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If you’re not intending to use them during exercise, the Libratone Track Air+ headphones are flawless. The truly wireless buds are extremely lightweight, offer great sound quality and active noise cancellation (ANC), and have a solid six-hour battery life and a pocket-sized carry case. They’re also gorgeous – a literal joy to touch and look at, which is really not something I’ve experienced before with headphones, including the Apple Airpods.
However, if you try to use them for running or any kind of vigorous exercise, the sole limitation becomes clear – the buds don’t stay in your ears. Or they didn’t stay in mine, at any rate. I tried the Track Air+ buds for several runs using different-sized eartips to achieve a more secure fit, and every time I had to give up and take them out because they were falling out and I feared breaking or losing them.
I’m reasonably confident this isn’t just because I have odd ears, because it’s not a problem I’ve had with any other truly wireless buds. When I wore the Track Air+ buds when not running they stayed put and were, again, a joy.
I wasn’t expecting a huge amount from the noise cancellation but it really does make a difference, especially when on London’s exceptionally loud Tube or walking alongside a busy road. You can set the exact level, up to 30 decibels, of ANC you want in the partner app, and you can also set the headphones to let in more ambient noise if you want greater awareness of your surroundings.
You can even switch between noise cancellation and this ambient mode by tapping the headphones – it’s one of the options you can choose for a double tap, with the others being skip track or play/pause.
The sound quality of the headphones is among the best I’ve heard from truly wireless buds, aided by the ANC. You can select from three EQ profiles in the partner app – neutral, extra bass and enhanced treble – and the sound is crisp and clear across the range.
Connecting the headphones to my phone and laptop was easy, though it is a slightly different process from most headphones (you connect one Track Air+ bud first and then get a prompt for the other), and I didn’t have any dropouts while wearing them.
The battery life of six hours is good for truly wireless buds, with only the Beats Powerbeats Pro headphones offering significantly more juice at nine hours. The Track Air+ buds make up for that by having a much smaller, lighter case than the Powerbeats Pro. The case will charge the buds three times, so you get 24 hours of battery in total, and you can easily slip it into a pocket.
There’s an awful lot to like about the Track Air+ headphones and if the fit was more secure during exercise I’d have no hesitation in recommending them as the best truly wireless headphones I’ve tried. But it doesn’t matter how great they sound or that they have ANC if they can’t stay in your ears. As sports headphones they have a fatal flaw. As everyday headphones, however, they’re wonderful.
Buy on Amazon | £169.70 (RRP £179)
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.