There are a lot of wireless headphones and earphones in the market right now. But the Huawei FreeLace manages to stand out in the crowd with an attractive neckband design, good sound quality, and a USB Type-C plug built right in.
Huawei FreeLace specs
- 9.2mm Dynamic Drivers
- Bluetooth 5.0
- USB Type-C Plug
- Memory Cable
- 788mm Cable Length
- Compatible with both Android and iOS
- Up to 18 Hours Playback
- 120mAh Battery
What’s in the box
Besides the earphones, the package comes with a USB-to-USB Type-C charging cable, 5 extra pairs of different sized eartips, and the quick start guide.
There’s an extra eartips for sports activities. It comes with holes, designed to let in outside sound. This is especially useful while you’re jogging and need to hear your environment for safety reasons. Take note that using this will have a big impact on sound quality, most notably in bass response. A good seal is needed for good bass.
Design, Build Quality, Comfort
The FreeLace features a neckband design with a nickel-titanium memory cable with a soft non-slip silicon coating. It is tangle free and easy to coil. Because of this, the FreeLace is comfortable to wear and won’t chafe your neck.
I’m not really a fan of neckband earphones, but I like this one. It looks good and (despite the orange color) it’s unobtrusive with it’s simple yet attractive design.
The earbuds’ wires are connected at the end of the neckband. The right end can be detached to reveal a USB Type-C plug for charging. The volume and control buttons are here as well. The buttons are well made and has a satisfying click when pressed.
The headphones have good build quality. It is durable and feels like it can withstand the rigors of daily use. I just throw it inside my backpack after I’m done. It also comes with an IPX5-rating, and can easily survive rain and sweat.
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The earbuds are magnetic with built-in sensors. When attached to each other, the headphones goes into standby and ends the connection. It quickly reconnects when you separate the two. The magnets are not that strong, and easily separates. This results in the headphones turning on and wasting battery life.
The in-ears are comfortable to wear and can be worn for long periods comfortably. I find that the isolation it provides is about average. This sometimes forces you to listen at higher volumes, which could damage hearing in the long run.
How to Connect
If you’re using a Huawei phone (with EMUI 9.1 and above), connecting the FreeLace is very easy. I find Huawei’s HiPair technology very convenient in this case.
Admittedly, it was a bit odd, but it works very well. Just turn on your headphones, and then plug it to your phone’s USB Type-C port. Tap connect, you’re done.
By the way, you can also update the FreeLace firmware through this manner.
If you’re not using a Huawei phone, you can connect it just like any other Bluetooth headphones. Long press the power button until the LED light blinks. Then go to your Android or iOS phone’s connection settings and you’re done.
The earphones have voice prompts, so you’ll know if the connection is successful.
The FreeLace comes with a 120mAH battery, listed to last up to 18 hours on a single charge. I didn’t get a number close to that and managed around 12 to 14 hours with volume set to 50 to 60%. That’s not bad at all, actually, because I doubt many people listen that long on one go. That said, I mostly used it while travelling to and from work, and lasted me around 3 days.
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The earphones can be charged by plugging it to your phone’s USB Type-C port or with the supplied cable. Interestingly, you can charge it with any compatible device that. A quick 5-minute top-up can add up to 4 hours of playback.
The Huawei FreeLace call quality is above average. I was able to clearly make out the caller and vice versa. Sometimes though, because of the average isolation, you can hear outside noises while in a call.
The Huawei FreeLace comes with 9.2mm dynamic drivers. And surprisingly, it actually sounds pretty good. Admittedly, I was not expecting too much of anything, but it really does.
What stood out for me was the bass response, which I really enjoyed. It sounded deep and full. Mind you, I’m not a bass head.
Overall, the sound quality is quite good. The highs are crisp and there’s ample clarity that give life to music. There’s also good separation, allowing you to make out the instruments being played.
If you fancy neckband style earphones, then you should definitely check out the Huawei FreeLace. For PHP 3,490, you get a good looking pair with good sound quality and a great build. It is very comfortable to wear too. And despite not reaching the listed 18 hour battery life, the 12 to 14 hour playtime is fine by most standards. It would make more sense if you own a compatible Huawei smartphone.
The Huawei FreeLace Bluetooth earphones is available in the Philippines with a price of PHP 3,490. It comes in two colors — Graphite Black and Amber Sunrise.