If you’re looking for a sporty pair of wireless earbuds, or you simply don’t want to take your premium headphones or earphones to the gym, HUAWEI has got you covered. The company has a product portfolio that offers something for everyone, for every taste, and basically every wallet. 

Today we’re looking at the HUAWEI FreeLace Pro, which has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. Not only is it wireless, but it also offers active noise cancellation, an IP55 rating, and whopping 24-hour battery life. 

We’re looking at all of that, in our HUAWEI FreeLace Pro review below.

Design, materials, and fit

There are three color options to choose from: Obsidian Black, Dawn White, and the Spruce Green we’re using for this review. HUAWEI chose the neckband style for the FreeLace Pro, which means that you’re wearing the base around your neck, with the two earbuds being connected to the band by a cable each.

HUAWEI FreeLace Pro earbuds

They weigh 34 grams, and, except for the two metal portions in the middle (housing the batteries and other tech), they have a nice rubbery feel to them. 

The controls (volume up, volume down, play/pause) reside on the right metal portion, together with the power button. This is also where you charge them: you can pull off the bottom portion of the metal part to reveal a USB-Type C connector. You can plug it into a USB-C charger or use the cable adapter provided inside the box.

If you have a recent HUAWEI smartphone, plugging the earbuds directly into the smartphone will not only charge the FreeLace Pro but will also pair it to the phone, should you choose to do so.

Small, Medium and Large are the three bud sizes provided with the FreeLace Pro. Once you identify the right size for your ear, it’s a perfect fit, which is not only snug, but it will stay inside your ears when doing any activity without a problem. They won’t fall out unless you manually pull them out.

HUAWEI FreeLace Pro on table

There’s an additional way to control the FreeLace Pro: the left earbud’s exterior doubles as a touch surface. Touching and holding it cycles through HUAWEI’s proprietary active noise cancelation modes: ANC on/Awareness/ANC off. 

Hardware

I’ll be completely honest, I love the sound of the FreeBuds Pro. I think they’re the best sounding ANC-enabled true wireless earbuds. That’s until I started listening to the FreeLace Pro. No wonder they sound that good (more on sound in a segment below), as HUAWEI crammed in a pair of 14.2mm dynamic drivers, opposed to the 11mm ones in the FreeBuds Pro.

With a total length of 862.4mm you might think they are a tad too long, but we don’t think it should worry you as it doesn’t interfere with your activity or movements. 

They also pack two microphones for Active Noise Cancellation, and in-call noise cancellation is handled by a triple-mic system. 

HUAWEI FreeLace Pro batteries

That 24 hour playback time is possible thanks to the rather large, 150mAh battery, which takes more or less about an hour to fully charge. 

As previously mentioned, if you’re rocking a relatively recent HUAWEI smartphone model (on EMUI 9.1 and above), you will also benefit from HUAWEI HiPair and its quick charging.

The Bluetooth radio is compatible with BT 5.0 standard, and the entire system is rated IP55 for splash, water, and dust resistance.

Experience

We’ve used the HUAWEI FreeLace Pro paired both to a HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro and an iPhone 12 Pro Max. We didn’t find any differences in the experience, except for the fact that when paired to a HUAWEI smartphone, the entire UX is seamless. This, of course, should come as no surprise.

Pairing

Pairing with the Mate 40 Pro was as easy as plugging them into the phone’s USB Type-C charging port. EMUI 11 detects the earbuds automatically and asks you whether you want to pair them or not. Once paired, you have access to the settings and firmware updates, which we’ve received during our review period: 1.0.0.139 and 1.0.0.145.

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