Huawei Freebuds Studio review: Huawei’s first over-ear headphones

Huawei makes an attempt to take on the likes of Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser and desires to combine up the market of main over-the-ear headphones with the introduction of its FreeBuds Studio. But simply how effectively will the brand new premium headphones that retail for a relatively hefty £300 carry out in on a regular basis life? We tuned in to the Huawei FreeBuds Studio on this evaluation to search out out. 

Huawei FreeBuds Studio launch date and worth

The FreeBuds Studio from Huawei prices a whopping £299.99. This locations the corporate within the top-tier worth bracket for this product vary. A equally excessive price ticket can now be discovered on the Sony WH-1000XM3, Bose 700, or Sennheiser Momentum III, which price round £399.99 after they had been launched.

You can choose up the Huawei FreeBuds Studio in gold or black from November third onwards.

What I like concerning the Huawei FreeBuds Studio…

On the fitting, the deep bass melts proper into my ideas. Above it lies the electrical guitar with strings that obtain magical highs. Just a little bit deeper in my head, I hear the violin crying out. Goosebumps seem throughout my physique, after which the drums announce the start of the observe: “Life is a waterfall. We’re one in a river and one after the fall. Life is a waterfall. We are one in a river and one after the fall.” The Huawei FreeBuds Studio injects System of a Down’s “Aerials” straight into my coronary heart. Every instrument on this masterpiece is clearly audible; even the “steps” on the very starting beneath the violin, which may solely be heard on good headphones. Huawei makes use of dynamic 40 mm drivers that do their job effectively and supply a balanced, clear sound expertise. At the identical time, the bass doesn’t penetrate too exhausting, and neither is it too aggressive whereas making certain that it doesn’t drown out the attractive composition of studio tracks, as is the case with many different present headphones.

Battery life

It’s my fourth day with the brand new Huawei headphones (as of November 6, 2020), I have not even needed to cost the battery of this pair of cans because the fateful day I took it out of the field, and my iPhone reveals that it nonetheless has 1 / 4 of the battery life left. At this level, the over-the-ear headphones – with lively noise cancellation at all times turned on – have been used for crew conferences, an evening of election insanity on CNN, and a minimum of 5 hours of music enjoyment. I’m thrilled with the quantity of battery life that this pair carries, throwing a judgmental eye at my loyal companion, the Sony WH-1000XM3: Well, you merely cannot compete with that. Huawei themselves touted battery lifetime of as much as 20 hours – I’m optimistic that I can verify this determine within the coming days on the charge that I’m going.

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The Huawei FreeBuds Studio comes with contact controls on the fitting headphone. / © NextPit

Wearing consolation

The carrying consolation of the Huawei FreeBuds Studio is nearly as good because the balanced and never too bass-heavy sound.
The headphones are padded on the highest of the pinnacle and have very smooth, fluffy pads on the earcups, which defend your ears effectively and are very snug to the contact. In truth, it’s so snug that after a number of seconds of carrying it, I overlook that I’m carrying any headphones in any respect – solely the attractive sound stays. If I had been to attract a direct comparability to my Sony headphones, I seen that even after an extended interval of carrying them, my hairline doesn’t damage. But I did learn up on different exams on the Internet, the place a male tester described the precise reverse: a painful hairline and direct pores and skin contact with the ears. I am unable to verify each damaging experiences; the Huawei FreeBuds Pro are essentially the most snug over-the-ears that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in a very long time.

ANC

Let’s come to an important level the place Huawei has to persuade in view of the value: lively noise cancellation. Huawei has built-in the “Intelligent Dynamic Active Noise Cancellation” expertise from the FreeBuds Pro which I’ve reviewed earlier than into the over-the-ear mannequin. This permits the headphones to routinely management the power of the ANC primarily based on the surroundings. Users of a Huawei smartphone or the App are capable of set the ANC Mode manually. However, automated management is switched on on the manufacturing unit. I don’t discover this to be an issue, however a relatively sensible transfer. Especially within the house workplace surroundings, lively noise suppression does not must be turned on as strongly as when travelling on public transportation or when you’re on the workplace with colleagues who’re wildly typing away on their mechanical keyboards.

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In addition to a black model, it’s also possible to get pleasure from a lightweight golden tone. / © Huawei

The lively noise suppression filters out boring background noises akin to keyboard typing and doesn’t place stress on the ear canal. When I hearken to music at work, it’s centred in my head above all noise, which is a superb feeling. However, voices are nearly not filtered out in any respect, which makes the built-in Awareness Mode, i.e. switching on amplifying microphones to understand the environment, nearly obligatory. But as I mentioned, I’ve solely examined out the headphones in a quiet surroundings and never in public. Here the Awareness Mode does show to be relatively helpful in my state of affairs. When at work, I didn’t discover the prepare passing by in any respect.

Wearer recognition

What additionally labored extraordinarily effectively in my evaluation is the automated wearer recognition. The headphones cease music playback after I take them off and proceed enjoying as quickly as I put them again on. After about ten minutes, the headphones additionally swap off routinely – so there is not any nasty shock the subsequent morning while you choose up a pair of lifeless headphones in the event you forgot to change it off after work the day earlier than.

What I do not like concerning the Huawei FreeBuds Studio…

No aptX

The FreeBuds Studio comes with present Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and affords the AAC, SBC and L2HC audio codec help. An aptX commonplace is sadly lacking. But the switch charge of Huawei’s L2HC is larger than the one on aptX – after all, you’ll solely profit from this in the event you use a Huawei smartphone with EMUI 11, which might at the moment translate to the Mate 40 Pro.

No app for iOS

Apart from the dearth of help for Huawei’s Audio Codec, as an Apple person, I additionally miss out on the Huawei AI Life App on the iPhone. What is so dangerous about that, you ask? For occasion, I apply it to the Mate 40 Pro to replace the software program of the headphones and manually decide the power of the ANC.
I already talked about through the FreeBuds Pro evaluation that there ought to be an iOS app, and I proceed to take care of my stand right here. Unfortunately, I nonetheless cannot discover it within the App Store.

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The smooth upholstery of the Huawei FreeBuds Studio is very interesting to me. / © NextPit

Final verdict

With the Huawei FreeBuds Studio, the Chinese firm makes a chic entry into the marketplace for high-end over-the-ear headphones geared up with ANC. The battery life is superior to my older Sony WH-1000XM3. And if the battery runs dry, the headphones could be shortly recharged in a jiffy. My ears don’t contact the within of the padded earcup; on the identical time, the padding is so smooth that after a couple of minutes I not really feel that the superb sound in my head is coming from a pair of headphones.

The lively noise cancellation function works reliably. Users of Android smartphones can replace the headphones and set the ANC manually. iPhone customers will get nothing right here, which is a pity. But it’s good that there’s an ANC button positioned straight on the left earcup. Also, the contact management works intuitively and precisely the identical as with my Sony headphones. All in all, you get an excellent pair of headphones for the cash paid with excellent battery life. Bravo, Huawei! This is a superb entry into the over-the-ear market.

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