Anker has stepped up Apple by launching the new Soundcore Liberty 4 earbuds with an in-ear heart rate sensor – a feature that was rumored to be coming to the AirPods Pro 2 but ultimately never worked.
Anker’s new earbuds feature a stemmed design reminiscent of Apple’s AirPods, while the right earbud includes a dedicated sensor that can monitor your heart rate continuously or only when you’re exercising. HR data is linked to Anker’s Wellness app, which also features tracking options for guided, freestyle, and custom workout routines.
Liberty 4 also comes with spatial audio support, active noise cancellation, customizable equalizer, and support for AAC, LDAC, and SBC codecs, but not aptX. The earbuds also include support for multiple connection switching.
Battery life is stated to be up to nine hours on a single charge, but this is reduced to seven hours with noise cancellation enabled, six hours in LDAC mode and without noise cancellation, and five hours with spatial audio on.
The wireless charging case has a USB-C port for wired charging, provides up to 28 hours of battery life, and can quickly charge the earbuds in 15 minutes to provide three hours of playback, or a full charge in one hour.
Anker’s Soundcore Liberty 4 earbuds cost $149.99 and are available in black or white, with the latter available starting today at Soundcore.com. The black earbuds will also come to Amazon on October 10, while the white set will go on sale October 7 on the Soundcore website and October 17 on Amazon.
As for Apple, it’s unclear if heart rate tracking is a feature the company is pulling from the second-generation AirPods Pro or if it’s something Apple is developing for future AirPods models. Apple has been rumored to be developing a health monitoring function for the AirPods for some time, even Apple executives hinted at the possibility.
According to documents viewed by Wall Street JournalAirPods prototypes with temperature sensors to monitor the wearer’s core body temperature from inside the ear are being developed by Apple, but for what models and when they will appear, it’s still unknown.