Huawei has really expanded its product offerings in recent years. From smartphones, tablets, to laptops, the Chinese company also introduced several audio products, including the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2. The wireless earbuds were launched in the APAC region just a couple of days ago.
Co-engineered with French audio brand Devialet, the FreeBuds Pro 2 is positioned as a premium, flagship pair of true wireless earbuds. It’s set to arrive here in Malaysia sometime in August next month, so if you’re keen to get it, here’s our unboxing and hands-on of the FreeBuds Pro 2.
Packaged in a simple square box, the FreeBuds Pro 2 is the first thing you see when you open up the box. Well, you’ll see the charging case, to be specific. The Huawei and Devialet branding are shown on a square, glossy patch on the case, and though it look a little out of place, I do think it gives the product a premium touch.
Underneath the charging case of the FreeBuds Pro 2 in the packaging are your usual documentations. It also comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable for charging (the charger itself isn’t provided) as well as two extra silicone ear tip: small and large. The medium-sized tips are pre-installed to the earbuds.
Flip up the lid of the FreeBuds Pro 2’s charging case – it also closes with a satisfying click in one smooth motion – and you’ll see the earbuds themselves. Unlike the (mostly) matte charging case, the earbuds have a very glossy finish, which is a fingerprint magnet.
On top of that, the glossy earbuds are also quite slippery to get a hold of. Just trying to get them out of the case is quite a challenge because of this. But I have to admit: it looks nice and premium. I’m also a fan of the Huawei branding on the stalk of the earbuds; it’s tastefully done, in my opinion.
Now let’s talk about the specifications of the FreeBuds Pro 2. Two drivers are found in each buds: there’s a standard 11mm dynamic driver, and a “planar diaphragm driver.” According to Huawei, these are the first wireless earbuds to feature such a driver setup.
Given its premium appeal, the FreeBuds Pro 2 naturally features active noise cancellation (ANC). In fact, it’s said to be capable of cancelling out sounds between the 50Hz to 3000Hz frequency range. We don’t exactly have the equipment to test this, but the ANC does work quite well – more on this later.
As for battery life, the Freebuds Pro 2 can last up to 6.5 hours on a single charge with 30 hours of total playback with the charging case. However, with ANC activated, the battery life is limited to 4 hours and 18 hours respectively. It comes with IP54 dust and water resistance rating too.
So…how well does the FreeBuds Pro 2’s ANC work? Surprisingly good! I’ve tested it on a flight, and the ANC is strong enough to silent the aircraft’s engine noise. That being said, the ANC also has the “deafening” effect, though the sensation is reduced when I play some music.
As for audio quality, the FreeBuds Pro 2 is…okay. It has a relatively neutral tuning, though some would describe this as a “boring” sound signature. Yes, these wireless earbuds may sound flat to some folks, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Sure, the FreeBuds Pro 2 does not have particularly strong bass or sparkly treble, but the neutral tuning also means there’s no bass bloat that bleeds into the mid, which would’ve made for a muddy sound profile. It is not a “shouty” pair of earbuds either with highs that are pulled back quite a bit.
Technicality of the FreeBuds Pro 2 is not too shabby either. It can retrieve details well, it has quite a “sharp” attack – plucked strings sound very satisfying, for example – and instrument separation is reasonably good too. However, I do wish its bass was a bit tighter and more controlled.
All in all, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 is a pair of true wireless earbuds with sleek looks, effective ANC, as well as a neutral sound profile that offers a laid back, relaxed listening experience. On top of that, it also looks and feels premium, even if the earbuds’ glossy finish collects fingerprints quite easily.
If you’re keen to get the FreeBuds Pro 2, you won’t have to wait too long: it’s set to arrive in Malaysia sometime in August 2022 next month. No word yet on exactly how much it’ll cost for the Malaysian market, but for context, it retails at 199 euro in Europe – that comes up to about RM900.