Huawei FreeBuds Studio Evaluate: Good however not Nice

The headphone market has at all times been very aggressive, however each man and his canine are attempting to leap into the sport as of late. Whereas it’s the wi-fi earbud class that’s all the trend, common fashion headphones are nonetheless wanted and Huawei has an fascinating proposition within the FreeBuds Studio.

To kick issues off, I’m not overly eager on manufacturers utilizing phrases like ‘buds’ and ‘pods’ for non-earbud headphones however such is branding and advertising and marketing. What’s fascinating right here is that Huawei has gone with the ‘Studio’ identify which was rumoured for a very long time to be what Apple would name its correct headphones.

We now know they’re known as the AirPods Max and at £549 (the identical in US {dollars}) isn’t actually a direct competitor right here. At £299, the Huawei FreeBuds Studio are extra in-line with the likes of Sony and Bose, however can the Chinese language agency actually compete with these audio legends?

Design & Construct

Thus far, Huawei has made in-ear headphones, however the Studio are conventional headphones with an over-ear design. They give the impression of being fairly traditional and are extra compact than many rivals, notably the dimensions of the earcups.

This additionally means they’re good and light-weight at 260g and I’ve discovered them very snug. The headscarf and earcups have delicate cushions, though the earcup ones aren’t detachable with magnets like some rivals.

There are three buttons – for energy, Bluetooth and ANC – and the proper earcup has a big contact delicate space. You need to use this to faucet and swipe to manage playback and alter quantity. It really works nicely on the entire, though remember that if, for instance, you’re listening to Spotify on a desktop browser, the playback controls received’t work – it’s essential be utilizing the stand-alone app.

General, they’re good however the construct and general really feel isn’t as premium because the likes of Sony and Bose. Issues like plastic earcups imply they don’t have fairly the luxurious really feel that’s given off in product imagery.

Notice that they don’t fold down right into a compact form however the earcups can flip greater than 90 levels and Huawei provides, in contrast to Apple, a semi-hard case to move them in.

The headphones can be found within the black choice proven right here or a pale gold color.

Sound High quality & Options

As is typical for over-ear headphones, the FreeBuds Studio have pretty massive 40mm drivers. Huawei quotes a formidable frequency vary of 4Hz to 48kHz, far greater than the standard human listening to vary, in addition to the L2HC codec for speeds as much as 960kbps and a lowered lack of high quality.

You will want a Huawei telephone with EMUI 11 or later for this, such because the Mate 40 Professional. You’ll additionally want EMUI 10.1 or later for ‘Pop-up pair’ – sensible pairing much like the best way Apple does it with AirPods. In any other case, it’s simple sufficient to pair the normal means utilizing Bluetooth 5.2.

Low latency gaming mode is one other characteristic you’ll want EMUI 10.1 or later to profit from. And any of Huawei’s ‘Lite’ fashions (and I assume Honor, too) are excluded from getting any of those EMUI these options.

As soon as you might be related, the FreeBuds Studio provide wonderful sound high quality with a wealthy, balanced and spacious profile. They swimsuit a variety of genres in addition to listening to podcasts and the like. Moreover, there’s minimal distortion at excessive quantity ranges so sonically, these are stable headphones.

The lively noise cancelling (ANC) guarantees rather a lot, too, with ‘Clever Dynamic ANC’.

Utilizing the ANC button on the left earcup you possibly can rapidly cycle between modes, specifically on and Conscious Mode – which, by the best way, the announcer is way too smitten by after which seemingly downhearted if you change ANC off.

The primary mode has varied sub-modes it might probably both mechanically change between or you possibly can select them manually within the app. These are issues like ‘cosy’ for low noise conditions and ‘extremely’ if you want full blast.

For me, the variations are refined, and the Conscious Mode is a tad excessive. It will be preferable to customize these modes with a slider. In the event you’re not connecting to an Android system with the app, you will simply be capable of cycle by means of the thee important modes with the bodily button.

An even bigger downside was even accessing the app within the first place. I downloaded Huawei’s AI Life app from the Play Retailer on a Pixel 4a 5G and the FreeBuds Studio weren’t on the record of audio merchandise. I needed to scan the QR code within the provided paperwork to manually obtain and set up the proper model. There is no such thing as a iOS app.

One thing that doesn’t work nicely in my expertise, is the wear and tear detection. Like many headphones, the FreeBuds Studio know when you’re sporting them or not – or they’re speculated to however numerous instances once I took them off, music carried on enjoying then did a brief pause solely once I put them again on. You possibly can flip this off within the app if it does not be just right for you both.

Again to a optimistic word and the battery life right here is stable. Huawei says the FreeBuds Studio can final for 24 hours with ANC switched off. They’ll additionally provide eight hours of playback from a 10-minute cost through USB-C.

Rivals just like the Sony WH-1000XM4 can go longer (as much as 30 hours) however that is sufficient longevity that wanting taking some back-to-back long-haul flights, you received’t end up needing to cost them fairly often in any respect. I’ve been utilizing them for an hour or two a day for almost two weeks – principally with ANC on – and so they nonetheless have 30% battery left.

Discover out how we check audio.

Worth & Availability

As talked about on the high, the Huawei FreeBuds Studio are available in at £299 and aren’t presently accessible within the US.

That’s already a good value contemplating rivals from Bose and Sony are available in at round £320-350 however like a lot of its merchandise Huawei is already providing a reduction. On the time of writing, you may get the headphones for simply £229 with a free Huawei Watch Match price £119 thrown in for good measure.

It appears the £299 is a little bit of a fake value anyway as main retailers corresponding to Amazon, Currys PC World and Very all have the Studio for £229.

It’s a extremely whole lot and makes the FreeBuds Studio of the perfect worth pairs of over-ear noise cancelling headphones you may get. At full value, it’s a harder alternative, particularly when you think about that the nonetheless wonderful Sony WF-1000XM3 can be found for round £220 now.

Nonetheless, value isn’t every thing so take a look at our chart of the perfect headphones in addition to greatest wi-fi headphones and greatest noise cancelling headphones to ensure you’re shopping for the proper pair.


There’s tons to love in regards to the Huawei FreeBuds Studio. For starters, they’re cheaper than some key rivals and sound nice. There’s additionally stable battery life too.

The design is light-weight and cozy and the onboard controls – each buttons and contact – are simple to make use of.

Whereas ANC is fairly good, it’s a bit behind the likes of Bose and Sony.

My important subject right here is on the software program aspect, with the AI Life app accessible on the Play Retailer not presently suitable with FreeBuds Studio. Getting the proper one from a QR code isn’t splendid.

There are additionally varied options which can be restricted to Huawei telephones or tablets with the proper working system – at a time when it is very laborious to suggest shopping for these units. And even options that don’t want EMUI like put on detection are flaky.

It’s a superb effort and good worth for Huawei customers, however the agency has work to do for the subsequent pair.


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About the author: SubSellKaro

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