Huawei FreeClip review: Redefining open-ear headphones?

Huawei FreeClip adopts a “clip-ear” structure, which is C-shaped (C-bridge Design) as a whole, and is fixed on the ear by clamping the auricle. At the same time, it also adds inverse sound field directional sound transmission system technology that does not distinguish between left and right ears, demonstrating Huawei’s unique concept of open-ear headphones.

Huawei FreeClip specs and features:
  • Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC/AAC codec
  • 8 hours playback of per charge
  • Charging case can charge earbuds fully 3 times
  • IPX4 waterproof rating (rain and sweat resistant)
  • Multipoint connection & Wireless charging
  • $241 – Check latest price on AliExpress, Amazon Germany


Appearance Design, Comfort and Battery Life

The Huawei FreeClip charging case is similar to most TWS earbuds. Its matte texture, vertical opening design, and central indicator light are in line with the Huawei FreeBuds series.

Huawei FreeClip earbuds are clip-on open-ear headphones – they are composed of two parts: a spherical acoustic system and a bean-shaped battery system, which are connected by a “C-bridge” elastic arm in the middle to form a whole.

It is worth mentioning that the earphones on both sides are exactly the same, with no difference in shape and no distinction between left and right ears.

The overall wearing experience of Huawei FreeClip is quite good. First of all, due to its open-ear design, FreeClip will not cause any blockage in the ear canal and can keep the ear canal open and comfortable for a long time.

Secondly, in terms of the fixed structure, the C-bridge part made of nine-core wire material has a moderate clamping force and will not cause obvious pressure on the auricle. Coupled with the overall lighter weight, it does not have much presence when worn.

In terms of wearing stability, the C-bridge has built-in nickel-titanium memory alloy, which can be slightly adjusted according to different auricle sizes to ensure a stable wearing. I tried wearing the FreeClip for running, exercising, cycling, etc., and the headphones could be fixed on my ears in these scenarios without worrying about falling. However, when sleeping on your side, the C-bridge part will be squeezed, causing the earphones to shift.

The battery parameters of the charging case are 3.87V / 510mAh / 1.97Wh, which is consistent with Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3. The single battery life is up to 8 hours, and the total battery life is up to 36 hours. Plus, Huawei FreeClip supports wireless charging and fast charging functions.


Connectivity, App Support and Controls

For the best experience, I used a Huawei phone for testing. After opening the charging case lid close to the phone, the phone will pop up a window to prompt for connection and demonstrate connection techniques.

After connecting, you can see the real-time battery information of the earphones in the HarmonyOS App or Huawei Smart Life App, and perform EQ sound effect switch, customized control, find headphones, firmware upgrade, and more.

In addition, iOS or Android devices can also get more customization options from the Huawei Smart Life App.

Huawei FreeClip has three control areas: listening ball (spherical acoustic system), comfort bean (bean-shaped battery system), and C-bridge. The earphones can recognize double-tap and triple-tap control methods, and the controls can also be customized in the app.


Sound Quality and Leakage

Huawei FreeClip has a built-in 10.8mm dual-magnetic high-sensitivity driver (including a dynamic driver and two strong ring-shaped magnets). In terms of acoustic performance, it can increase the driving force of the diaphragm by increasing the magnetic flux, thereby enhancing the performance of low frequencies and making the low-frequency fuller and more powerful.

In terms of the expressiveness of music details, whether it is a pop song dominated by vocals or a hip-hop music with rich rhythm, I am satisfied with its sound performance.

Secondly, the earphones have sufficient bass and can even bring some impact when playing large dynamic tracks. The mid-frequency vocals have a clear sense of positioning. At the same time, thanks to the open soundstage, the sense of space of the music has been improved. The treble was slightly sharp when playing some string-dominated tracks. However, selecting “Bass Boost” or “Treble Boost” in the app can enhance the listening experience of some types of tracks to a certain extent.

However, due to the open-ear design, Huawei FreeClip will still suffer from certain low-frequency loss. Plus, the immersion is not strong enough.

The performance of sound leakage control is relatively good. The FreeClip’s directional sound transmission is supported by Huawei’s inverse sound field acoustic system. In actual tests, at a distance of 0.5 meters, there was only slight perceptible sound leakage when the earphones volume was above 75% – there is basically no need to worry about sound leakage in public places.


Conclusion

Huawei FreeClip’s technological breakthroughs in appearance design, wearing experience, and acoustic system demonstrate Huawei’s emphasis on consumer wishes and Huawei’s strength as a technological innovator.


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