Huawei FreeBuds 5 improves comfort and sound quality with its “water drop” design. As a semi-in-ear earbuds, its ANC noise cancellation performance is relatively average – available, but not necessarily fully meet your needs.
Huawei FreeBuds 5 specs and features:
- Bluetooth 5.2 with LDAC codec
- 11mm dual-magnetic circuit dynamic driver
- IPX5 waterproof rating (rain and sweat resistant)
- 3.5-5 hours playback of per charge (ANC on/off)
- Charging case can charge earbuds fully 5 times
- $130 – Check latest price on AliExpress, Amazon US or Amazon Germany, other Amazon countries or Banggood
Appearance Design and Comfort
The charging case is oval in shape as a whole and is made of matte material – the appearance design is similar to that of Redmi Buds 3 Pro. What impressed me the most is that the earbuds adopt a new shape design. Huawei FreeBuds 5 is the first to apply futuristic design aesthetics to TWS earbuds to create a new curved shape. The earbuds looks like a “water drop”, so Huawei FreeBuds 5 is also called “water drop earbuds”.
The earbuds is designed with arch-bridge headset stem, which can disperse the pressure on the earbuds and ear canal during touch operation, making the interactive experience more stable and easy.
A single earbud weighs about 5.7g. The headset stem has a larger on-ear area, provides multi-directional and multi-point support, reduces wearing pressure, and brings a more comfortable long-term wearing experience. However, the wearing stability is less, and it is easy to slip off – not suitable for sports.
Connectivity, Control and Battery Life
The earbuds uses Bluetooth 5.2, support L3HC and LDAC codec, the transmission code rate is up to 990kbps. Support 96kHz/24bit lossless audio transmission with restore rich sound details.
When connecting for the first time, just select “Huawei FreeBuds 5” in the bluetooth device list of the mobile phone to connect quickly. Open the charging case for subsequent use to connect to a successfully paired bluetooth device. The earbuds is connected to the mobile phone stably within 10 meters. In an environment without obstacles, the connection will be intermittent if the distance from the mobile phone is more than 10 meters.
Also, FreeBuds 5 supports multi-point connection (Huawei smart devices only), which can connect two Bluetooth devices at the same time. Supports audio streaming between multiple HarmonyOS devices, free switching.
When used with HarmonyOS smartphones and tablet PCs, FreeBuds 5 support automatic pop-up pairing mode. After the connection is successful, the pop-up interface will display the remaining battery of the earbuds and charging case. It also support Windows 11 fast connection, which is equally convenient to use with a notebook or PC.
The touch control of the earbuds is very plentiful. In addition to long press and double click, you can also adjust the volume by slid up and down.
When the ANC mode is turned off, the single battery life of the headset is up to 5 hours, and the overall battery life is 30 hours. The battery life after turning on the ANC mode is only 3.5 hours. The earbuds support fast charging function – charging for 5 minutes, listening to music for 2 hours, and can be fully charged in about 20 minutes. Also, support wireless charging function – Ultimate Edition only.
Noise Cancellation and calls
Huawei FreeBuds 5 adopts semi-in-ear noise cancellation 3.0 technology and provides three noise cancellation modes: dynamic noise cancellation, light noise cancellation and balanced noise cancellation – which can be selected according to the actual usage scenario. The light noise cancellation mode is more suitable for environments with less noise, such as indoors, and has a good isolation effect on aircondition noise. The balanced noise cancellation mode is more suitable for noisy outdoor environments. I recommend the dynamic noise cancellation mode, which can flexibly switch the noise cancellation mode according to the external environment sound to ensure a better noise cancellation effect.
During the actual experience, the noise cancellation effect of the earbuds in the office is just enough to suppress the operating noise of air conditioners, fans, refrigerators and other electrical appliances. At the same time, the ear pressure is smaller, combined with the comfortable wearing of the semi-in-ear, it is suitable for long time use – it will have a good overall performance in an ordinary indoor environment.
It should be noted that although the ANC noise cancellation of FreeBuds 5 is available – but as a semi-in-ear earbuds, its noise cancellation intensity is not strong – it may not fully meet your needs.
Huawei FreeBuds 5 uses 3-mic hybrid noise cancellation and deep neural network algorithm (DNN), which can obtain clear and pure sound even in a noisy environment, greatly improving the voice call quality of the earbuds.
I tested it, the clarity of the voice during the call is still good. However, wind noise was the biggest hindrance to calls – some wind noise still made it through the earbuds.
Sound Quality of Huawei FreeBuds 5
The earbuds is equipped with a custom-made ultra-magnetic surge unit, using a 11 mm dual magnetic circuit dynamic driver with the mid-frequency is 50% higher than the previous generation. The sensitivity of the low frequency has increased by 30% compared with the previous generation, and the low frequency extends down to 16Hz. Combined with the bass sound pressure Turbo technology, the air flow rate is greatly increased, and the obstruction of the diaphragm vibration is reduced. With the customized bass enhancement tube, the low frequency effect is significantly improved, and the problem of insufficient low frequency commonly found in semi-in-ear earbuds is solved.
Huawei FreeBuds 5 also support ultra-wideband real-time hearing optimization, which can optimize sound effects in real time for a frequency range as wide as 100Hz – 2kHz. The high-frequency coverage is wider, and the difference in hearing caused by the shape of the ear canal, the wearing state, and the volume is improved. Support fixed spatial audio (Audio Vivid), does not support head dynamic tracking, and provides four sound modes.
Overall, the low-frequency quantity sense of Huawei FreeBuds 5 is sufficient, bringing a more vigorous atmosphere. The mid-frequency vocals are clear, the sound is warm, and the high-frequency instruments are bright. The sound is full, the resolution and separation are good, and it can better present rich instrument sounds. With spatial audio, the spatial sense of the sound is quite good.
In addition, there are rich functions such as personalized pop-up windows, audio sharing, and smart game low-latency mode.
Huawei FreeBuds 5 is designed with a new water-drop appearance, which not only improves the wearing comfort, but also greatly improves the sound quality. The disadvantages are also very obvious – the noise cancellation intensity is low, and some practical functions need to be used with Huawei smart devices.