Huawei unveiled FreeBuds Pro 2 headphones
According to jbq , The Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 is Huawei’s latest true wireless earphones and the Chinese tech giant’s best shot to become the first guide in our best true wireless earphones buying guide.
The company released its first pair of true wireless headphones, the first generation Freebuds, in 2018. Since then, its audio offering has grown iteratively stronger and follows Apple’s similar release structure to no one’s surprise.
As you might expect, there are standard Freebuds models, and then in 2020, Huawei released the Freebuds Pro. Like the Apple AirPods Pro, these are a more expensive version of the regular Freebuds with upgraded noise canceling features.
Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 is an evolution of the original Huawei Freebuds Pro. We rated these buds highly, praising them for their excellent active noise cancellation (ANC) and good sound.
The Pro 2 are similar in some ways, but with significant upgrades, including a new dual driver design and even better ANC. There’s also now a dedicated iOS app that the Buds Pro lacked great news for iPhone owners, as it makes Huawei’s Buds a strong competitor to the AirPods Pro.
What you need to know about the Huawei Freebuds Pro 2
The Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 builds on the solid foundation of the original Freebuds Pro, which we reviewed in 2020. Huawei improved the design – literally and figuratively – and improved the feature set, while maintaining the same excellent audio quality and active noise cancellation (ANC). We loved the 2020 model.
Huawei teamed up with audio company Devialet to tune the Freebuds Pro 2’s audio, as reflected in the dual branding on the case. It’s hard to say how much of an impact this collaboration has had, but there’s no denying the excellent sound of the Freebuds Pro 2.
The active noise canceling (ANC) on the Freebuds Pro 2 performs admirably, aided by silicone tips that block out most external noise.
Switching between multiple ANC modes allows you to choose the most comfortable level, and you can easily change the noise cancellation by pressing the stem of the headphones.
Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 builds on the strong foundation of the original Freebuds Pro
JBQ says, Freebuds Pro 2 is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows devices, although feature parity between platforms is not complete.
Only Huawei phones running EMUI 12 or higher have the full set of features. Bluetooth connectivity is available via the high-res LDAC codec, although it’s only worth the battery swap if you’re listening from a high-res source.
Huawei claims battery life of up to 4 hours with ANC on (six and a half hours with ANC off) to 18 hours with ANC on (30 hours with ANC off) with the phone case on.
Freebuds Pro 2 looks and feels superior. They are smooth and round and feel comfortable in the ear.
You can choose one of three sizes of silicone ear tips. The largest collection was still a bit small for me, but not to the point where it would fall out of my ears.
AI Life, Huawei’s companion app for audio products (Android, iOS), has a “Tip fit test” feature that’s supposed to tell you which tip is best for your ear shape, but it wasn’t reliable in my experience.
For this Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 review, I tested the minimalist Ceramic White version. Silver Blue stands out more thanks to the transformative iridescence, while Silver Frost is a subtler and subdued grey.
The weight of each earphone is about 6.1 grams, which is about the same weight as the AirPods Pro. Huawei claims to have moved the center of gravity of the headphones to make them more stable in the ear. I was able to wear them for hours without discomfort. The charging box is smaller and lighter than the previous generation and is also more ergonomic. Like the Freebuds Pro, I had no problem taking the headphones out and putting them in the case.
Freebuds Pro 2 has a beautiful sound. On the tech front, Huawei talks about a long line of advancements and innovations centered around the dual driver. It features an 11mm four-magnet driver for bass and other low notes and a flat diaphragm for highs.
According to Huawei, the lows are low – 14 Hz, below the human hearing limit.
The software equalizes the sound based on the volume and position of each headphone in the ear canal in real time.
The results are excellent – the sound is generally warm, the bass is satisfyingly deep, and vocals and the complex layers of midrange instruments come through clearly. Combined with effective isolation and ANC, it’s hard to go wrong with the sound of the Freebuds Pro 2.
The sound is generally warm, the bass is satisfyingly deep, and vocals and complex layers of midrange instruments are clearly visible
Huawei says it has improved the ANC on the Freebuds Pro 2 over the previous generation, and it now outperforms the AirPods Pro in this regard.
In my experience, it was very effective at canceling noise without being annoying. When walking down a busy street or driving my car, I noticed a noticeable reduction in hum, allowing me to enjoy my music at a lower volume.
Having ANC on increases battery consumption, but the Freebuds Pro 2 mitigates this to some extent by adapting its intensity to the ambient noise level.
I loved the ability to control all the key functions of the Freebuds Pro 2 with gestures. You control playback by pressing the stem of the headphones, while rotating and holding in noise canceling modes. You adjust the volume by swiping the stem up and down.
Calls on the Freebuds Pro 2 were loud and clear. The person on the other end never had a problem hearing me, even when I was driving in a car on the highway.
What is not so good
I found the battery life of the Freebuds Pro 2 adequate for my needs, but they fall behind their direct competitors in this regard.
They are rated for four hours of listening with ANC, which is average (or slightly lower) in 2022. For comparison, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is rated for up to eight hours of playback with ANC, while the Galaxy Buds Pro managed five hours.
and AirPods Pro four and a half hours. Even the original Freebuds Pro lasted longer, at five hours. On the other hand, the Freebuds Pro 2 charge very quickly – it only takes about 10 minutes to go from 0% to 50% (charging the headphones in the box), so at least you can get back to listening quickly.
Whatever , you can charge you earbuds with fast charger.
The battery life of the Freebuds Pro 2 is adequate, but it lags behind its direct competitors
As with other Huawei headphones, you’ll only get the full feature set of the Freebuds 2 Pro if you use them on a Huawei phone, tablet, or PC. Key functionality is available cross-platform, but if there’s a specific feature you’re looking for, check out the “Elegant Edition.”
Finally, I noticed some minor but annoying interruptions in playback when using the Freebuds Pro 2 with my laptop, but never with my phone. It’s hard to tell which device was the culprit, but if you plan to only use them with a laptop, you should be careful.
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The Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 are available in white, gray and blue for around £170 in the UK and €200 in Europe.
They will also be available in India and other markets around the world, although they don’t appear to be available in the US due to the fallout from the ongoing trade ban.
They face some serious competition, including the AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM4, and the all-new Google Pixel Buds Pro.