Huawei Freebuds 4 Review

All that glitters, and more

The Huawei Freebuds 4 is the brand’s first-ever open-fit TWS earphones to feature Active Noise Cancelation right out of the box. We got a unit that we tested over a few months, and here’s our full review.

The Freebuds 4 is also available at Huawei’s Audio and Wearables Festival where you can get it for as low as PHP 4,499 (almost half the discount from its PHP 7,999 SRP) on Huawei’s official Online Store, and on Lazada and Shopee.

Huawei touts that these pair of wireless earphones feature open-fit noise cancellation without any ear tip, improving the sounds you hear at all levels. These are also the first in the industry to feature Adaptive Ear Matching (AEM) technology. Let’s see how it fares in everyday setup.

Design: Best of both (surface) worlds

The circular-shaped unit is very ergonomic and feels great to hold, and its shiny matte silver finish aids in gripping. There’s a button at the side for resetting, and a USB Type-C port for recharging underneath. The connecting mechanism for the case cover and the base is at the back, hidden by a black square design with the Huawei monogram.

Opening the case reveals two open-air buds in a metallic finish, with a longer stem to aid with capturing your voice through the microphone at the end. The case is also secured enough to not let the buds fall or open involuntarily while in transit. It’s easy to open with one hand and does not slip.

Removing the buds from the case is easy, though you’d have to be careful when putting it back as the crevices are molded to position the buds in a certain way. The stems are also touch-sensitive as they perform functions on swipe or tap.

Fitting it in the ear is not a problem thanks to the moderately sized stems, and they also aid in letting you know that the earbuds are still there — it’s light and comfortable enough to make you realize at certain points that you’ve forgotten you’re wearing one. I just tend to adjust them from time to time to make sure I still got the right fit in.

As it features a shiny finish, my only concern is the buds themselves. They don’t slip off your hands as you remove them from the case or when you are using them in sedentary scenarios in the office, but they slip off easily when I do more physical activities.

Connectivity: There’s more to love

Paring the device with your phone is as easy as opening the case, and choosing it from the available options at the Bluetooth menu. You can also pair it up with the new Huawei AI Life app, which gives you more control over your device such as checking on its battery life, switching to available devices, customizing your gestures, change your audio EQ presets, or toggle noise cancellation. There’s also an option for enhancing your call quality, though it will eat up more of the earphones’ battery life.

As we used it for our daily activities, we did not find any issues with connectivity with any device we used. You can connect up to two devices simultaneously — if you connect a laptop and a phone, whichever has a more urgent need will be prioritized. In one instance, I was listening to music on my laptop when someone called on my phone, and I was able to answer right away without even lifting it.

Latency isn’t an issue as there is not much concern when you’re watching videos with the earphones. They’re nearly in sync for multimedia consumption and even for most gaming functions.

Sound Quality: Surprisingly Good

Huawei’s been giving us a lot of great-sounding audio gear. I love the Freelance Pro, and this one is no different. It can easily get you grooving with the most popular genres and a simple mix of frequencies, with emphasis on mids and vocals. Lower frequencies and bass are still there but you’ll need to fit your earbuds well to experience them. Soundstage is wide, though we experienced areas where there is a lack of drama in the case of classical music, or some rock tracks getting muddled.

Noise cancelation with the Adaptive Ear Matching ANC technology really depends on how you fit your earbuds in your ear. When it’s snuggled enough, you’ll hear a slight difference with the environment, but isn’t much enough to completely remove all of the noise in your environment. Speaking on the TWS Earphones with the built-in microphones during calls, though, are a lot better noise-wise as they offer consistently clear vocal audio whenever you talk.

Battery Life: Hits hard with ANC

We’ve had this for months now, and the Freebuds 4 is a pleasure to use if you’re not using that much ANC. With the ANC off, the earbuds give an average of 3 hours and 45 minutes of battery life, which you can recharge with the case five more times before the whole set needs a plug-in to the charger.

With the ANC on, that battery life is reduced to an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per session before you bring it back to the case.

Recharging the buds in the case takes almost an hour from 0 to 100, and the same can be said for the charging case when you plug it in with a standard 2A 10W charger.

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