Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 review – the best headphones with ANC?

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 review - the best headphones with ANC
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 Review
  • Design and ergonomics
  • Convenience and comfort
  • Communication and connection
  • Management and software
  • Sound quality
  • Autonomy and charging
4

Summary

Solid TWS headphones for people who have specific expectations of sound quality. Comfortable for everyday use and elegant, with a very effective noise reduction system. Their disadvantage, however, is the relatively short working time, especially with the ANC on.

Benefits

  • excellent sound quality
  • bass sound
  • effective noise reduction system
  • application to operate the accessory
  • set and build quality
  • wired or wireless charging case

Disadvantages

  • working times
  • precision of touch operation
  • protrude quite far from the ear
  • the finish makes the headphones slippery
  • call quality in louder environments

Recent years have been specific for Huawei – the Chinese manufacturer has lost its importance and share in the smartphone market, but has flourished in the field of headphones and wearables, such as smartwatches and bands. FreeBuds Pro 2 are a great example of this. They combine advanced functions, excellent sound quality and a reasonable price. Although they will have to fight in an extremely competitive market, I think that they will be able to cope with it without any problems.

Undoubtedly, Huawei raised the bar for other manufacturers with the FreeBuds Pro 2 model. He packed them with technologies that are to ensure the highest sound quality (including LDAC Hi-Res sound support or cooperation with Devialet, French audio experts) and improved the ANC system, which you just hear it. And all of this is contained in small, elegant headphones that are operated with simple gestures. But are these headphones without flaws? No, although they are still one of the best models on the market.

Specification of Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2

The FreeBuds Pro 2 headphones officially debuted on the European market at the end of June , along with new laptops, a tablet with an E Ink screen and several smartphones.

Specification of Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2

Here’s how their specification looks like:

  • Headphone type: in- ear, wireless
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 (connects to two devices simultaneously), USB-C
  • Technologies used: Low Complexity Subband Codec (SBC), Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), Hi-Res Audio Certificate, Sony LDAC, A2DP, HFP, AVRCP
  • Sensors: bone conduction sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, infrared sensor
  • Diaphragm diameter: 11 mm
  • Frequency response: 14 Hz ~ 48 kHz
  • Other: Built-in Mic, Active Noise Canceling (ANC), Triple Mic Array, IP54 (splash-proof during normal use), Auto Pairing, Intelligent Noise Reduction (down to -47dB), HWA (Hi-Res Wireless Audio) Certification, Support tactile
  • Power supply: built-in 55 mAh battery, 580 mAh charging case
  • Charging: USB-C wired (6W), wireless (2W)
  • Weight: 5.9 g (one earpiece), 52 g (case)

The headphones are on sale for US $240 – and I believe that this is not an exaggerated price. They can be purchased, for example, AliExpress and in other electronics stores.

What’s in the set?

The manufacturer has prepared a decent sales set for its flagship headphones.

It consists of: the FreeBuds Pro 2 headset in a case, a USB-C cable for charging, a set of additional earbuds in size S and L (size M, as the most universal, is already installed in the headphones), instructions and warranty card.

The case has a rounded shape and is small – its mobility is not a problem. On the back there is a shiny field with the logo of Huawei and Devialet (the company responsible for the sound quality of the headphones), on the bottom there is a USB-C port and a LED indicating the state of charge, and on the right side there is a button for synchronizing the headphones with the device. After opening, we can see the tops of the headphones, which, thanks to the magnetic connection, will definitely not fall out by accident, but there is also no problem to remove them from the case. There is also a second LED here, showing the charge level of the headphones themselves.

Small and light – the design of the headphones

The manufacturer has prepared three color versions of the FreeBuds Pro 2 headphones, called Silver Blue, Silver Frost and Ceramic White. The latter fell into my hands.

Aside from the color, the headphones are light (5.9 g per earpiece) and have a refined, ergonomic shape. Properly adjusted to the ear (with the help of rubber gaskets in three sizes), they translate into comfort during many hours of use. Moreover, on the fingers of one hand, I can count the situations in which one of them accidentally fell out of my ear. However, it is impossible not to notice that they protrude quite strongly from the ear, but maybe it’s just an individual matter.

As mentioned, the manufacturer added silicone tips in three sizes to the kit – and after installation, they are really solid. But I have the impression that if we frequently change or clean them, there may be some play.

One of the features of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 is that it automatically stops playing (music or movie) when you remove the headphones from your ears. Thanks to the mono mode, you can only use one handset when needed. The Bluetooth range in the apartment is about 10 meters, with the walls between the headphones and the sound source, a bit more in the open.

Operation and sound – headphones in action

FreeBuds Pro 2 are packed with multiple technologies that are associated with providing the user with an optimal experience related to the comfort of work and sound quality.

Controls – a handful of simple gestures

The headphones don’t have any buttons, but they still allow you to control the volume, playback or ANC system – all thanks to the touch areas on the surface of the headphones. Thanks to this, sliding your finger along the back of the handset (no matter which one) allows you to adjust the volume, squeeze and hold – turn ANC on or off, and a one-, two- or three-times squeeze is a pause / play and switching tracks.

In the application, more about which later in the review, you can change the actions assigned to individual gestures. The only complaint that I can have about this form of control is the relatively small surface of the headphones, and therefore a small area for making gestures. The touch is not always registered and it does not always work precisely. What’s more, when squeezing, you can accidentally move the headphones in your ears.

Working times and loading

Working times are the aspect that can be most complained about. With the ANC (dynamic) system turned on, the FreeBuds Pro 2 worked for about 3 hours in continuous operation – Huawei declares that they should work for up to 4 hours. With the ANC turned off, the time is to be extended up to 6.5 hours. In practice, I did not get such a result.

It is worth adding that many additional working hours will be provided by a case that also supports reverse charging from a phone or tablet. Charging the headphones in the charging case is expected to take about 40 minutes, and charging the case itself takes about an hour for wired charging or 2 hours for wireless charging.

Active noise reduction

The noise reduction system surprised me positively. It is devilishly effective. Just put the headphones in your ears and activate ANC (in dynamic mode – automatic, comfortable, general or supreme) to appreciate this feature. There is silence all around – conversations, the sounds of the TV or the mower outside the window become just a noise that is not very audible. Of course, individual voices and other sounds will cut through here, but the headphones effectively reduce most of the noise from the environment.

The ANC system can be turned off, there is one more function – the “Awareness” mode – it allows, despite the sounds reaching the ear, clearly hearing what is happening around, and even conducting a conversation.

It is worth adding that noise reduction also works during voice calls. It uses a bone conduction microphone and the proprietary Deep Neural Network (DNN) algorithm. The intelligent system is to recognize the sounds of the surroundings and block them, it is to guarantee a clear and easy-to-hear voice.

However, while headphones are great for playing music, they are not the best accessory for making calls. I heard the interlocutors loud and clear, but their impressions were much worse. When it was quiet around, then what the microphones picked up reached the interlocutors unhindered, and my voice was defined as clear, with occasional noise. On the other hand, they negatively assessed the voice reaching them when the environment was noisier, e.g. when driving a car. Then the microphones did not work, it was practically impossible to understand what I was saying.

Sound quality

The sound quality itself is at an excellent level – although I am writing here from the point of view of an average user without a hint of audiophile jam. With their help, I watched a lot of series and listened to various types of music – both high tones and low bass sounds great, the sound is rich and detailed, without distortions.

The headphones support high-definition audio formats via LDAC which support Android smartphones. In the case of iPhones, LDAC is not supported (AAC remains), and there is no support for aptX from Qualcomm.

Read Also: Sony LinkBuds S Review: Active Noise Canceling Smart Headphones
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 review - the best headphones with ANC

Huawei AI Life – an application for managing gadgets

FreeBuds Pro 2 are packed with smart features – and the Huawei AI Life app will let you use their full potential.

The most important functions are related to noise control. We can choose the “Noise reduction” mode in four levels: dynamic, comfortable, general and the highest. We can turn off ANC. And, thirdly, use the Awareness mode, that is, amplification of sounds from the environment, for example during a direct conversation, when we do not want to take the headphones out of our ears.

The user can change the default gestures, the profile related to the sound quality or use the search for lost headphones. The application also provides a simple earphones fit test – after inserting the earphones, music is played, and the microphones detect whether the sound is leaking outside.

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