I liked HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 so much that I desperately forced myself to find at least some flaw in them. Did it work for me? You will find out from the review!
Market positioning and price
The price of the updated flagship model is about $180, which fully corresponds to the status of the product and is justified by a more than impressive ‘filling’.
Since we are talking about premium headphones, this affected the package accordingly. In the box of HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 you will find a headset in a case, a USB-C cable for charging, a set of additional ear tips in size S and L (size M, as the most universal, is attached to the headphones from the very beginning), a manual and a warranty card. Style is known in detail, so even the ear pads are packed in a separate blister.
Design, materials, assembly
The headset is almost completely identical to its predecessor FreeBuds Pro in appearance. As for me, this is one of the most stylish solutions on the earphone market – the rounded lines of the base and the straight stem set the tone for the entire user experience. In fact, this oval drop fits perfectly in the ear, filling and ergonomically repeating its shape.
The case is quite standard, smoothed corners allow you to comfortably hold it in your hands, and for a secure grip, the base is slightly wider than the hinged lid. On the back of the hinge are the logos of Huawei and Devialet (the company responsible for the high sound quality of earphones, but more on that later). On the right side there is a button to sync the earphones with your device.
There is an LED indicator near the USB-C port that lights up when the lid is opened and shows the charge level of the case in red, orange or green, respectively. The second LED, showing the level of charge of the earbuds themselves, is located inside the case.
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I really liked the body materials. They are beautiful both visually and tactilely. Matte metal-like plastic perfectly conveys the feeling of premium gadget. Of course, this also applies to the build quality of the case, the details are fitted tightly, neatly, and the process of opening the case can be attributed to ASMR content.
There are three color options for HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 – Silver Frost (silver, almost black), Silver Blue (metallic blue) and Ceramic White (white). As for me, it is the first option that is the most stylish and status.
The earphones themselves are similar to their first version, but at the same time significantly different from their competitors in the market. Microphones and a touch control zone are located on a rectangular leg. It is also easy to notice the proximity sensor on the main part of the earpiece. The earphones are IP54 water and dust resistant, so they are perfect for those who enjoy playing sports with music. The ear cushions of the earphones are soft and dense, with a slightly oval streamlined shape to fit snugly in the ear canal.
Ergonomics and comfort of use
Personally, I don’t have a single comment on the ergonomics of the case – due to the uneven section of the case, it is easy to guess which part is the base and which part is the hinged lid. And thanks to the glossy insert on the back, it is easy to understand the location of the hinge.
As for the earbuds themselves, they fit perfectly. You put HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 into your ears and you realize that this is exactly what modern premium earphones should be like. They sit like a glove, repeating the shape of the auricle, and the protruding ‘legs’ do not spoil the impression at all. On the contrary, they add convenience – it is more convenient to take off and put on the headset, and they help with control. The legs are equipped with sensors that recognize touches and allow you to receive calls, control music, turn noise cancellation on and off, and adjust the volume. You can learn more about the touch control functions in the proprietary Huawei AI Life application.
Connecting, controlling, and software
The user has two options on how to connect HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2: simply by finding the device via Bluetooth or through the proprietary HUAWEI AI Life application.
Everything is simple and clear with the first option. Open the case, hold down the button on its side for a couple of seconds until the indicator flashes white, and find the headset in the list of available devices in Bluetooth connections. However, such a simplified version does not allow you to experience all the capabilities of the headset, so I recommend that you immediately install the native application.
The first step with the application will be almost the same – open the case cover and find the headset in the list of devices in the application on your smartphone. Then clicking on your device you can make a number of useful settings and get the information you are interested in. You can see the charge level of the earphones and case, the current noise reduction mode, as well as several icons for special settings. These are gesture control, equalizer, fit test, earphone search, firmware update and activation settings when wearing and working in conditions of a lot of interference.
It took me a while to get used to the gesture controls. Frankly, I even had to run the guide to understand exactly where to click. But once you understand where the sensors are, then everything became simple. Moreover, when pressed, the earphone reacts with a slight vibration, as if you were pressing a physical button, so it is easy to understand whether the touch is fixed. And if you switch the noise reduction mode, you will additionally receive an audio notification in English about which mode you switched to.
Personally, I like the balanced sound that the HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 delivered by default. For those who like more bass, there are corresponding settings in the equalizer, so any audiophile can tune these earphones to their own preferences.
It is worth noting that in terms of sound quality, the second version of the earphones was significantly upgraded. For example, the speakers were developed in collaboration with Devialet, which is known for the quality of components suitable for playing audio files in the best quality. For these purposes, the earphones are also pre-installed with the LDAC 4 high-resolution codec, and the playback quality is confirmed by HDA and Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification. The listed data rate is up to 990 kbps and is suitable for reproducing clear, detailed sound.
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In order to reproduce the entire frequency range as correctly as possible, the developers of the headphones placed dual speakers in them. At the same time, the 11mm dynamic driver with four magnets significantly improves the sound compared to the previous version
Noise reduction and sound permeability
Active noise cancellation is a nice bonus for any earbuds, but in HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 this feature has become one of the most expressive features. In addition to blocking out some external sounds when properly fitted, the ANC 2.0 system allows the user to create their own cozy audio world in any environment.
The app has the ability to customize one of four noise reduction options: Cozy, General, Ultra, and Dynamic. Each is designed for special conditions. Cozy is suitable for home and filtering household noises, for a noisier location, for example, a cafe, you should choose the General mode, but the Ultra mode will help to cope with the noise when riding in public transport. Dynamic mode allows the earphones to automatically determine the optimal mode for each specific case. Works quite correctly.
But in addition to the function of suppressing external noise, the reverse of it, the so-called ‘attention option’, is also useful. When it is turned on, external noise is not filtered out, but somewhat amplified. This feature can come in handy when riding a bicycle on the street with headphones or when driving a car.
HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 boasts not only active noise cancellation when playing music, but also noise reduction when transmitting voice. This is achieved through a bone conduction microphone and Huawei’s Deep Neural Network (DNN) noise reduction algorithm. The intelligent system recognizes ambient sounds and blocks them out, leaving voice transmission clear and easy to hear.
Of the pleasant conveniences of using the headset, I note the ability to connect HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 to two devices at once and switch between them.
Each HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 earbud has a 55 mAh battery, while the case has an impressive 580 mAh battery. The duration of one active session with noise reduction turned on is about 5 hours. The battery in the case is enough for another 20-30 hours of headset operation, depending on the use of noise cancellation.
The good news is that fully discharged earbuds will gain 100% in just half an hour. The case also charges quite quickly – by 20% in just 10 minutes via cable. Wireless charging, of course, is somewhat slower, but much more convenient.
HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 2 made a lasting impression on me. This is really a top-of-the-line device, which can be called one of the best TWS headphones on the market.
They are distinguished by their futuristic design and excellent sound quality. The user receives all the necessary technologies, including top-end codecs for music and an active noise reduction system. In addition, there is a convenient gesture control system, as well as an intuitive smartphone application with access to all the necessary settings. Let’s add excellent indicators of autonomy, and we get a device that is excellent in all respects, which fulfills its price in its entirety.
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