True wi-fi earbuds have turn into a mature product class in only a few quick years. Dozens of manufacturers are competing within the section, pushing costs down and making options like lively noise-cancelling (ANC) extra accessible than ever.

The Huawei FreeBuds 4i function lively noise-cancelling, water resistance, and strong battery life, all for underneath £80/€100. However has Huawei lower any corners to make this enticing worth attainable? We let you know in our Huawei FreeBuds 4i overview.

About this Huawei FreeBuds 4i overview: I used the FreeBuds 4i for 10 days working software program model The FreeBuds 4i overview unit was offered to Android Authority by Huawei.

What you must know in regards to the Huawei FreeBuds 4i

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Credit score: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

  • Huawei FreeBuds 4i: £79/€99 (frequent reductions and promos accessible)

The FreeBuds 4i are Huawei’s most inexpensive true wi-fi earphones. Usually, the “i” mannequin is a follow-up to the “mainstream” mannequin, however on this case, Huawei hasn’t introduced the FreeBuds 4 but.

Huawei is promoting the FreeBuds 4i in black, white, or pink colorways for an inventory worth of £79 (~$111) within the UK or €99 (~$119) in European markets. As with many Huawei merchandise as of late, there are enticing offers available — as an example, as of the time of this writing, UK clients can get a free Huawei Band 4e health tracker with their buy from

The FreeBuds 4i function ANC and three sizes of silicone ear ideas, making them a viable selection for customers on the lookout for good noise isolation. They’re not very rugged although — should you favor sportier designs, the “neckband”-style FreeLace Professional are value trying out.

How’s the design?

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Credit score: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The FreeBuds 4i have an AirPods-like design that doesn’t stand out by a lot. That’s to not say this inoffensive design is dangerous — quite the opposite, it’s gentle, smooth, and cozy.

Each the earbuds and the case are smaller than final yr’s FreeBuds 3i. This welcome change comes with an annoying disadvantage: the earbuds are infuriatingly arduous to take away from the case.

The FreeBuds 4i are gentle, smooth, and cozy.

The FreeBuds 4i could also be petite, however Huawei’s principally trimmed away the plastic — the capability of the batteries contained in the earbuds is 48{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} greater than on the earlier technology (extra about that within the battery life part beneath).

Do the FreeBuds 4i sound good?

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Credit score: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The Huawei FreeBuds 4i sound surprisingly good for his or her inexpensive worth. They reproduce clear audio and keep away from frequent pitfalls of cheaper earbuds the place bass notes make it arduous to listen to midrange and treble notes.

Additionally learn: The most effective true wi-fi earbuds underneath $50 you should purchase

Mids and highs sound clear and the bass is loud, however not overwhelming. If you happen to favor heavy, thumping bass, there are higher choices on the market. Total, I discovered the FreeBuds 4i frequency response very pleasurable.

Sound-wise, the FreeBuds 4i are barely higher than the FreeBuds 3i, however I wouldn’t say the distinction is clear. Don’t improve to the 4i only for higher audio. In comparison with the high-end FreeBuds Professional, the extra accessible 4i maintain their very own, however I like to recommend the Professionals to extra discerning listeners.

How’s the noise-cancelling on the FreeBuds 4i?

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Credit score: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Lively noise-cancelling has turn into a table-stakes function on premium true wi-fi earbuds, but it surely’s nonetheless uncommon within the mid-range section the FreeBuds 4i belongs to.

To activate ANC on the FreeBuds 4i, faucet and maintain on both earbud. The gesture works reliably, although it’s a bit of gradual. Faucet and maintain once more to enter Consciousness mode, which will increase the quantity of voices and different ambient sounds. That is helpful once you wish to hear what’s happening round you with out eradicating your earbuds.

Learn extra: What are the very best noise-cancelling earbuds?

The FreeBuds 4i noise cancelling tech isn’t the very best that’s come out means, but it surely successfully hushes low, monotone sounds. Don’t count on eerie silence when strolling down the road or in different noisy environments. If you’d like robust ANC, the FreeBuds Professional are the higher selection from Huawei.

Is the battery life good on the FreeBuds 4i?

huawei freebuds 4i 1

Credit score: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Huawei quotes a battery lifetime of as much as 10 hours on a single cost, some circumstances utilized. Particularly, you’ll get the very best battery life should you disable ANC, pay attention at decrease volumes, and use the AAC Bluetooth codec. When ANC is on, the rated battery life decreases by 25{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24}.

FreeBuds 4i battery life falls a bit wanting Huawei’s claims. however they nonetheless supply loads of use on a single cost.

The case holds a 215mAh battery — that’s about twice the capability of the 2 earbuds mixed. In different phrases, a totally charged case ought to provide you with as much as ~20 hours of additional listening time.

In actual life, FreeBuds 4i battery life falls a bit wanting Huawei’s claims, affected by issues like weak wi-fi connections and better volumes. In my expertise, I nonetheless bought 7-8 hours of battery life, with a mixture of ANC and non-ANC use, and that was greater than sufficient for my use.


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Credit score: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

  • Compatibility: The FreeBuds 4i work greatest with Huawei gadgets working the newest model of EMUI. This will get you put on detection (the headphones pause playback once you take them off) and fast pairing (by way of the Huawei AI Life app). If you happen to don’t have a latest Huawei machine, they’ll behave like all Bluetooth headphones. This goes for laptops as nicely.
  • One machine at a time: The FreeBuds 4i do not assist multi-device connectivity. I’ve all the time discovered this perform extra annoying than helpful, so it’s not a serious situation in my e book.
  • Contact controls: You management the FreeBuds 4i by touches: tap-and-hold to cycle the ANC modes, and double-tap to regulate playback. There are a number of customization choices accessible within the Huawei AI Life app. Sadly, the 4i’s don’t assist swipes to regulate quantity just like the dearer FreeBuds Professional.
  • Water resistance: The earbuds are rated IPX4 — they’ll deal with sweat and rain, however don’t dunk them in water.
  • Mics: Mic and name high quality on the FreeBuds 4i are each satisfactory. No points there.

Huawei FreeBuds 4i specs

  Huawei FreeBuds 4i
Dimension Earbuds: 37.5 x 23.9 x 21 mm
Case: 48 x 61.8 x 27.5 mm
Weight Earbuds: 5.5g
Case: 36.5g
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.2
Sensors Contact
Ear on/off detection
Batteries Per earbud: 55mAh
Charging case: 215mAh
Charging USB-C
Quick charging: 10m charging leads to 4h of listening
Speaker 10mm dynamic
Audio Codecs: AAC, SBC
Lively noise cancelling
Name noise cancelling
Colours Ceramic Black, Ceramic White, Purple

Worth and competitors

Huawei FreeBuds 4i Tons of worth

ANC for underneath £100? The Huawei FreeBuds 4i ship noise cancelling, strong sound high quality and as much as 10 hours of battery life. That is a hell of a package deal for the value.

There’s no scarcity of rivals within the sub-$100 section of true wi-fi earbuds market. Nevertheless, few merchandise supply ANC, just like the FreeBuds 4i do.

If you happen to’re a fan of noise-cancelling, the Panasonic RZ-S500W (£99 at Amazon) function nice ANC, IPX4 water resistance, and fast charging, however their design will not be for everybody and the battery life is shorter. The Earfun Air Professional (£69 at Amazon) are cheaper the Huawei FreeBuds 4i and still have ANC and water resistance.

Associated: The most effective AirPods alternate options for underneath $100

If ANC will not be a should, our resident audio editor recommends inexpensive true wi-fi earbuds just like the Anker Liberty Air 2, the Edifier TWS1, and the older Samsung Galaxy Buds.

Total, it’s arduous to beat the value and the options you get with FreeBuds 4i. They undoubtedly supply a number of worth to your cash.

FreeBuds 4i overview: The decision

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Credit score: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The FreeBuds 4i present a fantastic mixture of design, options, and worth. They don’t excel at something specifically, however these true wi-fi earbuds shine once you choose them as an entire.

Only a few rivals supply ANC at costs similar to Huawei’s FreeBuds 4i and that’s most likely the most important purpose to purchase them. It’s not wonderful ANC, but it surely’s there in order for you it.

The FreeBuds 4i present a fantastic mixture of design, options, and worth.

Primarily based on my time with the FreeBuds 4i overview unit, I can suggest them to consumers who wish to graduate from wired, non-ANC, or finances earbuds, however don’t wish to spend an excessive amount of. Even when you have already got some expertise with higher-end earbuds, the FreeBuds 4i are ok, so long as you’re not choosy about your sound.

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