Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 Review
Two years ago, Huawei presented its vision of the flagship TWS headphones – Huawei FreeBuds Pro. The model was worthy against the background of competitors, but there is no limit to perfection. Now we have the second version of Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2, where the manufacturer promised to improve the sound and noise reduction. Is that enough, to get back on the podium?
Nice to the ears
Outwardly, the headphones do not differ much from the previous revision: the same rectangular legs with a logo, the same teardrop-shaped case. But the devil, as always, is in the details. Now the articulation of the leg and body is smooth and not so conspicuous. While some liked the catchy design of the previous model, the current execution seems more thoughtful. More info:
- Weight. Ergonomics have also been changed. Although the weight of the headphones remains the same at 6.1 grams, they are more comfortable to use than the previous model. Streamlined cases are almost not felt in the ears, there is no discomfort during long listening to music. But the case felt better thoroughly – now it weighs 52 grams instead of 60. However, it has not become particularly compact. It fits in the pocket of tight jeans, but when bending the leg, it presses unpleasantly. Opening the case with one hand is also difficult.
- Indicators. The case has two charge indicators: one inside and one more below, next to the USB-C port. The pairing button is located on the right side, and a glossy insert with the Huawei and Devialet logos is made on the back side.
- Microphones. The headphones themselves have undergone minor design changes. Microphones are now located at the bottom of the legs, and not on the side. This is logical – it is easier for them to capture the user's voice. In headset mode, the gadget works flawlessly. It is not surprising – there are three microphones, the signal from which is processed by the neural network. The latter was trained on a sample of over 100 million speech fragments.
- Sensors. Contact sensors are built into the upper part of the case – thanks to them, the gadget understands when it is taken out of the ears, and pauses the music. Bone conduction sensors have not gone away either, associated with six microphones (three on each side) for better noise reduction. Their outlets are located at the rear of the cases.
- Sound guide. The sound guides are very short and protected by a mesh, which will appeal to those who doesn't like deep seating. And nearby, compensation holes are provided through which excess pressure is bled from the acoustic chamber – the effect of a vacuum plug does not occur. There are three pairs of silicone tips in the box with the headphones, so choosing the optimal size is not difficult. From – For the specific shape of the sound guide, third-party ear pads will not work, so it's better not to lose the complete ones.
Like the first FreeBuds Pro, the control is connected with pinching the legs: a single one on either side is responsible for start and pause, a double turns on the next track, and a triple turns on the previous one. Long press toggles noise reduction modes. This control method has its advantages. Playback is easy to control when wearing a hat – touchpads remain easily accessible. But there are also disadvantages: adjusting the earpiece, you can accidentally pause the music.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 features Intelligent Noise Canceling 2.0. It consists of three microphones and a bone conduction sensor on each side, as well as a proprietary coprocessor responsible for signal processing. Huawei says that the second version of their system operates in the range from 50 to 3000 Hz, and the maximum level of suppressed noise reaches 47 dB. Note that for the first Huawei FreeBuds Pro, this figure was 40 dB. In practice, the system turned out to be excellent in conditions from a windy street to a noisy subway. At the same time, there was no feeling of pressure on the membranes – listening to music for several hours with ANC was comfortable. There is also a transparency mode in the headphones, which is useful in the office or when cycling. You can turn on voice enhancement to hear your colleagues talking over the music.
Sound from Devialet specialists
An 11 mm dynamic driver and an ultra-high frequency driver are installed inside the headphones. Dynamic emitter equipped with four magnets, due to which the power of the magnetic system increased by 30%. This, in turn, made it possible to lighten the magnetic coil, thereby reducing the movable mass and improving the response of the membrane to the signal. In addition, Huawei turned to the engineers of the French company Devialet for fine-tuning the sound. What is the result of all these tricks? Sound:
- Balance. The first thing that catches your ear is the excellent tonal balance. If the first FreeBuds Pro clearly accentuated the bass, then the second version of the headphones plays the lower case much more restrained. The sound has become less booming and tiring.
- Music. However, do not think that the model cannot produce deep bass. On electronic music, the headphones fully play all the low-frequency parts. This sounds especially impressive on the atmospheric compositions of Bjork and Boards of Canada. Another interesting moment is that the model clearly localizes individual sounds. If the author of the post wanted to “play with space”, it's easy to see. When watching a movie, the effect is also noticeable and works for immersion.
- Transmission. Transmission of voices and vocals is reliable. The headphones do not favor male or female voices – any parts sound harmonious regardless of tone, style, singing position or processing.
- Instruments. Instruments also retain their original timbre. However, the softness of attacks is easily heard on them – sharp and fast sounds are a little blurred and lose in aggression. So for fast metal, the model does not fit as well as for calm genres or electronics.
- LDAC. High frequencies do not cut the ear with distortions, but they do not surprise with elaboration either. By the standards of TWS headphones, everything is standard here and is due to purely physical limitations – high-quality HF requires good power, which cannot be provided in such devices. Although the inclusion of the LDAC audio codec increases the detail somewhat. So, the HWA + Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification is not quite an empty phrase here, and in this case, the recording quality itself is already important.
Working time and charging
The battery capacity is 55 mAh and the batteries in the case are 580 mAh. The manufacturer promises up to 30 hours of music playback without a network connection. In practice, you can count on 6–7 days of battery life with active use (listening to music, watching videos, headset calls, noise reduction). As before, the case supports Qi wireless charging. It takes just over 1.5 hours to replenish the energy of the case and headphones when connected to USB.
- Type of radiator: Dynamic, from 14 Hz to 48 kHz;
- Connection: Bluetooth 5.2;
- Bluetooth's protocols: LDAC, SBC, AAC;
- Connector: USB Type-C;
- Headphone weight: 6.1g;
- Weight of case: 52g;
- Waterproof: IP54;
- ANC: Up to 47dB.