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The FreeBuds 4 are the latest member of Huawei’s ever-expanding household of audio merchandise.

New true wi-fi earphones come out each week, so Huawei has its work reduce out attempting to make the FreeBuds 4 stand out. It’s not simply exterior competitors — the FreeBuds 4 go up in opposition to Huawei’s personal FreeBuds 4i (that are cheaper, however nonetheless good) and FreeBuds Professional (in concept dearer, however objectively higher).

So how can this center youngster make itself observed? Our Huawei FreeBuds 4 overview offers you the rundown.

About this Huawei FreeBuds 4 overview: I used the Huawei FreeBuds 4 for seven days, working software program model 1.9.1.188. Huawei supplied the FreeBuds 4 overview unit to Android Authority.

What you’ll want to know in regards to the FreeBuds 4

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

  • Huawei FreeBuds 4: £129/€149 (frequent reductions and promos out there)

The FreeBuds 4 are the mid-range possibility in Huawei’s lineup of true wi-fi earphones.

Just like the FreeBuds 4i and FreeBuds Professional, these are lively noise-cancelling (ANC) earphones, that means tiny inside microphones emit sound waves at sure frequencies to fight exterior noise. Not like the opposite two merchandise, the FreeBuds 4 are “open-fit,” that means they lack the silicone ideas that go into your ear canals, leaving your ear canals semi-open.

Be taught extra: Headphones shopping for information

The FreeBuds 4’s declare to fame is an “all-new” adaptive noise-cancelling characteristic, which is meant to regulate noise cancellation to swimsuit the distinctive measurement and form of your ears. That’s not one thing you may actually check, so make of that what you’ll.

How’s the design?

huawei freebuds 4 case 2

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

What I like most in regards to the FreeBuds 4’s design is how snug and “easy-going” they’re. As a result of they don’t plug into your ear canals, they don’t get uncomfortable to put on after prolonged listening periods, assuming you may get match with them. Sound high quality and isolation come on the expense of the open-fit design, however loads of persons are open to that tradeoff — simply have a look at the AirPods‘ reputation. Additionally, if you’d like or want to take care of consciousness of your environment whereas listening, these are possibility.

The FreeBuds 4 look similar to their direct predecessor, the FreeBuds 3. The principle distinction is the case is now barely smaller and lighter. The earbuds themselves are a millimeter or two shorter, however in any other case look the identical. Huawei appears content material to reuse a design that harks again to Apple’s authentic AirPods.

Huawei FreeBuds 4 can be found in white or silver colorways — the white model seen on this overview is clear, however could appear fairly bland. I respect the end of the case, which is barely grippier and fewer fingerprint-prone than each the 4i’s and final yr’s FreeBuds 3 case.

How’s the sound high quality and ANC?

huawei freebuds 4 10

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

There’s no approach round it: the open-fit design of the Huawei FreeBuds 4 impacts sound high quality.

With out silicone tricks to isolate the audio system, sound slips out out of your ears, so that you’ll have to pay attention at a better quantity. For comparability, I may use the FreeBuds 4i at 25{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} quantity on my laptop computer, however after I switched to the FreeBuds 4, I needed to pump up the amount to 70{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} for the same expertise. That’s tremendous in a quiet atmosphere like my yard, however the lack of isolation will make listening in noisy environments a lot much less nice than it could possibly be. Listening at excessive quantity isn’t good for the long-term well being of your ears both.

The bass response will sound quieter than it ought to, which is simply one other consequence of an unsealed ear canal. These usually are not the earbuds for you when you take pleasure in thumping bass or hearken to quite a lot of rap, R&B, or different genres that depend on bass.

If you happen to settle for the restrictions of their open-fit design, the FreeBuds 4 sound fairly good.

On the flip aspect, when you hate headphones that drown out vocals and excessive sounds in extreme bass, you’ll love the FreeBuds 4. They de-emphasize the low finish, permitting you to extra simply hear vocal and string harmonics.

That’s to not say the FreeBuds 4 sound dangerous. If you happen to settle for the restrictions of their open-fit design, these true wi-fi earphones sound fairly good. There are many individuals on the market who hate the “stethoscope” really feel of in-ear earbuds. For them, the FreeBuds 4 are a stable possibility.

Huawei claims to have improved the ANC on the FreeBuds 4 in comparison with their predecessor. That may be the case, however I didn’t hear a big distinction. In truth, I barely observed the ANC in most conditions. These headphones aren’t an awesome purchase for noise cancellation.

How’s the battery life?

huawei freebuds 4 case 5

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The FreeBuds 4 are rated for 4 hours of battery life with noise-cancelling turned off. Turning ANC on will scale back battery life to only 2.5 hours. Contemplating how imperceptible the ANC is, most customers ought to maintain this characteristic switched off.

The battery contained in the case brings one other 22 hours (ANC off) to the desk. Relying in your utilization patterns which means you may cost the case on Monday and never fear about it till Wednesday or Thursday. In fact, when you use the earbuds extensively, you’ll need to plop them again into the case each three or 4 hours.

Charging the earbuds contained in the case takes about an hour. That’s how lengthy you’ll have to cost up the case as nicely. The case itself prices through USB-C. There’s additionally a model of the FreeBuds 4 that comes with a case that may be charged wirelessly, although this isn’t in the stores on the time of writing.

The FreeBuds 4 don’t help wi-fi charging, which is a step backwards in comparison with the FreeBuds 3.

4 hours of battery life isn’t spectacular as of late — even Huawei’s £80 FreeBuds 4i supply as much as 10 hours on a single cost, albeit with a smaller battery within the case. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus in the meantime reached over 11 hours of listening time in our testing (additionally with a smaller battery within the case).

What different options do the FreeBuds 4 have?

huawei freebuds 4 vs freebuds 3

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The FreeBuds 4 look virtually equivalent to the FreeBuds 3

The FreeBuds 4 characteristic Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and help Bluetooth multipoint. Meaning you may have them related to, say, your laptop computer and smartphone on the similar time, which is nice for taking calls with out skipping a beat. Personally, I discover this characteristic a bit annoying, however you may disable it from the companion Huawei AI Life app.

AI Life helps you to examine battery life for the case and every earbud, toggle Bluetooth connections, and customise the contact gestures. Talking of which, it’s good to see that the FreeBuds 4 now have swipe-to-adjust-volume gestures, along with double faucets (for playback management) and squeezes (for toggling ANC).

Learn extra: What are the perfect noise-cancelling earbuds?

The Discover My Earphones operate in AI Life helps you to play every earbud at max quantity, probably permitting you to search out them whenever you inevitably misplace them.

Lastly, put on detection stops playback whenever you take off the earbuds and resumes it whenever you put them again in. That is nice (and helps with battery life), however sadly this characteristic solely works with telephones, not laptops.

Anything?

huawei freebuds 4 in hand

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

  • The case: The FreeBuds 4 case feels nicely made. It’s additionally very easy to take away the earbuds from it, not like with the FreeBuds 4i.
  • Compatibility: Huawei is saving some options for its ecosystem, together with gadgets powered by its new(-ish) Concord working system. These embody fast pairing and the power to switch playback from a smartphone to a Huawei TV or pill paired with the FreeBuds. The excellent news is you’re not lacking any essential options when you’re utilizing them with gadgets from different manufacturers.
  • Water resistance: You possibly can safely use the FreeBuds 4 within the rain, because of the IPX4 water resistance certification.

FreeBuds 4 specs

Huawei FreeBuds 4
Measurement

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Earbuds: 41.4 x 16.8 x 18.5mm
Case: 58 (diameter) x 21.1mm

Weight

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Earbuds: 4.1g
Case: 38g

Connectivity

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Bluetooth 5.2
Twin gadget connection

Sensors

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Contact: Swipe, double-tap, press and maintain
Ear on/off detection

Batteries

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Per earbud: 30mAh
Charging case: 410mAh
4h of music playback per cost (ANC off);
2.5h of music playback per cost (ANC on)
22h of music playback with case included (ANC off)
14h of music playback with case included (ANC on)

Charging

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

USB-C
Charging time – earbuds: ~1h
Charging time – case (no earbuds): ~1h

Speaker

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

14.3mm dynamic

Audio

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Energetic noise cancelling
Name noise cancelling

Water resistance

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

IPX4

Colours

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Silver Frost, Ceramic White

Worth and competitors

huawei freebuds 4

Huawei FreeBuds 4

Supremely snug open-fit earbuds

So gentle and unobtrusive, you would possibly neglect you are sporting them. With first rate options and sound high quality, the FreeBuds 4 are one of many few remaining choices for followers of open-fit true wi-fi earbuds.

At their launch value of £129, the FreeBuds 4 are £40 cheaper than the FreeBuds 3 have been two years in the past, however competitors is stronger in the present day.

The choices widen dramatically when you have a look at passive-sealing, silicone-tip-equipped choices. The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) ($119) stay an awesome possibility for these searching for ANC in an awesome well-rounded package deal, and the brand new Sony WF-1000XM4 are even higher, however pricier. Sadly, each pairs presently aren’t broadly out there throughout Europe, however US patrons ought to completely think about them. In the meantime, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Professional (£219) supply stellar battery life and first rate ANC.

The strongest competitors would possibly come from Huawei’s different true wi-fi earbuds.

However the strongest competitors would possibly come from Huawei’s different true wi-fi earbuds. The FreeBuds Professional, launched late final yr, supply all the identical options because the FreeBuds 4, with superior sound high quality, ANC that’s truly efficient, and significantly better battery life. On the time of this writing, they’re cheaper than the FreeBuds 4, at £116, making it very onerous to advocate the newer mannequin, except you really need open-fit earbuds.

Huawei FreeBuds 4 overview: The decision

huawei freebuds 4 case 4

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Two years in the past, I reviewed the FreeBuds 3 and I actually favored them. Within the meantime, the trade has moved on, enhancing sound high quality, battery life, and designs throughout the board. The FreeBuds 4 really feel frozen in time — certainly, there’s not a lot new to speak about whenever you examine them to their predecessor.

The FreeBuds 4 really feel frozen in time.

If you happen to’re searching for open-fit true wi-fi earbuds, the FreeBuds 4 are an honest possibility. They’re very snug, they sound good, and the battery life (with the case included) is passable.

However if you’d like superior sound high quality, passive isolation, and actual lively noise cancellation, there are numerous higher choices on the market, together with Huawei’s personal FreeBuds Professional.

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