Huawei FreeBuds 4i review: a true wireless noise reducer with great value

FreeBuds Pro attempts to conquer the high-end market of the true wireless earbuds market. With ANC and perception modes, in-ear battery life matching almost all competitors, and good sound quality, they can certainly do this.

Just like FreeBuds Pro, 4i operates wirelessly through the latest version of Bluetooth 5.2 and supports AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. They also come with the same accessories: a USB-C cable for charging the case and three sets of earplugs of different sizes to ensure you get a safe and stable wearing.

In terms of design, the stems of FreeBuds 4i are elongated with rounded edges, while Pro prefers short and thick rectangular stems. But they are not copies of 3i. The stem is no longer cylindrical, but flattened, resulting in a more streamlined profile.

The main part of the headset has also been adjusted to better match the shape of your ears. Regarding fit and comfort, I have nothing to say about FreeBuds 4i. I can use the largest of the three sets of silicone earplugs to achieve a firm fit, and they don’t put excessive pressure on my ear canal, which is very useful for long-term listening.

Huawei FreeBuds 4i displays the remaining power of each earbud and case, and allows you to manually switch between three noise control modes: noise reduction, perception, and shutdown. It also enables you to customize 4i’s capacitive touch controls, which are limited but intuitive and easy to learn.

The total battery life of the earbuds and charging case is 22 hours of playback with 50% audio with ANC turned off. This is less than any option in our list of the best wireless earbuds, but the earbuds themselves are quite stamina.

Huawei said that with ANC turned on and off, they will last about 7 hours and 30 minutes in 50% of the cases, which is a number that few ANC earplugs can match. This number proved to be accurate during testing. I can use them during ANC activities for a large part of the working day, and they still have spare batteries at 5.30pm.

You can assign the choices of play/pause, next song, previous song, and wake up voice assistant to a double tap on any bud, and touch and hold any bud at the same time to cycle through the three noise control options.

The controls generally work well, and you must double-tap or long-press instead of just touching the earbuds once, which significantly reduces the possibility of accidentally executing commands. Unfortunately, the excellent sliding volume adjustment function in FreeBuds Pro has not yet entered 4i.

Although FreeBuds 4i does not have an automatic pause function, they will automatically disable ANC when you take them out of your ears. This can extend battery life to some extent, but it is not as useful as a fully automatic pause/resume function.

The charging box of Huawei FreeBuds 4i adopts a cobblestone shape and is treated with piano paint. The body is smooth and round and has a good sense of quality. The body size of the headset and charging box is smaller and more portable than Huawei FreeBuds 3 and FreeBuds Pro.

The headset features noise reduction and long battery life. The active noise reduction function can significantly reduce the noise in the three frequency bands of high, medium and low. The noise reduction of mid- and low-frequency noise is larger, the overall noise reduction effect experience is better, and the headset supports the ambient sound transmission mode; the call noise reduction ability, Huawei FreeBuds 4i adopts a new windproof structure, which has better wind noise suppression effect and clear call sound; the headset has a single battery life of 7.5 hours when noise reduction is turned on, and it reaches 10 hours when noise reduction mode is turned off. The only class of true wireless headset products.

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