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  • Cheryl Tan

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 Review: Worth The Cash, But...

Huawei’s audio products have always been quite impressive, I really liked the FreeBuds Pro when they launched back in 2020. Well, these new earbuds build on that great foundation and are even better in most areas.

While the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are slightly more expensive than the original FreeBuds Pro at S$298, I’d say the improvements are worth the added cash.

Design

So let’s talk design first. The case looks, well, pretty much identical to the older FreeBuds Pro, really. The only big difference I can find externally is the addition of the “Devialet” word on the back, which is due to Huawei's collaboration with the French audio company. Aside from that, we still get the USB-C charging port on the bottom, along with a charging and battery indicator LED. There are three colours, silver frost, ceramic white and a gorgeous silver blue that we, unfortunately, didn’t get. The earbuds across all three colours are glossy though with the case for the white also glossy while the silver blue and silver frost comes in matte cases.


Flip open the lid and you get the earbuds inside, along with another LED for the battery indicator. The earbuds look quite similar again, although there’s a new circular mic mesh near the stems for one of the outward-facing mics for ANC. Weight has been kept mostly the same across both generations at 6.1 grams for the earbuds, although the case has been made lighter by about 8 grams, with the FreeBuds Pro 2’s case now at 52 grams. The case is also slightly smaller.


Inside the earbud, it’s now a dual-driver setup with an 11mm dynamic driver as well as a planar diaphragm driver, and it certainly helps improve the sound, which we’ll talk about later.

Touch Controls

Moving on to touch controls, it’s actually very well thought out, and works the same as the older generation. You can swipe up or down on the stem for volume controls, and a single press controls play/pause while two presses skip tracks forward and three presses skip tracks backwards. A press and hold toggles between ANC on, off and transparency. You can’t really customise the controls, except choosing whether a press and hold changes the ANC setting or wakes up the voice assistant, although you can choose whether to turn off a touch control, so yeah. Personally, I like the controls a lot and I didn’t feel the need to change anything.


You’ll be able to do that and more in the Huawei AI Life app. You’ll need this app for firmware updates, quick switching between paired devices in the Audio Connection Centre bar and changing the EQ through the Sound Effects. I typically left it on the default preset for testing.

Microphone Quality

As for mic quality, it’s pretty decent. There’s also a setting in the AI Life app called HD Voice, which enhances the clarity, and you can certainly turn that on if you feel your voice isn’t coming across clearly enough. In this mic test, it’s turned on.

ANC Performance

ANC performance has improved, in my opinion. I was very impressed with how well the noise cancelling worked in these earbuds. Of course, there’s the dynamic setting that auto adjusts the ANC intensity based on the surrounding noise, and it works quite well if the noise is constant, like a fan or air conditioner. If you’re in an environment where the noise starts and stops, however, like in a cafe or outdoors, you might notice the ANC shifting levels quite often. Personally, I prefer just using the ultra setting. Huawei also claims there’s a specific aircraft noise cancellation curve to eliminate noise on flights and while the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 do have great ANC, I did feel that the earbuds still didn’t cancel out as much noise as the AirPods Pro 2 did, more specifically with regards to the higher pitched noises. That being said, these are still a great pair of ANC earbuds in their own right.

Connectivity

Coming to connectivity, we get Bluetooth 5.2 in these, so that’s great. The earbuds also support SBC, AAC and LDAC, which is very nice. There’s also IP54 dust and water resistance here.

Battery Life

Battery life is actually the weakest point of these earbuds. There are only around 4 hours in the earbuds with another 3-ish charges in the case for a total of 18 hours when ANC is turned on. Of course, this is dependent on the strength of the ANC and how loud you play your music. For me, keeping ANC on Ultra and playing music at a relatively low 35% or so did give me slightly under four hours in the earbuds. If I had used the dynamic ANC, I reckon it would have been closer to 4.5 hours.

So while it does live up to Huawei’s estimate, I’d say four hours in the earbuds is pretty terrible when you compare it to other earbuds on the market. Without ANC, it’s at 6.5 hours, which is still not that great in all honesty. There is wireless charging in the case, and you do take to take note that the part you need to put on the wireless charger is the front of the case and not the back where the silver rectangle with the brand names is.

Sound Quality

As for sound, wow. The original FreeBuds Pro were already pretty good. These sound quite a lot better. There’s a lot of deep, impactful bass even without being on the bass boost EQ preset. It’s well balanced though, with a nice warmth in the mids along with plenty of detail. Treble is great as well, plenty of energy here.


The soundstage and imaging is fantastic though, you really get great separation here and the soundstage is very wide. While I won’t say it’s as detailed and nuanced as other earbuds like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 or other premium earbuds, those are also more expensive than these. At S$298, these are very, very good. If you can get them on sale at $250 or less, that’s even better.

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