With the launch of the new Huawei P30 and P30 Pro, the Chinese firm has taken the opportunity to launch what is supposed to be the real alternative to Apple's AirPods. We refer to the Huawei FreeBuds Lite , a T rue Wireless headphones that are presented with a design very similar to the solution of the North American brand, with the exception of the format ( in-ear ) and the case, which in this case is taller how wide. Will it be a worthy rival for Apple's proposal this year? Find out in our review of the Huawei FreeBuds Lite for more than two weeks of use.
Huawei FreeBuds Lite data sheet
|Colors||Black and white|
|Size||- Headphones: 43.6 x 23.2 x 17.8 millimeters per headset|
- Charging case: 80.2 x 33.3 x 28.8 millimeters
|Weight||- Headphones: 5.5 grams per headphone|
- Charging case: 45.5 grams
|Sensor||Proximity sensor and ear placement detection|
|Battery||- Headphones: 55 mAh per headphone|
- Charging case: 410 mAh
|Speaker||7mm dynamic driver|
|Compatibility||To be specified|
|Sound||To be specified|
|Features||Automatic detection of placement in the ear, possibility to activate Google Assistant or Siri with a single touch, pause and playback of tracks with two touches and automatic pause when the headset is removed from the ear|
|Type of load||Wired charging via micro USB|
|Smart assistant||Google Assistant and Siri|
|Price||Around 95 euros|
Design inspired by Apple AirPods
If the Huawei FreeBuds Lite is characterized by something, it is precisely because of its design. The lines of the headphones of the Chinese company remind us of the design of the AirPods presented by Apple during the past year. The difference with respect to these starts precisely from the format, based on the unusual in-ear in this type of headphones .
And is that thanks to the format of the FreeBuds, the grip of the headphones with respect to the ear canal is much greater precisely due to the rubbers that it incorporates (up to four different ones depending on the size and size), although a little more than support over the ear , since there have been few occasions in which the headphones have been thrown when dressing the neck.
As for the rest of the aspects of the FreeBuds Lite, Huawei's headphones are practically identical to the solution of the bitten apple . An oval capsule that houses the different proximity sensors and the speaker and a corner of no more than 2 centimeters long that houses the 55 mAh battery in each earpiece.
How do they feel in hand? The truth is that quite well. Despite the fact that the body of the headphones is made of polycarbonate, the sensations at all times are of a quality product. In fact, both the right and left earphones have suffered a couple of drops over the two weeks of use and their condition continues as the first day .
Another highlight of the Huawei FreeBuds Lite has to do with resistance to dust and splashes. The company ensures that they incorporate IPX4 protection, which in practice means total protection against dust and water jets .
As for the case included in the pack, it is made of the same material as the headphones. Its structure is composed of a pair of holes that house the two headphones, a micro USB port and a colored LED light that indicates the battery status of both the case and the headphones.
Full-bodied sound without too much noise cancellation
Beyond the design of the Huawei FreeBuds Lite, if there is something that has surprised us about the headphones of the Chinese brand, it is their sound. A sound that against all odds, has a fairly noticeable presence despite its tiny size .
Basses present in songs that demand it, even if we opt for sound configurations with equalizations and low frequencies and treble that, although they do not stand out, have enough presence to accompany the rest of the frequencies. The volume level is not far behind , either , competing in maximum volume with my Philips DJs; evidently, contextualized with the type of headset and the size of the controller, of only 7 millimeters.
As for noise cancellation, here the headphones of the Chinese brand leave a bittersweet taste in your mouth. The company assures that they have a double microphone to perform environmental noise cancellation. Our experience after two weeks of use has been rather negative, since the cancellation only becomes noticeable when the volume level approaches the maximum . In this aspect we expected to find a higher level in which the main differential point with respect to the Apple AirPods is assumed.
Regarding the quality of the microphones, the general sensations leave us a taste in the mouth similar to that of the noise cancellation system, which disappears completely when we use them. This is palpable when making calls or making a recording in environments with high traffic or with a hundred level of wind. The result in both cases leads to a partial clogging of the microphones , even dwarfing the sound of our voice. If we are faced with an environment without acoustic alterations, the volume of reception is sufficient, as well as the quality and clarity of the sound.
Interesting functions of the Huawei FreeBuds Lite
Like Apple's headphones, Huawei's FreeBuds Lite have a series of functions that allow us to interact with calls or the Music application that we have installed on our mobile.
An example of this is the possibility of stopping the music or playing it through two taps on the right earphone . If we replicate the same two touches on the left earpiece, then Google Assistant , Siri or the voice assistant that we have configured by default will be activated .
Another highlight of the headphones is based on the automatic detection of placement. If we remove some of the headphones from the ear canal, the track will stop and will not play again until we indicate it through any of the FreeBuds gestures. In case we choose to use a single headset, we will have to know that the playback will take place on both devices if we do not discard the remaining headset in the charging case.
Worthy autonomy and sufficient connectivity (although it could be improved)
Autonomy is one of the most relevant aspects of this type of gadget , and in the case of the Huawei FreeBuds Lite, it is one of the main virtues.
Huawei's data speaks of an autonomy of 3 hours on a single charge and 12 hours with the case. Our experience in this regard has been more than satisfactory.
The battery life of the headphones has reached more than 3 hours of use with a volume level around 60/70%, closer to 3 hours and a quarter than the 3 hours promised by the manufacturer. Yes , a higher level of autonomy is missed in the case , with an average that does not exceed three full charges.
As for the charging of both devices, the speed in the case of the headphones does reach the level of other proposals on the market. With about 20 minutes of charging we will obtain an autonomy of just over an hour and a half . We will need a much longer time to charge the case, since unfortunately we do not find a fast charging system. Unfortunately, we do not have wireless charging.
Moving on to the connectivity section, the headphones of the Asian firm integrate Bluetooth 4.2 as standard. Their scope is surprising, even exceeding 10 meters with several walls and obstacles in between . This does not mean that we would have liked to see a superior Bluetooth version (Bluetooth 5.0 in this case), with the consequent improvement in autonomy and range that this would entail.
Regarding connection times, the experience replicates the sensations of the previous section. The average connection time to our mobile, tablet or computer does not exceed 3 seconds , becoming immediate in most cases.
But not all that glitters is gold. Perhaps the most negative point of the headphones in a general plane has to do with latency. Since they do not have Qualcomm APTX technology, the sound in videos suffers a delay that can sometimes overshadow the overall experience of the FreeBuds Lite.
This delay depends to a large extent on the battery level of the headphones, at least that is how it has been in our use tests. Battery level which, if around 20%, interferes with the connection of the headphones, causing them to partially disconnect from the main device .
Conclusions of our experience of use with the Huawei FreeBuds Lite
After seeing the main points of the Huawei headphones, it's time to draw conclusions. Our experience after more than two weeks of use is positive, very positive. Are they proclaimed as the real alternative to AirPods? Without a doubt .
In general terms, we find a quality product. Sound with a lot of body and a volume level that is more than acceptable and an autonomy that without being one of the best, seems sufficient for most users. Added to the design and format of the headset, they make it, in our point of view, a superior option to Apple's, even more so when the price does not exceed 100 euros starting (currently we can find it for about 90 euros in stores like Amazon).
This is not to say that the FreeBuds are perfect. Aspects such as connectivity, sound latency and the level of autonomy of the case are a notch below other True Wireless alternatives. In this regard, it will be necessary to see if the company solves these problems by updating , although everything indicates that the limitations have more to do with the hardware than with the software.