The FreeBuds 4 are Huawei’s latest ANC earphones with a stem design, a comfortable fit, and active noise cancellation.
We have nothing but praise for the earbuds during our hands-on impressions. We finally completed our review, and we’re here to tell you why we love these hard-tip earbuds. Let’s go.
Design and Comfort
The Huawei FreeBuds 4 follows in the footsteps of the FreeBuds 3. The earbuds have a hard-tip design and an extended stem. I actually prefer this over in-ears.
The TWS is made of high-quality plastic with a smooth body and a solid build. It has an IPX4 splash, water, and dust-resistant construct, able to withstand sweat and light rain.
The earbuds are equipped with wear detection sensors that pause music when you take them out of your ears, and touch and swipe controls, including volume adjustment.
The charging case is round and slim. It will barely fit in that small watch pocket in jeans, though, but it’s still easily pocketable. It has a USB-C port for charging, and a button to activate Bluetooth connection mode.
The FreeBuds 4 are very comfortable to wear. It’s very light at around 4.1 g per earbud. You barely feel its weight. It offers a nice fit, but there’s little isolation to speak of.
The earbuds have a very smooth construction with no edges that might bother your inner ear. However, I noticed that after wearing it for around 2 to 2.5 hours, I felt the need to take them out and rest my ears.
The earbuds are powered by 14.3 mm liquid crystal polymer (LCP) dynamic drivers with a frequency range of up to 40 kHz. Overall sound quality is very good, on par with the FreeBuds Pro. The buds have a warm sound signature, favoring the low end. Highs are clear with lush mids. The vocals are more prominent and forward in the mix compared to the FreeBuds Pro.
The FreeBuds 4 feature the Open-fit Active Noise Cancellation 2.0. There are two ANC modes, accessible through the Huawei AI Life app — Cozy and General. As the name implies, Cozy Mode is not that aggressive, ideal for places with little noise. While General Mode is an all-rounder for more noisy places.
In case you are wondering why there’s a Cozy Mode when you can just set-and-forget on General. The reason is that when you turn on ANC, you get that pressurized feeling in the ear, like the one you get on airplanes as it takes off and goes higher in the sky. Cozy Mode offers less of that feeling, giving those who are bothered by it some rest.
As for the ANC, it does a good job of blocking repetitive ambient noises, such as the humming of an air-conditioner or the sound of an electric fan. Unfortunately, there’s no Transparency Mode. You can still hear people talk, though, but with a slightly lower volume.
You also get that silent hissing sound when you have ANC on with no music playing. It’s gone as soon as you play something. There’s nothing to worry about because it’s common with devices on this range.
Touch and swipe controls are responsive and easy to perform. Wear detection works really well and is quick to pause music when removed.
SEE ALSO: Huawei FreeBuds Pro review
Watching movies and videos are also in sync, thanks to the 90ms low latency. I didn’t notice any lag in sounds and vocals.
As for calls, it was clear on both ends. I did activate HD calls on the Huawei AI Life app. Calls are audible, and it does a good job of isolating the caller.
I highly recommend that you install the Huawei AI Life app. It allows you to customize the gesture controls, toggle ANC modes, activate or deactivate wear detection, and update the earbud’s firmware.
The FreeBuds 4 have 30mAh batteries on each earbud and 410mAh for the charging case. Huawei claims you can get up to 4 hours of use with ANC disabled, up to 2.5 hours with ANC enabled. With the charging case, you can get up to 22 hours with ANC disabled, and up to 14 hours with ANC enabled.
For the most part, the numbers are close. I managed similar usage times, but do take note that I used it in a moderately quiet environment at home with the occasional fan and air conditioning noise. Using it in a noisier environment (like when you’re commuting) will drain it faster.
A quick 15-minute charge in the case will give the earbuds around a 30% to 45% boost. Charging the earbuds in the case and the case itself takes about an hour.
Huawei FreeBuds 4 specs
|Dual Drivers||14.3mm LCP Dynamic Driver|
|Others||Open-fit Active Noise Cancellation 2.0, USB-C, IPX4 Water Resistance, Wear Detection, Touch Controls, 90 ms Low Latency, Huawei AI Life App Support|
Case: 410mAh, Wireless Charging