Huawei is stepping up its audio ambitions with a new set of true wireless earphones. The FreeBuds Pro 2 sees the firm partner up with French speaker specialists Devialet, and make the leap to dual-driver tech for what it’s calling “audiophile-grade” sound.
With individual drivers to cover the low- and high-end frequencies, the FreeBuds Pro 2 claim to have the widest range of any pair of Huawei in-ears, from 14Hz to 48kHz. They support hi-res audio with HWA and LDAC codecs, and have been tuned by Devialet for improved clarity and precision over the outgoing FreeBuds Pro.
Devialet also had a hand in designing a range of built-in EQ presets that can be controlled through Huawei’s AI Life app, or there’s an adaptive mode that tweaks things on the fly based on sound leakage and your posture. Essentially, lying down shouldn’t sound worse than standing up or sitting.
To celebrate the partnership, Devialet and Huawei have built a playlist designed to paint the ‘buds in their best light. It’s available to stream on Deezer now.
Adaptive noise cancellation is still front-and-centre, just as it was with the original FreeBuds Pro – only here they should be even more effective at silencing the outside world. Huawei calls it intelligent dynamic ANC 2.0, which basically means there are now even more microphones dedicated to detecting unwanted noises. It promises 47dB of noise reduction, and is smarter at redirecting the beamforming mics when it picks up wind – so you shouldn’t notice anything up to cycling speeds. There’s also a transparency mode, to keep you safe while commuting or exercising near busy roads.
The extra microphones now work in tandem with a bone conduction sensor and updated algorithms that better cancel out ambient noise when making voice calls. That should mean your contacts can hear you just as well as you can hear them.
Huawei reckons it has improved iOS support for this latest release, and Android compatibility remains wide-reaching, although the low-latency game mode is limited to Huawei devices only. You’ve also got to download the Android APK from Huawei’s website or App Gallery, rather than find it in the Google Play store.
Battery life depends on whether you’re listening with ANC on or not: expect four hours with, and up to six and a half hours without. The charging case should raise those totals to 18 hours and 30 hours respectively. Those figures drop if you’re making a lot of calls, with 3.5/4.5 hours and 16 hours/18hours being more likely scenarios. The case supports both USB-C charging and wireless charging, so anyone with a phone that supports reverse wireless charging can give it on-the-go top-ups.
Pinch gestures return from previous Huawei buds, letting you control music playback and ANC settings without reaching into a pocket. The ‘buds are IP54 water resistant, so should be fine to take running in the rain. There’s also multipoint Bluetooth connectivity for dual device pairing.
The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 are set to go on sale from the 6th of July, direct from Huawei and from Amazon. UK prices should start from around £170, in Silver Frost, Silver Blue and Ceramic White colours.