HUAWEI managed to place itself in a very good place. As an organization, it has an audio product for everybody. Choose over-the-ear headphones? Try the FreeBuds Studio. Desire a snug pair of ANC buds? Try the FreeBuds 3 (and nicely, the successor we’re right now, the FreeBuds 4). Need each passive and energetic noise cancelation? Look no additional: FreeBuds Pro.
After all, we solely talked about the flagship merchandise in our enumeration above, however you’ll be pleased to search out out there are many different merchandise of their portfolio, just like the FreeBuds 4i, and the FreeLace Pro, simply to call a number of, in order that they actually have one thing for each style, want, and pockets.
The FreeBuds 4 construct on the success of the FreeBuds 3, with the corporate retaining the design ideas and total seems to be of the earbuds, however making slight adjustments and tweaks to enhance upon the predecessor. We’ll be these, and naturally the ensuing product, in our HUAWEI FreeBuds 4 assessment under.
HUAWEI FreeBuds 4 specs
In comparison with the FreeBuds 3, the FreeBuds 4 is barely smaller, each evaluating the buds themselves, in addition to the charging case.
One earbud weighs a mere 4.1 grams, and measures 41.4 mm in peak, 16,8 mm in width, and 18,5 mm in depth. The charging case weighs 38 grams (with the buds eliminated) and, because it’s pebble-shaped, has a diameter of 58 mm and a peak of 21.2 mm.
Inside, you’ll discover a barely bigger, 14.3 mm driver, and the identical Kirin A1 chip that’s used to energy the corporate’s GT2-series of smartwatches, earbuds, and even the FreeBuds Studio.
Battery capability didn’t endure from the general slight discount in measurement, with models rated 30mAh per earbud, and 410mAh for the charging case.
Bluetooth connectivity has been upgraded to Bluetooth 5.2, and the earbuds this 12 months have earned their IPX4 score towards splashes from all instructions.
Wi-fi charging has been dropped, with no clear plans to supply a model that helps it sooner or later, and so was the bone sensor that was a function on the predecessor.
Design, construct and match
The design, per se, is gorgeous, and just about in keeping with what we’re used to getting from HUAWEI on its premium merchandise. The end can also be top-notch, with nothing additional to report.
HUAWEI went with the open-fit design, just like the FreeBuds 3, which makes me actually excited in regards to the FreeBuds Professional’s successor this 12 months. An open-fit design has its professionals and cons. We’ll discuss them, however for those who’re somebody who doesn’t like in-ear canal earbuds (just like the FreeBuds Professional and extra not too long ago, the FreeBuds 4i), it’s best to positively check out these.
Match-wise, due to the open-fit design, HUAWEI had extra wiggle room to optimize the scale and form of the FreeBuds 4 to comfortably match most ears. After a few minutes, you overlook you’re sporting them. They’re snug and as a result of their mild weight, you simply get accommodated to sporting them.
These are two of the key professionals of an open-fit design. We’re going to handle the cons within the section under pertaining to audio high quality and ANC. Nonetheless, we’d prefer to preface this with the truth that they’re solely cons for those who’re coming from an in-ear canal design. If open-fit is your bread and butter, it’s best to dismiss these so-called cons.
Audio high quality, ANC, and Expertise
Audio high quality
We’ve to strategy the audio high quality and ANC dialog from the open-fit design standpoint. After all, an over-the-ear design will sound higher due to the bigger drivers, whereas additionally providing higher noise isolation, and the in-ear canal earbuds will provide one of the best audio high quality and ANC because of their passive noise cancelation and isolation of the sound contained in the ear canal.
The 14.3 mm drivers contained in the FreeBuds 4 provide a very nice sound. They’re missing a bit on the low finish of the spectrum, the place the bass and lower-mids reside, however that’s only a consequence of the open-fit design. Consequently, in case your style in music includes heavy bass and punchy lows, the FreeBuds 4 may not be the earbuds for you. Nonetheless, they’re actually silky on the mids and highs, with emphasis on vocals and devices.
There aren’t many settings to play with contained in the AI Life app when it comes to audio high quality, and you’ll even get away with utilizing them with out the app which at this level, apart from customizing controls and updating firmware, does little to nothing to enhance the audio expertise.
Lively noise cancelation
HUAWEI claims ANC has been improved over the predecessor. We’re not saying they haven’t, we’re saying that we didn’t see a discernable, important enchancment. ANC is there, and it really works.
Does it block out as a lot noise because the FreeBuds Professional or FreeBuds 4i? After all not, as these have the benefit of additional passive noise cancelation because of the in-ear canal design.
With the FreeBuds 4, noise cancelation will virtually totally block out an air conditioner or a fan, however something past that can bleed by means of as a result of open-fit design.
Contemplating that having ANC on virtually halves the battery life (from 4 hours to 2.5 hours), we’ll advise you to maintain it off except you particularly want to show it on. And, whenever you do, anticipate, relying on the surroundings, for some noise to be blocked out, with most of it seeping by means of in a muffled, muted, or in any other case unadulterated method.
We’ve been utilizing the FreeBuds 4 for cellphone calls, VoIP calls (Sign, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet) in addition to listening to music. The entire above was delivered in keeping with the expectations. We lined the audio high quality within the section above, and voice calls sounded good. On the opposite finish of the road, folks stated they will hear us clearly, regardless of the decision high quality (lesser cellphone calls, higher VoIP calls).
Twin-device connectivity (the power to be linked to 2 gadgets on the similar time) will certainly come in useful if you wish to bridge the hole between work and play. I do most of my work on my laptop whereas I hearken to most of my music from my cellphone.
With put on detection, you don’t should fumble for the pause button whenever you shortly wish to cease your music. Simply take them out of your ears and multimedia playback will instantly cease.
Battery life is near the one marketed. 4 hours with out ANC, 2.5 hours with ANC, and 22 extra hours with the charging case and no ANC. Whereas that is just like the numbers of the FreeBuds 3 and positively manageable, there are different HUAWEI and competitor fashions that provide extra. It’s simply truthful to say that!
Charging will take about an hour each for the earbuds and for the charging case. Presently solely wired charging is offered, so don’t anticipate to make use of reverse wi-fi charging in your cellphone to maintain them going when you’re out.
The stem of the buds is touch-sensitive, and, when you can configure the actions contained in the AI Life app, the defaults are double-tapping for play/pause, long-tapping for toggling ANC on/off, and swiping up and down to extend/lower the amount. Due to this function you may get away with utilizing the FreeBuds 4 with out AI Life, on one other Android, and even iPhone or Mac.
Whenever you do use the AI Life app, you possibly can replace the firmware (we bought one replace throughout our assessment interval), configure the aforementioned gestures, and attempt to find the earbuds ought to you’ve got misplaced them.
Final, however not least, HUAWEI appears to have made it a mission for customers to wrestle to take away the earbuds from the charging case. Perhaps it’s simply me, however I appear to wrestle with each mannequin from the corporate, and the FreeBuds 4 are by no means simpler to take away. It’s a mixture of the magnets and the shiny floor and end that denies the correct grip for straightforward elimination.
The FreeBuds 4 are an ideal pair of stylish earbuds for those who’re new to Wi-fi, ANC-enabled fashions. We don’t think about them a big step-up from the FreeBuds 3 with a view to advise an improve.
The addition of the IPX4 score means you possibly can put on them within the rain and even the gymnasium, as splashes of water received’t injury the earbuds. That proper there’s a nice promoting level, along with silky easy sound (missing a bit on the low finish), and its comparatively small footprint.
They presently go for £129.99 in the UK and also you get a HUAWEI Band 4 Professional (valued at £49.99) as a present. You may presently purchase them in the EU for €119.00, the place they’re presently off (on the time of this assessment) from €149, however the reductions differ from area to area, so be certain to seek the advice of your native HUAWEI retailer for the most recent costs.
Execs and Cons
+ light-weight and cozy;
+ contact gestures;
+ silky easy sound;
+ dual-device connectivity.
– weak ANC;
– poor battery life with ANC;
– audio missing on the low finish;
– no wi-fi charging.