Huawei reveals new flagship Freebuds 5 earbuds with an all-new curvaceous rebrand

Huawei FreeBuds 5 Press Image
(Image credit: Huawei)

Chinese manufacturer Huawei has revealed the latest version of its flagship FreeBuds wireless earbuds range, the eye-catching FreeBuds 5. The latest model comes equipped with end-to-end high-resolution sound, extended battery life, smart audio connectivity and a curved, teardrop shape designed for those “who crave effortlessly comfortable earbuds.”

Since it’s one of the most eye-catching and original we’ve seen in a while, let’s start with that fluid, somewhat amorphous shape. Huawei claims the redesign goes far beyond mere aesthetics, contending that the “futuristic droplet-shaped design” results from “tens of thousands of ergonomic simulations and hundreds of optimisations” made to ensure that the earbud’s curves and lines match the natural contours of the human ear. 

Speaking of aesthetics, the FreeBuds 5 come in three different colour choices: Ceramic White, Silver Frost or Coral Orange, whereas the charging case boasts a matte finish, a textured surface and an easy-opening mechanic.

This new shape should be conducive to better ANC and comfort. The FreeBuds 5 support tri-mic hybrid noise cancellation that adapts to a person’s ear shape, while intelligent dynamic ANC8 allows the earbuds to identify ambient noise and then adjust the noise cancellation in real time. The earbuds' three-mic arrangement, meanwhile, works with a “deep neural network (DNN) algorithm” that should remove unwanted noise during voice calls.

Huawei FreeBuds 5 Press Image

(Image credit: Future)

What about sound? The FreeBuds 5 are boosted by an ultra-magnet dynamic driver and fitted out with bass turbo technology to give bass tones that can go as low as 16Hz, according to Huawei. There’s also a claimed frequency response 50% higher than the previous generation of FreeBuds thanks to the dual circuit magnets. A triple adaptive equaliser, meanwhile, improves sound quality in real time “to eliminate discrepancies caused by ear canal shape, wearing status, and volume level.” This, claims Huawei, should be conducive to far more consistent high-quality sound, as should the buds' support of L2HC and LDAC Bluetooth codecs for hi-res audio.

The FreeBuds 5 are compatible with any iOS or Android smartphone thanks to an easy pairing mechanism via Bluetooth. There’s also an AI Life app for personalising controls and user experience.

Huawei’s new wireless earbuds also boast 30 hours of battery on a full charge. A five-minute charge can boost the Freebuds 5 up to two hours of listening, a 200% faster charging rate than the fourth generation could manage.

Huawei’s FreeBuds 5 will be available to buy on April 17th for £139.99/€159 from selected retailers and the Huawei store.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. During his time at the publication, he has written countless news stories alongside features, advice and reviews of products ranging from floorstanding speakers and music streamers to over-ear headphones, wireless earbuds and portable DACs. He has covered launches from hi-fi and consumer tech brands, and major industry events including IFA, High End Munich and, of course, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or trying to pet strangers' dogs.