Huawei FreeBuds 5: A Bold and Bass-Heavy Pair of Open-Ear Buds

Huawei has been making some impressive wireless earbuds in the past few years, and the latest addition to its FreeBuds lineup is the FreeBuds 5. These earbuds feature a unique and eye-catching design inspired by glass-making, a powerful bass performance with ultra-magnetic drivers, and an advanced noise cancellation system with three microphones on each bud. They also support LDAC high-resolution codec, Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and fast charging. But how do they compare to other premium offerings in the market? Let’s find out.

Design and Fit

The FreeBuds 5 have a distinctive shape that resembles Prince Rupert’s drops, which are hardened glass beads with a round end and a thin tail. The round end houses the driver unit and the touch sensor area, while the tail contains the microphones and the charging contacts. The earbuds are made of glossy metal-like material that reflects light and comes in two colors: Frost Silver and Midnight Black.

The earbuds have an open-ear fit, which means they rest on the outer part of your ear canal without sealing it off with silicone tips. This makes them very comfortable to wear for long periods of time, as they do not create any pressure or irritation in your ears. However, this also means that they do not isolate you from the ambient noise very well, and they may not fit securely in some ear shapes, especially during vigorous activities.

The earbuds come with two sizes of silicone caps that can help improve the fit and stability of the buds in your ears. They also have an IP54 rating for dust and splash resistance, which means they can withstand some sweat and rain, but not submersion.

The charging case has a pebble-like shape that opens up in the middle to reveal the earbuds. The case is made of matte plastic and has a USB-C port on the bottom and a pairing button on the right side. The case has a magnetic closure that snaps firmly shut and holds the earbuds securely in place. The case can provide up to 25 hours of extra battery life for the earbuds, and supports fast charging via USB-C or wireless charging via Qi-compatible pads.

Sound Quality and Features

The FreeBuds 5 boast 11 mm dual-magnetic dynamic driver units that deliver a powerful bass performance that can go as low as 16 Hz. The earbuds also use Bass Turbo technology that enhances the airflow and reduces the diaphragm resistance to produce more punchy and impactful low frequencies. The earbuds are HWA and Hi-Res certified, which means they can support high-resolution audio transmissions up to 990 kbps via LDAC codec. They also have an adaptive EQ feature that adjusts the sound according to your fit, wearing status, and volume level, across a wide frequency range from 100 Hz to 2000 Hz.

The earbuds have an active noise cancellation system that uses three microphones on each bud to analyze the ambient noise and generate an opposite sound wave to cancel it out. The noise cancellation works best for low-frequency noises such as traffic or airplane engines, but it may not be very effective for high-frequency noises such as voices or music. The noise cancellation can be turned on or off by pressing and holding the touch sensor area on either bud.

The earbuds also have an AI call noise cancellation feature that uses a deep neural network algorithm to enhance your voice and reduce background chatter during phone calls. The earbuds have three microphones on each bud that pick up your voice from different angles and filter out any unwanted noises. The call quality is clear and crisp on both ends of the line.

The earbuds support Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, which means they can pair with two devices simultaneously and switch between them seamlessly. You can also use one earbud at a time while leaving the other one in the case. The earbuds have a low-latency mode that syncs the video and audio when you are watching movies or playing games on your device.

The earbuds have touch sensor areas on both buds that allow you to control various functions with simple gestures. You can swipe up or down to adjust the volume, double-tap to play or pause music or answer or end calls, and press and hold to enable or disable noise cancellation or reject calls. You can also customize the touch controls via the Huawei AI Life app.

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