If the smartphone doesn’t bite because without Google services, Huawei’s IoT device is one of the easiest favorites I recommend. Because it is of high quality, it also comes with an affordable price tag. Well, what about the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 which is included in the premium TWS earphone class?
Even though it’s premium, it’s actually not that expensive. Because if you look again, it’s still more affordable than AirPods Pro, Sony’s flagship TWS, even Logitech’s first earphones which almost doubled. In fact, Huawei has embedded a number of interesting advanced technologies, such as dynamic ANC to collaborate with Devialet.
After trying it for a few days, I think the presence of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 further strengthens Huawei’s position in providing the best wearables options, especially for TWS earphones. Present in almost all price segments, including the premium segment with competitive features and quality. Here’s the full review.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 carries a design that is still similar to the previous generation, aka still has a stem that makes it also look like AirPods Pro. But if you look at it again, it’s a little different. The stem is more squared, has Huawei branding, and can be distinguished by different color options.
In addition to the Ceramic White color, there are also other color options, namely Silver Blue and Silver Frost. The last two color options will be different from other competitors, but also the fingerprint magnet, considering that the surface of the earbuds is glossy. If it’s white, it’s a bit faint, aka it always looks clean.
The charging case is also similar to the AirPods Pro in design, but apart from the color, there is another differentiator, namely the silver surface that resembles glass with the Devialet branding. Each earbud weighs about 6 grams, but is very comfortable on the ear. There is an ear fit test feature via the Huawei AI Life application to help you choose the right eartip size.
This premium Huawei earphone also has IP54 certification, so it’s safe to use (and still comfortable) when used for sports. Is there anything else that makes it look like AirPods Pro? Still there, namely for operation.
Through three microphones in each earbud, Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 supports a feature called Intelligent ANC 2.0. Automatically, the level of active noise cancellation will adjust the surrounding noise conditions, including the level of wind gusts. You can also set it manually with three different levels; Cozy, General & Ultra for maximum damping.
The noise level that can be suppressed by Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 is quite high, up to 47 dB. And when used daily, it is very effective in eliminating vehicle noise on the road, wind noise and other surrounding noise. Because of its dynamic nature, it feels lighter as long as you use it, not forcing it to really work optimally which can sometimes make you dizzy.
When used for voice calls, the three microphones on the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are combined with a deep neural network (DNN) algorithm studied by more than 100 million voice samples. In addition to muffle the noise around, also so that the user’s voice sounds clearer. For this part, it is in the same class as other flagship TWS earphones.
Especially for users of smartphones, tablets and similar Huawei ecosystems, features such as pop-up auto connect and dual-device connection are present exclusively, unfortunately they cannot be enjoyed on other Androids. But at least there are still many features that can be explored through the Huawei AI Life application.
There is an audio connection center where the device can remember and prioritize which device it wants to connect to when turned on, as well as a find earphones feature to play loud sounds when the earbuds are outside the case. There is also the option of enabling low latency mode, which is still not enabled by default.
Well, one feature that is similar to AirPods Pro is the gestures, because the user has to pinch the device for music control. By default, pinch the stem once to play/pause, double & triple for song control, pinch and hold to switch ANC mode, and swipe on the side of the stem for volume control. Everything is customizable, aka very many options.
I personally like earphones that have many gesture options, because they are more practical. It’s just that it takes getting used to doing these gestures until I can master them without making the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 slightly change its position on the ear, which requires me to readjust it. Friends who are used to using AirPods Pro don’t experience this.
In collaboration with Devialet, Huawei has embedded a dynamic driver size that is large enough for each of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 earbuds, which is 11mm in size. Not only one, but there are two, aka plus a “planar diaphragm driver” which is claimed to improve audio details even further.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 also has Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification, and is compatible with the LDAC codec that can stream higher bitrates, which can be activated on Android smartphones other than Huawei though. In collaboration with Devialet, this device wants to deliver clearer audio quality.
After trying the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 along with earphones released by Samsung, Sony and Apple in its price class, I can say this is the best so far. The resulting audio detail is really pleasing to the ear, with a deep bass boom but not too much.
I tested the audio quality of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 using several smartphones including the Galaxy Z Fold4 & Nothing Phone (1). The good news is that the audio output is equally optimal. Even when connected to an iPhone, there is no significant quality loss. This means that you can enjoy great audio separation, as well as rich instruments without having to connect it to a Huawei smartphone.
There are a number of sound presets that can be selected through the application, namely the default designed with Devialet, Bass boost, Treble boost, & Clear vocals. The default option will be suitable for more music, while Bass boost can be selected if you want to change the sound characteristics of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 to be warmer.
Each earbud on the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 is equipped with a 55 mAh battery, while for a fairly compact charging case, there is a 580 mAh battery that also supports wireless charging. In total, Huawei claims up to 30 hours of listening to music without ANC, or 18 hours with ANC.
Unfortunately, for non-stop use, the duration is much shorter. That is only 6.5 hours without ANC, and 4 hours with ANC. Although there are features such as fast charging, it’s a bit less fun if every 4 hours we have to “return” the earphones to the charging case and wait for the charging process.
Even without ANC, it’s still not the most durable, and it might be annoying for those of you who usually use earphones on long trips on the train or plane. Charging both the charging case and earbuds takes about 1.5 hours. While 10 minutes of earbuds into the charging case, it can increase the power up to 50%.
Incidentally I have never tried the first generation of FreeBuds Pro. However, I have high expectations, considering that more affordable variants like the FreeBuds 4i alone can provide quality ANC capabilities. Fortunately, my expectations were met when I tried the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2.
ANC that can automatically adjust the surrounding noise, excellent audio quality with LDAC codec support, and quite complete gestures. It’s just a little unfortunate, battery life is still not okay compared to competitors in its class. The rest, could be the best recommendation at this time.