FreeBuds Pro 2: one-minute review
FreeBuds Pro 2 are an excellent set of reasonably affordable wireless earbuds with great sound and active noise cancellation (ANC).
They cost €199 which puts them in the same price bracket at Sony’s ‘almost flagship’ LinkBuds S (also €199) and Google’s flagship Pixel Buds Pro (€299).
Dual drivers sound incredible
Useful smart features
Wireless charging case
Case is a fingerprint magnet
Average battery life
Not all features supported on iOS
FreeBuds Pro 2: full review
FreeBuds Pro 2 sees the Chinese electronics giant team up again with French audio specialist Devialet.
The buds have two audio drivers, a typical cone-shaped 11mm driver and a flat planar driver which the firm said results in ‘high transient response and rich treble’.
The earphones are equipped with some of the latest wireless audio tech, so you get Bluetooth 5.2 and support for Sony’s LDAC codec.
LDAC allows you to stream high-resolution audio up to 32-bit/96kHz over Bluetooth at up to 990kbps.
You need a compatible smartphone like OnePlus 10 Pro or Pixel 6 Pro and a music streaming service such as Deezer HiFi or Tidal.
That’s because Spotify streaming is capped at just 320kbps.
It’s worth paying the extra for higher quality streams if you are a music fan as you will notice the difference, but obviously wireless audio will never deliver an audiophile experience.
We buy buds such as these for the convenience but in recent years the quality of both audio tuning and noise cancellation has made huge strides forward.
FreeBuds Pro 2 also include HWA which is a low-latency high-definition audio codec developed by Huawei.
It means you can enjoy TV shows, movies and gaming with almost no lag, delays or interruptions.
FreeBuds Pro 2 do an impressive job on audio from a variety of sources, and when listening to music you get a rich detailed soundstage with plenty of bass.
They sound good at all volume levels: essentially, you’re getting flagship level sound quality at a mid-range price.
And there’s a 10-band equaliser in the app for you to tune them exactly as you like.
Active noise cancellation
The same can be said of the noise cancelling, which is Intelligent ANC 2.0.
It uses three microphones on each earbud – one on the inner side and one at either end of the stem.
They have a wider frequency range of 50Hz–3,000kHz and can manage noise cancelling of up to 47dB.
The dynamic option automatically adjusts the level of ANC based on your surroundings, similar to Sony’s Adaptive Sound Control minus the location information.
The other options are cosy, general and ultra.
If you are on Android, you need to download the Huawei AI Life app from the App Gallery, and this can now be done from inside the Play Store version of the app. The app is also available now for iOS.
FreeBuds Pro 2 design and build
FreeBuds Pro 2 have a short stem design. They look slick and come in three colourways — Silver Blue, Silver Frost and Ceramic White.
They come with small, medium and large silicone ear tips in the box.
The shape of the buds means they were a snug fir in my ears and this provides a decent level of passive noise cancellation.
Be sure to try all of the ear tips to ensure you get the best fit possible. This advice applies to all earphones.
I found them light and comfortable to wear for long periods.
FreeBuds Pro 2 boast an IP54 certification for water and dust resistance.
They offer both pinch and swipe touch controls including the ability to adjust volume on the buds which is always welcome but quite rare.
They have in-ear detection so your content pauses when you take them out.
Call quality is decent – during testing those I called found I was both audible and clear in different settings, even when I was outside.
Battery life is only average with four hours from the buds and 18 hours including the case – this is with ANC on.
You can check how much battery remains in the Huawei AI Life app.
There is support for wireless charging.
FreeBuds Pro 2 do a lot of things well and deliver an almost flagship experience at a more affordable mid-range price.
They are not quite as well-rounded as Sony's WF1000xM4 or Sennheiser's Momentum True Wireless 3, and they don't offer Apple users enough compelling reasons to choose them over AirPods Pro whcih offer such seamless integration with other Apple products and services.
But Android users, I would recommend Huawei's latest top-of-the-range earphones highly.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 cost €199 from Harvey Norman and other retailers.
FreeBuds Pro 2 key specs
Dimensions: 29.1mm x 23.7mm x 21.8 mm (per earbud)/ 67.9mm x 47.5mm x 24.5 mm (charging case)
Weight: 6.1 g (per earbud), 52 g (charging case)
Audio: 11mm dynamic driver, planar diaphragm driver
Sensors: Bone sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope sensor, Infrared sensor
Audio codecs: LDAC, AAC, SBC
Battery life: Four hours with ANC on, 18 hours including case
Charging: USB-C, wireless
Water resistance: IP54 rated
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