I’ve never been more appreciative of headphones. Given how busy homes are at the moment they allow us to slip off unnoticed in to a film, audio book or movie in splendid isolation.
Huawei launched their FreeBuds 3i this week and they’re a wireless, in-ear Bluetooth option for under a €100. Looking quite like the original Apple Airpods, the FreeBuds will work on Android or iOS phones, not just Huawei devices.
The headphones arrive packaged inside their own charging case. In the box also, is a USB-C cable for charging as well as replacement silicon tips for the headphones. These come in four sizes, ensuring a fit for just about everybody.
The earphones take about an hour to fully charge, and battery life is good at around 3.5 hours of playback or 2.5 hrs of talk time. However, if you have your charging case with you, you can charge the headphones up as you go, giving you more than 14 hours of playback in total.
While the headphones will work on any compatible Bluetooth phone, if you’re using a Huawei, the Freebuds join instantly and seamlessly. However, pairing with a non-Huawei is also a simple job via the Bluetooth setting. It’s disappointing though that the case is not wireless charging compatible, a great feature of the 3i’s predecessor.
The cone shaped, ceramic headphones are light at just over 5g each, and I found them easy to wear for a full day. The bud section itself is neatly shaped and incredibly snug in the ear.
Powering up some music on my phone reveals they have a lovely warm tone. The 10mm dynamic driver inside is smaller than its predecessor but performs remarkably well.
Call quality is excellent and touch controls are included and they’re a godsend if you’re exercise. You can pause music or skip a track and engage the excellent noise cancellation by touching the headphone. Using a Huawei app, you can also swap the controls from ear to ear.