Huawei FreeBuds 5i Review: Hi-Res Certification, Dope Sound Quality

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Hi-Res Gold Standard is a high-quality audio product design standard proposed by Sony and jointly formulated by the Japan Audio Association and the Consumer Technology Association of America.

In 2020, the Hi-Res small gold label became famous for a while, and many mobile phones passed the certification to demonstrate its excellent audio capabilities; many users also learned about this synonym for high sound quality.

In the traditional acoustic field, the Hi-Res small gold label has already become the representative of the “gold content” of headphones. Products with this certification have the guarantee of full-link high-resolution and high-quality sound.

What we are going to welcome today is a true wireless product that is the only true wireless product in the 500 yuan range that has obtained the Hi-Res small gold standard certification.

Huawei FreeBuds 5i TWS Headphones, with a price of over 500 yuan, have the Hi-Res small gold standard certification. Equipped with a 10mm large moving coil unit, with a polymer composite diaphragm, it also has advanced ear canal adaptive technology and a variety of EQ adjustments. Passing the Hi-Res certification is by no means a mere appearance, but the necessary hardware and software strength to truly have good sound quality.

In addition, as a truly wireless headset, it also supports the popular active noise reduction function.

The noise reduction depth of up to 42dB and a variety of noise reduction modes allow users to find a balance in a quiet environment and comfortable wearing. It is worth mentioning that this time, the windproof mode has been specially optimized to effectively reduce the wind noise. Whether it is a windy day or blowing a fan, there will be no popping noise.

In addition, there are also a lot of intelligent interactive functions such as call noise reduction, low-latency gaming mode, and full-scene interconnection. This time, Huawei FreeBuds 5i also creatively added the audio sharing function, allowing Huawei devices to connect two pairs of headphones at the same time. Watching movies and listening to songs together in a private environment is a better experience and more convenient.

Next, let’s fully experience the Huawei FreeBuds 5i true wireless noise-canceling headset to see how it performs in terms of noise reduction, sound quality, and interaction.

Design & Appearance

The charging box of Huawei FreeBuds 5i adopts the shape of cobblestone, and the “island blue” version we received is decorated with sprinkles, which is more distinctive than the stereotyped shape on the market. The surface is frosted, not easy to be greasy, and feels better.

In addition to the pairing button on the right, there is a Type-C interface at the bottom for charging.

Taking out the headphone body, Huawei FreeBuds 5i adopts an in-ear design. The body adopts a flexible curve, which is more suitable for the auricle and can improve the wearing stability.

The 10mm moving coil sounding unit looks very large through the dust filter. There are also wearing detection sensors, feed-forward microphones, and so on.

The headphone column is shorter and flatter, making it more stable to wear. The surface supports touch, in addition to click control, it also supports sliding to adjust the volume, which is more convenient.

In terms of accessories, this time, a Huawei Music Exclusive Gift Pack worth 100 yuan, two sets of earplugs of different specifications, and a charging cable are provided.

Sound Quality

Huawei FreeBuds 5i supports a one-touch pop-up. When paired with a Huawei mobile phone, the pairing window will pop up when the cover is opened. It is very convenient to open the cover every time after that.

As a truly wireless headset that focuses on sound quality, let’s first try to hear the sound quality of Huawei FreeBuds 5i.

Listening, Huawei FreeBuds 5i adopts a three-band balanced tuning style, the accent is not overwhelming, and the treble details are also very rich. The sound field is very close, and the human voice seems to be in the ear. It is perfect for listening to all kinds of popular music every day.

Since it has passed the Hi-Res certification, it also supports LDAC encoding of course, and you can adapt it to the supported models by turning on the self-adaptive in the Smart Life APP. LDAC encoding can achieve a maximum bit rate of 990Kbps, and with music files in lossless format, it can show richer details.

In addition, Huawei FreeBuds 5i also supports EQ adjustment. At present, only three EQ styles are provided, the default equalization mode, bass boost, and treble boost, which can be adapted to the listening preferences of different groups of people.

Noise Reduction

Huawei FreeBuds 5i supports active noise reduction and proposes the unique Huawei AEM human ear adaptive technology, which can detect the wearing state of the headset and the shape of the ear canal, and adjust the noise reduction algorithm in a targeted manner.

It has three built-in noise reduction effects, namely light, balanced and deep. From personal experience, even in the strongest depth mode, there will be no strong ear pressure, and it is still comfortable after noise reduction is turned on.

The noise reduction effect was measured. In a quiet office, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i can filter low-frequency environmental noise such as chassis fans, electric fans, and air conditioners. They all disappear completely when turned on, giving you a quiet working environment.

And even in a more severe test environment, Huawei FreeBuds 5i can do it. The neighbors were renovating, and the sound of the electric drill was very harsh, and the noise reached 81dB. After wearing Huawei FreeBuds 5i and turning on deep noise reduction, the harshness of the sound can be greatly reduced. Although the sound of the electric drill still exists, it sounds very small and far away, and it will not cause too much irritability.

Standing on the side of the road, the rumble of traffic can also be reduced a lot. The roar of the engine and the cacophony of crowds are blocked, and all you can hear is a small number of tires rubbing against the ground.

In addition, the noise reduction algorithm of Huawei FreeBuds 5i will also selectively filter human voices. I can still clearly hear the voices of others talking beside me when I wear headphones. Even because there is no other noise interference, it can be heard more clearly.

Huawei FreeBuds 5i has also been optimized for the wind noise problem of active noise reduction this time. The microphone on the headphone column itself is set on the inside, and the opening is very slender, which can minimize the noise generated by blowing the microphone directly.

In the default noise reduction mode, wearing a Huawei FreeBuds 5i blower fan, you will find that the wind noise is very weak, unless the angle is specially adjusted, there will be no popping sound.

When the windproof mode is turned on, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i will also emit a small white noise, which can cover up the very weak wind noise and make you unaware of the existence of wind noise.

In addition, Huawei FreeBuds 5i also supports normal mode and transparent mode. When you go out, you can turn on the transparent mode to sense the sound of the outside world such as the car horn in time, so as not to encounter danger due to the shielding of the sound.

Battery

Huawei FreeBuds 5i can not only achieve close pairing with Huawei devices, but also realize the function of opening the cover and connecting after the pairing is completed, but also supports multi-device connection.

In the Smart Life APP, you can see the audio connection center. It can connect up to two devices at the same time, without manual switching, it can automatically adapt to the audio from different devices, and the playing device will also have animation reminders.

The user can set the priority of the device by himself. Audio from the priority device will always play first, and if the default Auto is selected, it will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you want to use another device, press pause on the previous device first. Otherwise, the devices behind will still use the built-in speakers to emit sound.

In addition, this generation also adds the audio sharing function. That is, it supports two Huawei FreeBuds 5i connected to the same mobile phone. With the multi-device interconnection function mentioned above, you can switch between the shared state and the exclusive state at any time, no matter which operation is very fast

In terms of gestures, Huawei FreeBuds 5i not only supports tap operations but also adds the function of sliding to adjust the volume. In this way, gesture control of several functions such as noise reduction/transparency mode switching, playback pause, volume adjustment, etc. can be realized at the same time, without having to worry about which function to choose.

Huawei FreeBuds 5i also supports low-latency gaming mode, and the third-party device enables the game low-latency function in the Smart Life APP, and the test delay is about 159ms. Taking into account the measurement error, it is guaranteed that mobile games such as “Honor of Kings” will not feel any obvious sound delay.

With Huawei mobile phones, Huawei FreeBuds 5i can achieve a stable and low latency of 94ms, and even playing audio games with such a delay is not a big problem.

In terms of battery life, turn on noise reduction, set it to depth mode, and use Huawei FreeBuds 5i to listen to songs for two hours at 30% volume, which consumes about 22.5% of the power. Based on this calculation, under such a habit of listening to songs, the battery life of Huawei FreeBuds 5i is about 9 hours.

With the charging box to recharge halfway, the battery life will be longer. On the premise that noise reduction is turned off, it can be up to 28 hours.

Verdict

What kind of truly wireless earphones can you buy with a budget of more than 500 yuan? In the past, we tended to feel content with active noise cancellation.

But Huawei does not stop there. The adjustment and optimization of the whole link from hardware to software have made a big leap in sound quality. Huawei FreeBuds 5i has become the only true wireless headset in the 500-yuan range that has been certified by the Hi-Res small gold standard. This time, noise reduction and sound quality are all in one go.

According to the actual measurement, the sound quality of Huawei FreeBuds 5i is excellent. The three-frequency balanced tuning makes it possible to achieve all kinds of music styles. If you like booming bass or prefer symphony, it also provides different EQ styles to satisfy you. More importantly, LDAC encoding is supported, and finally 100% lossless music can be played on true wireless headphones. More details and fuller tones can be presented one by one.

With the support of Huawei’s AEM adaptive technology, the active noise reduction function of Huawei FreeBuds 5i also has a refreshing experience. A single noise reduction algorithm cannot cover everyone’s auricle shape. Therefore, the active noise reduction in the past is always difficult to avoid the problem of ear pressure. Huawei FreeBuds 5i is equipped with an adaptive algorithm, which can analyze the shape and wearing status of the ear canal in real-time, adjust the noise reduction algorithm in a targeted manner, and achieve the best balance between noise reduction and comfort at all times.

The windproof design is a breakthrough. Not only does Huawei FreeBuds 5i reduce wind noise structurally, there is no violent popping noise, but it also has an innovative wind-proof mode, with its white noise, so you can’t detect the existence of weak wind noise at all.

In terms of smart functions that Huawei is good at, Huawei FreeBuds 5i also did not hold back. It is convenient and quick to pair close and open the cover, and the multi-device management and audio sharing functions of the audio center also make it more useful. It also comes with a low-latency e-sports mode, which can not only listen to songs and watch movies, but also adapt to the usage scenarios of e-sports games.

For young people, when choosing products under the premise of a limited budget, the functions do not have to be top-notch, but they must be comprehensive. And Huawei FreeBuds 5i is the all-around existence of the entry-level price of true wireless earphones. The price of more than 500 yuan, Hi-Res small gold standard certification, multiple modes of active noise reduction, smart functions, etc. are all available in one go. What kind of true wireless is the most worth buying? I think it’s the best answer.

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