Review of Huawei FreeLace EarPhones (HeadPhones)July 23, 2019
Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) is one of Huawei’s three business groups, providing a range of products including mobile phones, wearables, tablets and laptops. Huawei’s products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world’s population, ranking second in the world in mobile phone shipments in 2018.
On 3rd July 2019, Huawei launched the FreeLace Wireless Bluetooth earbud headphones for the UAE market and we got the device for review. The device we have received is Amber sunrise in colour and there are two more colours available Graphite Black and Emerald Green.
Body & Specification
HUAWEI FreeLace total length is 837 mm and cable length is 788 mm. It is made up of Memory Cable + Metal Cavity (nickel-titanium alloy) + Liquid Silicon. It has a built-in battery unit of 120 mAh which can give you 4 hours of music with 5mins charge and a full charge can give you 18hours of music. It weighs 27grams and comes with 9.2 mm dynamic driver unit in the earpieces. It is Bluetooth 5.0 compatible with IPX5 water resistance (protected from water splashes and sweat but not waterproof)
With the silicon cord, you have the two units, the right side has the USB Type – C connector pin, multifunction button (Power/Bluetooth) and volume rockers and on the left side it has the 120mAh battery unit.
It has a built-in USB Type- C fast charging connector to charge the battery in the headset. It has a magnetic switch system on the earpieces which helps to cut off of the Bluetooth connectivity when not in use, stop the music/connection with the smartphone and also helps to conserve battery for longer playtime.
The Huawei FreeLace earbuds come in a very stylish and quality packaging. After removing the outer plastic wrap, you have to slide out the cardboard matt finish black coloured book shape box. When you open the box, you will find the earphones neatly packed on the top. Once you remove the device, lift up the paper flap and you will find two compartments which contain the additional silicon earbud tips, USB Type-C to USB Type-A adaptor, quick guide and warranty paper.
As the earphones weigh 27grams, it almost weight-less and designed to hang it around your neck and plug the in-ear pieces in your ears. The cable is made of soft silicone material which is durable, tangle free and little elastic terms of folding and twisting. The design of the earphones is quite balanced as the right side has the controller and left side has the battery unit and don’t feel a lopsided weight issue.
The earphone controllers are on the right-hand side of the cable which has the switch On/Off button and the “+” and “-” volume button and centre is a multifunction button for play and stop for music and as well as for receiving and ending a phone call. And if keep the multifunction centre button pressed for 5 secs or more, it goes to Voice Assitant mode with Google.
Features which got my attention
When it comes to design, I liked the fast charging USB Type-C pin hidden in the cable as compared to the other design of headphones which had exposed/open charging pin and chances of dust getting collected. Also, you can charge the earphone anywhere as it has USB Type – C pin, you just connect to your Huawei smartphone (HUAWEI HiPair technology) and 5mins charge can give you 4 hours of usage. For full charge via electric socket, Huawei FreeLace comes with a USB Type-C to USB Type-A adaptor which can be used with any USB Type-A wall unit charger.
The Huawei FreeLace also has the magnetic switch-off system (built-in Hall magnetic sensor). So when you are not using the headphones, you can just simply bring the two earpieces together and they get attach due to the magnet inside them which not only helps to secure the earphone around the neck and also switches off the Bluetooth connection with your smartphone and saves the earphone battery. Just disengage the earpieces and your Bluetooth is reconnected to the smartphone.
There was no drop in music while walking with my smartphone in pant pockets and even while at home, there was no drop of sound while standing 12 meters away from the smartphone and also even standing outside on the balcony with the glass slide door closed.
Quality of sound which makes a difference
Huawei FreeLace earphones have in-ear hearing pieces which come with an additional 3 pairs of silicone ear tips which can be changed for the right fit of your ear canal. I have reviewed the device with my various samples of 24-bit quality music/songs which ranges from classical, rock to modern-day EDM music. With the 9.2 mm dynamic driver unit in-ear speakers, the sound quality was excellent. The bass, mids and treble were distinct;y clear even the low rumbles.
If you have heard the first song from the Pink Floyd music album Dark Side of the Moon “Speak to me”, starting heartbeat sound which is very low bass and keeps increasing and I could hear the low heartbeat sound clearly on the Huawei FreeLace earphones. It looks like the bass is tuned for little extra emphasize but each sound of the music instruments were defined and clear.
I have used the Huawei FreeLace while I was travelling on a bus while working on my computer and even while taking a walk around the park. Even after continuous usage for an hour or more, I didn’t feel irritated and the need to remove from the ear. (Basically, some of the in-ear phones get irritating for bad sound quality and need to take a break for few secs).
Personal suggestion for any headphones/ earphones
- Keep the volume around 50% – 60% as the ear adjusts to your listening requirement. Hearing music at high volumes may cause damage your ear canal and chances of hearing loss.
- Also while running or intensity workout, in short intervals, remove the ear covering headphones/earphones to allow and regulate the airflow into your ears and which helps to maintain a balance of your body and avoid blackout or dizziness.
- From a hygienic point of view, try avoiding sharing in-ear headphones and also time to time check and clean the in-ear pieces for dust.
- If the devices are not in use for a long time, keep the product back in the box or covered from dust and pest. Time to time check the silicone/ foam tips if they are very hard then replace them or there is a possibility of disintegrating in your ear and getting lodged in your ear canal.
- Beware of your surrounding especially on the road and most important crossing the road while you are wearing the headphones.
- Try and avoid wearing headphones while driving a vehicle which may lead to an accident as your mind may get distracted while listening to the music or having a conversation. It is a proven fact, reaction time reduces if you are on the phone/headphones.
Price and Availability
HUAWEI FreeLace is available in Graphite Black, Amber Sunrise and Emerald Green colours and priced at AED299 in Huawei Experience Stores, eCommerce and select retailer across UAE.
Pro: The Huawei FreeLace earphone is excellent in-ear listening device with good quality sound reproduction from the 92mm dynamic driver unit in the earpieces. With Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility and IPX5 water resistance, it is a perfect product for outdoor and not getting worried about sweat, rain or water splashes on the product. 5 mins quick charge from Huawei smartphone increased the battery from 20% to 54% battery level. The lightweight tangle-free silicone cable with balanced nickel-titanium alloy unit makes the earphone as one of the Best Wireless Bluetooth Listening device available in the market.
Con: The Huawei FreeLace controller has placed closer to the shoulder, we understand the design-wise, the controller and battery are balanced on the shoulder and not let you feel the weight on to your ears. so need to get used to the controller as it is a little awkward position but in the long run, you will get used to it. The USB Type – C charging with a smartphone only works with Huawei smartphones with EMUI 9.1 and above and not sure about other brands of smartphones with USB Type-C charging pin.