Waterdrop-shaped HUAWEI FreeBuds 5 promise ergonomic comfort, premium sound and excellent ANC

HUAWEI has just dropped a pair of truly wireless earbuds to make a statement in a space filled with endless options that more or less look the same. While some options like the Nothing Ear (2) have created a niche with a distinct design, the waterdrop-shaped HUAWEI FreeBuds 5 pursue similar aspirations with hardware to back their offering. To me, the earbuds with a unique stem shape seem to be inspired by Rupert’s Tears formed during the testing of Kunlun Glass.

The Chinese multinational tech giant has invested a lot of time in internal technology and the overall design of the earbuds keeping in mind the ergonomic comfort and of course the audio quality. A good example of that is the shape meant to increase the contact surface area with the ear cavity skin to make the weight distribution near perfect. For this reason, the buds ditch the need for silicone tips, much like any open-fit design. That means, the buds almost feel as if they are not there and are a part of the body.

Designer: HUAWEI

On the inside FreeBuds 5 has a separate speaker, battery module and circuitry to isolate any noise feedback for much richer sound delivery. Being open-back, one would assume the earbuds to have sub-par ANC or subdued bass, but that’s not the case. In fact, the earbuds have a very dynamic ANC mode capable of detecting background noise and making the necessary adjustments in real-time. This is done using the triple mic system that works in conjunction with the deep neural network (DNN) algorithm to remove any unwanted noise from the backdrop while taking calls.

Audio quality is at the forefront with the HUAWEI FreeBuds 5 courtesy of the 11mm dual magnetic circuit dynamic drivers. Bassheads won’t be disappointed either as the buds come with bass Turbo technology to enhance the bass frequencies as low as 16Hz. According to HUAWEI, the frequency response is 50% better than on the FreeBuds 4. Combine this with the support for L2HC and LDAC Bluetooth codecs for hi-res audio and ear canal adaptive algorithm, and we are looking at something capable of generating sound output close to the Harman curve.

IP54-certified FreeBuds 5 supports Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and multi-point pairing for geeks who want multiple connectivity options with their gadgets. They offer 5 hours of playtime (ANC turned off) which goes up to 30 hours in the charging case. With the 5C fast charging the earbuds can be juiced for another 2 hours of playback with just 5 minutes of charge.

The buds will be up for grabs in the official HUAWEI store, and selected retailers in the UK and Europe from April 17, 2023, at a price tag of £140/€159 in three color options – Ceramic White, Silver Frost and Coral Orange.