Huawei FreeBuds Pro, analysis and opinion



True Wireless headphones are a reality, a fad that has come to stay. Huawei knows this and has therefore launched a line of devices for all types of users and yes, the FreeBuds Pro is the direct competition of the AirPods Pro or Sony WF-1000XM3, among others, that is, the highest consumer market range of the moment.

If there's one thing Huawei knows how to do, it's to adapt to the situation. He has demonstrated this with Trump's veto this past year and one of the products he has shown the most in is the FreeBuds headphone line. There are devices for all tastes and prices and these, are the highest true wireless range with active noise cancellation and have a mid-range price.

The FreeBuds Pro is Huawei's spearhead in true Wireless format and does so at a price that has fallen from launch so far to 139 euros, a derisory figure for the quality they offer.

We are not only talking about high-quality active noise cancellation but also a quality of high autonomy and sound quality that places you in the top 3 of the market. Let's take a deep look at what these FreeBuds Pro are like.

 Huawei FreeBuds Pro
TypeIn-ear True Wireless with silicone tips
Dimensions (headphone)26 x 29.6 x 21.7 mm
Dimensions (case)70 x 51.3 x 24.6 mm
Weight (headphone)60g
Weight (case)6.1g
Listening modesAdjustable Active Noise Cancellation / Attention Mode / Normal
Manual EqualizerNo
MicrophoneAt the top and bottom with wind protection and on the position sensor
Drivers11 mm diameter
SensorsProximity sensor
Water resistanceN.d.
ConnectionsBluetooth 5.2

USB-C

6W Qi Wireless Charging (2W)
Load- USB-C 6W (1-hour charging case

/ 40 min headphones) - Qi wireless charging (2W)
AutonomyUp to 8

hours per full charge

3 additional charges

of the box Each headset: 55mAh Charging Case: 580mAh
Accessories includedCharging case / USB-C cable

Comfortable in-ear with a gloss finish and it's hard to get out of your box

The design of these FreeBuds Pro is unique and recognizable among the rest of True Wireless headphones. It is composed of a cavity that houses the driver and where the silicone tip is connected that is attached to a part that falls and where the battery, touch zone, and circuitry are located.

So far quite common. But what if I told you that area is a rectangular prism instead of cylindrical?

Well, yes, that's right, and these headphones look unique. In terms of headphone finish, we can comment that they have a gloss finish. They are available in black, white, and silver colors, the latter being the one we analyzed. Not that I am very much a fan of the glossy finish and that is that with this color, with mirror effect the fingerprints become more noticeable.



If we take into account that both to remove them from the box and to put them in and to change volume, song or take off a call we have to pinch them or slide on them, it is clear that if you want to carry them without footprints you will have to be methodical with cleaning them every little time.

Let's look at the different parts of the headset because while we have talked about the prismatic part where the headset has touch detection and where we can see the Huawei logo, it also integrates a dual microphone system with wind protection to cancel out the noise. They are loaded from small metal plates at the bottom of that area and the part of the headset itself and come into contact with PoGo connectors in the box.

One thing we found striking is that the sound output grille is not the last layer before our ear and is that the silicone tips have another small silicone mesh instead of just a sound channeling.

FreeBuds Pro

FreeBuds Pro

These TWS headphones have active noise cancellation and wireless charging, plus premium design and intelligent environmental sound detection to activate the ANC.

And to finish commenting on the design of them just comment that they have an area that leaves aside that mirror gloss finish and is black where the usage sensor is, detects if you're wearing it, and another microphone. Let's go check out what the box is like.

This time the FreeBuds Pro comes inside a rounded box shaped like a case. Looks like the FreeBuds 3 box, minibabybel, but elongated. It is a very comfortable box to carry in the pocket and has a matte plastic finish. At the bottom, you have an LED and a USB-C charging connector.

The hinge part is covered by a rectangular area in a gloss finish with the Huawei logo and on one side we have the button that helps force the pairing mode. If you leave that bright part up, you can charge the box using Qi wireless charging.

Once we open the box we see the gap for the headphones and a unique LED that indicates the charging status of the headphones. One thing we didn't like is that the area that sticks out of the headphones is too small to be able to remove them comfortably. Also, the glossy finish of them does not help.



Adaptive and dynamic noise cancellation with a great result

Active noise cancellation is a technology that has been on the market for quite a few years however the application on portable devices such as True Wireless headphones takes about 3 years. With these FreeBuds Pro, Huawei has improved the cancellation of its previous model to a level similar to the top headphones on the market, according to Huawei data up to 40dB.

It is true that the adjustment of the silicones already makes a remarkable sealing and if it is added that real-time processing of ambient sound to provide the inverse of that wave, the feeling of isolation is very good.

Huawei offers various operating modes of these FreeBuds Pro. In terms of noise cancellation, we have three predefined modes as well as a mode that automates the change between them depending on the environment in which we are moving. Here are these noise-canceling modes:

  • Comfort: the lowest mode of noise cancellation, for quiet environments
  • General: normal cancellation mode, for environments with contained noise
  • Ultra: the most aggressive cancellation mode, for high-noise environments

Dynamic– Switches between the previous three modes.

How do you manage noise cancellation in changing situations? It works well to cancel out noise when we are in a static noise situation, for example, noise from a ventilation system the background noise of the subway or a bus or car engine.



The dynamic mode changes between the options and it is true that if we leave a quiet area (the home portal) to the street with car noise you can notice that change in the noise cancellation profile.

The feeling between wearing the noise cancellation mode on and off is remarkable, it scares out the sounds a lot and the great advantage is that we will need less volume.

Another model of operation that these headphones have is the attention mode in which the headphones amplify the sound from the outside. Within this model is The Improve Voices mode, which prioritizes higher frequencies to better hear voices.

Honestly, it's not a way I'd use it at all times, but if you're listening to music and expecting a message by public address or similar it's comfortable, although of course, it might be more comfortable to take off one of your headphones.



Functional touch controls by pinching: why?

All True Wireless headsets on the market have built-in controls. They began their journey with physical buttons and in recent generations have switched to touch control. By pressing in certain areas we can invoke the voice assistant, turn the noise canceling on or off, move on to the next song we're playing, and so on.

In this case, Huawei has equipped touch controls to both headphones but not as we are used to and it is something that I think has done to them is not the most comfortable. The reason for this is that instead of playing to detect you have to pinch the inside of the prism and that almost always means that you slide the headset.

As we see there are quite a few functions, but the only customizable one is to keep the pinch with which we can choose with which headset to do what, we can even repeat the action (by default noise cancellation in both).



If you miss the volume control well because of your insight, here we have to comment that the system you have is to slide on the side of that prismatic part, but not on the outside, but on the part that faces forward as you use them.

Personally, I have not liked that area for volume adjustment or touch control system by pinching on the day to day but I can comment that when I have been listening to music with other headphones I sometimes have some false positive with pulsations when I support myself on some cushion or similar and with these everything has worked as it should.

The application has a simple interface, shows us the charge level of both each headset separately and the level of the box from when we remove the headphones or from that moment if the headphones are inside and the box is open.

In addition to this and being able to adjust the functionality of that maintained pinch, you can turn on or off another great function of these headphones, the possibility to be paired to two devices at once. In my case, I have them on my laptop and mobile and I can be listening to music on the laptop that if I get a phone call I don't have to do anything, I directly get the call to the headphones.



Top sound quality without additives, but no equalization available

Huawei headphones arrive with sound quality that puts them on top of the board. Noise cancellation scares off that external sound a lot but if we want to enjoy all the sound quality they can offer, I recommend listening in a quiet environment with noise cancellation turned off.

Huawei promises high audio quality and bass presence with an 11mm dynamic driver and a standard wireless connection that reaches up to Bluetooth 5.2. The audio listening is made very comfortable thanks to a large balance with defined treble and bass with some depth. They are not headphones that stand out for over-dialing the bass and, perhaps, for some to require a little more at this point.

This is where we miss the inclusion of an equalization system integrated into AI Life with which we can leave the sound to our liking. People who are not used to hearing a balanced sound without coloring certain frequencies will miss that attachment.

Still, we're talking about audio details for people who stop to listen to music, for people who notice the quality difference between Spotify or Tidal. That is, people with trained ears and who listen in a quiet environment to the music. To my liking, they sound great and do not adulterate the original sound I hear in my Hi-Fi system.



High-range wireless connectivity without losing quality

Huawei has integrated the Kirin A1 chip into these headsets and this gives them Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity that is not only compatible with the current technology we see on mobile but they promise connectivity for the future. If we talk about the possibility of firmware update for them makes them a headset to consider.

The headphones connect independently to the Bluetooth device in less than 2.5 seconds and you get a latency that is always below 180ms / 0.180 seconds. That is, you can use either one or the other headset in mono mode or both and it will go directly to stereo mode without any manual setup.

In my case, and more with the theme of the pandemic, I used these headphones a lot and in days of a lot of video calls I ended up using one until the battery was spent and then I took the other and put the first one in the box.

We can pair FreeBuds Pro via Bluetooth in a traditional way on any mobile after leaving the box button pressed. If you have a Huawei mobile (EMUI 10 or later), a popup appears when you open the box automatically as with an iPhone and Airpods.

Huawei FreeBuds Lite

Huawei FreeBuds Lite

Huawei FreeBuds Lite are the new version of Huawei's total wireless Bluetooth headset. They offer a comfortable and versatile solution to get rid of cables forever. They include a charging case that offers a total operating range of up to 12 hours.

Comfortable headphones with good performance and design

If you're looking for headphones that deliver top sound quality at a contained price, these Freebuds Pro are a great alternative. It's like buying Airpods Pro at the price of traditional Airpods. We move in a mid-range price range of the segment but with quality noise cancellation, remarkable autonomy, and Qi load.

It's one of the headphones that will isolate you the most from the outside so if you're looking for that peace of mind to have some time to work at home or just be able to hear your quiet music on the street without any hassle from the usual noises these FreeBuds Pro are a great alternative.



They are not headphones for those users who want to play sports with them as they have no resistance to water or sweat, but we are certainly not moving on this range of devices.

The Huawei Freebuds Pro is a very comfortable headset, offering great sound definition and out-of-the-range noise cancellation. We only miss the possibility to adjust the sound to our liking using an audio equalizer integrated into AI Life.

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