AirPods Pro, while the best and most popular equivalent for the FreeLace Pro we can think of are the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z.As the name suggests, the true wireless FreeBuds Pro are positioned directly against Apple's pricey and wildly successful
Unfortunately, much like Huawei's handsets and wearable devices, these modern audio accessories are unlikely to ever come to the US, primarily targeting European markets.
You've certainly heard of noise-cancelling earbuds before, but according to Huawei, the FreeBuds Pro come with some sort of an "innovative and unique" ANC (active noise cancellation) technology that the company expects to "delight consumers."
This world-first intelligent dynamic noise cancellation is basically the tech giant's answer to Sony's Adaptive Sound Control functionality on the impossibly named WF-1000XM3, switching between a few different modes to adjust to your surroundings and offer a "suitable hearing experience" for your workplace, long-distance travels, and other environments where you might want to listen to your favorite tunes with a higher or lower degree of "awareness."
The TWS (true wireless stereo) earphones come with both inward and outward-facing microphones, just like the AirPods Pro, to detect out-of-ear and in-ear residual noise and achieve up to a 40 dB ANC effect. With active noise cancellation enabled, the Huawei FreeBuds Pro can keep the music going for a maximum of 4.5 hours, an endurance score that goes all the way up to 7 hours if you turn off the feature.
That's better than what the AirPods Pro have going for them in the battery life department, although it's not quite as great as Samsung's promises for the hot new Galaxy Buds Live.
In terms of design, it's definitely nice to see something different from the AirPods and AirPods Pro, with the Silver Frost flavor in particular looking uniquely attractive and the Carbon Black and Ceramic White colors providing welcomed diversity. Tipping the scales at around 6 grams per bud, the FreeBuds Pro are to be joined to market sometime next month by a wireless charging case weighing in at 60 grams for a grand total of €199.
So, yeah, these are by no means the world's cheapest AirPods Pro alternatives, but if you listen to Huawei, they might just be the most technologically advanced.
The neckband style may have gone out of fashion for most major manufacturers of wireless headphones, but not Huawei, whose FreeLace Pro come with a cord, the same state-of-the-art active noise cancellation technology as the FreeBuds Pro, and a bold €119 recommended retail price on the old continent ahead of a commercial debut later this month.
In case you're wondering, the aforementioned OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z are available at only €50... without ANC or the impressive 24-hour battery life promise of the FreeLace Pro. These bad boys are also rocking fast charging capabilities, not to mention you can easily pair them with a USB-C phone, tablet, or PC to squeeze five hours of juice out of a five-minute charge.
In addition to dual-mic ANC, the FreeLace Pro utilize a 3-microphone adaptive system to drown out noise during calls while delivering excellent overall sound quality thanks to a large 14mm dynamic driver unit. Available in Graphite Black, Spruce Green, and Dawn White paint jobs, the neckband active noise cancellation earbuds are also IP55 rated for water and dust protection, unlike the FreeBuds Pro, which are not even advertised as splash-resistant.
All in all, the Huawei FreeLace Pro may well be worth their seemingly extravagant cost... if you don't mind the somewhat outdated design.