HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 Review — The Key Component To Smart Life?
The HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 comes with ANC (Active Noise Cancelling), a feature that's hard to find in this type of form-factor.
+ Satisfying audio quality
+ ANC reduces the drawbacks of its open design
+ Nearly no latency when used with a HUAWEI Mate 30
+ Fits well for most people, especially for those who are uncomfortable with in-ear designs
+ Very portable design
+ Customization can be done (through app)
+ Supports both wireless and wired charging
- Glossy finish makes it easy to get smudged
- Noticeable latency in gaming with non-HUAWEI smartphones
- I wish they supported more gesture controls
- Quite pricey
Curious about HUAWEI’s latest TWS earbuds? Is it worth your money? Well let’s take a look at the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 in this review without wasting any more time.
Unboxing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3
So there’s a black box that opens when you pull the side strap. Lift the lid up, you’ll be greeted with the FreeBuds 3 itself. Or rather, its charging case.
Pulling out all of the items the packaging, here’s what you’ll find:
- The charging case
- Buds (inside the case)
- Type-C cable
The charging case is round, with flat sides to allow it to rest on your table without rolling off.
On the bottom end, you’ll find the USB Type-C port. There’s actually a side button on the right, which is quite easy to miss with the sleek design of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3.
Similar to the case, the earbuds themselves sports a glossy finish. As for the design, HUAWEI calls it the “Dolphin Bionic Design” which allegedly referred to the shape of dolphin heads to better deliver the sound to your ears.
|True wireless, ear buds
Pop-up & Pair
|Active noise cancellation
Up to 4 hours
5x Full Charge (total 20 hours)
4.5 gram (each)
|Ceramic White and Carbon Black
To pair the FreeBuds 3 to your smartphone, you simply need to take them out of the charging case and pair them with your Bluetooth device. Once that’s done, the next time that you take them out, they will instantly connect.
In order to fully utilize the features of the buds, you will need to install the HUAWEI AI Life app. The app is also available for non-HUAWEI smartphones, where you can find it on the Google Play Store. There, you can tweak the ANC settings as well as adjust the shortcut taps for both side of the buds. Other than that, you can observe the battery life of the buds themselves as well as the charging case.
Overall, the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 sounds crisp with decent mids. Bass isn’t overpowering, but still punchy to make music sound fun. I would say it’s balanced, and its sound profile is definitely to my liking.
With the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3, it features ANC (Active Noise Cancelling), which is a nice thing to have. Despite that, the design of the buds itself offers low noise isolation. This means that the ANC feature doesn’t entirely block out everything. The feature is there.. but you can still hear some of the sounds around you. Just for reference, it cancels out enough noise to make it comparable to the noise isolation of a standard IEM. Doing this while featuring an open design is quite an achievement, although not exactly what one would expect when you see the letters “ANC”.
We took the liberty to test out the gaming latency of the FreeBuds 3 in Call of Duty: Mobile and noticed it actually does a very good job when used with the HUAWEI Mate 30. Gunshots are delivered with barely (if any at all) latency, making them great for gaming too.
The same couldn’t be said when used with other smartphones though. I’ve tested it out with my Mi 8 and the audio delay is very noticeable in my experience.
When it comes to product finishes, a glossy finish is not one of my favorites. The reason? Well they simply are easy to get all smudged and slippery, and it’s worse when you have sweaty hands like me. If you don’t have sweaty palms, well you would have a better time with the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3.
As for the shape itself, I had no problems with it in my ears. They fit perfectly and rests securely on my pinna, without intruding into my ear canals. The charging case is small and can easily be stored in your pockets, making them a really portable pair of earphones to carry around with you.
In terms of controls, by default the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 offers:
- Skip song: 2x tap (right bud)
- On/off ANC: 2x tap (left bud)
It’s nice to see that you can even customize the shortcuts for the FreeBuds 3 on the HUAWEI AI Life app. However, I would’ve preferred them to offer support for more gesture shortcuts, instead of just two (one for each buds).
HUAWEI has said that the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 can last up to 4 hours of playback, and based on my usage, it’s not that far off. I managed to squeeze 3 hours and 30 minutes from the buds, setting the volume at 50% with ANC active.
Should your phone comes with reverse-charging capability, well you can simply charge the FreeBuds 3 with it in the event your battery’s running low and you simply want your music. Not to forget, there’s also the option to charge it with a wireless charger, which is accommodated by its flat design.
At the price of RM679, it’s a bit higher than I would’ve liked but you are getting a TWS device that offers decent audio quality plus ANC. Not to forget the pretty decent battery life and support for wireless charging, which are pretty cool features.
In general, you can still take full advantage of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 on a non-HUAWEI/HONOR smartphone, with the exception of the low latency feature. If you’re using a HUAWEI Mate 30, the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 is one of the best options out there that you can get for your listening pleasure. For that, I award the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 our Bronze Pokdeward.
We thank HUAWEI Malaysia for providing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 that was used in this review!