Review: Huawei FreeBuds 4 Open-Fit Wireless Earbuds with ANC

Huawei launched the FreeBuds 4 TWS (True Wireless Stereo) earbuds for APAC less than two weeks ago and I’ve been trying it out since then. Pre-orders for the earbuds are now open from today till 23 July, 2021 before it hits Singapore shelves on the 24 July.

 

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Here’s my Silver Frost version of the new Huawei FreeBuds 4. Also available is Ceramic White.

I like the physical design for the FreeBuds 4, especially the chrome shiny metallic Silver Frost colourway.

The other colour available is the Ceramic White version, which looks similar to Apple AirPods.

In the box are the earbuds, the charging case, a USB-C cable and the regular documentation that includes a quick-start guide, safety information, warranty card and warranty certificate.

Currently only the wired charging version of the FreeBuds 4 has been launched.

There is a slightly more expensive wireless charging version that is not available yet.

I was a bit apprehensive whether the open-fit FreeBuds 4 would stay in my ears but having worn the earbuds for almost two weeks, I found that the earbuds were actually quite secure in the ears.

I haven’t had the earbuds falling out of my ears even under deliberate exaggerated head-shaking or during my light jogs.

I did drop the earbuds a few times accidentally from a height of more than a metre due to my butterfingers and it’s a testimony to the earbuds’ ruggedness that the functionality and sound quality didn’t break.

The earbuds (not the casing) are IPX4 rated so it’s splash proof and sweat proof.

As with most open-fit earbuds, don’t expect the snug fit of in-ear earbuds with proper silicone tips and the sound insulation from the sealing.

But it does mean that I’m more aware of the surroundings when walking or jogging on the roads.

It also makes it more comfortable and reduces ear fatigue and soreness.

The Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) 2.0 in the FreeBuds 4 helped reduce light background noise quite effectively eg. typing on the keyboard or the steam hissing from the pressure cooker.

Two microphones per earbud are used for ANC in the FreeBuds 4 as opposed to only a single mic in the FreeBuds 3.

Huawei claims that the ANC removes up to 25dB of ambient noise.

The FreeBuds 4 also boasts Adaptive Ear Matching (AEM) which senses the physical shape and “layout” of the ear and takes that into account for the ANC.

The AEM also optimises the audio effect based on the detected shape of the ears to produce high audio quality.

The Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) composite diaphragm supports a frequency range of up to 40kHz and is great for listening to high resolution audio.

Treble sounded fuller and richer because of lower loss in quality.

For bass, FreeBuds 4 features a newly upgraded bass enhancement engine, brass tube and motherboard to create an independently sealed sound cavity.

The Huawei FreeBuds 4 is available in Silver Frost and Ceramic White.

The Huawei FreeBuds 4 is available in Silver Frost and Ceramic White (in this photo).

Huawei boasts that, compared to FreeBuds 3, the improved airtightness and accoustic pressure in the FreeBuds 4 has increased the volume of the bass tube by 15%, providing an intensified resonance effect from the air and diaphragm.

Overall, the sound quality from the FreeBuds 4 makes it a pleasurable listen especially compared to other earbuds in its price bracket.

Feedback from people receiving my calls report that my voice went through loud and clear.

Compared to its predecessor, FreeBuds 4 is lighter (at only 4.1g), more compact, has a longer battery life and gets the latest Bluetooth 5.2.

Connection is easy and fast.

Open the case and the earbuds go into pairing mode.

Simply press and hold the button on the side of the case to re-pair.

If already paired, the earbuds connect to the device really quickly once you open the case.

A neat feature of the FreeBuds 4 is its ability to simultaneously connect to two devices.

So if you’re listening to music from a notebook and a call comes in on your phone, you can still pick up the call instantly while the music is paused.

My Take:

Huawei’s latest FreeBuds 4 offers a handsome pair of TWS earbuds with good audio quality, easy connectivity & user-friendliness and active noise cancelling – suitable for daily wear to listen to all genres of music, whether it’s casual listening on public transport or working out at the gym.

Also the two earbuds can be separately connected so you can share your music with someone else.

When you take out a earbud, playback is automatically paused on the earbud and on the device.

Playback resumes when you pop-back the earbuds.

Control-wise, there are three simple and intuitive gestures on the stem of the earbud: swipe to increase or decrease volume; tap twice to play/pause music or to answer/end a call; press and hold to to enable/disable noise cancelling or to reject an incoming call.

Simple and effective.

If you’re using a Huawei phone, you can install Huawei AI Life app to control various settings for the FreeBuds 4 eg. battery level for each earbud, connection center for devices paired to the FreeBuds 4 and shortcuts for gesture controls.

For non-Huawei device users, you can sideload the app from the App Gallery.

But in terms of pairing and connection, it is as speedy whether you’re using a Huawei device or not.

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2 Responses to “Review: Huawei FreeBuds 4 Open-Fit Wireless Earbuds with ANC”

  1. Alice Ho says:

    The freebuds look like apple’s airpods especially the white ones. But the silvery one looks nice!

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