Quick Look: Huawei Freebuds 3i

Cancelling wonder

Huawei launched the Freebuds 3i earlier this month. They’re a pair of True Wireless Stereo earbuds that offer silicone tips, active noise cancellation, and lots of other features. They sent over a unit for us to try, and here’s our quick look.

Inside the package we have the basics – the earbuds in a case, a USB Type-C cable, extra silicone tips in different sizes, and lots of papers for manual and documentation.

The pill-shaped case in itself is quite glossy and is smoldered with smudges a lot of times. Nonetheless, these can be wiped off easily. The black color of our unit, too, aids in hiding that.

The outer shell features a small LED at the front for case charging and device connection status. At the back is a USB Type-C port, and a function button to turn the device on for the first time or to reset it should anything happens unexpectedly.

Opening this case reveals two long stemmed earbuds placed flatly on the case. The buds have silicone tips attached which aid in noise cancellation, and another small LED light sits between them for the bud’s charging status in the case.

The buds remind me of Apple’s AirPods Pro, but these have a longer stem and a slightly smaller in-ear curved section.

To fully use the Freebuds 3i, you’ll need the Huawei AI Life app, which is available to download at the Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery. Connecting the device is a breeze – once we installed the app, we were able to connect it with our phone in under two minutes.

Sound wise, the earbuds present itself with above average sound quality and can work over Bluetooth 5 with SBC and AAC codecs. In most tracks we’ve played, the tones and vocals are decent except in instances where the lows and mids are faint, muddled, or a combination of both. It certainly isn’t that bad, but you’ll notice the difference when listening to music tracks you really know by heart.

Noise cancellation is top-notch. The Active Noise Cancellation provided by two microphones consistently checking on surrounding sounds proved to be effective in most instances. When I rode the bus to visit some stores in the National Capital, I can’t hear much of the bus’ engine nor the conductor collecting passenger fares. I can, though still hear foot squeaks and the driver’s gear stick shifting but those are probably minor. Microphone ANC, meanwhile, is also superb as it was able to suppress a majority of environment noise when I used it to talk to someone over the line.

The controls, too, are intuitive, though you’re limited only to a double tap and a hold. The good thing about this is you can configure different functions for each hold and double-tap for every earbud at the Huawei AI Life app.

Its battery life is decent. On average, we were able to have around three hours of continuous use with ANC on, and were able to use it for an additional three more times by recharging it in the case.

Overall, the Huawei Freebuds 3i is one of the best budget ANC TWS earbuds you can get in the market right now. For PHP 5,990, you’re getting a good-sounding wireless audio gear with great noise cancellation at this price. Huawei is also throwing in a nova-branded case for the Freebuds 3i and a Huawei Steel Bottle, all worth PHP 2,000, when you purchase this until August 31.

Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].