From the shape to the size of the touch panels, the Life A2 NC is a scaled-down version of the Liberty 2 Pro(opens in new tab). The matte finish and black/dark silver colorway are consistent with Anker’s previous releases, giving these cheap buds a surprisingly luxe appearance. IPX5 protection also includes sweat and water resistance. Many people will find its compact and lightweight design useful for commuting. The pebble-shaped design is also eye-catching. Aside from the positives, which, as the price suggests, isn’t of the highest quality. The plastic construction is a scuff and scratch magnet, and the lid is extremely flimsy. Another issue is the poorly designed protective flap that covers the USB-C port, which always gets in the way when connecting the charging cable. Anker included a variety of ear tips and fins with the Life A2 NC to ensure the best fit possible. The tips form a tight seal that keeps the buds stable on the ear when moving around, while the fins rest snugly on the concha, preventing unwanted pressure from being applied to the ear. Touch controls are included with the Life A2 NC, but they only work half the time and are limited to double-tap and hold gestures. You’ll need to spend some time deciding which commands to assign to each bud. On-ear detection is also absent, which means you won’t be able to automatically pause music when removing the buds. At the very least, you have a comprehensive set of controls to choose from, including playback, call management, voice assistant, listening modes, and volume.

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