Huawei FreeBuds 4i, hands on: Affordable wireless noise cancelling earbuds Review

Wi-fi earbuds are available at a wide range of price factors, and it can be challenging to work out which are well worth obtaining and which are not. For a list price of £79.99 (inc. VAT, at present discounted to £59.99), Huawei’s FreeBuds 4i are a neat and comfy set of buds with very good noise cancelling taking into consideration their very affordable price. But there are some major annoyances. 

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Huawei statements the FreeBuds 4i supply ten several hours songs listening without noise cancelling, or seven.5h with ANC. For voice phone calls, the durations are six.5h without ANC, five.five with ANC.


Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Huawei FreeBuds 4i sit in a modest oval-shaped plastic scenario measuring forty eight.0mm by one.8mm by 27.five mm deep, and weighing 36.5g. The scenario has a flat back again so it truly is secure on a desk or desk, and I found it slipped into a jacket pocket or the facet-pocket of a rucksack quickly. On a desk the USB-C charging scenario provides itself very well. Casing ergonomics seriously issues, and in this article it truly is all very good — besides, if I’m staying picky, for the lack of a spring launch on the lid. 

I was sent a white scenario and buds, but there are also black and red versions available. The box also contains a good prolonged charge cable and two pairs of silicone suggestions, with a 3rd pair now fitted to the buds.  

The structure of the five.5g buds them selves is unremarkable. The stems may be a little prolonged, but not annoyingly so, and the wedge-shaped earpiece produced a very good in shape for my ears. My left ear is not a admirer of buds and tends to toss them out or reward me with niggly soreness following a handful of several hours of don. I knowledgeable neither issue in this article.  

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Huawei premiums the 55mAh buds as very good for ten several hours of songs playback with noise cancelling disabled, seven.five several hours if it truly is enabled, and six.five several hours of voice phone calls with noise cancelling disabled or five.five several hours enabled. Boosted from the 215mAh battery inside of the scenario, songs playback extends to 22 several hours. 10 minutes of charging provides four several hours of audio. A brief early-morning charge observed me through the day without incident.

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I paired the buds with the Android telephone I happened to be testing at the time and the occupation couldn’t be more simple. Activate Bluetooth pairing on your handset, open the charging scenario, push the pairing button on its facet, and practically immediately the deed is carried out. The controls are easy: tap on a bud to perform, pause, skip ahead and back again, and contact up voice help prolonged push to cycle through ANC on, ANC off and awareness mode. 

I found the tap gestures a little unresponsive, despite the fact that the tap-and-hold gestures have been recognised flawlessly just about every time. There are a pair of other annoyances. Quantity has to be controlled on the source machine and playback continues when a bud is eradicated from the ear, so this also has to be adjusted on the source machine. It really is also irritating that there’s no app in the Google Enjoy retail store for fantastic handle, this sort of as producing equaliser settings. This is because of to the point that Huawei no more time has access to Google applications. There is an app, available to proprietors of Huawei handsets, on its possess AppGallery, but I was not testing on a Huawei handset, so that was not an alternative. 

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Huawei FreeBuds 4i: color possibilities.


Picture: Huawei

In normal I found the top quality of songs playback suitable, if not excellent. Talk radio and phone calls have been fantastic, as was normal track record songs whilst thinking about a little something else. But when I targeted on listening to songs the lack of bass tones became clear. I also found the buds just a bit also peaceful for use whilst out and about — listening to the radio whilst on a walk or operate, for illustration.  

Good scenario and bud structure and respectable battery daily life are offset by rather unreliable contact controls and a lack of bass tones for significant songs listening. Continue to, Huawei fans with access to its app retail store may discover them an eye-catching buy.

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