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Libratone Track + Wireless review: Premium for on the go and at home

Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2018 TechnikNews)

Because I already have the Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear I wanted to know what the Track + Wireless in-ear model can do. Now I was able to test this for about two weeks. My experience.

Unboxing and first impression

The packaging of the Track + Wireless is - as one is already used to from Libratone - very minimalist. The black box with the entire scope of delivery is encased in a white cardboard box with some Libratone inscriptions on it. In the box are the headphones, a quick start guide, warning notices, a charging cable that is too short in my opinion, which surprisingly was not covered with fabric like the Q Adapt On-Ear, and earplugs of different sizes. A protective case is not included. Personally, I think that's a shame when you consider that these headphones cost around 200 euros. After a few days I got used to simply plugging in the Track + Wireless. That didn't feel right, though.

The scope of delivery of the Track + Wireless is very manageable (picture: TechnikNews, 2018)

Design and workmanship

The Libratone Track + Wireless are available in the colors Cloudy White and Stormy Black and are protected against splash water in accordance with IPX4. My test device had the latter color option.

There is a Libratone logo on both earbuds (Image: TechnikNews, 2018)

The earbuds themselves are made of plastic and are very well made. There is no room for maneuver between the individual components. There is also the Libratone logo on both buds. The cables are also made of plastic. They don't seem so stable, but they never broke with me. Despite the multiple transport in the pocket. It would have been nice if we had seen a cable covered with fabric here.

The controls on the right and left, however, are made of aluminum. On the right side there is the button for controlling the playback and two other buttons for regulating the volume. The latter have the form of a plus or minus, which makes them easier to feel. The button to control playback, however, has a round shape. With a single press of this button you can pause or resume music, with a double press you skip the song and with a triple press you go to the previous song. The microUSB port for charging the Track + Wireless is located on the underside of the right control element. Here, however, a USB-C port would have been more practical for most, as you don't always have to think about the additional cable for the headphones.

There is a Libratone lettering on the left control element (image: TechnikNews, 2018)

There is a Libratone lettering and the function button on the left control element. With this, the headphones can be switched on or off, the pairingProzess or regulate CityMix, which I will come to in more detail later.

comfort

In order to offer the best possible wearing comfort, there are a total of four different sized earplugs for the Libratone Track + Wireless. Sportwings are also supplied, which can easily be slipped over the currently attached earplugs.

In general, it was extremely positive that these in-ears are incredibly light. I'll even go so far as to say that once you've found the right earbuds for you, they're not at all noticeable when you're wearing them. So I could do these headphones prowear it for several hours without a problem. Unfortunately, the low weight has a negative effect when jogging, as they often almost fell backwards due to the running movements.

A smart decision was the ribbon to wear around the neck. This takes the weight of the cable and controls off the earbuds in your ears so that they don't fall out backwards so easily.

Klang

Libratone has been able to sound since I tested the Q Adapt On-Ear. The sound of the Libratone Track + Wireless is very balanced, warm, the bass can be quite powerful, the mids are okay and the highs are also very present. So these in-ears are suitable for pretty much every conceivable genre. In general, however, the sound is duller than that of the Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear and easily overdrives at higher volumes.

In the app, which I will come to in more detail later, you can also use various equalizers. * Neutral * is used here by default, * Extra Bass * and * Extra Treble * are also available for selection. When changing the equalizer, the sound changes audibly, but not really earth-shattering.

The Libratone Track + Wireless support Active Noice Canceling (ANC), what Libratone calls CityMix. There are a total of four different CityMix levels, of which the fourth level can filter out ambient noise with a volume of up to 23dB. In practice this means: in an office, only the mouths move on the fourth level and loud noises outside can only be heard minimally.

CityMix Smart is new. If you have activated this, CityMix will be adapted to the ambient noise. This mode is very suitable when you are out and about, for example if you want to hear when a car is approaching from behind. I noticed negatively that with activated CityMix Smart ambient wind is not blocked, which in the end doesn't sound good. I would have liked that there was a smoother transition when changing the levels. Changing the levels with activated CityMix Smart was very jerky. Last but not least, it should be mentioned that CityMix Smart can only be activated via the app, which is certainly a disadvantage for some.

Specifications and battery life

Two speakers with a diameter of 11,8mm were built into the Libratone Track + Wireless. The volume goes up to 105dB at one milliwatt. I mentioned earlier that the Active Noice Canceling can filter out ambient noise with a volume of up to 23dB.

In order to offer high quality phone calls, there is the dual mic noise suppression. This means that I can make calls in a noisy environment and the other person still understands me. In practice, this feature worked perfectly at all times.

To connect the headphones to a playback device, Bluetooth 4.1 with the aptX standard was installed. Libratone states that the Track + Wireless battery should last up to eight hours. I always spent four to six hours with a constant change between the fourth CityMix level and CityMix Smart at medium volume. The headphones were ready for use again after an hour of charging via the microUSB port.

App and software features

The Libratone Track + Wireless are also supported again by the Libratone app. When opening the app for the first time, you have to create an account. If you already have this, you just have to register.

Then you get to the start page. There all LibratoneProproducts you own are displayed in the form of icons that have the color of the device itself. New Libratone playback devices can be added directly from the app's home page.

If you clicked on the Libratone Track + Wireless icon, you get to the page where, among other things, the bike for the CityMix levels is located. Under this wheel you can switch between the normal CityMix and CityMix Smart.

You can see the current battery level of the headphones via the symbol at the top left. At the bottom left you get to a list with a total of five favorite Internet radio stations.

At the bottom in the middle you can find the symbol for the +1 feature. This function allows you to connect another Libratone device to the Track + Wireless so that you can play music synchronously on both playback devices. I tried this with my Q Adapt On-Ear, but couldn't connect. Upon consultation, however, Libratone said that this feature should work with the devices available to me. An update to the latest firmware of the app and the headphones did not help.

Clicking the button at the bottom right takes you to the settings, where you can find the various equalizers, edit the device name of the Track + Wireless, see the battery level and set a power-off time for the headphones.

A motion detection feature should enable the headphones to be switched on automatically when motion is detected. But unfortunately that didn't work for me either.

Summary and Conclusion

I can see that it will be very difficult for me to send my test device back to Libratone. That's because there are quite a few things that the headphones do right.

There would be for example the design, which is very nice and to the others Proproducts of the company. The processing of the headphones is also very good, even if the cables of the headphones don't seem so resilient. Then I really liked the low weight, as it made it very comfortable to wear the Track+ Wireless for a long time. The sound also left nothing to be desired. The fact that it's a bit duller than the Q Adapt On-Ear didn't bother me in the end. I liked CityMix no less here than with the Q Adapt On-Ear and CityMix Smart was always very practical for on the go. The battery life was also okay, although not quite as good as the Libratone.

Continue with the things that I didn't like. First of all, there is the fact that Libratone does not include a protective case for the Track + Wireless. At a price of € 200, this is a must in my opinion. For some, it will certainly be a disadvantage that no USB-C port has been installed for charging. Then I found the jerky change of steps with CityMix-Smart very uncomfortable. I thought it was a shame that I could never test the +1 feature, as it would have been used for a number of purposes. Motion detection would certainly have been a practical feature if it had worked with my test device.

All in all, I find the Libratone Track + Wireless to offer the best of both worlds. On the one hand, the headphones are easy to carry on the go and easy to take with you because they are very compact. In addition, they can be worn for several hours thanks to their excellent wearing comfort. On the other hand, there is CityMix, which has proven itself particularly well in noisy places and also at home. What I want to say is that you can wear these in-ears in every conceivable situation, which I ended up doing. In addition, none of the listed points of criticism bothered me personally, which is why I really enjoyed the time with my test device.

Prices and availability

The Libratone Track + Wireless at Amazon in the colors Stormy Black and Cloudy White. Both options currently cost € 199,90.

Thanks to Libratone for providing the test device.

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David Haydl

David lives in Graz and has been there for around half a decade TechnikNews, also editor-in-chief for some time. He regularly provides the site with news, test reports and the like TechnikNews Weekly, which was his idea to launch. He likes to spend his free time outdoors, listening to a lot of music (and clearly too loud) and some podcasts on all kinds of topics, and also likes to go running. He enjoys the time that remains with his charming girlfriend or in front of the TV.

David has already written 1257 articles and left 117 comments.

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Martina

Would that also be compact with my Huawei?

Matthias

Is that deceptive or are these things completely clunky? So I find the size and shape kind of impractical.