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Huawei FreeBuds 4i ANC earphones review – quality and tremendous value

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VERDICT
  • VERDICT

The Huawei Freebuds 4i Active Noise Cancellation earphones offer surprising audio quality and active noise cancellation – and all for $159. If there are better earphones that offer this kind of value and quality – we haven’t seen them.

If you’re looking for a pair of wire-free active noise cancelling earphones the new Huawei FreeBuds 4i provide both quality and value.

Priced at just $159, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i offer tremendous bang for your buck.

Available in black or white, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i have ergonomically-designed earbuds which sit at an angle that provide a comfortable and secure air-tight fit in your ears.

Each pair of FreeBuds 41 also come with three different sized ear tips so you can achieve the perfect fit.

They are also balanced by a short stalk that sits outside your ear. Each bud only weight 5.5g so you can wear them all day and forget they’re in your ears.

The oval-shaped charging case is also quite small and had a flat rear panel so they can rest on a desk.

The surprise for customers with earphones at this price is the fact there’s active noise cancellation onboard.

There are small microphones at the base of the earbuds and at the bottom of the stalk which work together to pick up ambient sound and cancel it so you can hear your content more clearly.

This ANC (active noise cancellation) also works surprisingly well when you’re using the FreeBuds 4i to make and receive calls so the background noise disappears and all you hear is the other person on the call.

Our ultimate test for this feature is doing one of our many radio interviews and we did a few wearing the Huawei FreeBuds 4i and no one mentioned a difference in the quality.

The general ANC is impressive but not to the standard we’ve heard with other more expensive earphones – but that’s one of the reasons they are more expensive.

But Huawei still punches well above its weight – and price – to deliver a noticeable ANC experience that makes a difference to your listening experience.

Also onboard is Awareness Mode for those times when you want to hear what’s going on around you like when you’re running and walking and when you want to talk to someone without having to remove the earphones.

You activate Awareness Mode with a long press on the left or right earbud to switch between ANC, ANC off and Awareness Mode.

Music controls are just a double tap to play and pause your music and to answer and end your calls.

These controls were a little awkward and non-responsive at times but we eventually got used to them.

On the quality side, the Huawei Freebuds 4i are also playing well above their grade with decent bass and respectable clarity and detail.

The sound comes from the 10mm drivers onboard which have been tuned by Huawei’s Audio Lab to over a rich and balanced sound with clear vocals and well defined instruments.

We were pleasantly surprised with the quality Huawei came up with for the FreeBuds 4i.

They also work well when you’re connected to a device and watching a video or playing a game.

The low latency means the action you see on the screen also syncs with the sound through the earphones.

The Huawei FreeBuds 4i are easy to connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android device.

Another big tick for the earphones is the battery life which runs at up to 10 hours on their own without the additional charge from the case.

Huawei – with its smartphones, smartwatches and now earphones – have always provides longer battery performance with their products. This now includes the FreeBuds 4i.

And when it’s time to recharge you also have fast charging with a 10 minute charge providing an amazing four hours of audio playback.

The Huawei FreeBuds 4i are priced at $159 and available from the Huawei Store, Amazon and MobileCiti.

VERDICT

The Huawei FreeBuds 4i Active Noise Cancellation earphones offer surprising audio quality and active noise cancellation – and all for $159. If there are better earphones that offer this kind of value and quality – we haven’t seen them.