Danish brand Libratone is best-known for chic, Scandinavian-style wireless speakers and headphones; good-looking kit that has largely received a praiseworthy series of four and five star reviews from the What Hi-Fi? team.
The Track Air+ headphones are one of two true wireless earbuds launched by Libratone, alongside the Track Air. This iteration has an inferior battery life to its non-plussed sibling, at a still decent six hours from the buds, plus a total of three extra charges or 24 hours total from the case. The Track Air+ headphones, however, also boast noise-cancelling tech.
Our review sample will be a big hit with anyone who loves the shape of 1980s power jewellery. Featuring silver obtuse scalene triangles with rounded edges, they’re attached to the casing and proudly sit just outside your ears.
The fit is good, but there are three extra tip-sets supplied just in case. There’s a small touch-sensor button with Libratone branding on each bud, the functions of which can be customised through the app. The buttons generally work well, though they occasionally struggle to respond to our requests when double-pressing to switch levels of noise-cancellation.
One thing the buds can’t do, though, is change volume – you’ll have to do this on your portable device manually.
AptX Bluetooth support is onboard for low-latency sound, while the dual mics made for clear phone calls in our tests. Also, the buds are nice and light, and their pill-shaped nest is one of the smallest charging cases we’ve seen. You can charge the whole thing wirelessly by sitting it on Libratone’s Coil charger, which looks a bit like a drinks coaster.
To pair using Bluetooth, you will need to download Libratone’s app and enter your personal details. Once guided through the rather lengthy in-app pairing process, the buds hook up to your phone easily next time, but they do prefer being tied to one user or device, which isn’t ideal if you intend to share buds with anyone using a separate device.
Libratone Track Air+ tech specs
(Image credit: Libratone)
Drive units 2x 5.3mm
Battery life Up to 6 hours (+18h from charging case)
Bluetooth version 5.0
Dimensions (hwd) 2.9 x 6.3 x 4.3cm
Dimensions (hwd) 3.2 x 2.2 x 1.9cm
Weight 5.6 g
The app’s Soundspace homepage requests that wi-fi and Bluetooth be enabled on your device to locate the buds – and any other Libratone product you wish to add. Once the app and your Track Air+ headphones have paired, the features available are good.
Aside from pulling through Spotify, Tidal and internet radio from our phone, we can choose from three EQ presets. But that’s not the best bit: the Libratone Track Air+ headphones automatically pause playback when you’re not listening to them. You can choose to turn this function off, but it’s a great feature that will save on battery.
With the noise-cancelling, there are three main options: manual, which is a dial from zero to 30dB; smart, which chooses the level for you; or ambient monitoring, which allows noise in from your immediate surroundings. It covers every possible level of noise-cancellation you could want and is the most varied and convincing we’ve seen in true wireless in-ears.
We set manual noise-cancelling to 100 per cent, EQ to neutral and line up Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love on Spotify. Ginger Baker’s unrelenting tom-tom rhythm snaps keenly into our right ear as we note the detailing between Clapton’s occasional, slightly more twangy backing vocal alongside Jack Bruce’s robust lyrics.
Switching to Two Headed Boy by Neutral Milk Hotel, the fast-paced rhythm guitar is tonally accurate and separated from Jeff Magnum’s open and intentionally-too-close-to-the-mic vocal. The treble is easy, transparent and everything is pretty clear overall, but the buds’ performance is a shade off for timing and excitement.
The upper midrange here feels marginally flabby and overstated, creating a minor discord between vocals and instruments that isn’t perceived in our comparison set of Cambridge Audio true wireless in-ears.
Because of the slightly over-pronounced midrange which edges towards harshness, dynamics take a slight hit too – the Libratones aren’t quite as versatile as the very best at this kind of money.
For true wireless in-ears to offer noise cancellation this variable, intelligent and effective is commendable. The buds are also small, light and portable, which is always a positive. But, when listening to music, the overstated upper midrange means that for dynamics, timing and enthusiasm, we’d classify the Libratones as good but not great.
- Sound 4
- Features 4
- Comfort 5
- Build 4
Read our Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 review