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Geek Review: Huawei FreeBuds Pro

The market for premium wireless earbuds with active noise cancelling (ANC) is growing ever so slightly. These days, more unlikely names have popped up alongside the pantheon of top performers; for every Sony, Bose, and (dare we say it) Apple, you have a Google or an LG that seems to punch above its weight every now and then, but there are a dozen more that end up as a gimmicky flop.

Huawei, however, is one of the oddballs in the market. While it has been around for a while now, with its FreeBuds line of wireless earbuds, it so far hasn’t quite broken away from the general consensus that it is a mere clone of the Apple AirPods. So when the Huawei FreeBuds Pro was first announced, one can imagine the laboured mental groans that might have rung across the community of AirPods fans.

Right from the get-go, there are several reasons why one can label the FreeBuds Pro as a test-tube sibling of the AirPods Pro. From the case, to the look of the earbuds themselves, to even the on-app controls (on a Huawei device, at least), there really isn’t much to separate the two, at least on paper. Probably the only major difference at first glance would be the FreeBuds Pro’s S$238 pricing, which is quite a far cry from the AirPods Pro’s S$379.

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Where the previous FreeBuds models were unabashed ripoffs of the AirPods, with strikingly similar designs, there are several design choices that make it stand out. Firstly, it comes in three colours instead of one (Ceramic White, Carbon Black, and Silver Frost on our review unit). Most strikingly, its antenna stems are small rectangular blocks instead of cylinders, which automatically gives the FreeBuds Pro a strangely refreshing look. Also, the option to use silicone eartips instead of full plastic ones is always a great choice for both comfort and hygiene, as it helps keep any earwax out of the actual speakers in the earbuds. And of course, the presence of small, medium, and large eartips is pretty much a no-brainer. 

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