Finding an audio solution that fits your needs could sometimes be difficult especially if you have above-average standards for your devices. Some might be particular with sound quality, others favor design and comfort, while others simply want useful features.
Huawei’s FreeLace Pro is a fashionable neckband earphones that aims to deliver all the above-mentioned characteristics. Is it successful in its attempt? Read our full review and find out.
Our unit comes in Graphite Black which is very subtle and elegant, but there are Spruce Green and Dawn White as alternatives.
There are two metallic cases on each side of the neckband that seem to serve two purposes. One is to add a little extra weight so the bands will drop down when worn and the other is for controls.
Found on the right side are play and volume controls, microphones, and a built-in USB Type-C connector which is revealed by uncapping the end of the band. There’s also a power/pairing button that’s tucked away right under the controls for volume.
The earbuds come in a matte finish and are paired with silicone ear tips shaped to provide a secure and ergonomic fit. Indeed, they stayed on even while doing activities like jogging or skipping rope.
On the side of each bud is a round metal magnet that is used to clip the earbuds together and keep them from accidentally falling off.
Huawei says the neckband is made of flexible and skin-friendly memory metal and it’s indeed soft, flexible, and feels comfortable when worn around the neck.
The material also effectively repels liquids so whether you’re drenched in sweat or jogging under light rain, you’d still feel confident to continue your activity thanks to its IPX5 water resistance.
Huawei has worked to upgrade the sound of the FreeLace Pro by including large 14.2mm dynamic drivers, an independent bass tube for louder and stronger lows, and an aluminum-magnesium alloy diaphragm that’s designed to improve mids and highs. But let’s talk more about its sound performance later on.
The FreeLace Pro is also equipped with a number of other features including Huawei HiPair which basically carries a two-fold function — one is to instantly pair devices and the other for short but fast charging time.
Using Huawei HiPair, you can simply remove the protective cap from the FreeLace Pro’s right metallic case and connect its USB-C port into a device for instant pairing. Do keep in mind, though, that the device should be running EMUI 10.0 or higher.
For other devices, the usual Bluetooth pairing works with no hassle.
Quick Switch also works well by pressing the power button twice and is useful for multitasking, for example, as it seamlessly jumps from one connected device to another.
The left earbud also has a touch sensor that lets you cycle through three different listening modes — ANC on, ANC off, and Awareness. Awareness and ANC off modes let you hear external audio but Awareness mode amplifies sound from around you so you’re more aware of your surroundings.
During my experience, I was able to hear other people talking to me but my music volume still needs to be lowered down to less than half or around 1/3 of the entire bar. If the volume is at my personal listening level, I still wouldn’t be able to hear if someone is calling my attention using a normal talking voice.
So if you’re planning to use this for jogging out on the street, it’s still best to turn your music volume down to make sure you’re still fully aware of your surroundings.
There a total of three mics on this device that work together to provide triple-mic noise cancelation for calls. We got on a few mobile calls and even video calls while we were outdoors and could say that audio clarity from the other line is commendable and effectively minimizes noise coming from around me.
Active noise cancelation, on the other hand, utilizes two mics for better noise capture and a more effective cancelation overall. We found this super helpful while outdoors and strong winds are blowing.
Without ANC, wind noise is really noticeable as it hits the device in our ears. But toggle ANC and the ‘whooshing’ disappears almost entirely, and with music playing, is gone completely.
In terms of audio quality, I found its bass to be lacking at first, but after giving its drivers time to settle, they were able to deliver bass kicks that are solid and whole. Mids are warm and natural-sounding while highs are decent but nothing outstanding.
There are small things to nitpick about its audio performance but as a whole, sound quality is great and more than enough for your everyday wireless audio needs
Low Latency Gaming Mode also proved effective in minimizing audio lag when sound is delivered to your ears. Playing games like Asphalt 9: Legends or Genshin Impact proved that there was still a bit of lag, but easily forgivable.
Huawei claims a 24-hour battery life and though we weren’t able to fully test this, it was able to last two entire days from morning till night time of interval usage for exercising, playing games, voice calls, and just listening to music while working.
Plus, using its Huawei HiPair technology makes quick charging convenient by simply removing the cap and connecting the FreeLace Pro to a device like smartphones or laptops to refill power using its fast-charge technology.
The company claims that five minutes of charging this way should be able to provide five hours of music playback with ANC turned off. We did that but stayed at Ambient Mode and it was able to last for a little over three hours. Still not bad.
Pricing and final thoughts
At the beginning of this review, we mentioned that some go for sound quality, others look at design and comfort, while others prefer useful features. Interestingly, the Huawei FreeLace Pro delivered in these aspects and added something on top of those — an affordable price.
With a price tag of just PhP 4,499, it’s hard to find faults in the FreeLace Pro. It was simply able to determine what its customers need and focused on them to be able to deliver a product that works and doesn’t break the bank at the same time.