Huawei has a knack for pushing the boundaries of design on its products- the tech giant is never afraid of producing something that looks unfamiliar as long as it’s functional and delivers something new to the market. The Huawei FreeBuds 5 are no exception, as you notice the bizarre-looking shape that sets them apart from any other earbuds in the market.
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Huawei FreeBuds 5 Pricing and Availability
Huawei’s FreeBuds 5 are high-end audio earbuds with a price tag of AED 599. They offer a great value proposition for audiophiles and are 149 Dirhams cheaper than their direct competitor- the Apple AirPods 3rd generation. Huawei has priced the Freebuds 5 at ₹12,499 in India and €159 in Europe.
Speaker driver: 11 mm | Frequency response range: 16 Hz to 40 kHz | Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2 | Battery capacity: 42 mAh for earbuds, 505 mAh for the charging case | Audio Technology: Dynamic EQ/ANC/Call noise cancellation | IP rating: Earbuds IP54 dust- and splash-resistance
With an open-fit design and premium sound quality, these earbuds are a great choice for those seeking a superior listening experience out of earbuds that stay inside the ears.
Huawei FreeBuds 5 Design
When you look at the Huawei FreeBuds 5, you first think that they’re not the everyday boring design you’d find on other earbuds. The FreeBuds 5 are very different, with a larger stim taking the shape of an eardrop and an overall look that resembles a large bean. The glossy material on the buds feels prone to scratches but not smudges, and it sets flat on tables with its flat back.
The charging case is also different- it’s an oval shape, almost like an egg, with a pairing button on the side. The LED indicator in the middle has three battery level indications, red for a low battery, orange for a medium battery, and green for a fully charged battery. The case design allows you to switch the earbuds places, but the lid doesn’t close. I’ve run into that hiccup a couple of times before realizing that the general rule of thumb is that the headphones should be pointing outwards for them to be placed correctly.
This design choice of the earbuds helps them cling to your ears with that shape. It’s really hard to throw them off- I tried nodding my head harshly, running, and cycling while wearing them, and none of these activities made them fall off my ears. This is a good design choice as it avoids the most pressing issue with the open-fit headphones, making them more reliable to use while working out or doing physical activities.
Additionally, Huawei has included supplementary rubber sleeves that wrap around the earbuds, increasing their thickness and aiding in a more secure fit for those with larger ear canals.
With a quirky and different design, Huwaei has developed a practical design and a solution for the elusive open-fit headphones. Whether you’ll like that design or not is a personal opinion, but when it comes to comfort, these earbuds are certainly among the best I’ve used. You almost forget you’re wearing them.
Usability and Performance
You use Huawei’s AI Life app to control the functions of the Freebuds 5, such as double tapping on each earbud to turn the noise cancellation on/off or searching for your lost earbuds by producing a high-tone sound. There’s also an equalizer to control the frequency of the earbuds and fine-tune it to fit your listening preferences.
The application’s interface is simple and easy to use, and it also works as a central hub for other Huawei smart devices. The app can only download directly from Huawei as an APK app or use Huawei’s app gallery to download it on Android or the App Store on the iPhone.
The gesture controls Huawei has used with its previous audio devices are still present and work great on the Freebuds 5 as you have more surface area. You can double-tap for a preset action defined through the app, and it’s set to play/pause by default. Tapping or swiping on the wider stim is very reliable and useful if you want to change the volume levels or skip tracks on the fly. You can also cycle between noise cancellation modes by long touching the stim.
Sound quality and noise cancellation
The Huawei FreeBuds 5 has an LDAC codec supporting Hi-Res audio playback. This is a huge step up from their predecessors. While it may not necessarily make them the best choice for audiophiles, the sound quality is better than most earbuds.
This is largely due to the dynamic 11 mm driver, which features a double magnetic circuit and a high-quality composite diaphragm. In another jargon-free wording, Huawei has completely redesigned the driver to output beefier sound. This design also contributes to the exceptional quality of the bass, which is both pleasant and deep, with a range starting from 16 Hz.
While the earbuds are not cheap at AED 599, the premium and clear sound quality with rich bass justify the pricing. The noise cancellation here is also pretty good for open-fit headphones. Yes, they aren’t as good as closed-fit earbuds, but they’re as good as open-fit ones can be.
Battery life and charging
Huawei usually provides great battery life and fast charging solutions across all its devices, and the FreeBuds 5 are somewhat similar. The charging case provides up to five days of battery life, even with extended usage. However, the buds themselves don’t last very long- I had to recharge them when using them continuously for over two hours.
Charging the case is easy as it supports wireless charging, which is especially useful if your phone supports reverse wireless charging. You can also use a Type-C cable which charges it fast – it took only 15 minutes to charge the earbuds fully.
Huawei FreeBuds 5 reviews from around the web
Daanesh at Tbreak unboxed these earbuds when they arrived at Tbreak!
TechMagnet says that Huawei’s new Freebuds 5 offer improved noise cancellation, advanced features, and up to 30 hours of runtime. The earbuds have excellent noise cancelling with different modes, including General, which blends out fan noise completely. They offer stable connectivity, prioritized sound quality, and customizable sound effects with a personalized equalizer.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, they’re worth considering if you’re looking for premium open-fit earbuds.
You can look for the Apple Airpods 3rd gen, or if you prefer closed-fit active noise cancelling earbuds, you can consider Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2.
The Huawei FreeBuds 5 are IP54 rated which means that they can withstand drops of sweat and other running conditions, it’s recommended to keep them away from water to avoid potential damage.
Mostafa’s journey in the tech journalism industry began during his teenage years, fueled by his childhood fascination with PC hardware, technology, and video games. Recently, his interests have expanded to include Esports and regional competitions.