As a life long self professed geek, I’ve always liked to be on the pulse of new technology. Whether it’s totally innovative or the latest model, I absolutely must have it. But over the years, I haven’t been as lenient or impulsive to upgrade. Usually because money has gone towards travelling or boring adult responsibilities. Except new gaming consoles, phones and peripherals. They’re always a priority.
But there’s one product I’ve never given much of a second thought about. Wireless ear buds. Largely made popular by a fruity phone brand, wireless ear buds have been around since 2015. However it’s 2021 and I’ve only just started using a pair myself.
And there are many reasons as to why it’s taken me so long. Largely because it’s main market is connected to a company that rhymes with ‘chapel’. Which I have no use for as I’m an Android kind of guy. There’s also that fear of losing something so small so easily. I lose my wired ear buds at the best of times. I recently found them in a pile of clothes.
But there’s never been a need to replace them as they cost me nothing and do their intended job. Which is odd because I both enjoy and highly recommend wireless peripherals. Huawei however are one of the many brands who produce wireless ear buds. And they recently pulled me further into the world of wireless tech with a pair of their new FreeBuds 4i.
I’ve been using Huawei FreeBuds 4i for over a month now, and I must say that I regret not switching to wireless ear buds sooner. And at 36.5g, FreeBuds 4i are packed with features. They’ve given me an incredible sense freedom and offer great versatility across multiple device types. But would I use them for all audio related activities?
Like other wireless ear buds, Huawei FreeBuds 4i are perfect for smartphone use. Whether it’s for phone calls or listening to music. And I’m always listening to music or podcasts when I’m walking to and from work. So it was the perfect opportunity to test them out.
From the get go, FreeBuds 4i completely changed my audio listening experience. For starters, I felt a huge sense of freedom. Mostly because there weren’t any wires dangling in front of me or getting tangled up.
What I noticed next was the audio quality. Huawei FreeBuds 4i have a 10mm Dynamic Driver in each ear bud, offering crystal clear audio. In comparison to my wired pair, FreeBuds 4i don’t reach the same volume. But it’s more about quality than quantity as heavy music tracks comes through sharper than the wired pair.
Though I was more impressed with FreeBuds 4i’s advanced Noise-Cancelling and Awareness audio settings. Meaning I was able to either completely disconnect myself from the world or allow myself to become aware of the dog that was chasing me. (Which is a story for another day.)
These tiny devices also allow you to control whatever you’re listening to without the need to pull out your phone. And this is thanks to touch controls on each ear bud, which can be programmed through Huawei’s AI Life smartphone app. So with a couple of taps on my ear buds, I was able to skip songs, press pause/play and change audio settings depending on my surroundings.
And of course, I made sure to make a handful of phone calls while wearing my FreeBuds 4i’s. But It was an odd mixed bag of results. They worked fine for the most part, however there were a couple of moments where I had to either speak up or my voice came through sounding like static. Whether that was just an issue on their end isn’t certain.
But for the most part, my overall experience using FreeBuds 4i with my smartphone obviously has my tick of approval. However, I wanted to know just how versatile FreeBuds 4i were. What if your usual headset breaks and you need a quick replacement? Are they able to do the job? I tested my PC, smart TV and the newly updated Nintendo Switch to see how well they work across the board. Which came with both highs and disappointing lows.
The TV was the most disappointing of the lot, offering very little volume even at max level. PC delivered a satisfying result, but I’d prefer to use a bulkier yet comfortable headset that does a higher quality job.
But the FreeBuds 4i excelled once again in the portable device category when paired with the Nintendo Switch. Bluetooth audio devices are now compatible with the hand held console after the most recent software update. And these ear buds are now my go to when gaming on the go, offering the same loud, crystal clear audio as when paired with smartphones.
So to answer my question, Huawei’s FreeBuds 4i are a great product but I wouldn’t use them for everything. They’re practical for music, podcasts and gaming on the go. However, I suggest sticking with headphones when you’re at home.
But overall, I highly recommend FreeBuds 4i if you’re in the market for wireless ear buds. They’re not the cheapest on the market but they aren’t crazy expensive either at $159 AUD. For what they offer in regards to features and quality, they’re definitely worth your buck.