The new Huawei FreeBuds Pro look like boxy AirPods
Huawei has presented its new products at its developer conference. In addition to laptops and two new smartwatches, new true wireless headphones with active noise cancellation shine. However, buyers should not be dazzled by the addition of the name “Pro”.
With Huawei, the hut is literally burning. Despite the fact that the Chinese tech giant is currently struggling with the drastic US embargo in the western hemisphere, it is still introducing new products in Europe, which will probably keep all employees busy at the moment.
The Huawei FreeBuds Pros are very impressive on paper. The square earbuds belong to the category of true wireless headphones and – of course – somehow remind us of the Apple model. But that’s nothing new on the headphone market, so Huawei is forgiven for copying the suffix “Pro”.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro: solid equipment, but little Pro
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro come with active noise cancellation, which Huawei calls “Intelligent dynamic Noise Cancellation”. In the preliminary briefing, Huawei explained to us that noise cancellation also works with artificial intelligence and can reduce ambient noise by up to 40 decibels. A test will have to clarify how this works in everyday life. Earlier models of Huawei headphones had problems with permanent noise, such as train noise, which at some point was no longer filtered out.
The FreeBuds Pros come with cuboid stems – a feature that sets them apart from the rest of the market – and they support Bluetooth 5.2 and the standard audio codecs AAC and SBC. Advanced audio codecs such as Qualcomm’s AptX or AptX-HD are not supported. The new true wireless headphones will provide up to 30 hours of playtime, according to Huawei. This is made possible by the batteries in the earplugs (55 mAh) and the charging case (580 mAh), which can also be charged wirelessly.
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro come in a cuboid shape. / © NextPit
Huawei uses an average single dynamic driver with a diameter of 11 millimeters and three microphones that are supposed to support the ANC in voice mode. The Huawei FreeBuds Pro will be available from October 2nd in Ceramic White, Carbon Black, and Silver Frost, i.e. white, black, and silver. Huawei proposes an RRP of €179, which saves further comparisons with the much more expensive Apple AirPods Pro.
For athletes: the Huawei FreeLace also go Pro
Huawei wanted to highlight the FreeBuds Pro in its presentation, but there was also news for music lovers who don’t want to miss thumping bass, especially when it comes to sports. The market for neckband headphones is still alive and so Huawei has also given its FreeLace headphones a Pro version.
With neckband and magnets, the FreeLace Pro are well suited for athletes. / © NextPit
The most important feature is the active noise suppression of the sports headphones. Magnets in the earpieces also provide some smart features. When the headphones are pulled apart, they automatically connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. In addition, the FreeLace Pro recognizes whether the headphones are in use and automatically stop playback when the two earpieces are docked together. The Huawei FreeLace Pro will also be available from October 2 at a price of €119 in the colors black, green, and white.
My first impression: “Pro” loses value
I haven’t had both new headphones in my ears yet, but the datasheets show me: Huawei’s marketing is taking Apple’s “Pro” addition to much more expensive products. Important audio codecs that “Pro” professionals would use in the studio, for example for mixing, are simply missing. At first glance, there is nothing “pro” here, but rather mainstream. Interested parties should not be blinded by this. For meaningful analysis, however, you should wait for the full review.