Huawei has taken the wraps of its latest – and most affordable – true wireless earbuds. The new Huawei FreeBuds 4i offer active noise-cancelling and a 22-hour battery life for just £80 (around $110, AU$150), which is considerably cheaper than the majority of noise-cancelling true wireless buds on the market.
Much like the firm’s pricier FreeBuds Pro, the FreeBuds 4i promise a “comfortable noise cancellation experience”, as well as an “Awareness Mode” that lets users to briefly hear their surroundings instantly by pressing and holding the bud’s touch-sensitive exterior.
Battery life sounds promising: the buds themselves offer 7.5 hours of playback with noise-cancelling switched on, or ten hours with it off – not bad when you consider the Apple AirPods Pro top out at 4.5 hours with noise-cancelling engaged.
Huawei goes on to say that the FreeBuds 4i last “all day”, which is sort of true considering the included charging case bumps the total battery life up to 22 hours from a single charge. In a hurry? A 10-minute ‘fast charge’ of the case returns an impressive four hours of playback.
As for sound, the 10mm dynamic drivers promise “powerful bass performance”, with Huawei’s engineers choosing to tune to audio quality “to fit the frequency of pop music”.
This isn’t Huawei’s first rodeo, so fingers crossed the FreeBuds 4i improve on the performance of the FreeBuds Pro noise-cancelling buds (£170, $180), which we rated an average three out of five stars, praising their “upbeat, lively sound” but criticising their “lack of detail” compared to the class leaders at the time.
Lastly, owners of a Huawei smartphone running EMUI 10.0 or later should get seamless pairing, receiving a notification to say the FreeBuds 4i are ready to pair almost instantly. Playback, voice calls and noise-cancelling can all be controlled with taps of the buds.
It’ll be interesting to see how the FreeBuds 4i compare with other cheap AirPods Pro alternatives such as the five-star Earfun Pro noise-cancelling buds (£70, $80, AU$120), which we recently discovered offer great value for money for those on a budget.
The Huawei FreeBuds 4i are available from 26th March in three finishes – Crystal Black, Ceramic White and Honey Red. In the UK, pre-ordering them before 25th March bags you a £5 discount and a free Huawei Band 4 fitness tracker, too.
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Or check out our in-depth review of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro