Huawei FreeBuds 4: the review of the TWS noise-canceling earphones

Huawei Freebuds4 5

The new Huawei arrived on the market at the beginning of the summer FreeBuds 4 they are halfway between the cheap FreeBuds 4i and the Buds Pro. Why the model 4 came out after the 4i is a marketing mystery that we will not go into. What we are interested in understanding and how they behave once put in our ears.  

Technical features 

The FreeBuds 4 come with a classic design, consisting of external wands with tactile functionality and open fit earphones that fit without any type of adapter for the pavilion. The case, on the other hand, is oval, light and equipped with a USB-C connector for charging. There are two colors available: classic white and a metallic silver.  
The external wands are equipped with a touch-sensitive area, through which to adjust the volume, answer phone calls and obviously activate the noise cancellation.  

Huawei said about 4 listening hours for the new FreeBuds 4 with one charge, which drop to 2,5 if we activate the NC circuit. The case is instead able to provide up to a maximum of additional 22 hours of autonomy. In reality and in heavy use during the summer, we can confirm that the figures provided by the house are not far from reality, let's say they have been rounded up. The estimated time for a full charge is about 1 hour, both for the earphones inside the case, and for the case itself via USB-C cable. With the quick charge, 15 minutes are enough to offer an autonomy of 2,5 hours without NC. Overall good data, too bad the absence of wireless charging.  

We close by mentioning that Freebuds 4 are equipped with IPX4 certification for protection from splashing water and that the Bluetooth used is a 5.2.  

FreeBuds 4 in practice 

The pairing with the smartphone is very fast, both on Huawei phones and on other brands, including the iPhone. But in any case, you can't do without the app Huawei Ai Life for more control over earphone settings.  
The single button on the FreeBuds 4 case, located on the side and well camouflaged, is used to start the pairing processor. In a few moments we can therefore put on the earphones and immediately test the noise cancellation.  

The open fit earphones are certainly not the most suitable for fully enjoying NC technology, but there are improvements compared to the past. The system works very well on low frequencies and, as specified by the same company, if the user has a small ear cup and has inserted the earphones well. Physical appearance is important for a better fit, which helps this function. Activation takes place following a long press on one of the two sticks or through the app. A voice will confirm it.   

While we weren't particularly impressed with this feature at the beginning of using these FreeBuds 4, things have changed after an update. However, we must not think that these earphones can completely isolate us from the outside world. They are not in-ear and the mere inversion of the frequencies is not enough, indeed sometimes it could also affect the acoustic performance of songs that touch certain frequencies.  
That said, use for example by train or plane there is a clear improvement by eliminating with good results the background noises typical of these means of transport. We can thus save a few notches on the volume and enjoy the speeches of some movies or good music without too much interference.  

Speaking of music, we can say that the bass performance is good, while compared to previous models there is also an improvement on the details of the mids and highs. The credit goes to updated drivers at 14,3mm, slightly larger than the FreeBuds 3. But it's best not to overdo the volume. However, it must be said that we are not dealing with a product that aims at high fidelity; therefore, for everyday life and for those who generally listen to streaming pop music they are just fine.  

Very convenient the possibility of connect to two devices at the same time. In fact, we can switch from the audio of a computer to that of the smartphone without any difficulty. Furthermore, from the connection center on Huawei AI Life, we can manage the paired devices and also choose one to which to give preference.  

Likewise we also appreciated the responsiveness of the FreeBuds 4 detecting when the headphones are worn. The proximity sensor does an excellent job, even for stopping playback if we take them off. Finally, the touch controls that offer the possibility of customization on the double touch are very practical. In particular, the volume adjustment available on both sticks is very intuitive: just slide your finger up or down and that's it.  

Conclusions and price 

The Huawei Freebuds 4 sono available at a price of 129 euros, but there are also several bundles to have other Huawei products at advantageous prices. But the price is the biggest obstacle for these open fit earphones, because at the same figure we find the FreeBuds Pro. If in use the Pro version is higher, the big difference that could lead to one model or the other is the 'in-ear setting against open fits. These are very personal choices, there are those who are more comfortable with one model than with the other.  

Net of these considerations we cannot fail to underline how these earphones are a good product that offers some slight improvements compared to the previous model, in particular in the user experience with new touch controls and proximity sensor.  

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