Huawei FreeBuds 5: Solid sound in the ear

The Huawei FreeBuds 5 headphones , the hero of today’s test, are a representative of a construction somewhat forgotten by manufacturers. Observing the market, it can be safely said that true wireless in-ear headphones are like medicine. And yet there are still people who, for some reason, do not want or cannot use in-ear models – then, unfortunately, they have a very limited choice of headphones that are right for them.

FreeBuds 5 is the latest design of this type, which is the successor to the quite successful Huawei FreeBuds 4 model . The manufacturer approached the project completely differently than in the case of FreeBuds 4, creating headphones that look unusual, controversial and simply like no other. What came out of it and how do they perform in everyday use?

Technical Specifications of Huawei FreeBuds 5:

  • Audio: 11mm LCP dynamic driver with dual magnetic circuit, Hi-Res Audio Wireless,
  • noise reduction: Open-fit ANC 3.0,
  • connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC, AAC, LC3, L2HC 2.0 and LDAC codecs, multipoint function,
  • battery: up to 5 h on a single charge, up to 30 h with the case (without ANC),
  • charging: about an hour, via USB-C or inductively,
  • microphones: 6 microphones, 3 in the handset (2 external, 1 internal),
  • water resistance: IPX4 (splashes, sweat, rain),
  • headphones dimensions: 32.4 x 17.6 x 22.8 mm, weight 5.4 g,
  • case dimensions: 66.6 x 50.1 x 27.3 mm.

Kit Contents

The box in which FreeBuds 5 come to us looks very similar to many other models of headphones from this manufacturer. A white cardboard box with the image of the headphones, the name and some basic information and key features of the product printed on it. And that’s it.

Inside, apart from the headphones themselves, there is also a short charging cable with USB and USB type C plugs, paperwork and two pairs of silicone covers. These are a different type of rubber bands than those that can be found in in-ear headphones – here we do not put them on the outlet sleeve, but on the entire handset, only in the form of a kind of casing. I’ll come back to them a bit later.

Appearance and design

You can say that from the very beginning FreeBuds 5 look original. Thus, we get a charging case – literally – in the shape of an egg, or to put it a bit more professionally – it is simply oval. They are made of matte plastic, which I can’t fault – it’s of good quality, quite pleasant to the touch, it doesn’t scratch or finger. Nothing here creaks or bends under pressure.

On the front of the case there is the Huawei logo, and just below it in the lower part of the LED diode, which informs us about the charge level of the headphones when they are inside, and if we take them out, it shows the battery status in the case.

The back has been flattened and is practically free – only a fragment of the metal hinge is visible here. From the bottom there is a USB type C connector for charging, and on the right edge there is a discreetly fitted pairing button. Inside, the case is finished with a darker plastic and there is nothing in it except grooves for headphones. The hinge itself is stable, does not creak and has no looseness.

Let’s move on to the headphones themselves, because they shine here – literally. They are made entirely of shiny, almost mirror-finished material. The downside of this solution is the quite obvious fact of incredibly strong fingering and soiling, absolutely always.

Kasia in her material about FreeBuds 5 has already gently suggested what these headphones resemble in shape. Not wanting to repeat myself, I’ll just say this: they remind me of exactly the same thing ;). Let’s assume, however, according to what the manufacturer says, that it is inspired by Prince Rupert’s drops, or two joined drops of water.

In the upper part of the headphones there are two holes under which the microphones are located, and on the inside a black field, which is the in-ear sensor (responsible for auto-pause) and another microphone. On the very edge, of course, the most important eye is located , which is the outlet of the sound directly to our ears.

Ease of use

I always say that the issue of ergonomics of use is a very subjective issue, depending on many factors. My ears do not really like earbuds without rubber bands, which I have checked many times using, among others, first and third generation AirPods , but not only. I secretly hoped it would be different here.

Initially, I used headphones without the attachments, which was not very well received by my earlobes. As a result, after a dozen or so minutes of listening, I felt discomfort and pressure. At the same time, I had a strange feeling all the time, as if the headphones were about to fall out of my ears. Only after a few days of use, these problems were less noticeable, or I just got used to them.

The use of the aforementioned overlays changed the situation quite significantly for me. They do not support isolation – this is still average, but that’s what in-ear models are all about. However, they help the earlobes feel the effects of wearing FreeBuds 5 much less, even during prolonged use.

Finally, I can rate the ease of use quite well, but not outstandingly. I am also convinced that not everyone will find these headphones comfortable, and others will not give them time to like them – because it takes a while.

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