Huawei took to IFA 2019 today to launch a brand new pair of true wireless stereo earbuds dubbed the Huawei FreeBuds 3. The buds not only deliver a wealth of new features. Huawei FreeBuds 3 serves as a solid foundation for Huawei's wearable and audio strategy in the future, debuting a new Kirin AI chipset for wearables well beyond the event.
Among the biggest new features enabled by the company's chip is brought about by its advanced Audio DSP. That comes complete with a real-time 3A call noise reduction algorithm and active environmental noise cancelation.
Huawei's latest solution allows the company to include those features despite that the earbuds are an "open-fit" design. Summarily, that means there's no cushioning to ensure a snug, airtight fit in the wearer's ear.
Better still, noise cancellation is an on-tap feature with Freebuds 3. Users just need to double-tap the left-side earbud to turn it off or on. That means they'll offer better adaptability than just about any other earbuds on the market and that it will be user-controllable.
FreeBuds 3 features, cost, availability
Now, Huawei hasn't revealed any pricing or availability information about FreeBuds 3 just yet. But they will come pact will plenty of features, setting aside the bulk of new AI features. To begin with, a single charge will provide a fairly standard 4-hours of playback. The wireless charging carrying case can be charged wirelessly or via USB Type-C. That adds extra playback time up to 20-hours.
The case itself comes in a sleek round design in glossy colors, either black or white.
For those with Huawei smartphones, Huawei's earbuds will feature near-instant connection and assisted connection via an instant pop-up window on the source device.
A "complex" bass tube is included in both earbuds alongside a more traditional 14mm dynamic driver. That's coupled with a sophisticated mic — embedded in an "aerodynamic" mic duct for noise reduction. It's also tied in wit a Bone Sensor that picks up vibrations in the jaw to enhance the wearer's voice. These earbuds should enable clearer voice interactions and calls almost as well as they cancel external noise.
Tap actions don't just activate noise cancellation either. They also enable all interactions with the audio source and earbuds, for a more intuitive experience than buttons often provide. Simultaneously, there are no buttons to be tapped at all when the earbuds are removed. They'll sense that and pause playback automatically. Audio resumes when they're put back in.
AI is Huawei's new audio and wearable strategy
Central to Huawei's latest audio accessory and to its long-term "hearable" and wearable strategy is its new Kirin A1 chip. As the world's first Bluetooth 5.1 and Bluetooth LE 5.1 dual-mode chip wearable chipset, that not only improves stability, quality, and efficiency. Whereas prior technology required asynchronous transmission, it also delivers sound data directly to both earbuds.
The new technology improves latency significantly and additional algorithms are in place to monitor frequencies for interference too. For Huawei FreeBuds 3, that means the earbuds can recognize when Wi-Fi or similar signals are causing problems and dynamically switch channels to fix the problem.
Additionally, it's responsible for enabling the noise cancellation features with these earbuds. The chip's audio processing DSP is utilized to first recognize noise in real-time and then to nullify it as much as possible. Speech recognition is part of that as well, enabling hands-free voice recognition and operation.
Each of those encapsulates AI wearable concepts that will carry through through Huawei's strategy moving forward.