The term “wireless headphones” is far from new, but until recently was associated only with large overhead devices. Recently, however, we have been seeing the first steps of manufacturers in creating inter-channel wireless headsets. Huawei FreeBuds are just that: a hybrid two-driver sound, no wires, control gestures and IR sensors, plus a capacious battery pack.
Specifications Huawei FreeBuds
|Type:||Wireless Intra Channel|
|Driver:||hybrid (balanced anchor + dynamic)|
|Frequency range||20–20000 Hz|
|Wireless connection:||Bluetooth 4.2|
|Management:||assistant call, call control, pause|
|Microphone:||dual, frequency range 20–20000 Hz|
|Case battery capacity:||3 headphones charging|
Combining powerbank and headphone case is a great solution. It was not invented by Huawei, but in the case of FreeBuds it looks like it’s native. It is pleasant to twist the oval plastic case with spring closure of the lid in your hand and it’s not a shame to put it in your pocket with keys. On the front of the case, there is a single LED for power and communication, and on the opposite side, a pairing mode start key and USB Type-C connector for charging.
Under the cover are hidden two individual charging tray under the left and right headphones. Power to the headset is transmitted through a pair of contacts immediately when the case is closed. The easiest way to get headphones is a thin leg.
The design of FreeBuds definitely has personality and charisma. The monotonous lacquered plastic case around the radiator resembles an ear in shape. On it is a touch zone control gestures. The format is a hybrid of the liner and intra-channel insulators. On the inner side of the headphones, there are power contacts and an IR proximity sensor. The tube of the sound of the classical form, so that you can safely use your collection of nozzles.
Convenience and thoughtfulness of anatomical features in the design of headphones play an important role, and in the case of intra-channel models, this directly affects the sound. The form of the FreeBuds block is borrowed from professional ear models, so that most will be able to comfortably use the headset and not waste time searching for the optimal position. But only on condition that the complete nozzles go to the box. Three small-caliber pairs of tips and one spare set of elastic inserts are attached to the headphones. They are suitable only for those who, using ordinary plugs, use attachments of size S, no more.
Having found suitable nozzles of size L, you encounter a very unusual incident: the earpiece barely touches the connectors in the case. The shape of the tray is designed for small complete nozzles so that everything is firmly fixed and does not dangle. Otherwise, no questions other than management.
Connect and control
The procedure for pairing headphones with a smartphone is traditional for a wireless headset without an NFC tag. In the future, the connection occurs automatically when removing from the case of any of the headphones. Do not turn anything on and off, but how to manage them?
At first glance, each of the headphones is a stand-alone device by which you can listen to music and podcasts, speak to a voice assistant and have telephone conversations. But this is not so – because of the peculiarities of the touch control. You can pause the music by double touching only the right earpiece. A double touch on the left is a voice assistant. You can accept and reset a call by touching on any, and there are no other gestures.
Much more interesting is hidden inside the case, and the main thing there is a hybrid driver with anchor and dynamic emitters. Of the obvious drawbacks, let us point out the tendency of hybrid drivers to reduced sensitivity and high resistance, but in the pluses there must be a frequency and elaboration of sound.
And here FreeBuds give exactly what you want to hear. Pleasant broadband sound with generous seasoning of expressive bass and a wide picture of mid and high frequencies. The sound is clear and rich in detail, without a hint of genre preferences and dryness in the sound of wind instruments. Jazz comes in nicely and pacifyingly, but there is something missing in electronics and rock.
The point is the power that these headphones objectively lack. One feels that hybrid drivers are capable of more, but the power of the built-in amplifiers prevents them from unleashing their potential. The maximum volume is barely enough in a subway car or on a busy square, despite the noise reduction. When comparing work with smartphones for iOS and Android, the difference in sound is traditionally well felt. With Android devices, FreeBuds sound 10-15% louder, and the lack of power is only barely noticeable. If the source is a Cupertino product, the result will be less pronounced, and claims to lack of capacity will be more significant.
To talk, just one of the headphones. And any, because each of them is equipped with two broadband microphones that provide noise reduction.
Huawei FreeBuds work thanks to the usual built-in batteries with a capacity of slightly less than 50 mAh. In the charging case, the energy reserve is ten times larger, so you can fully charge both headphones a few times. Charging the case takes about 40 minutes, full charging of the headphones takes the same amount of time. But the first 50% of headphones are received in just 15 minutes.
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During the week of active daily use, the average duration of the headphones was 2.5 hours when used in pairs, or a little more than two hours one by one. Music auditioned at 90-100% volume, so the result is average for this class of devices. Together with the case, the total duration of work reaches 10 hours, so you can spend the whole day with music.
Fully wireless in-ear headphones Huawei FreeBuds can be called an excellent solution among devices of this class, if it concerns directly the sound quality. Hybrid speakers give a clean and neat sound, and the complete absence of wires opens up a new experience of interaction with music and people. A long time of work and a thoughtful idea of the case with charging allow you to safely recommend the novelty to all adherents of headphones-plugs. It was not without its drawbacks either, but most of them can be corrected, and quickly got used to the rest.
- pure sound;
- hybrid two-driver radiator;
- long work time.
- the case is not designed for third-party attachments;
- music control only on the right earpiece.