“Going wireless”, that’s the sort of trend that’s starting to make its way into our world. Wherever you go, wherever you are; there’s always a guy that has a true wireless earbud attached to their ears. It was Apple that got this trend started and now almost every brand out there has a pair of wireless dongles with their name on it.
Just like the other brands, Huawei has launched its specific version of wireless earphone which is most compatible with its range of smartphones. The FreeLace and FreeBuds 3 are the aforementioned specific wireless earphones. It’s been almost 8 months since the launch of FreeLace and a month since the launch of FreeBuds 3. So, why are we talking about them right now?
Well, you see the thing is that these wireless accessories have just landed in Nepal. And right now, they should be available for purchase via offline stores. Huawei FreeLace price in Nepal is Rs 9,900 and the FreeBuds 3 is priced at Rs 20,900! So, at these prices, are these worth staying in your ears? Let’s find out.
Huawei FreeLace Overview
The Huawei FreeLace is a workout oriented wireless earphones that are competing with the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2. Aesthetics wise, the earphones have quite the minimalistic necklace design whose ergonomic design is easy to fit in the ears. Around 40% of the earphone is made up of ‘Memory Metal’, or in simple words a mixture of titanium and nickel, which encompassed the volume and control panel. While the rest 60% is made up of rubber which overall balances the FreeLace comfortably around the neck.
The earphones are IPX5 resistant and the rear tip is magnetic which keeps the earphones just around your neck when not in use. When taken out of the ear, audio does also stop playing automatically, which is quite handy. The metallic alloy also houses a USB-C connector which can be used to charge the FreeLace from your phone or a USB brick.
Do note that the mentioned ‘HiPair Technology’ (Huawei’s fancy name for USB plug and play/charge), is only supported for Huawei/Honor smartphones. Because of that, all the other smartphone users are stuck with the regular Bluetooth pairing.
Since it has a wireless architecture, it functions on Bluetooth, in specific it utilizes Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. For audio, it uses a 9.2mm dynamic driver, which means clarity wise and general audio quality-wise it should be pretty much above average. As for the battery, the FreeLace comes with a 120mAh battery size, which as per Huawei should provide 18 hours of music playback. That just could be an assumption but if it’s not, I guess the battery life is quite decent.
Huawei FreeBuds 3 Overview
The FreeBuds 3 is kind of like the Huawei’s version of “AirPods” or “Galaxy Buds”. It just has some basic tweaks here and there but its kind of like the same thing basically. Let’s have a look at 3 of it’s differentiating aspects.
For design, the FreeBuds 3 is sort of divided into two basic parts: the round thing that hides all the drivers and a long stem. Yes, the stem is quite long. As for the casing, Huawei has gone with a disc shape which is something that I like a lot.Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity, IPX5 water resistance are the basic building blocks of the FreeBuds 3. The buds use an open fit or “dolphin bionic” design which is supposed to make them more comfortable to wear. The open fit design also seems to help on the active noise cancellation front as well.
Mic and Audio
The interesting part about FreeBuds 3 is the active noise cancellation. They kick in right after you put ‘em in your ear and it works with the built-in audio processor and Huawei’s Kirin A1 chip. The disadvantage to the open fit design is that it doesn’t completely block out all the environmental noise altogether. The other interesting part of the Free Buds 3 is the aerodynamic mic built within and bone sensors that manage to muffle out excessive noises outdoor. This definitely does seem to make the call quality a lot better in my opinion.For Audio, the FreeBuds 3 has a 14mm audio driver so I guess the clarity is quite high and at the same time, the audio should be quite loud too. Whether there’s high distortion with the loud sound is yet to be tested by me though. One more thing to note is that, as expected the audio qualities are a lot better when used with Huawei’s own smartphones running on EMUI 10. This is because there’s low latency, highest audio data transfer, and it’s a lot easier to set-up.
The FreeBuds 3 comes with a 30mAh battery life (per bud) and a total of 410mAh battery (for the charging case). With a single charge, you should get around 4 hours of playback with a further 20-hour charge from the case. The case does seem to charge up quite quickly though. A half an hour of charge should get you up to 70% for the case itself. There’s wireless charging through your phone as well, which is pretty cool.
Both the accessories look awesome on paper. Looking at most of the features currently, both the earpieces seem quite impressive. But just going through the specifications on paper is not gonna tell us a lot about the earpieces. A review of the device is necessary to judge the most important quality of an earpiece- the audio. So, until I get my hands on the earpieces themselves, I’m afraid I can’t say a lot about the audio qualities.
Besides audio, the FreeBuds 3 does seem to have been priced outrageously. I mean Rs 21,000 for just an earpiece does not sound like a good idea to me. Instead, it will be better to get powerful wireless headphones or awesome wired earphones for this price.
So, what are your thoughts on the whole “Going Wireless” scenario and are you excited about either of the earpieces? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.