The HUAWEI FREEBUDS 4 are latest in a long line of true wireless ear buds that come with active noise cancellation.
But these ones are a little bit different.
They are actually an open design rather than an ear design with interchangeable ear tips.
So are they any good?
I've been wearing the free buds full for that awake.
And in this review, I'm going to dive into sound quality, coal quality.
So microphone samples, and overall feature set, and of course, design and comfort.
And I've linked to chapters in the description below, in case you want to skip ahead So it's really hard to talk about the freebuds 4 in terms of what they look like without referencing the original Apple AirPods.
Because they look fairly similar.
They both share a design that just sits in your ear rather than going into your ear canal with an interchangeable tip that I mentioned They have a long stem that comes down from the ear, and overall they're pretty lightweight and fairly comfortable to wear.
But they do fall out fairly easily, at least in my small ears.
Because they don't have any kind of grip.
There are no wingtips, there's no hook, there's nothing to kind of keep them in place.
So it's fine for me if I'm doing something like working At my desk or I'm just walking around but if I wanna do anything active, these ones do fall out.
So, just something to keep in mind if you are thinking of using these for any type of workout.
Now the bus themselves right at IP Expo which means they are splash resistant, but I would not suggest you put these in the washing machine.
Probably won't come out too good.
[LAUGH] Now in terms of the controls, you interact with these bugs through the touch panels on the side and through gesture controls, and these really do take it up I would say probably half a notch to some other wireless ear buds that you might have tried with touch controls.
Yes, you can do the same touch and hold for active noise cancellation on or off.
You can also change tracks playing pause music answer calls.
But the thing that I actually really like about these is the fact that they have volume controls on the stem.
So you can just swipe up or down and change the volume with your finger instead of having to rely on either pulling out your phone or even using your voice assistant.
Now let's talk about sound because these might look similar to the air pods.
But they do sound a lot better than the original Apple AirPods.
Now they actually have a really good bass response, but it's not too overpowering.
I listened to my regular playlist of favorite tunes as well as use them to listen to podcasts and make calls.
And I found that these were really balanced across a wide range of applications.
The soundstage was really nice and broad But it wasn't too punchy on any of the mids or the troubles and music really sounded good across a range of different genres.
Now i did find that i would have liked to have a few more equalizer controls So the AI life app that you can use to interact with these buds with on iOS Android, and of course on Huawei ecosystem itself does only have three equalizer presets and really only two because once normal, so I really would have liked a little bit more control.
But if you do wanna tweak the sound even further, I guess you could do that in your favorite streaming app, like a Spotify or apple music for example.
I am gonna be the bearer of bad news because these are not market-leading active noise cancellation.
It's just really hard to have really effective ANC when you don't have that design that it's kinda closing off the sound from the outside world.
Thanks to either interchangeable tips or over ear headphones now because these are open You pretty much get to hear everything else going on around you.
But I did find that the active noise cancellation worked much better when I had a situation where there was just sort of some standard kind of white noise or cold.
Stick noise in the background, like maybe a city home or an air conditioning unit or something like that.
The freebuds for support multi device connectivity, so you can connect up to two devices simultaneously.
Now this is really useful if you're someone who is say working from home or commuting and you wanna make sure that you have a laptop and a phone connected at the same time.
I found that bugs did a pretty good job of determining where the audio source was coming from, and routing accordingly.
Now, in the iOS app, if you're using these on an iPhone, you won't be able to see which devices you're connected to.
But you can if you are on a Huawei or an Android device.
Unlike many other true wireless earbuds they do have a near detection so they can determine if they're in your ears or not.
And so when you take one out, the music will pause.
And you can also use them independently.
So if the battery on one dies for example, you can put one back in the case and continue to listen to music or take calls on the other one.
Now I did a couple calls with these earbuds and they performed pretty well.
The person on the other end remarked that my voice was pretty loud.
It had quite a bit of gain to it as well.
And so it was picking up a little bit of the outside world and people on the other end could definitely tell that I was fidgeting with something or trying to do something else, as well as having a conversation because they did pick up a lot of the outside world,
Now one of the main features of the freebuds four is the ability to record and 48 kilohertz but only when you're using select Huawei devices.
I'm recording on the mate 40 Pro.
And there are actually two modes there's a voice priority mode and a surroundings one.
This one is the voice which should theoretically be isolating my voice.
And not be picking up things like the sirens that you can hear in the background I don't know we'll see how good it is.
So the fog is really rolled in this is the surroundings mode should be picking up pretty much everything there's quite a bit of wind noise as you can probably see and hear We'll see, I actually haven't listened to these clips back.
So the first time that I'm gonna hear them is actually when I put this review together and put the video together.
So I'm actually really interested to see if I can hear a difference.
As the battery life is not particularly great, especially for Pair of active noise cancellation ear buds.
You're going to get two and a half hours when you have active noise cancellation turned on, and four hours when you have it turned off.
Those are wise numbers.
And I actually got exactly the same results when I did my own listening Test at 50% volume.
As you proper guess the charging case does have a little bit of extra charge in it.
You'll be able to get 14 hours of total charge when you have ANC turned on and 22 hours with Get off.
Now of course there's the price.
These are 150 euros or 130 pounds in the UK.
Now that translates to around 180 US dollars at the time of recording.
And that's for the version that does not have the wireless charging case.
That's just this one here that has a USB C charging ability.
And if you want the wireless charging case version that does bump the price up a little bit by about 20 euros and 20 pounds respectively.
So if you are looking in that particular price range, there are a lot of options that you have at your disposal.
We're talking about the iPods pro which you can find around that price point There is the Jabra Elite 85T.
The new Sony w h 1009.
WF-1000 Mk 4s are actually a little bit more expensive but I would expect those to come down in price and they do offer a whole range of features and much better battery life over all But I do think that there is a real proposition here for people who do not like in ear earbuds that have any sort of pressure.
If you're sensitive to ear tips, maybe you have an allergy or things like that, and you do like this in ear design, and you want better sound quality than the original air pods.
These are pretty good, but you do have to be aware that the battery life is not great.
So I would just recommend if you do have these Don't really bother with the active noise cancellation.
It's really not worth the trade off for the lack of battery life that you get out of them.
Unless you are in a fairly constant white noise situation then it can make some difference.
Hey, thanks so much for watching.
I hope this was helpful for you in deciding if these ear buds are the right choice for you.
If you have any questions that I didn't answer, you can drop me a comment down below.
And stay tuned for lots more headphones and ear buds reviews here on CNET