side of the earbuds are in the case. If both are in the case, it will light up the extreme left and right light indicator. Are they useful though? Not really.

Design

The aesthetics of the SoundLiberty 79’s case is nothing outstanding. It has the common clamshell look that many other brands of TWS use. The build quality is surprisingly decent. The cover case does not squeak and has a soft closing sound. It also has a nice weight to it and feels good on the hand.

The matte surface leaves little to no fingerprints on the case and this deserved extra bonus points from me.

Portability

  • Weight: 46g (With earbuds inside)
  • Volume: 6.5 x 2.5 x 4 = 65cm cu (~3.97 in cu)

With its light weight and relatively small volume, I will say the SoundLiberty 79 is quite portable. The smooth matte surface of the case also helps to slide the case easily into a jeans pocket.

Earbuds

Battery

  • Battery Life: 8hrs
  • Charge Time: 15mins = 90 mins playback time

UX

  • Control Mechanism: Touch
  • Mono Use: Yes (For both side)
  • You cannot switch on/off the earbuds
  • No touch feedback except you reach maximum or minimum volume

The usability is where I feel the SoundLiberty 79 has major room for improvements.

First off, the touch controls. The hit rate is low. I constantly have to redo my actions a couple of time before the action is registered. To make things worse, Taotronics decides to make play/pause action (the most common action, imo) a two-tap action.

Taotronics SoundLiberty 79
Taotronics SoundLiberty 79

For touch controls, having sound feedback to the touch is very important. Unlike tactile buttons, you have no idea if the touch did register unless there is sound feedback. The TWS, unfortunately, only has sound feedback (a toot sound) when you reach maximum or minimum volume.

There is also no way to switch off your earbuds without inserting them back to the case.

Design

  • Profile: Low
  • Body Material: Mostly matte plastic
  • Comfortness: Good
  • Fit: Good

The earbuds come with S, M, L ear tips. I used the L ear tips for the best fit. The ear nozzle is rather short but it sits snugly in the ear canal with the help of the ear tips. The earbuds are comfortable to wear and I wore them up to 3 hours without feeling any discomfort.

KZ S2 (L) and SoundLiberty 79 (R) Nozzle Comparison
KZ S2 (L) and SoundLiberty 79 (R) Nozzle Comparison

The earbuds also come with a removable rubber fin for extra fit.

The rubber fin can be removed
The rubber fin can be removed

The body of the earbuds is made up from mainly matte plastic. It has the glossy Taotronics logo emblazoned on the faceplate of the earbuds.

At the bottom of the earbuds, it has a chrome tip that I mistakenly thought was a button at first. The chrome tip does add a touch of style and differentiation to the earbuds.

The faceplate of the SoundLiberty 79
The faceplate of the SoundLiberty 79

Due to the short nozzle, the earbuds can be pressed further into the ear, decreasing the profile of the earbuds.

Relatively low-profile
Relatively low-profile

Mic

Taotronics tout the SoundLiberty 79 to have “Smart AI Noise Reduction Technology” for its microphone. From our test, it seems to be able to pick up and enhance our voice from the background sound. However, you can also hear that the background noise is also picked up significantly. You can hear it for yourself.

Sound

The SoundLiberty 79 has slightly v-shaped sound signature with the bass more emphasized than the treble. The mids is pretty decent but performed inconsistently for me in the upper-mids range where it can sound recessed at times.

The soundstage is on the narrow side. For a single dynamic driver, the sound separation in songs with complex song layers is surprisingly good.

Overall, the IEM’s sound profile presents good dynamics especially for fast-paced songs with strong bass line.

The back of the earbuds
The back of the earbuds

Sub-bass

The sub-bass range is the key highlight of the SoundLiberty 79.

]Despite its diminutive 6mm dynamic driver, the IEM provides a sweet rumble that can be felt.

Bass

The bass tuning of the IEM is slightly forward than the rest of the frequency range. As a result, the bass has a good amount of quantity. Punch-wise, they are in the average “budget IEM” range. It has weight but nothing spectacular.

Mids

The mid-range is generally fine. There is no audible coloration in the vocals. The mids are not muddied by the bass. It retains clarity and details in songs with complex layers.

However, I find the upper mids slightly more relaxed that I would like it to be. This causes the song to lose its dynamism at the crescendo of female vocals.

Highs

The treble sounded slightly more forward than the mids. I find that it sparkles more in the lower to mid treble than the upper treble range. There is no graininess that I can hear.

It handled the tricky electric violin distortion segment of Rude by Daniel Jang fairly decently. It controls the sound without letting it become tizzy but alas, I find it slightly overly-smooth. If it has been slightly aggressive, the treble department will have scored higher.

Connectivity

  • Audio Codec: SBC, AAC
  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0

The SoundLiberty 79 uses the BES2300H as their Bluetooth SoC. I haven’t heard of this brand but it has impressed me. The pairing process is a breeze. Switching from mono usage back to normal usage is easy – just take out the dormant earbud inside the case and it will auto pair with the other active earbud.

The Bluetooth connection is also quite stable. It probably had only 1 average brief drop-out for every hour of playback.

Waterproof

  • IPX: IPX7

With an IPX rating of IPX7, a comfortable snug fit, and a sound signature suitable for bassy songs, the SoundLiberty 79 is a great fit for workout.

13 comments

  1. Absolutely love my wireless earbuds. They are compact and stay in ears really well. Great sound and excellent quality.

  2. This earphone has a fatal flaw. The volume on the left side will decrease without permission. There is currently no workaround. Many bugs have been reported!

  3. Yes, it happens randomly. I contacted the tao support center and am confused by the meaningless answers. (Earpiece replacement or cleaning)? ?

  4. How about the latency when it comes to watching netflix, YouTube, amazon etc? Is there any delay?

  5. Will it recognise the mic when plugged into a laptop for zoom calls or loom recordings etc? Had a cheap pair of earbuds where the mic would only work on my phone but not on laptop (I use Linux Mint).

    1. If you can connect to your laptop with bluetooth it should be fine. I used it on zoom on my windows laptop using a bluetooth dongle plugged into my laptop.

  6. Many thanks for the review, found it helpful in making my decision to go with this product to suit my requirements of light and selective use, and at 1/5 of a potential cost, and overall happy with the product.
    Agree a drawback is the touch control, haven’t yet established a reliable pause time between taps to distinguish between their actions.
    4 taps phones last number contacted, which is an annoyance I will be contacting support about.
    I find the outer LEDs have a beneficial use in confirming the case has registered the buds placement within it.

  7. Can anyone recommend a silicone ear tip for these? I need one that goes farther into my ear. Earbuds that came with this do not go far enough into my ear and I cannot get a seal. They continually fall out

  8. I’ve had these for over a year and they’ve become my daily drivers. Not perfect but the small case is easy to have in a pocket without shelling out for more expensive ear buds. One issue I have is then using them working out. Sweat will cause them to register a touch if under a winter cap. This made them unusable this season as they would skip or repeat when working out.

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