HUAWEI FreeLace Pro Review

HUAWEI FreeLace Pro Review

Now it’s December, and a new headphone representative from Huawei is still missing, namely the HUAWEI FreeLace Pro. It is dedicated to the more active among us or those who don’t like completely wireless headphones.

If you want to go straight to the test, you can scroll down a bit. For everyone else, there is a bit of information about me and my relationship with headphones.

During my school days, headphones were part of my standard equipment. A bus/train ride without headphones was a damn bad day. From today’s perspective, it’s like a morning without coffee. It works, but let’s be honest, it’s not a nice start to the day. So, listening to music while out and about has always been important to me personally. I enjoyed listening to a lot of music and preferably in very good quality with rich bass.

PROS:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Long battery life
  • Good sound quality
  • High-quality ANC

CONS:

  • ANC is not adjustable
  • Tricky fit with eartips

Like probably everyone else, I started with normal 3.5mm jack wired headphones from the Apple house. Everyone had an Apple iPod at the time, either it was a Shuffle, a Nano, or if you meant it well, a Classic, but there were also damn cool parts, and good memories come up. Of course, over the years, I also got good over-ear headphones 😉

With the advent of smartphones, the first Bluetooth headphones hit the market. Unfortunately, after a difficult start, the parts seem to have prevailed. At least you can currently only find wireless headphones, and the smartphone manufacturers are increasingly doing without the good old 3.5mm jack connector.

Today I no longer use public transport regularly and instead have a car that I use as a mobile loudspeaker, and at home, I have my loudspeakers or system when I want to enjoy my music. However, headphones are still part of my daily usage of equipment. Therefore, only other usage scenarios have been added.

I mainly use headphones in everyday work, especially when I call customers. In my private life, I usually use headphones when I go to bed in the evening and don’t want to wake anyone up with my YouTube videos, or maybe I’m trying to drown out the snoring.

In the end, music continues to be the reason for using headphones. If I go for a long walk with the dog or motivate myself to go jogging, headphones are used, and this is where the FreeLace Pro comes into play.

Much personal, I know, but the test has some history with it. But enough about me, you are here to read a test, and you will get it now. For this, I have divided the HUAWEI FreeLace Protest into the following categories for a better overview:

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS & UNBOXING

Let’s start with the technical data, and then the fun follows. Interesting points here are the connection via air, more about that later, and the long battery life with the short charging time.

Let’s unpack the little white box. For my test, I received the Dawn White color. At first glance, the color looks more rosy than white. Of course, it’s not my color, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsightly. Tastes are known to be different, and that’s a good thing!

The delivery includes the HUAWEI FreeLace Pro, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, and a set of ear inlets so that the headphones fit into every ear. Otherwise, the normal paperwork is included. For the overview, I have listed everything again:

SCOPE OF DELIVERY

  • headphone
  • Ear inlets with six size options
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety information
  • Warranty card

DESIGN & COMFORT

The design of the FreeLace Pro is quite elegant and simple. Thanks to the ribbon (lace), we do not have loose but permanently connected headphones. Perfect for athletes or those who like to have their headphones on the band so that they don’t lose any of them. We have a block on each side, whereby the block on the left has no functions. I did not find a microphone or anything else. On the other hand, the right block has the USB-C interface, which only shows up when you pull the cover off. The control element, status LED, and the microphone are still on the right side.

The headphones can be worn pretty well. This is because the ear inlets are equipped with a bracket placed in the auricle when worn and provides a certain hold. Thus, the headphones do not fall out and offer a very good hold.

I once put on my running shoes and checked whether the headphones stayed in my ears even after a few kilometers of jogging. The result: After a lot of sweating and jogging, the FreeLace Pro sits pretty well on me. The headphones don’t mind water either, but I wouldn’t recommend swimming or diving with the FreeLace.

Maybe one day there will be the DiveBuds or the SwimLace from HUAWEI. Now enough speculation, let’s move on to setting up and operating the FreeLace.

SETUP & OPERATION

The facility is a very interesting point. Here HUAWEI has come up with something interesting, and the solution is called HUAWEI air. What is behind this function is very simple, if you connect your HUAWEI FreeLace Pro directly to your smartphone or tablet via USB, the FreeLace is automatically charged, and a connection is established.

This saves you the hassle of going into pairing mode, then looking for the headphones in the Bluetooth settings on the smartphone, etc. pp. We all know it, and if it goes great, if not, you try it as often until it works. Requirements for the air are a device from HUAWEI with at least EMUI version 9.1.

Air works damn well, I get a confirmation, and the current battery status of the FreeLace is displayed, even switching between devices is no problem simply via USB-C, and it is set up. Speaking of different devices, if you often work with two devices, for me, it was a smartphone and laptop, you can easily switch back and forth between the two devices. To do this, press the power button twice, and the FreeLace will switch to the previous device. I find it a great feature, and I have used it several times.

Let’s stay briefly with the topic of operation. Many well-known options have been available with operation on headphones since the iPod. So we can pause or continue our media. This key is expanded by holding down the key for a long time or pressing the key several times in a row. So we have the following option, which we, unfortunately, cannot adjust.

In the everyday test, it has been shown that the function keys are very close to the neck, and therefore you have to get used to the keys to controlling them blindly. For example, while jogging, I found it difficult to start the next song while moving.

For the headphones’ settings, we can either go to the Bluetooth settings on a HUAWEI device and configure the headphones from there, or we can download the HUAWEI AI Life app and connect our FreeLace there. By the way, AI ​​Life is also the way for those who do not have a HUAWEI device.

As a last operating point, we have a touch button on the left headphones that can activate, deactivate or switch to the so-called attention mode. Unfortunately, you cannot assign a user-defined function to the headphones. Either you activate or deactivate the touch function. But while I’m writing about ANC, let’s take a look at it.

ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION (ANC)

Let’s get to the Active Noice Cancellation for short, ANC. More and more headphone manufacturers are offering this function. Why not? Who doesn’t want to hear only what they want while wearing their headphones and filter out all background noises so that you have peace?

But how well does the ANC work on the FreeLace Pro? I tested different scenarios for it. For example, once, while jogging, I was walking the dog on a very windy day and sitting in the office while the other colleagues were on the phone. I think I took realistic scenarios that could happen to pretty much anyone.

But how did the FreeLace Pro perform? The ANC was extremely good for in-ear headphones. I didn’t notice anything from the outside world. I also had our editor Dominik, who already has experience with the HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro and FreeBuds Studio, tested the FreeLace. In his opinion, only the studios are better when it comes to ANC.

I can also confirm this, whether jogging or walking, the ANC has been able to seal off the environment completely, even without the music is on. In the office, I only heard the bassy voices from my colleagues, but very easily.

The so-called attention mode, i.e., instead of filtering out the background noises, the background noises are amplified to perceive their surroundings, is very successful with the FreeLace Pro. As a result, I could hear conversations clearly and hear other background noises very well.

So if you attach great importance to very good ANC, you should look at the FreeLace Pro. So we have a very good ANC. But, do we automatically have a good sound? After all, we also want to listen to music or watch films through headphones.

SOUND QUALITY

Let’s take a closer look at the sound quality. Here I can say in advance that we can set the headphones with the help of the HUAWEI listen with a pre-defined sound profile to adapt the sound to our needs. Professionals can also adjust the sound with the built-in equalizer. You can find the Huawei hists under Sounds & Vibration settings or look for Huawei hists in the settings. For all non-Huawei, the setting options remain zero.

The “standard” setting must be sufficient here, which I nevertheless consider being well done. I’ve listened to different genres of music and got a clear voice and rich bass everywhere. Of course, there are better headphones, but I think the sound quality is very good.

One point that I missed is an auto-pause function. In everyday life, I often have a situation where a person speaks to me, and I briefly take the headphones out of my ear to answer. My Daily Drive headphones automatically pause the music/video here and play it again when I put the headphones back in my ear. The FreeBuds Pro can do it, so why not the FreeLace Pro? I find it a shame, why are we not given all the functions already available in the other products.

TELEPHONE / VOICE QUALITY

Another point that has become very important to me is the voice quality during a phone call. Telephone calls or web meetings are now part of my everyday life, and a certain quality is relevant.

In my phone calls/meetings, I was always able to understand people clearly and the others, also me. I also had this confirmed by our colleagues on the blog. So here, too, you can’t go wrong. However, what mostly causes problems for me is not so much the sound/voice quality but the battery.

BATTERY & RANGE

Sometimes I have to make many long phone calls at work, so I often have the problem that my headphones have to be charged after a few hours. However, when I think about it the evening before, I usually have no problem charging the battery. HOWEVER, if I forget, I usually don’t have enough battery or have to use a second replacement headset.

I had no problems at all with the FreeLace Pro. The battery lasts all day, and in the end, I still had a good 20-30% battery left. Charging is also pretty quick. Within an hour, the battery is charged and ready for another day. The only thing I noticed is that the headphones do not have an auto shutdown, i.e., the headphones do not switch off automatically after X minutes. As a result, I often had only 10% or no battery in the morning because I forgot to turn off the headphones. This should be improved.

This is the result of simply leaving the headphones somewhere without turning them off beforehand. There is a way to do something here, however.

The headphones can be snapped together using the built-in magnet so that the headphones go into standby mode. But, of course, you usually do that when you wear them. After all, you don’t want the headphones to dangle back and forth. This also works, but I keep forgetting about it at my desk, or when I’m in bed in the evening, an automatic switch-off function would be more practical.

CONCLUSION

What is left to say in the end? First, the HUAWEI FreeLace Pro is a pretty good product. If you don’t want individual headphones or charging cases, you can’t go wrong here. For me, the Active Noice Canceling is one of the best currently available for in-ear headphones. The headphones sit very well and have a long runtime, provided you think about switching them off or snapping the headphones with the help of the magnets. The main advantages are that if you stay in the same ecosystem and own a HUAWEI device, you get a lot more functions than using it with other manufacturers.

The only thing that needs improvement is the setting options for the controls. If you could individualize the operation and the touch assignment, you would have gained a lot. Above all, an automatic switch-off after X minutes would make the device more suitable for everyday use.

Suppose it were possible to create profiles for various scenarios. In that case, you could go a step further and, for example, automatically switch to the jogging profile as soon as the HUAWEI watch is set to jogging. With such a feature, HUAWEI would certainly bring something smart to the market that no one else is offering yet.

It remains to be seen what will happen. In any case, I can say in summary that I had a lot of fun with the FreeLace Pro, and yet I am much more convinced than I initially thought.

HUAWEI FreeLace Pro Review
HUAWEI FreeLace Pro Review

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