Huawei FreeBuds 4 Review, Revisited
Last year, we took an in-depth look at the Huawei FreeBuds 2 and found them to be one of the best pairs of true wireless earbuds on the market — especially considering their affordable price tag. This year, Huawei has released the FreeBuds 4 — what we expect to be their flagship pair of true wireless earbuds, but do they offer much over last year’s model? Let’s take a closer look!
My first impressions of Huawei’s FreeBuds 4 true wireless earbuds were a bit lukewarm. Although I love what they offer in terms of sound quality and convenience for casual listening, I wasn’t a huge fan of their design or build quality. Over time, though, I have grown more used to them — so much so that I find myself reaching for them more often than my wired earbuds these days. Do they still leave something to be desired? Sure. But there are also ways in which they truly excel at their given task.
The second-generation Huawei FreeBuds have a significantly different design from their predecessors. They’re slightly larger and bulkier, but I actually prefer their size and shape. The new buds are also a lot lighter than before. The earpieces fold inward to take up less space when you’re storing them in your pocket-though these folding earbud designs don’t tend to last for very long. I wouldn’t say they are small enough to fit comfortably in most ears, as advertised on Amazon, unless you happen to be blessed with exceptionally tiny ears. But they certainly didn’t feel uncomfortable when I tried them out on my own set of giant bear paws.
The FreeBuds 4 are easy to pair to your phone. The earbud design is light and fairly comfortable. And they’re fairly affordable at $150 (or so) on Amazon. The quality of sound was solid enough for use around town but not so much that you could expect stellar audio performance if you’re looking for an audiophile-quality listening experience-this is more like a casual walk through the park than a Sunday afternoon symphony concert experience. Pairing these headphones with my Pixel 2XL worked like a charm; I didn’t run into any issues there. Unfortunately, I do feel these might fall victim to drops or other impacts; again, it’s hard to tell since I didn’t actually test out their durability by testing them against specific hits or falls or anything of that nature. But given their lightweight profile, things just don’t look promising here.
Decent. I’m not an audiophile by any means, but they were generally clear and loud enough for me to enjoy my music. One quirk is that it takes a second for them to connect once you turn them on (every pair of headphones has one), which was kind of annoying when I was trying to listen to my music quickly. In fact, I’d say that connectivity/battery life were probably their weakest features. Even with multiple hours of charge time from each charging case, these buds would usually last about 3–4 hours total before needing to be charged again — a little long compared to most other true wireless buds on today’s market.
The Huawei FreeBuds 4 last 8 hours per charge which is pretty standard for Bluetooth earbuds. This is less than some other truly wireless options on the market like AirPods and Google’s Pixel Buds but it is plenty of battery life for most people and honestly more than most wired earbuds offer these days as well. I didn’t find myself looking for a charging cable often so I was satisfied with how long they lasted. Plus, they can be charged via USB-C so you can plug them into your laptop or computer to charge or any USB-C wall charger will do as well. You can’t use them while they are charging though. A small LED light blinks when they are plugged in and turns solid when fully charged; same with when you turn them off; there is no blinking lights to show that though unfortunately.
Should you buy it?
Do you own an Huawei phone? Then yes. If not, buy something else. Not sure what to choose? Check out my companion piece to this review: What’s The Best All-Around Earbud? That’ll help you figure it out! My other favorite pair of earbuds is the Jabra Elite Sport, which offer excellent sound quality and solid battery life. However, if you care about value more than anything else (and/or you only use your earbuds while exercising), then it’s hard to beat these $30 buds from Huawei.
Huawei’s FreeBuds 4 offer a great audio experience and improved durability over last year’s model. However, they still struggle to compete with AirPods and other premium buds in terms of value for money. Huawei didn’t listen to our feedback from last year and we can only hope that they do in future iterations. The buds are good but just not good enough at $200/£170.
Originally published at https://www.topbez.xyz.