The Liberty 2 have a comfort problem: after a half-hour they can start to get uncomfortable. That being said, if the Liberty 2 fit your ear just fine, they're easily the better choice thanks to having the aptX Bluetooth audio codec, and longer battery life. However, for most people the Liberty Air 2 is the better choice, despite having slightly worse battery life.
Similar, yet different
Unsurprisingly, both the Liberty 2 and Liberty Air 2 share a lot in common given that they're made by the same company and are within the same price range.
The biggest differentiator is battery life, and even at that there's not a huge difference. The Liberty Air 2 net you up to seven hours of listening time on a single charge with an additional 21 hours from the included charging case, while the Liberty 2 get eight hours of listening time on a single charge with an additional 24 hours from the charging case. Both earbuds charge over USB-C and only the LIberty Air 2 support wireless charging. The charging case for both are relatively small and compact. You won't have issues fitting them in your jean pockets or purse.
Both earbuds also support IPX5 water resistance, which means they're good if you drop them in a puddle or are having an intense workout. Basically, they're protected from light sprays of water, so don't try swimming or showering with them; they're not designed for that sort of water pressure.
In terms of comfort, the Liberty Air 2 pulls way ahead here. The Liberty Air 2 are super comfortable and are unlikely to cause any sort of discomfort or fatigue, even after several hours of usage. The Liberty 2 are the complete opposite and will likely cause discomfort and fatiguing after just 60 minutes of use, and that's after trying all the various ear tips that come in the box. The discomfort mostly comes from the weight of the earbud, which will also cause the earbud to fall out on occasion.
|Liberty Air 2||Liberty 2|
|Battery life (case)||21 hours||24 hours|
|Battery life (buds)||7 hours||8 hours|
|Multiple tip sizes included||Yes||Yes|
For most people the Liberty Air 2 are the top choice. You don't want to risk having an uncomfortable pair of headphones.
One flaw that both the Liberty 2 and Liberty Air 2 have is that they don't have a customizable EQ. Both earbuds come with preset EQ but neither will let you fine tune and customize the sound the way you actually want it. Fortunately, both the Liberty 2 and Liberty Air 2 feature virtually the same V-shaped sound signature. This means you'll get a heavy bass and treble response. Instruments such as the bass guitar, kick drum, female vocals, and hi-hats/snares from drums will be much more prominent on both earbuds. Neither headphone is overly fatiguing or piercing in sound and neither is too bassy where you'd get a headache from excess rumble or thump.
Both earbuds also feature Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. In real world use, this means you'll get a more stable connection that can reach further than ever. Unfortunately, Bluetooth 5.0 doesn't add much in terms of audio quality versus Bluetooth 4. However, the Liberty 2 supports the aptX Bluetooth audio codec versus just the SBC on the Liberty Air 2. While most won't hear the audio quality difference, aptX is important as it improves latency. This means the Liberty 2 will be better for gaming and watching video than the Liberty Air 2.
At the end of the day, both earbuds will do just fine. Neither feature anything special such as transparency mode or active noise cancelation so you'll definintely want another pair of headphones for flying. The Liberty Air 2 is vastly more comfortable than the Liberty 2, but the Liberty 2 has support for aptX and longer battery life. Either way, for most people the Liberty Air 2 are the top choice. You don't want to risk having an uncomfortable pair of headphones if you can help it.
The Liberty Air 2 feature superior comfort at the expense of slightly worse battery life.
Long battery life
If you can get past the comfort issues, the Liberty 2 are solid.
The Liberty 2 feature better battery life and support for lower latency through atpX at the expense of slightly worse battery life and discomfort.
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