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Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2: One Of The Best Becomes Even Better

AH Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 editors choice
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The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are one of the best truly wireless earphones on the market.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2
€199
Rating
star star star star star
Pros
  • Excellent, rich & well-balanced sound
  • Class-leading ANC
  • Quality implementation of gestures
  • Good battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Reliable performance
  • Lightweight & comfortable
  • Audio feedback for gestures
Cons
  • Cheap-looking, glossy case

Huawei supplied us with a review unit of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2, but didn’t have a say in our opinion, nor did they see this review before you. We’ve been using the device for a couple of weeks before forming an opinion.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro were announced about two years ago. Those earphones were unsurprisingly great, and remained so until this day. Huawei wanted to step it up, though, which is where the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 come in. The company not only improved the audio output on these earbuds, but the noise canceling was also improved, along with the design of the earbuds themselves.

We’ll talk about all that down below, of course. The Huawei FreeBuds Pro still remain a good option, but the FreeBuds Pro 2 earbuds do raise the bar a bit. These earbuds come in three color options, Ceramic White, Silver Blue, and Silver Front. We’ve received the Ceramic White variant for review, which you’ll love if you love white tech. Having said that, let’s get down to it, starting with the design.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are lightweight & comfortable

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 come in a similar case as the FreeBuds Pro, but a smaller variant, as you can see in the image below this paragraph. The case is made out of plastic once again, and it’s glossy, which is not my favorite finish, for sure. The thing is, on this Ceramic White variant, you can’t really notice fingerprints all that much. White color is usually good with that sort of thing. Fingerprints were much more of an issue on the black variant of the FreeBuds Pro case.

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AH Huawei FreeBuds Pro vs FreeBuds Pro 2

There is a Type-C port at the bottom of the case, where an LED notification light sits, to let you know when it’s charging, and of the charge status. Speaking of which, there is another LED notification light on the inside, to notify you of the charge status of the earbuds themselves. The FreeBuds Pro 2 are much easier to get out of the case than the FreeBuds Pro were, at least to me. Huawei angled them in a different way, and they stick out more than enough to get them out of the case without a problem. That’s a huge plus from me, as many earbuds kind of mess that part up.

The charging case looks cheap, but feels really good, as do the earphones themselves

Both the case and the buds feel really good, though look a bit cheap, especially the case. They don’t feel cheap or anything of the sort, quite the contrary. The stems are not that long at all. Speaking of which, contrary to what you may think, the touchpad is not on the outer part of the stem. It’s actually on the front. You can swipe up and down to adjust the volume across that touch panel. All the other gestures are performed differently.

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Having said that, you’ll need to pinch the stem in order to perform other actions. The lower part of the step needs to be pinched, from the sides, and you can play/pause music, change tracks, shift through active noise cancellation, and so on. Depending on what you do. For example, one pinch will play/pause music. Quick double pinch will change tracks, long press will shift through noise cancellation, etc.

Proper feedback for successful gestures is a great addition

The great thing here is, that you can actually hear some feedback when earbuds recognize your pinch. This is not a touchpad we’re talking about, or physical buttons, but considering you’ll get feedback in your ears, you’ll know exactly when earbuds reacted. Those pinching motions are really well implemented, to be quite honest. I was really skeptical about it, but it works great. Using this instead of touch panels for gestures prevents you from accidentally pausing music, changing tracks, and so on. You don’t have to be careful as to where you grab the earphones to adjust them.

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There are three silicone tip sizes in the box

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Speaking of which, how’s the fit? Well, great, actually. The earbuds are light enough, and Huawei obviously spent quite a bit of time designing these. You do get three pairs of silicone tips in the box, simply find the right one (Huawei’s app can help you with that), and you’re good to go. Once you jam them in, they’ll likely stay in. You can easily adjust them if need be, though. I, personally, still prefer ergonomic shapes without silicone tips, but I’m in the minority. The fact is, these are better for more people, and more comfortable for them as well. They’re great for running, and so on. I’ve had a great experience with them over my test period. They are also IP54 certified for splash resistance, so you can run with them in the rain and so on.

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These earbuds offer excellent audio output

Nothing else matters if the sound isn’t good, right? Well, you’ll be glad to know that’s not an issue here, not at all, quite the contrary. The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are amongst the best-sounding truly wireless earphones I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a lot of them. The FreeBuds Pro were excellent in the sound department, but the FreeBuds Pro 2 take things to the next level.

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They were co-engineered with Devialet

The fact that Huawei co-engineered these earbuds with Devialet definitely helped things. The biggest improvement comes in the form of the “Ultra-hearing True Sound Dual Driver”, though. Huawei opted to combine two drivers here, a planar diaphragm, and a quad-magnet dynamic driver. The former is used for treble and overtones, while the latter is there for low and medium ranges. Thanks to this combo, the sound range goes from 14Hz to 48Hz.

Huawei added ‘True Adaptive EQ’

So, we have the hardware covered. What else is there to note? Well, Huawei’s ‘True Adaptive EQ’ is definitely worth noting. These earbuds can adapt to your ear canal, wearing style, and so on. In other words, they’re capable of adapting to you. The result of all that, and a number of other hardware and software factors, is great sound. These earbuds offer rich sound, with a wide soundstage, and you’ll even feel the bass. The low, mid, and high ends of the spectrum are well-balanced, and the vocals are very crisp. I never felt like something was way off the mark in the sound department, which is a rarity when it comes to truly wireless earphones.

ANC is excellent, and there are several levels of it

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For those of you who are wondering, yes, ANC (Active Noise Cancelation) is a part of the package. In fact, you get several levels of noise canceling, including an automatic one, and an awareness mode. That automatic setting will adapt to your surroundings, but if you’re walking past a lot of traffic, for example, it’ll change settings way too frequently. So, we do suggest you pick one of the other options. The strongest noise cancellation is actually really good, by far the best I’ve seen in truly wireless earbuds. It doesn’t drown out the sound completely, but it does help a lot.

Call quality was really good as well

When it comes to calls, you’ll be glad to know that these earbuds deliver in that regard as well. People I’ve talked to said I sounded quite natural during our conversation, and when I tried being on the other side of things, I was pleasantly surprised with the sound. This is definitely not something you should worry about.

You’ll need an app in order to take full advantage of their features

You can use the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 without any additional software. All it takes is connecting these earbuds to your phone (or some other device) via Bluetooth, and you’re good to go. In order to take full advantage of what the FreeBuds Pro 2 have to offer, though, you’ll need to download an app. The app is called AI Life, and you’ll need to get it from Huawei’s AppGallery, not the Play Store. Simply Google AppGallery, and download and install the APK. There you’ll find the AI Life app.

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Gesture customization is possible

Once you install it, you’ll see the FreeBuds Pro 2, presuming you’ve already connected them. If not, you’ll need to do that. This app will allow you to customize the gestures, and also shift through different ANC settings. It will also help you to choose the best size of ear tips for your ears. On top of everything, you’ll also be able to shift between devices, as these earbuds can be hooked up to two devices at the same time. All in all, it’s a really useful app.

Battery life is more than respectable, even with intensive ANC use

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So, what about the battery life, is it any good? Well, yes, it is. If you’re planning on not using ANC, or using it rarely, you’ll get amazing battery life out of these. Huawei rates them at 4 hours of use time on a single charge if you use ANC all the time, and 6.5 hours without ANC. That is about in line with my usage, though truth be said, I tested only ANC all the time, and mixed usage. I didn’t use them without ANC throughout one charge cycle. I got about 4 hours of use with ANC on, and about 5 hours of mixed use. Bluetooth 5.2 is included here as well, and the earbuds and charging case can sit idle for quite some time before getting discharged, which is great.

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You can get up to 30 hours of battery life, with the charging case included

If you count in the charging case, you can get 30 hours with ANC off, and 18 hours with ANC on. That is also quite respectable, as most charging cases add less use time than this. If you’re not intensively using these earbuds, you can stay away from the outlet for a long time. Speaking of which, these earbuds do support wireless charging as well. You’ll get only 2W wireless charging here, though.

Charging up the charging case takes about an hour

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It’ll take you about an hour to charge up the charging case, earbuds not included. On the flip side, it takes about 40 minutes for the charging case to charge up each earbud. If you opt for wireless charging at 2W, well, that takes two full hours, for the charging case to recharge. And yes, a USB Type-C port is included on the charging case.

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are worth your hard-earned money, very much so

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So, are the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 worth your cash? Well, yes, I’d say they are, definitely. These are some of the best earbuds out there at the moment, and the best ones I’ve used thus far. That’s saying a lot considering the sheer number of quality earbuds I’ve chewed through. They not only offer great fit, and battery life, but the sound output is great. Even the call quality is really good. If you have the cash to spend on these, and you want really quality truly wireless earbuds, go for it, they’re that good.