Huawei has been making some great wireless earbuds over the years, and the latest addition to its FreeBuds series is the FreeBuds 5. These earbuds feature a unique design inspired by glass-making, a powerful sound performance with an ultra-magnetic driver and bass turbo technology, and an active noise cancellation system with three microphones on each bud.
They also support fast charging, LDAC high-resolution codec, and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity. In this review, we will take a closer look at the FreeBuds 5 and see how they compare to other premium offerings in the market.
Design and Fit
The FreeBuds 5 have a distinctive shape that resembles Prince Rupert’s drops, which are hardened glass beads with unusual strength and fragility. The buds have a matte finish that is comfortable to touch and highly reflective. They come in two colors: Frost Silver and Midnight Black. The charging case is pebble-shaped and opens in the middle to reveal the buds. It has a USB-C port at the bottom and a pairing button on the right side.
The buds are open-ear, meaning they rest on the outside part of your ear canal without pushing into your ears like most wireless earbuds. This makes them very comfortable for long listening sessions, as they do not cause any pressure or fatigue on your ears.
However, this also means that they may not fit securely for some users, especially during vigorous activities like running or working out. Huawei provides two sizes of silicone caps to help with the fit, but they may not be enough to prevent the buds from wobbling or falling out.
The FreeBuds 5 boast an impressive sound performance with 11 mm dual-magnetic dynamic driver units that deliver a wide frequency response range of 16Hz to 40kHz. The buds are also 30% more sensitive at low frequencies than the previous FreeBuds 4, producing robust bass that drops as low as 16 Hz.
Huawei’s proprietary bass turbo technology enhances the airflow and reduces the resistance of the diaphragm, resulting in more punchy and powerful bass.
The buds also feature an adaptive EQ system that adjusts the sound according to the fit, wearing status, and volume level of the user, providing a personalized listening experience across a wide frequency range of 100 Hz to 2000 Hz.
The buds support LDAC high-resolution codec, which allows for blazing-high transmissions of up to 990 kbps, as well as Hi-Res and HWA Audio Wireless certifications, ensuring high-fidelity sound quality.
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The FreeBuds 5 have an active noise cancellation system that uses three microphones on each bud to tune out the surrounding noise, from the clamor of a cafe to the roar of the road. The system takes into account the fit, wearing status, and ambient noise level of the user, and adjusts the noise cancellation accordingly. The user can also enable or disable the noise cancellation by pressing and holding the touch sensor area on the buds.
The buds also have an AI call noise cancellation feature that uses three microphones and a deep neural network algorithm to enhance the user’s voice and reduce the background chatter during calls, making them clear and crisp. The user can answer or end calls by double-tapping the touch sensor area on the buds.
Battery Life and Charging
The FreeBuds 5 have a decent battery life of up to 5 hours of listening on a full charge, and up to 30 hours of listening with multiple charges in the case. The case supports fast charging, which allows for up to 2 hours of listening with just 5 minutes of charging. The case can be charged via USB-C or wirelessly with a Qi-compatible charger.
The FreeBuds 5 have some other features that make them more convenient and fun to use. They support multi-point pairing, which allows them to connect to two devices simultaneously and switch between them seamlessly.
They also have a low-latency mode that syncs the video and audio for immersive gaming. The user can control the playback, volume, and ANC by swiping or tapping the touch sensor area on the buds. The buds are also IP54 dust- and splash-resistant, making them suitable for outdoor use.
The user can also access more features and settings by downloading the Huawei AI Life app, which allows them to customize the touch controls, check the battery level, update the firmware, find their lost buds, and more.
The Huawei FreeBuds 5 are a bold pair of wireless earbuds that offer a comfortable fit, a powerful sound performance, an effective noise cancellation system, and some useful features. They are ideal for users who value sound quality, comfort, and design over fit security and isolation.
They are also one of the few open-ear buds that support LDAC and Hi-Res audio, making them a great choice for audiophiles. The FreeBuds 5 are available for $199.99 from Huawei’s official website and other online retailers.