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Huawei FreeBuds 4 Review

Huawei FreeBuds 4 Review
05 June 2023

    The vast majority of TWS headphones are plugs, that is, they are inserted into the ear canal and block it. There are two problems with this format. Firstly, since the plugs block the channel, then, accordingly, the person hears worse. And if this usually does not create issues when using headphones at home, then when using headphones outdoors, it can already be dangerous. Secondly, many people dislike it when something is in the ear canal: it bothers them, and it annoys them.

    And if you learned how to deal with the first issue – most modern TWS headphones have a “transparency” mode. When headphones pick up external sounds with their microphone and transmit them to the speaker so that a person hears everything that is happening around well. Then the second issue is practically unsolvable: yes, of course, you can try to pick up other ear pads that are softer, but the issue is that many people are annoyed by any ear pads – they just dislike, when something is in the ear canal. In addition, other people's ear pads may not be suitable for TWS headphones because with them the headphones will simply no longer fit into the charging case.

    Which way out of this? Use TWS headphones of a different type, namely, not earplugs, but earbuds. Among advanced headphones, earbuds come across infrequently (I don’t know what this is connected with), but they do, and in today’s review I would like to introduce you to Huawei FreeBuds 4 headphones: these are earbuds, while the headphones are costly, high-quality, have noise reduction and all sorts of other possibilities.

    By the way, they appeared on the market a long time ago, but they are still on sale and enjoy a certain popularity – so let's see what they are. Otherwise, I was just about to release my list of recommended headphones, and I don't be enough for a collection of headphones of this type.


    We open the box – we are immediately greeted by an inscription that the contacts must be kept clean. Well, well: forewarned is forearmed. Scope of delivery: case with headphones, charging cable, user manual in many languages, warranty card.

    Appearance and Features

    A case made of white glossy plastic. On the front of the case there is an LED showing the charging process. Huawei Freebuds Buds 4Design:

    • Bottom. The Type-C port is located on the bottom of the case.
    • Right side. On the right side of the case, there is a barely noticeable button for forced pairing of headphones.
    • Lid. The lid of the case is magnetic, it is fixed in the open position. It is not very convenient to get the headphones out of the case, but there you just need to understand how to take them: if you take the speaker with your thumb, and forefinger over the opposite side – then they get it effortlessly.
    • Marking. The design of the headphones almost exactly repeats the 2019 Apple AirPods 2. On the legs there is a marking of the right and left headphones, however, it is simply impossible to confuse without marking.
    On the inner edge of the headphones there are two holes covered with a mesh. One of them is compensatory, it also serves to improve the transmission of the low-frequency range, the second is an infrared sensor that determines whether the earpiece is in the ear or not. There is a small hole on the top edge of each earpiece, under which is hidden a microphone for noise reduction. Conversational microphones are located in the legs of the headphones.

    Headphone operation

    Pairing with headphones is done in a standard way: when the lid is opened, they try to detect the device (devices because two sources are supported) with which they were previously paired, if none are found, the headphones go into pairing mode. Huawei Freebuds 4Observations:

    • EMUI. Devices with EMUI firmware (developed by Huawei) automatically detect these headphones and offer to connect them.
    • Button. If, for some reason, the headphones did not enter pairing mode, then this mode can be forced to turn on the button on the side of the case.
    • Fit. In the ears, the headphones sit very comfortably. As usual with earbuds, at first, it appears that they can easily fly out of the ears. But in fact, they sit quite securely and do not fly out even with strong shaking (for example, on a bicycle), not with vigorous walking. I have not tried them while running, but I think that when running they will still fly out.
    • Touch zone. The touch zone for controlling the device is located on the entire surface of the outer part of the legs. The headphones do not respond to a single touch, and this is very correct. Double tap – play/pause, answering/rejecting a call. Long touch – turn on / off noise reduction. Movement of the leg up and down – volume control.

    Reviews complain about not being able to switch from headphones to the next track. However, the reaction to double-clicking can be configured through the application separately for each earbud so that you can, for example, double-click on the left earbud to go to the next track.

    Headphone sound

    Firstly, The basses, which are excellent for this format, attract attention: they are clearly accentuated, while they are quite detailed and not booming. I would even say that the bass here is downright outstanding for TWS headphones. Huawei Freebuds Buds 4Audio Features:

    • Mid and high frequencies. The middle is slightly failed, but in general, it sounds exceptional, highs would like more detail, but they are not sharp, and they don't show the traditional problems: sibilants, high-frequency rattling, and so on. So, here everything is set up for comfortable listening to music in the background, for which TWS headphones are usually used.
    • Impression. That is, the sound is smooth, without defects, with clearly emphasized and deep bass. Not thrilled, but I liked it.
    By the way, experimenting with the app's EQ has shown that you can use it to dampen the bass a bit and boost the highs, and that sounds pretty good.

    About noise reduction

    I was afraid that this format of noise reduction would generally be pure fiction (it works completely differently for TWS headphones than for full-size headphones), but it turned out that the quality of noise reduction here is perfect: it suppresses low-frequency noise quite efficient. But with noise in the middle and especially in the high range, noise reduction can no longer cope, but this also happens with TWS headphones.

    By the way, listening to audio for a long time with active noise reduction can create the effect of some pressure (I had it, although not immediately), and here it is convenient noise reduction, more gentle: it, of course, dampens noise worse, but there is no feeling of pressure on the head.

    There is no “transparency” mode here. On the one hand, it seems like it is not needed for earbuds because the earbuds almost do not muffle the surrounding sounds. However, there is some passive noise cancellation. I think that the transparency mode would not hurt these headphones.

    The headphones work well as a headset: I heard the callers perfectly, they also heard me well, and even in a rather noisy environment.

    Battery life

    With the noise reduction off, the headphones last up to 4 hours, but there is a certain unevenness: the right earphone was discharged faster than the left one, and for about 20 minutes. And the same picture was observed with the noise reduction turned on – the right earpiece was discharged faster than 15 minutes. Huawei Freebuds 4Battery:

    • With ANC enabled. With noise cancellation turned on, the headphones worked for just over two and a half hours.
    • What does the manufacturer say? The manufacturer claims that after 15 minutes of charging, the headphones will be able to work for 2.5 hours – I have confirmed this: 2 hours and 20 minutes at full volume.
    • Case. The case can charge the headphones up to six times: from scratch, the headphones are charged in an hour, the charging case itself also takes about an hour.

    Observations and conclusions

    What is missing is the wireless charging case. And here it is somehow strange: the instructions say that what she is. But it really doesn’t exist – I tried four different types of wireless chargers. And in the reviews, they also write that there is no wireless charging here.

    Well, it is obvious that the headphones cannot boast of outstanding autonomy: only 2.5 hours with noise reduction and 4 hours without it is somehow not enough, as it seems to me. Honor Earbuds 3 Pro (I really liked them) with noise reduction work for 5 hours. These are the liners. There are pluses in them, there are minuses. My task, as usual, is to show these pros and cons.

    During the testing period, the headphones worked steadily, communication almost did not lose (a couple of times the sound was interrupted in the city center in a crowd of people). What can you say in general about these headphones? If you are looking for TWS earbuds, then this is quite a worthy, although not at all cheap option. Sound (especially bass), ergonomics, usability, two types of noise reduction are clear advantages of these headphones.
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