As part of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro launch, Huawei took the wraps off their latest audio product, the Huawei FreeBuds Studio.
Being over the head headphones keeping the FreeBuds branding seems a little stupid, but I guess the name rolls off the tongue little easier than WH-1000XM4.
Huawei has been expanding their product range a lot in recent years, as part of its 1+8+N strategy, and perhaps more recently as a way to diversify away from their reliance on mobile phones as a major source of income.
The audio products have been particularly impressive, I liked the Freebuds 3 from last year, I love the FreeBuds Pro, and the Huawei Sound X is one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers I have used (just a shame it is only Bluetooth).
So launching a pair of active noise-cancelling headphones is the next logical step for Huawei. Based on the performance of the FreeBuds Pro I am optimistic they can get close to if not outperform the current cream of the crop including the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose 700.
Not much was revealed during my pre-brief so this comparison was mostly writing from leaks and life information during the launch. I will fix mistakes and pad out the data when a full press release is launched.
Huawei FreeBuds Studio Specification
- 7mm ultra-slim design with stainless steel arm
- Black or Gold colours
- 40dB ANC
- Bluetooth 5.2
- 6-microphones for clear calls
- Smart touch controls
- Dual-device connectivity
- Multiple ANC modes (similar to the Freebuds Pro)
- 24-hour battery life and USB-C Charging with fast charge
Huawei FreeBuds Studio Features
The pre-brief was a little limited but highlights include:
- Multiple microphones for both phone call and ANC. 6-mics just for the voice pickup system, they didn’t disclose the number of mics for the ANC
- 360-degree signal coverage for Bluetooth to maintain a solid connection with up to 140m distance connection
- 40dB claimed sound reduction, which is the same number as the FreeBuds Pro, but the real-world performance should be higher due to the superior passive noise cancellation closed over the hear headphones offer.
- Scenario-based ANC mode with auto-switch (similar to the FreeBuds Pro)
- Huawei FreeBuds Studio vs Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose 700 & QuietComfort 35
Huawei FreeBuds Studio vs Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose 700 & QuietComfort 35
Neither Sony or Bose publish the ANC rating so the numbers used are from third-party sources and I am sure Huawei will make similar claims during the announcement. I wouldn’t regard them as 100% accurate, but it is the best I can do.
|FreeBuds Studio||Sony WH-1000XM4||Bose 700||QuietComfort 35|
|Driver||40mm, dome type|
|Frequency Response||4Hz-40,000Hz||10 Hz - 20000 Hz||10 Hz - 20000 Hz|
|Sampling||20Hz - 20,000Hz (44.1kHz Sampling) |
20Hz - 40,000Hz (LDAC 96kHz Sampling, 990kbps)
|Sensitivity||105dB||95 dB/mW||90 dB/mW|
|Charge Time||5 hours||3 Hours (Full charge)||Up to 2.5 hours||2.25 Hours micro USB|
|Battery Life||24 hours||38 hours(ANC OFF), 30h ANC On||Up to 20 hours||Up to 20 hours|
|Microphones||6 microphones for calls||8 total microphones|
6 microphones for Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)
4 microphones for Voice Pickup (2 are shared with ANC)
|Audio Formats||SBC, AAC, LDAC||SBC and AAC||AAC, SBC|
Price and Availability
[Update] I didn't expect Huawei to price the FreeBuds Studio so aggressively at launch. 299-Euros is a fantastic price.
It is currently expected that the Huawei FreeBuds Studio will launch for around 400-Euros. Considering both the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose ANC 700 have an RRP of £350, I would expect the UK price to be very similar, if not the same.