Review: Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 TWS Bluetooth Earbuds

Two years after Huawei launched its first FreeBuds Pro flagship True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Bluetooth earbuds, the Chinese company has released its successor. Co-engineered with French Audio experts Devialet, the FreeBuds Pro 2 offers flagship-level audio quality, great active noise cancellation (ANC), at a mid-range price.

I’ve been trying the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 prior to its launch in Singapore. It is available in Silver Frost (seen here) as well as Ceramic White and Silver Blue.

I’ve been trying the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 prior to its launch in Singapore. It is available in Silver Frost (seen here) as well as Ceramic White and Silver Blue.

The FreeBuds Pro 2 is Huawei’s latest flagship TWS Bluetooth (5.2) earbuds.

The silicone earbud tip provides good sealing and does a good job of keeping out ambient noise even without turning on the active noise canceling mode.

The earbuds are a snug fit and didn’t fall out even when I went for a mild jog.


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Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 freshly unboxed. In the box are the earbuds in the wireless charging case, three pairs of differently-sized silicone ear tips, one USB-C charging cable, as well as a Quick Start Guide and Warranty Card.

Weighing only 6.1g, it’s easy to forget they’re in the ears and I was able to wear them comfortably for long hours.

With a short stem, the shiny metallic finishing can be a fingerprint magnet.

The charging case supports both wireless (Qi standard 2W) and wired (USB Type-C) charging.

The USB-C port is located at the bottom of the case while the reset button is at the side.

Wireless charging takes two hours (to charge the case without earbuds) while wired charging takes roughly one hour.

It takes 40 minutes to fully charge the earbuds in the charging case, but I like it that you can get from zero to 50% charge in just 10 minutes.

With ANC turned off, the earbuds last for 6.5 hrs, with the charging case providing for another 18 hrs of music playback.

With ANC on, the earbuds are good for 4 hrs while the charging case provides for another 30 hrs of music.

This is plenty good for me and is better than many TWS earbuds in the market, although there are some out there with longer battery life.

The pricier Apple AirPods Pro is rated at 4.5 hrs on ANC.

My Take

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are excellent TWS earbuds which offer excellent flagship-level audio quality and outstanding ANC at a competitive price.

Ergonomics are well-designed with rich features via its companion app, as well as direct control on the earbuds.

The FreeBuds Pro 2 is compatible with all phones and works with the AI Life companion app on iOS and Android from Huawei’s AppGallery.

The app allows me to toggle Noise Control modes, set different Sound effects and modify gesture settings.

As in Google Buds Pro, the app has a “Tip fit test” which helps the user determine the right size earbud tip to use.

I tried it and the outcome matched my own choice – based on physical fit and feel – prior to running the test.

So for the less experienced who are uncertain on which is an optimum tip size to use, the test can come in helpful.

The FreeBuds Pro 2 allows me to directly control the earbuds through swipes and pinches on the stems.

To prevent accidental activation through the typical touch control, the FreeBuds Pro 2 uses two-finger pinch control instead by pinching the stems.

One pinch to Play/Pause, two pinches for the Next song, three pinches for the Previous song.

To toggle through ANC on, ANC off, and Awareness mode – pinch and hold.

For volume control, swipe up or down the edge of the stem.

I would have preferred the swiping to be on the larger outward-facing surface of the stems, because it’s slightly trickier to swipe the thin forward-facing edge of the stem.

These controls work the same way on both earbud stems.

With “Smart wear detection”, removing a earbud from the ear automatically pauses playback while putting it back resumes the music.

In terms of ruggedness, the FreeBuds Pro 2 are IP54-rated, which means that they are splash-, dust- and water-resistant in normal daily circumstances.

Audio Performance

To me, the most important criteria for earbuds are their audio quality and performance.

The co-engineering with Devialet really shows here because the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 is top-notch in this department, beating many other earbuds that I’ve listened to.

The FreeBuds Pro 2 packs two drivers in each earbud, with a 11mm dynamic driver supplemented by a separate UHF planar diaphragm driver – together pumping out a wider frequency range of 14Hz to 48kHz, offering luscious trebles and powerful bass.

Most earphones operate a smaller range, typically from 20Hz to 20kHz.

Huawei calls this the “Ultra-hearing True Sound Dual Driver” sound system.

In addition to the hardware driver system, the FreeBuds Pro 2 uses the “Triple Adaptive EQ” technology to automatically tune audio according to users’ ear canal structure, posture and volume level to offer a personalised and high-definition sound experience.

Via the AI Life app, you can select up to four preset Sound effects, or create your custom equalizer profile.

The “Default” Sound effect that was co-created with Devialet is already pretty good for most instances.

You can, however, choose “Bass boost”, “Treble boost” or “Clear vocals”.

In addition, you can enable :HD Voice” which enhances the clarity of voice calls.

For active noise canceling, the FreeBuds Pro 2 is equipped with “Intelligent Dynamic ANC 2.0” that accurately identifies your ear canal structure, external sound field environment and wearing status.

You can choose one of three degrees of ANC depending on the severity of ambient noisiness – “Cozy” for places with a little noise, “General” for noisy places, and “Ultra” for extremely noisy places.

Alternatively, just leave it at “Dynamic” setting which adjusts the degree of noise canceling based on actual surroundings as detected by the external microphones.

Setting the ANC mode to “Dynamic”, I could tell the amount of noise canceling was appropriately varied when I walked from a noisy street into a quiet shop.

The triple-microphone ANC system boosts the average ANC depth by 15% when compared with its predecessor, and contributes to wider frequency ranges (50 Hz–3,000 Hz), with maximum ANC depth up to 47 dB.

I found phone calls to be clear and quiet thanks to the FreeBuds Pro 2’s new Pure Voice call noise cancellation technology and its 4-microphones which accurately picks up human voices.

The four microphones include a bone conduction microphone in addition to the three microphones, and works with Huawei’s deep neural network (DNN) noise cancellation algorithm which has learned over 100 million voice samples to cancel out all manner of distraction, from noisy subway cars to windy conditions.

Even in noisy or windy environments, the person on the other side of the call was usually impressed with how my surroundings sounded noiseless.

With Huawei phones running EMUI 12 or later, the FreeBuds Pro 2 has an aircraft noise cancellation that is capable of eliminating roaring aircraft engine noises on flights.

The FreeBuds Pro 2 also supports LDAC high-resolution codec and is certified both by HWA and Hi-Res Audio Wireless, supporting fast transmission of up to 990 kbps, and transmitting high-fidelity audio.

AAC and SBC are also supported.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 has a dual connection feature which offers seamless connection with two devices for automatic call switching.

The ‘Audio Connection Center’ in the app also lets users view the last 10 devices connected to the earbuds for easy switching between multiple devices.

For gamers, “Dynamic latency” setting in the app automatically switches to low audio latency mode when games are launched to reduce audio delays.

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2 Responses to “Review: Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 TWS Bluetooth Earbuds”

  1. Gerald Yeo says:

    Does it work well with non-Huawei phones?

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