Libratone Track Air + Review

Libratone Track Air + Review

Libratone is entering the * true wireless * intros market with  Track Air and Libratone Track Air + like many other brands. Here we are testing the second model, which has active noise reduction. Is the Danish firm making a success of its switch to 100% wireless?

PROS:

  • Energetic sound, deep and punchy bass.
  • Good reproduction of the stereophonic scene.
  • Lightweight, beautiful sensations of comfort.
  • Pleasant to use.
  • Autonomy (6 hours on a charge with active noise reduction).
  • Stable bluetooth connection.
  • Recharge via USB C or wireless.

CONS:

  • Perfectible precision in the treble.
  • Lack of smoothness of the upper mids.
  • We would have liked to precisely equalize the sound rendering (or have more profiles available).
  • Few control options / Few indications without help from the application.
  • Disturbing latency when viewing videos.
  • No mono summation with an earphone.

Presentation

Track Air + has been available since this summer at the fairly good price. This is the flagship of Libratone’s small true wireless range. They share the same technical data sheet as the Track Air, with the bonus of a presence sensor and an active noise reduction function. Comfort, design, insulation, sound performance, autonomy, lightness… they seem to tick all the boxes. So let’s see what it is in practice.

Ergonomics

Libratone has always taken particular care in the design of its products, and the Libratone Track Air + are no exception. All subjective considerations aside, the look of this pair of headphones has the merit of being original. The quality of manufacture and finishes is at the rendezvous. If this is not a relatively visible assembly mark on the shell of the headphones, there is not much we can fault them. Track Air + can withstand splashing water (IPX4 certification). The good impression is also confirmed on the side of the charging/transport box. Well finished, and above all very compact, it fits easily in a trouser pocket.

The headphones’ specific design and tips place the Libratone Track Air + in the intermediate category of “semi in-ear,” like many Bose products, for example. The tips do not go deep into the ear canal. Instead, they stop right after entry. This directly affects the sensations of comfort, and more generally, the universality of these headphones. The Track Air + indeed offers beautiful sensations of comfort. They are placed easily and naturally, the support is assured. Four pairs of silicone tips are provided.

Out of the ten or so people who tested the comfort of the port, we only had one truly mixed feedback. Everyone else is almost identical to our impressions – usually, the feedback is much more variable. In addition to being particularly comfortable, the Libratone Track Air + are relatively pleasant to use. The sensitive tactile surfaces respond well, and numerous sound indications allow you to navigate once the headphones are in your ears. They can be used solo (no mono summation, left or right channel broadcast) or duet (stereo). In the latter case, they are based on a master-slave system, the first earphone removed from the box being the master. Presence sensors (pausing or resuming automatic playback) are also useful in some cases. There is nothing to say about the stability and ease of connection via Bluetooth 5.0 (SBC, AAC, and aptX codecs supported). On the other hand, this is less the case with latency, which is always important, whatever the use.

We also remain frustrated by so few control possibilities: only one action is possible per earpiece, which can be activated with a brief double press. Fortunately, the mobile application allows assigning each earpiece to a different action (see screenshots). Still, the volume management will be done no matter what happens on the playback device. To quibble, we would have liked to find more precise light indications for the battery level and vocal indications in addition to sound indications to help neophytes whatever your experience with products of this type, a quick tour of the instructions is recommended to get to grips with them quickly.

The Libratone application is essential to benefit from the experience offered by intros fully. In addition to the customizable controls, it is only with it that you can obtain a more precise level of remaining battery, customize the sound rendering (three equalization profiles only), adjust the level of active noise reduction (RBA), or activate the CityMix option (automatic adaptation of the RBA level to the level of surrounding noise picked up by the integrated microphones).

The Libratone Track Air + promises an autonomy of 6 hours per charge, with the possibility of fully recharging them three times when the box is fully charged. We were able to verify this data in practice, even exceeding the promise by almost 20 minutes with each use and with active noise reduction engaged each time. This is a very good result for true wireless equipped with RBA. The box can be recharged either via the USB C port or via a wireless charging station (not supplied). The good news, an automatic standby function is present for the most dazed who forget to put the headphones back in their box.

Let’s finish this part with the performance of the onboard microphones for the hands-free kit function. Their capture quality is correct, as long as you are not in a noisy environment. However, the tight bandwidth and the limited action of the ambient noise reduction algorithm are detrimental to the intelligibility of the voices when there is noise in the surroundings (traffic, public transport, etc.). As a result, the sound reproduction is silenced, and it is very difficult for our interlocutor to understand us well—nothing to say, however, in quiet environments.

Audio Quality

The sound philosophy of the Libratone Track Air + is very similar to that of the Track +, the pair of Bluetooth neckband entries from the same manufacturer. Here we have the right to a flattering and energetic sound, with a generous V signature, but still relatively well controlled. Before going into the details of sound performance, let us specify that, like many products of its kind, the activation of active noise reduction has repercussions on the listening experience.

It is possible to set the intensity of the RBA on 30 levels, but we only feel the differences on two or even three levels at most. When this function is off or below half, the Track Air + pushes strongly on the low and low-mids and the high-mids. When you exceed half the RBA level, the bass and low-midrange find a more natural place, and you feel a more generous extension in the extreme bass. In this second case, we obtain the best of Track Air +, particularly in terms of precision, definition, and readability.

In the first case, the sound is certainly very warm, but the bass takes up too much space, to the detriment of the mids. In addition, there are masking effects, and it isn’t easy to separate the different sources expressed in this register (bass, bass drum, toms, cello, piano…). Unfortunately, it is not possible to natively get the best of both worlds for the simple reason that no EQ profile allows it (and the Libratone app does not offer any custom EQ).

In this second case, we also appreciate the impactful aspect of the bass, their solid base, and their depth. There is no crippling concern for precision and definition in the rendering of the mediums. The way the high-mids are boosted has a divisive aspect, though. Indeed, people who are not very sensitive to this type of signature will benefit from a beautiful feeling of clarity and a sharp or slamming aspect well marked (highlighting the attacks and the sound presence). The voices are also found on the front of the stage. The timbres are correctly respected. If you are sensitive – or used to listening to your music at a generous volume – this behavior significantly accelerates hearing fatigue. Human hearing is indeed the most sensitive, between 2 and 5 kHz.

Track Air + are not the most generous when it comes to reproducing treble extremes. That said, we still have a very nice feeling of space and a good deployment of the stereophonic scene. Unfortunately, the shoe pinches a bit concerning the precision of the treble. The cause is certainly linked to perfectible management of the distortion. The result is difficult to transcribe in writing, but “sss” sounds have a slight tendency to sound “sshh.” This can be heard in particular on cymbals and vocals.

Regarding the pure performance of active noise reduction, the Libratone Track Air + is positioned a little above the average of what true wireless can offer but a serious notch below the champions of this category, the WFs. -1000XM3 . Do not hesitate to take a look at our dedicated news lab to find out more.

CONCLUSION

Without reshuffling the cards, the Libratone Track Air + are well placed in the battle of true wireless. We especially remember from this model the very good comfort it provides. In addition, their lightweight, compact, and “semi-in-ear” design is particularly appealing for people looking for a good true wireless model and struggling with the intrusive aspect of in-ear devices. However, if you have other priorities regarding sound performance, active noise reduction, control possibilities, or even latency, compare this model with the WF-1000XM3, the Momentum True Wireless, the Elite 65t, or the Beoplay E8 to find the model that best suits you.

 

Libratone Track Air + Review
Libratone Track Air + Review

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