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The FreeBuds Four are the most recent member of Huawei’s ever-expanding household of audio merchandise.

New true wi-fi earphones come out each week, so Huawei has its work lower out making an attempt to make the FreeBuds Four stand out. It’s not simply exterior competitors — the FreeBuds Four go up towards Huawei’s personal FreeBuds 4i (that are cheaper, however nonetheless good) and FreeBuds Professional (in idea costlier, however objectively higher).

So how can this center youngster make itself seen? Our Huawei FreeBuds Four evaluate provides you the rundown.

About this Huawei FreeBuds Four evaluate: I used the Huawei FreeBuds Four for seven days, operating software program model 1.9.1.188. Huawei supplied the FreeBuds Four evaluate unit to Android Authority.

What it’s essential know in regards to the FreeBuds 4

huawei freebuds 4 case 1

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

  • Huawei FreeBuds 4: £129/€149 (frequent reductions and promos out there)

The FreeBuds Four are the mid-range possibility in Huawei’s lineup of true wi-fi earphones.

Just like the FreeBuds 4i and FreeBuds Professional, these are energetic noise-cancelling (ANC) earphones, which means tiny inside microphones emit sound waves at sure frequencies to fight exterior noise. In contrast to the opposite two merchandise, the FreeBuds Four are “open-fit,” which means they lack the silicone ideas that go into your ear canals, leaving your ear canals semi-open.

Study extra: Headphones shopping for information

The FreeBuds 4’s declare to fame is an “all-new” adaptive noise-cancelling characteristic, which is meant to regulate noise cancellation to swimsuit the distinctive measurement and form of your ears. That’s not one thing you possibly can actually take a look at, so make of that what you’ll.

How’s the design?

huawei freebuds 4 case 2

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

What I like most in regards to the FreeBuds 4’s design is how snug and “easy-going” they’re. As a result of they don’t plug into your ear canals, they don’t get uncomfortable to put on after prolonged listening periods, assuming you will get match with them. Sound high quality and isolation come on the expense of the open-fit design, however loads of individuals are open to that tradeoff — simply take a look at the AirPods‘ recognition. Additionally, in order for you or want to keep up consciousness of your environment whereas listening, these are possibility.

The FreeBuds Four look similar to their direct predecessor, the FreeBuds 3. The principle distinction is the case is now barely smaller and lighter. The earbuds themselves are a millimeter or two shorter, however in any other case look the identical. Huawei appears content material to reuse a design that harks again to Apple’s unique AirPods.

Huawei FreeBuds Four can be found in white or silver colorways — the white model seen on this evaluate is clear, however could seem slightly bland. I admire the end of the case, which is barely grippier and fewer fingerprint-prone than each the 4i’s and final yr’s FreeBuds Three case.

How’s the sound high quality and ANC?

huawei freebuds 4 10

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

There’s no method round it: the open-fit design of the Huawei FreeBuds Four impacts sound high quality.

With out silicone tricks to isolate the audio system, sound slips out out of your ears, so that you’ll have to hear at the next quantity. For comparability, I might use the FreeBuds 4i at 25% quantity on my laptop computer, however after I switched to the FreeBuds 4, I needed to pump up the amount to 70% for the same expertise. That’s effective in a quiet surroundings like my yard, however the lack of isolation will make listening in noisy environments a lot much less nice than it might be. Listening at excessive quantity is not good for the long-term well being of your ears both.

The bass response will sound quieter than it ought to, which is simply one other consequence of an unsealed ear canal. These will not be the earbuds for you in the event you take pleasure in thumping bass or hearken to plenty of rap, R&B, or different genres that depend on bass.

In case you settle for the constraints of their open-fit design, the FreeBuds Four sound fairly good.

On the flip facet, in the event you hate headphones that drown out vocals and excessive sounds in extreme bass, you’ll love the FreeBuds 4. They de-emphasize the low finish, permitting you to extra simply hear vocal and string harmonics.

That’s to not say the FreeBuds Four sound dangerous. In case you settle for the constraints of their open-fit design, these true wi-fi earphones sound fairly good. There are many individuals on the market who hate the “stethoscope” really feel of in-ear earbuds. For them, the FreeBuds Four are a stable possibility.

Huawei claims to have improved the ANC on the FreeBuds Four in comparison with their predecessor. That may be the case, however I didn’t hear a big distinction. The truth is, I barely seen the ANC in most conditions. These headphones aren’t an important purchase for noise cancellation.

How’s the battery life?

huawei freebuds 4 case 5

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The FreeBuds Four are rated for 4 hours of battery life with noise-cancelling turned off. Turning ANC on will scale back battery life to only 2.5 hours. Contemplating how imperceptible the ANC is, most customers ought to preserve this characteristic switched off.

The battery contained in the case brings one other 22 hours (ANC off) to the desk. Relying in your utilization patterns meaning you could possibly cost the case on Monday and never fear about it till Wednesday or Thursday. After all, in the event you use the earbuds extensively, you’ll should plop them again into the case each three or 4 hours.

Charging the earbuds contained in the case takes about an hour. That’s how lengthy you’ll have to cost up the case as properly. The case itself expenses by way of USB-C. There’s additionally a model of the FreeBuds Four that comes with a case that may be charged wirelessly, although this isn’t that can be purchased on the time of writing.

The FreeBuds Four don’t help wi-fi charging, which is a step backwards in comparison with the FreeBuds 3.

4 hours of battery life isn’t spectacular lately — even Huawei’s £80 FreeBuds 4i provide as much as 10 hours on a single cost, albeit with a smaller battery within the case. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus in the meantime reached over 11 hours of listening time in our testing (additionally with a smaller battery within the case).

What different options do the FreeBuds Four have?

huawei freebuds 4 vs freebuds 3

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The FreeBuds Four look virtually an identical to the FreeBuds 3

The FreeBuds Four characteristic Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and help Bluetooth multipoint. Which means you possibly can have them related to, say, your laptop computer and smartphone on the identical time, which is nice for taking calls with out skipping a beat. Personally, I discover this characteristic a bit annoying, however you possibly can disable it from the companion Huawei AI Life app.

AI Life permits you to examine battery life for the case and every earbud, toggle Bluetooth connections, and customise the contact gestures. Talking of which, it’s good to see that the FreeBuds Four now have swipe-to-adjust-volume gestures, along with double faucets (for playback management) and squeezes (for toggling ANC).

Learn extra: What are the most effective noise-cancelling earbuds?

The Discover My Earphones perform in AI Life permits you to play every earbud at max quantity, probably permitting you to search out them if you inevitably misplace them.

Lastly, put on detection stops playback if you take off the earbuds and resumes it if you put them again in. That is nice (and helps with battery life), however sadly this characteristic solely works with telephones, not laptops.

The rest?

huawei freebuds 4 in hand

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

  • The case: The FreeBuds Four case feels properly made. It’s additionally very easy to take away the earbuds from it, in contrast to with the FreeBuds 4i.
  • Compatibility: Huawei is saving some options for its ecosystem, together with gadgets powered by its new(-ish) Concord working system. These embrace fast pairing and the flexibility to switch playback from a smartphone to a Huawei TV or pill paired with the FreeBuds. The nice news is you’re not lacking any essential options in the event you’re utilizing them with gadgets from different manufacturers.
  • Water resistance: You may safely use the FreeBuds Four within the rain, because of the IPX4 water resistance certification.

FreeBuds Four specs

Huawei FreeBuds 4
Measurement

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Earbuds: 41.Four x 16.eight x 18.5mm
Case: 58 (diameter) x 21.1mm

Weight

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Earbuds: 4.1g
Case: 38g

Connectivity

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Bluetooth 5.2
Twin gadget connection

Sensors

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Contact: Swipe, double-tap, press and maintain
Ear on/off detection

Batteries

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Per earbud: 30mAh
Charging case: 410mAh
4h of music playback per cost (ANC off);
2.5h of music playback per cost (ANC on)
22h of music playback with case included (ANC off)
14h of music playback with case included (ANC on)

Charging

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

USB-C
Charging time – earbuds: ~1h
Charging time – case (no earbuds): ~1h

Speaker

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

14.3mm dynamic

Audio

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Energetic noise cancelling
Name noise cancelling

Water resistance

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

IPX4

Colours

Huawei FreeBuds 4:

Silver Frost, Ceramic White

Worth and competitors

huawei freebuds 4

Huawei FreeBuds 4

Supremely snug open-fit earbuds

So gentle and unobtrusive, you may neglect you are sporting them. With respectable options and sound high quality, the FreeBuds Four are one of many few remaining choices for followers of open-fit true wi-fi earbuds.

At their launch worth of £129, the FreeBuds Four are £40 cheaper than the FreeBuds Three have been two years in the past, however competitors is stronger at the moment.

The obvious different to the open-fit FreeBuds Four are the Apple AirPods, the OG of true wi-fi earphones. Accessible £159 or €179, the Apple buds look and work very equally (not an accident). The Samsung Galaxy Buds Reside (£159) additionally lack silicone ear ideas, however sound high quality is variable relying on the match (a typical consequence of open-fit earphones).

Extra choices on SoundGuys: Greatest noise-cancelling true wi-fi earphones

The choices widen dramatically in the event you take a look at passive-sealing, silicone-tip-equipped choices. The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) ($119) stay an important possibility for these in search of ANC in an important well-rounded package deal, and the brand new Sony WF-1000XM4 are even higher, however pricier. Sadly, each pairs presently aren’t extensively out there throughout Europe, however US consumers ought to completely think about them. In the meantime, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Professional (£219) provide stellar battery life and respectable ANC.

The strongest competitors may come from Huawei’s different true wi-fi earbuds.

However the strongest competitors may come from Huawei’s different true wi-fi earbuds. The FreeBuds Professional, launched late final yr, provide all the identical options because the FreeBuds 4, with superior sound high quality, ANC that’s really efficient, and a lot better battery life. On the time of this writing, they’re cheaper than the FreeBuds 4, at £116, making it very exhausting to advocate the newer mannequin, until you actually need open-fit earbuds.

Huawei FreeBuds Four evaluate: The decision

huawei freebuds 4 case 4

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Two years in the past, I reviewed the FreeBuds Three and I actually appreciated them. Within the meantime, the trade has moved on, bettering sound high quality, battery life, and designs throughout the board. The FreeBuds Four really feel frozen in time — certainly, there’s not a lot new to speak about if you evaluate them to their predecessor.

The FreeBuds Four really feel frozen in time.

In case you’re in search of open-fit true wi-fi earbuds, the FreeBuds Four are a good possibility. They’re very snug, they sound good, and the battery life (with the case included) is passable.

However in order for you superior sound high quality, passive isolation, and actual energetic noise cancellation, there are various higher choices on the market, together with Huawei’s personal FreeBuds Professional.

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