Huawei just unveiled the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 headphones at a launch event in Berlin, the second iteration of the company’s true wireless headphones. And, of course, they promise even more improvements to our audio experience.
Based on the inaugural Huawei FreeBuds Pro released in September 2020, the latest headphones promise “true sound that brings beauty to your ears” and visually these headphones do a good job of looking attractive – they come in a ‘Silver Blue’ colorway, new to the FreeBuds family. Designed to be a “dreamy” finish, Silver Blue is, says Huawei, inspired by the stars of the galaxy. So the sky’s the limit, huh?
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 feature a unique ‘Ultra-hearing True Sound Dual Driver’ sound system consisting of a quad-magnet dynamic driver with a planar diaphragm, and thanks to its ‘Triple Adaptive EQ’ technology, the headphones can apparently Tune audio according to ear canal structure, wear posture and volume level automatically, for real-time personalized sound.
You also get LDAC, Sony’s high-resolution audio codec protocol, and the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are co-engineered with French audio expert Devialet.
Advanced active noise cancellation is also promised – and as we said the originals had “excellent noise cancellation”, this should catch the attention of noise-canceling headphones fanatics. The claim is an increase in average ANC depth by an industry-leading 15% compared to predecessors, while “Intelligent Dynamic ANC 2.0” accurately identifies the external sound field (read: ambient) and selects a cancellation mode noise level to eliminate noise for comfortable listening – even if it’s on a flight.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2’s new Pure Voice call noise canceling technology promises clear and quiet calls and is based on a quad microphone system combined with Huawei’s unique Deep Neural Network (DNN) noise canceling algorithm. That means the headphones must be able to accurately pick up human voices, improving noise cancellation and eradicating wind noise if you’re talking outside on a blustery day, say.
Opinion: They look good, but I’m struggling to get excited – but I hope I’m wrong
Elsewhere, there is IP54 dust and splash resistance and seamless connection between two devices for automatic call switching. Said dual connectivity allows users to view the last 10 devices connected to the headphones for easy switching of Huawei devices for all scenarios including smartphones, tablets, PCs and watches as well as with Android, iOS and Windows smart systems.
Battery life is standard rather than exceptional. With ANC enabled, you can expect up to four hours of playback and a total of 18 hours with the case. With the ANC off, it’s a little better, with 6.5 hours of listening time and a total of 30 hours with the case on – but it’s not much better than the endurance of Apple’s AirPods Pro, which it certainly must be aiming to win. .
Silver Frost and Ceramic White, which Huawei says are customer favourites, are back for the update, and the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 will be available in the UK from July 6th, priced at €199 or £170 ( approximately $206, AU$300).
The fact is, we never doubted Huawei’s prowess when it comes to noise cancellation. But with the ANC cranked to full blast, the music on the original FreeBuds Pro can sound a little fabricated – the bass is boosted and the treble is a little crisper than best-in-class. Layered music has decent levels of separation, finesse, and breadth, but it falls short of going all the way when it comes to dynamic range.
All things considered, are we kind of scratching our heads to find the unique angle of Huawei’s newest headphones, beyond what were already very accomplished levels of ANC in a true wireless design? If it’s just superior sound quality in a similar design, we’ve already been impressed by the Honor Earbuds 3 Pro and its own unique driver technology – we’re not sure Huawei will really outperform them.
Ultimately, the real questions are: can Huawei finally wow us with sound, and can the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 finally challenge the best wireless headphones on the market? Check back soon for a full and detailed review…