HUAWEI’s FreeClip Earbuds are a breath of fresh air in the crowded world of wireless audio. Ditching the traditional in-ear design, they instead opt for an open-ear approach that promises a unique listening experience. The HUAWEI FreeClip allows you to enjoy audio without the need for traditional in-ear insertion. This is apt for users who require all the functions of audio earphones but only prioritize the practical aspects of earphones over music, such as comfort and convenient communication.
But after spending some time with them, the question remains: do these earbuds take flight, or are they simply a bold experiment that falls short?
A Design Unlike Any Other
The FreeClip’s design is their defining feature. They clip comfortably onto the upper cartilage of your ears, resembling bone conduction headphones but utilizing a different audio transmission method. This open design allows you to stay aware of your surroundings, making them ideal for running, cycling, or situations where you need to hear ambient noise.
Let’s break down the three key components of this new design:
1. Comfort Bean: Inspired by baroque aesthetics, this unique bean-shaped piece seamlessly fits your ear’s natural curves. Thousands of user data points went into its ergonomic design, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit without strain.
2. Acoustic Ball: This gently rolls onto your skin, securing the earbud comfortably without any pressure on your ear cartilage. It houses essential audio components and delivers clear, immersive sound.
3. C-Bridge Design: This isn’t your average connector. Crafted with complex precision techniques, it molds to your unique ear shape thanks to a high-performance nickel-titanium memory alloy. Imagine it as a gentle hug for your ears! It distributes weight evenly for balanced wear and even houses 9 core wires – a testament to its clever design. But the C-Bridge goes beyond comfort. It’s meticulously crafted based on data from 10,000 real users, ensuring the perfect 11.4° curvature and a light 0.15N clamping force for a stable, comfortable fit.
Sound and Fit
The sound signature is surprisingly good for open-ear buds. The bass isn’t earth-shattering, but it’s present enough to be enjoyable. Mids are clear, and vocals come through crisp. However, the lack of isolation means you’ll hear more background noise compared to in-ear options, which can be distracting in noisy environments. Overall, for music in general, these earphones deliver a good output with clear sounds.
The FreeClip’s lightweight design makes them comfortable for long listening sessions. They stay securely in place during most activities, but some users might find the clip slightly irritating after extended use. Finding the optimal fit takes a bit of experimentation. I also had to adjust to the design before appreciating it.
The HUAWEI FreeClip offers clear call quality thanks to its open-ear design, which allows your own voice to be heard naturally. This design also means you can stay aware of your surroundings during calls. To reduce sound leakage of the audio and maximize the user’s audio experience, Huawei introduced a Reverse Sound Field Acoustic System in the HUAWEI FreeClip, letting users enjoy intelligent volume adjustment while subtly cancelling sound waves. Additionally, the built-in microphones utilize a multi-channel DNN algorithm to effectively filter out wind noise, gusts, and loud ambient noise, ensuring the person on the other end of the line hears you clearly.
Features and Battery Life
The FreeClip boasts some interesting features like sharing audio with other Huawei buds, dual microphones for clear calls, and Bluetooth multi-point connectivity. The included AI Life app lets you customize gesture controls and choose from four EQ modes. The FreeClip boasts touch controls for music playback, volume adjustment, and call answering.
On of the interesting features of these earphones, is what Huawei says is the Industry’s first earphones with Intelligent Left-Right Ear Recognition. Upon putting on the HUAWEI FreeClip, the earbuds automatically and adaptively detect the left ear and right ear, switching the sound channel when needed. To reset the left-right positioning of the earbuds, users simply have to place both earbuds back to the charging case and keep the case closed. The left and right audio channels of the earbuds will then be reset. Though this feature is enabled by default, users can conveniently enable or disable this feature in the AI Life app.
Battery life is ok I would say. Huawei claims you should get up to 8 hours of listening time or 5.5 hours of call time on a single charge, and during my testing, I was able to more or less hit those numbers. You don’t get ANC here of course, so the draining is less than usual earbuds with ANC on.
The FreeClip boasts some nice charging capabilities. A quick 10-minute charge fuels you up for 3 hours of uninterrupted listening, perfect for topping off before a workout or long commute. In just 40 minutes, the case fully powers the earbuds. The charging case is also compatible with any Qi-certified wireless charger.
The HUAWEI FreeClip Earbuds are a bold experiment that offers a unique open-ear listening experience. They’re comfortable, sound decent, and integrate well with the Huawei ecosystem. If you’re intrigued by the open-ear concept and prioritize situational awareness, the FreeClip Earbuds are worth a try. They’re a promising first step in a new direction, but not quite ready to dethrone the established players in audio quality yet.
Ge them if:
- Want to try something new, stylish
- Want something super lightweight on your ears
Skip them if:
- what you look for is audio quality only
- want ANC