The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are the company’s latest flagship set of earbuds and, as you can imagine, pack some of the very best tech currently available into these small but mighty earbuds. We’ve been testing the FreeBuds Pro 2 for a view weeks now and have been extremely impressed with what Huawei has created.
Design & Build Quality
The HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 follow in the footsteps of the first FreeBuds Pro, using a similar rectangular design. The parts that go into the ear have a round ergonomic shape, while the stems that “hang” from the buds are cubic and unexpectedly short. Available in the Silver Blue, Silver Frost, and Ceramic White color versions, the earbuds look stylish and elegant.
On top of the buds, there are silicone pads that insulate noise and make them feel comfortable to wear. Regular M-size tips are already fitted on the buds, but the package also includes S and L pads for those with smaller or larger ear canals.
Both earbuds have built-in sensors inside the stems, allowing you to easily control music play, volume, and noise canceling. Pausing and skipping through your playlist, as well as toggling ANC, is done by pinching either stem. Volume can be adjusted by sliding your finger up or down on the stems.
The charging case is another impressive and stylish piece of tech. Matching the color of the earbuds, it has an elliptical, pebble-like shape, and it’s also quite small so can easily fit in any pocket. Opening it is simple, as you can easily identify which side is the front as the back of the case has the Huawei/Devialet logo on it, inside a glass rectangle.
In terms of comfort, given their light weight and small size, the FreeBuds Pro 2 are very comfortable to wear. They didn’t bother me in any way even after hours of continuous use, which is great. And, although the small size might make you think that they can easily fall out of your ears, they won’t.
The ergonomic shape of the buds makes them fit perfectly in the ear, and, unless you use the wrong size silicone tips, they’ll stay put. I can’t say whether that’s also true when more dynamic activities are involved, such as running or exercising at the gym. But, I didn’t lose these earphones during long walks and hiking.
Sound & ANC Quality
Moving on to the more technical details, there are a couple of things that make the FreeBuds Pro 2 a flagship product. Firstly and probably most importantly, their price. The FreeBuds Pro 2 have an RRP of €199 so they’re definitely not an entry-level or even mid-range set up buds. Thankfully, given their flagship price and positioning, these new earbuds come with specs to match their title. They pack dual-speakers and superior Hi-Res audio quality, excellent active noise cancellation, capable of removing up to 47 dB of noise, and IP54 dust plus water resistance.
To be able to deliver audiophile-level sound quality, each bud uses an 11 mm dynamic driver and a planar diaphragm driver, able to reproduce sound outside our normal hearing range: from 14 Hz to 48 kHz. Co-engineered with Devialet, Huawei promises that the FreeBuds Pro 2 deliver audiophile-grade sound, from powerful bass to clear mids and highs. The FreeBuds Pro 2 use Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connections and support the LDAC high-resolution audio codec. Unfortunately, there’s no support for AptX.
During phone calls, the HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 are impressive. I’ve enabled the HD voice feature they offer, even if it meant lower battery life. And the result was great: both me and all the people I was talking to over the phone said the audio quality was excellent.
Which brings me to the next thing on the list, and the most important one of all: audio quality when playing music. The drivers used by Huawei, as well as the professional tuning made by Devialet, make the FreeBuds 2 Pro outshine the competition in this price range. The audio quality is simply amazing: powerful bass, warm mids, and crystal-clear highs. Also, if you install the Huawei AI Life app on your Android smartphone or iPhone (more on this below), you also get access to a highly customizable equalizer that you can use to tune the sound exactly as you want it.
All the songs I’ve listened to, and I listen to an extremely eclectic mix of music, sounded excellent and better than I imagined. This may sound cheesy but I was hearing parts of some of my favourite songs I didn’t notice before. There’s more breathe to the soundstage and little nuances and changes are more noticeable and add to the overall experience.
The active noise canceling (ANC) feature, which was heavily touted at the product’s launch event is, thankfully, fantastic and probably the best ANC we’ve tested in any pair of earbuds to date, thanks to their triple-mic ANC set up.
The FreeBuds Pro 2 also support three listening modes: ANC on, ANC off, and ‘Awareness.’ The latter emphasizes noise to help you be more aware of your surroundings, which can be quite helpful when walking down the street.
When it comes to the ANC itself, the FreeBuds Pro 2 offer a new ‘Dynamic’ mode, which automatically adjust the level of noise cancelling, depending on the level of exterior sound. Testing this, we definitely noticed the earbuds changing the ANC levels as we went from loud to quieter environments so it’s a handy feature for those that don’t want to block out absolutely everything at all times.
On the other hand, cranking the ANC all the way up to Ultra via the app is great when you don’t want to hear anything other than the music you play, like when commuting via public transport or even when working in a crowded office with lots of people talking. And it really does the job, masking almost every unwanted noise.
If you want to get the very best of out the FreeBuds Pro 2, Huawei’s AI Life app is a must. Once connected, users can tweak and edit a whole slew of settings and features on the app including tweaking the ANC levels, checking to see if you’ve correctly positioned the earbuds in your ears for the best audio qaulity and a range of over options to truly make the buds your own.
Users can also manage all of the devices they’ve connected the FreeBuds Pro 2 to and, thanks to multi-point connectivity, you can connect the buds to two devices at once, which is extremely handy if you’re using them with your laptop and want to take a call on your phone, the buds will automatically change over to let you answer the call.
There are a number of ‘Sound Effects’ to choose from as well, with our favourite being the ‘Bass boost’ effect, as it really helps add that extra level of kick to dance and hip hop tracks in particular. If none of these are suitable, there’s also a fully adjustable manual EQ available to allow you to tweak the audio output to your preference.
While the app is available via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, for Android users, it’s recommended you actually download it directly from the official Huawei website itself, just to make sure you’re using the latest version.
Each bud has a 55 mAh battery, and the charging case has a 580 mAh one. Unfortunately, battery life isn’t really a strong point of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 as users can expect just 4 hours of playtime with ANC turned on or 6.5 hours with it switch off. However, considering the high-grade audio quality of these admittedly tiny earbuds, I wasn’t expected groundbreaking battery life claims. Thankfully, there is an upside, the charging case can sustain the buds for 18 hours of playback time with ANC or up to 30 hours without ANC. As for charging, the case itself uses a USB Type-C connection and also supports the Qi wireless standard.
With everything we’ve mentioned above, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are now the earbuds to beat in 2022. Their outstanding audio and ANC quality, sleek and compact design and respectable battery life make the FreeBuds Pro 2 worthy of their flagship status. The drivers used by Huawei, paired with the professional tuning from Devialet, deliver a truly fantastic listening experience.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 Pricing & Availability
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are available in three colours, ‘Silver Blue’, Silver Frost’, and ‘Ceramic White’ and have an RRP of €199.
REVIEW: Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 - Small but Mighty
- Design & Build Quality
- Sound & ANC Quality
- Battery Life
With everything we’ve mentioned above, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are now the earbuds to beat in 2022. Their outstanding audio and ANC quality, sleek and compact design and respectable battery life make the FreeBuds Pro 2 worthy of their flagship status.