REVIEW: Huawei FreeBuds Pro - Best ANC Earbuds of 2020?
Wireless headphones are still somewhat new and exciting for consumers and it’s intriguing to see different brands try and introduce new and improved features in their products. For Huawei, its previous FreeBuds got a lot right but they also had their issues. With the FreeBuds 3, their comfort levels weren’t up there with their competitors and the ANC capabilities were diminished by the sheer fact they were open-fit in design. That design has now been completely refreshed and now we have a brand new flagship pair of earbuds from Huawei, the FreeBuds Pro.
Many have criticized the FreeBuds Pro given their striking similarity to Apple’s Airpod Pro earbuds but I think they are more than that. The somewhat boxy design of the FreeBuds Pro will certainly allow them to stand out against rivals. The silicon tips also allow the FreeBuds Pro to sit neatly in the ear and they are quite secure when in place. The biggest thing the silicon tips bring is comfort. You could wear the FreeBuds Pro for hours and not feel uncomfortable enough to want to take them off. The FreeBuds Pro come with 3 sizes of silicone earplugs and with the help of the fit detection feature, users will be able to find their perfect fit.
The earphones also have a flat design, with a touch surface that allows you to control music. In addition, the stems have been reduced in size, reducing the overall size which we think is a huge plus. When it comes to finish, the FreeBuds Pro are available in three different colors: Ceramic White, Carbon Black and Silver Frost.
Features and Performance
The FreeBuds Pro feature 11-millimetre amplitude dynamic drivers with more defined audio spectrum. A 3-mic system and bone voice sensor are present for voice calls. Huawei has also created a mechanical sound stabilization system, which makes sure the movement of the driver doesn’t result in distortion at high volumes.
If you are someone who enjoys bass-heavy genres you’ll probably love the FreeBuds Pro. The earbuds have impressive insulation which allows you to shut out a lot of the outside noise, and this is before turning on ANC. When listening to vocal-focused tracks, there is real detail with excellent separation between background audio and lead vocals.
Huawei boasts that with this product they aim to deliver the best noise cancellation in this segment, with an impressive 40dB of noise cancellation. The buds support three different modes of noise cancellation: ‘Cozy’, ‘General’ and ‘Ultra’. Each one can be selected manually in the app or, thanks to the ‘intelligent’ listening feature of these earbuds, they can also change the ANC level dynamically. Basically, what this means is that the AI can detect where it is and which setting is needed, and switches to that.
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro are the first of its kind to feature Dual Device Connection which allows it to connect to two devices via its dual-antenna Bluetooth. They also offer 360-degree omnidirectional Bluetooth signal coverage for a more stable connection. Huawei has also included an active suspension system which enhances deep sounds by reducing the vibrations of the music and by removing distortions.
At first, we actually had a few connection issues when using these earbuds out and about and having them manually set to the ‘Ultra’ ANC level but, after the latest firmware update, these issues have been completely resolved, which is great to see.
Each earbud has a 52.5 mAh battery out of which you are getting 4.5 hours of listening time including ANC at the max and up to 7 hours without ANC. The FreeBuds Pro also support fast charging, allowing them to be fully changed from 0-100 in 23 minutes. Thankfully, the charging case also supports wireless charging so you can use your wireless charging pad or any reverse wireless charging device, like the Huawei P40 Pro for example, to charge these earbuds on the go.
With everything being said, the new Huawei FreeBuds Pro should definitely be in your list if you’re in the market for impressive ANC-enabled earbuds. With a much improved and comfortable fit, decent battery life, dual device support and excellent ANC functionality, these may be the best non-Apple earbuds around.