Huawei’s own audio offerings have been quietly making a name for themselves amongst users over the past few years, and the company newer, more low-cost option, the Huawei Freebuds 4i, offer some good bang for your buck, including Active Noise Cancellation and a solid battery life.
Design and Comfort
The Huawei Freebuds 4i come in an elegant black, red or ceramic white, and feature a relatively thicker build than the previous model, the Freebuds 3i. They also include rubberised tips, which help them fit a lot better and Huawei packages a handful of different rubber tip sizes, so if you have larger or smaller ears, you should be able to customise them to work best for you.
The overall finish on the Freebuds 4i is a glossy and smooth coating, and the ends of the buds have magnets at the base to help them slot into their charging case with minimal fiddling around, which is a nice touch.
The Huawei Freebuds 4i can be connected to any Bluetooth device easily, and you can even access a host of additional settings for them via the Huawei AI Life app, which can download it from Huawei’s AppGallery or via the QR code on the package, because finding it on the Google Play store at this stage is unlikely.
The app provides you with the ability to monitor the battery charge levels and customise them, to a degree at least. In terms of default controls, you can double-tap for play/pause, touch & hold for sound control modes, and hold to switch them on/off. Anyone who has used buds from different brands will be immediately familiar, and those newcomers to the gestures will pick it up in no time.
Huawei Freebuds 4i have a 55mAh magnate cell in each bud, and the case has a 215mAh battery for charging purposes. The company claims they deliver a 10-hour uninterrupted playback time at 50% intensity with ANC (noise-cancelling) switched off and AAC mood enabled. That said, after some testing, it’s safe to say that the lifespan of the battery from a fully-charged point will get you around 4 hours playing some music at a reasonable volume.
The Huawei Freebuds 4i feature polymeric diaphragms and 10mm active coil drivers which work nicely to deliver some clear sound, making these a great day-to-day option or to hit the gym or public transport with. Music on Spotify is punchy, the sound is equilibrated, and the vocals are clear. There is no balance in the AI Life app, unfortunately, but you can adjust the audio through your preferred streaming platform.
The Freebuds 4i are obviously small in comparison to something like a full-fledged headset, but for buds, they do pick up highs well and the lows are noticeable; so while you may not feel like you’re in a nightclub, there’s a bit of bass to get your head bopping.
When making calls, the audio is clear and the mic does a great job to deliver your voice even in a noisy area.
The Huawei Freebuds 4i is one of the more user-friendly and affordable ANC earphones in the category. The company did a great job rectifying some of the shortcomings with the Freebuds 3i, by improving the comfortability and delivering some small design tweaks.