Huawei steals Apple's thunder with over-ear FreeBuds Studio headphones for £300

(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei has just announced a wireless over-ear product that we've been waiting for since the start of the year – from Apple. 

If, like many, you'd been expecting the arrival of the Apple AirPods Studio any time now, meet instead Huawei’s first over-ear wireless headphones, Huawei FreeBuds Studio (yes, real name) – available for pre-order now. 

According to Huawei, the new premium-looking headphones boast a "hi-fi-level listening experience and up to 48kHz wide frequency high-resolution sound quality, to truly restore the rich details of high-resolution music". 

Along with the metallic matte finish, stainless steel cylindrical arm, customised four-layer 40mm polymer diaphragm driver and larger 65mm earcups, you also get three active noise cancellation modes, a dual connection and Huawei's self-developed L2HC wireless audio codec, which promises an audio transmission rate of up to 960kbps.  

On that ANC promise, the FreeBuds Studio include a built-in IMU environment sensor and new six-microphone system, to detect the user’s sound environment and offer three ANC modes, as well as an awareness mode and voice mode – which should allow you to stay aware (of road traffic, say) or have a clear conversation without removing the headphones. That all-new six-mic call noise reduction system promises to pick up voice more directionally, effectively focusing on voices and cutting out background noise, too.

Huawei FreeBuds Studio, blush gold finish arriving in November

(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei FreeBuds Studio, the company's first ever over-ear wireless design, features a four-channel, dual-mode and dual connection, which means you can simultaneously connect with two devices without needing to disconnect and re-connect. And it not only supports dual connection with Huawei all-scenario devices, but also with Android, iOS and Windows-based devices too.

The company says that the Huawei FreeBuds Studio are the industry’s first dual antenna over-ear wireless headphone that offer 360° omnidirectional Bluetooth signal coverage for a more stable connection. Even in places with strong signal interference (airports, say), the dual antenna design should bring a rock-solid connection and stability during phone calls.

Battery life? When fully charged, they can play music with ANC for up to 20 hours, or 24 hours if the ANC is turned off. A 10-minute quick charge should net the Huawei FreeBuds Studio five hours of music playback with ANC on, or eight hours if the ANC is turned off.  

The Graphite Black finish Huawei FreeBuds Studio is available to pre-order now for £299.99 and will be officially on sale from 3rd November at Huawei and selected retailers – however, if you pre-order from now until 22nd November, Huawei is letting you claim a free Huawei Watch Fit. The Blush Gold version of the headphones (above) will follow later in November. Global availability is still undisclosed, but that pricing works out at approximately $390 / AU$550 – much less than the rumoured $599 premium variant AirPods Studio. So, something to think about...


Read our recent Huawei FreeBuds Pro review

See all the best Apple AirPods alternatives

Know the best wireless headphones of 2020

Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.