Ear buddies

Ear buddies

Huawei stirs the audiophile market with FreeBuds Pro 2

Clear voice, ample bass, adequate sound stage, great noise cancelling, great fit and a price of around 6,499 baht are the strong points of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 earbuds.

The earbuds have two dedicated sound drivers, one for bass and another for treble, and provide ample punchy low end that will satisfy rock and EDM fans like me.

The sound stage, which allows the listener to hear the location of instruments in a given piece of music, of the FreeBuds Pro 2 is a little small. It's like listening to music in a 2m-by-2m room, but that's alright. However, the smaller sound stage may be a factor for people who like to listen to an orchestra.

The sounds of these buds have been tuned and come with a set of equalisers by Devialet, a 17-year-old French acoustical engineering company.

The earbuds also support LDAC which is an audio coding technology that enables the transmission of Hi-Res audio over a Bluetooth connection. So, if the streaming service of your choice supports Hi-Res sound, this has you covered for a better and fuller audio experience.

The buds also have an impressive noise cancellation depth of 47dB which cancels out most wind and traffic noise for phone calls on the go. This amount of noise cancellation is considered the best in the world.

I'm a person who comes from many sets of wireless earbuds that share very similar gesture controls (double tap to skip to the next track, triple tap for the previous track, tap and hold for volume control or other special functions). The FreeBuds Pro 2 have their own take on gesture control and are surprisingly intuitive, but it does take some time to get used to. You squeeze either side of the stems to go to the next track, do that three times for the previous track, swipe up to increase volume or down to decrease it and squeeze and hold to cycle through sound modes. You can see there are a lot of things that you can control on the buds themselves without the need to whip out your phone, and all these gestures can be turned off if you don't like them.

Compared to Samsung's latest earbuds, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 have way better in-and-out of ear detection. The music stops the second you remove a bud from the ear and resumes instantly when popped back in, which strangely took 2-5 seconds longer with Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro that cost roughly the same. They also have a low latency mode for gamers who hate sound delays between actions on screen and what comes to your ears. It also comes with four microphones on each side which make hands-free calls clearer than many wireless earphones.

As a big-eared person, earbuds with stems (like Apple AirPods) don't fit nor stay secure in my ears and fly off when I start to move a lot. Strangely, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 that has stems remain in my ears even when I go for 5km walks (although I still need to adjust their position in my ears a bit when I do speed walking and sweat like a hog).

These earbuds can be used in the rain and during exercise because they have an IP54 water resistance rating.

The charging case also supports wireless charging, which can be quite handy when your smartphone is reverse wireless charging capable or if you own a wireless charger. There is also a discreet manual Bluetooth pair button, which is something that I never thought I'd miss after having one. Most of my earbuds don't have a manual pair button and require you to press something or some area of the buds to connect to your desired device which may or may not work depending on their mood. And, as a person who uses multiple phones, computers, notebooks and game consoles, I frequently rotate devices that need to be connected to the buds and having a dedicated button eliminates the confusion on what to press to pair them.

If you're using anything but an iPhone, you already have the means, namely a USB-C plug, to charge the case of these earbuds from 0% for an extra 3-4 times. The buds themselves will last around 3 hours when you turn on every function to its max and will last a few hours more if you turn things like noise-cancelling or LDAC audio codec off.

The Huawei AI Life smartphone app that you can download will give you intricate controls and tweaks that you can customise to make the buds fit your listening preference better.

This comes bundled with three-size ear tips. Normally, I use the largest ones due to my body size, but the largest ones are a little too tight and the medium size one is a little too small. I guess, for a perfect fit, I'll have to find memory foam to replace the ones that come with these earbuds.

At 6,499 baht, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are a great choice for anyone who wants great noise cancelling earbuds that provide good sound and plenty of functions.

SPECS

  • Sound drivers: 11mm quad-magnet dynamic driver & treble diaphragm
  • Battery: 55mAh (buds) & 580mAh (charging case)
  • Colour: Silvery blue, silver, white
  • Other: Active noise cancellation, transparency mode, USB-C, wireless charge, Bluetooth 5.2, IP54 water resistance
  • Price: 6,499 baht

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