The Freebuds Pro 2 are the logical continuation of Huawei’s first-generation Freebuds Pro TWS earbuds. We’ve spent a lot of time with them and are now ready to share some of our impressions, which we hope will be helpful.
The Silver Blue set we had was stunning, but there are also Black and White options if you prefer something a little more classic. The Freebuds Pro 2 in Blue are definitely a head-turner, as is typical when choosing a bright colour for an accessory.
The hinge, where we can see Devialet’s logo, has a mirror-like finish and a matte coating. Earbuds with glossy surfaces attract fingerprints like crazy, quickly reducing their aesthetic appeal. Originally, Huawei Freebuds’ stem was square, but Huawei has since redesigned it to be more rounded, making the earbud look more seamless and appealing as a whole.
Wireless charging is supported, but the coil is located at the front of the case. This means that when you put your Devialet case on top of the wireless charger, you can’t easily open or close the lid. The USB-C port on the bottom and a reset button on the right-hand side are also of interest.
A USB-A cable and two additional sizes of rubber tips are included in the retail box. Huawei’s AppGallery is the only place where you can get the AI Life companion app for the Freebuds Pro 2 on Android.
They sound good, but it’ll be the app that makes all the difference. Switching between different levels of noise reduction is a snap with this handy app. You can also perform a “Tip fit test” in order to determine which rubber tips in the box will work best for you.
Our experience showed that it’s a little redudant because we had already selected the ones that felt comfortable and the app merely confirmed our choice is correct. Comfort is crucial for TWS earphones, but sadly it’s a strictly personal matter as everyone’s ears are a little different. For what it’s worth this reviewer felt no discomfort from having these buds in the ear for the past weeks.
There was also the occasional jog at the local running track and trails in the mountain just outside the city – the Freebuds stayed in the ear to the point of forgetting they are even there.
The Freebuds Pro 2 design of the stems is not their most unusual feature, it their touch navigation. Huawei has implemented a two-finger pinch to prevent accidental touches to the outside of the device.
The essence of the gestures have remained the same – one pinch is Play/Pause, two pinches are Next song, three pinches are Previous song; Pinch & hold is Noise Control; Swipe is on the side and controls the volume. All of them are customizable and can even be turned off.
What we found awkward is the attempt to pinch two or three times. It’s not a classic pinch, there has to be at least 1 sec (1000 ms) per gesture and often it wasn’t detected correctly, so I can say it didn’t feel great when listening to a podcast. Yes, pinch and hold works great, but that’s the only gesture I could reliably use. And it’s not like I didn’t give them time to get used to – I struggled with this for the past five weeks.
Audio performance is the most important feature of TWS earphones, and the FreeBuds Pro 2 really impress here.
This comes as no surprise – the previous Freebuds Pro were among the best earphones of this form factor we ever tested, and obviously, Huawei’s partnership with Devialet helped tune this properly as well.
The drives selected and the software tuning achieve class-leading audio experience. An 11mm dynamic driver with four magnets and an additional planar diaphragm driver make up the Dual Sound system.
These components are often found in a single module, but Huawei was able to separate them, saying that this improves the output quality.
Despite their little size, these buds are capable of delivering the deepest bass we’ve ever heard from such small buds, as well as clear voices. AI Life comes in helpful here – the software has four major Sound effects, which is simply a sophisticated equaliser, and we really liked the Bass increase option.
Custom equalisers and additional software features like Smart HD and HD Voice can also be used to enhance the output, but they only work well with particular tunes and drain battery life, so it’s best to leave them off.
There are three microphones built into each earbud, two of which are aimed at the user’s lips and a third that acts as a noise-cancelling microphone.
With three major noise control choices, the Freebuds Pro 2 let you to adjust how much you hear from the outside world, as well as how much you hear from your own speech. It performs an excellent job, however in a busy supermarket with many customers and cash registers ringing, it can be a bit much.
Off is the default setting for the second option.
Noise Cancelling is the final alternative. It has four degrees of strength, and the upper levels are where it really shines.
Batteries in the Freebuds Pro 2 case and buds total 580 mAh. The following table summarises Huawei’s claims about battery life and our own testing results in various types of noise cancellation mode.
Despite Huawei’s claim of 40 minutes of charging time, the earphones only lasted about 30 minutes. At least 20 times, the buds were charged and on average they lasted just about 45 minutes, which is excellent.
Freebuds Pro 2 case claims to fill up in 60 minutes, if the buds aren’t in. Real-world charging times fell between the 70-75 minute range for us.
In order to go from zero to 100% in 2.5 hours, you’ll need to use a cable instead of wireless charging.
The Freebuds Pro 2 from Huawei is a stunning piece of technology, offering unmatched sound quality, a sleek design, long-lasting battery life, and exceptional noise cancellation.
They aren’t cheap at €199, but for the money, they’re a wonderful offer. Consider the gifts Huawei gives in most of its online businesses, such as a free Watch Band 7 or reduced Scale 3. We can only give it so many high praises before we run out of things to say about it.