Consumer Electronics, Gadgets & Accessories

Huawei FreeClip test: freedom for the ears

The Chinese manufacturer has often proven that Huawei can build excellent in-ear headphones. Most recently, for example, in the form of the FreeBuds Pro 3 (our test), which are at the forefront in terms of sound and functions. Now there is a genuine revolution from the Far East, as the new FreeClip follows in the footsteps of the bone-sound headphones from Shokz. At least a little. Our Huawei FreeClip test clarifies how well the open-ear design works and what the earphones have to offer.

Technical data

The product Huawei FreeClip
Bluetooth version 5.3
Bluetooth codecs SBC, AAC, L2HC and LC3
Maximum operating range 12m (without obstacle)
Battery life Up to 8 hours, 36 hours in total with charging case; (varies depending on volume level and audio content)
Charging time 1.5 hours (for charging case via USB-C)
Size of charging case (H x W x D) 59.77 mm × 51.95 mm × 27.35 mm
Weight 5.6 g per earbud; 56 g charging case & earphones
Most important functions Wear detection; Multipoint; IP54; Smart Wear Detection
Price € 199.00 *

Huawei FreeClip test: design and workmanship

  • Unique, elegant design
  • High-quality workmanship

In the compact, white box of the Huawei FreeClip, we find the silver-coloured, anodized charging case, which is somewhat reminiscent of the FreeBuds Pro 3, but is much more compact. It has a USB-C port on the bottom and a Bluetooth pairing button on the right-hand side.

However, things get really interesting once the charging case is opened, as this is when the innovative earphones are revealed. Unlike normal in-ear headphones or earbuds, the Huawei FreeClip consists of three core components:

On the one hand, there is the so-called Comfort Bean, which is actually reminiscent of a bean in terms of its shape. It is modeled on the human ear and sits behind the ear.

On the other side, on the other hand, is the so-called Acoustic Ball, which in turn is modeled on the funnel of the human ear canal and is positioned in it. The two components are connected via the so-called C-Bridge – a thin cable guide that also has an adaptive sensor that can continuously adjust the contact pressure.

The whole thing is packaged in a stylish black housing and makes an excellent visual impression. The earphones themselves weigh 5.6 grams each and are surprisingly compact.

Huawei FreeClip

The entire assembly is around 26 mm wide and 35 mm high. Thanks to the stretchable C-Bridge, the entire construction is surprisingly flexible and should fit snugly around the ear. The Huawei FreeClip is very robust and of high quality.

The Comfort Bean has magnetic contacts on the underside that hold it in the charging case. On the other side, the driver unit of the Acoustic Ball can be seen protruding directly into the ear.

Wearing comfort of the Huawei FreeClip

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Lightweight construction, very comfortable to wear

As already mentioned, the Huawei FreeClip are so-called wireless open-ear earbuds. This means that they are basically classic true wireless earbuds, but – and this is the special feature – the ear canal remains free.

This is somewhat reminiscent of bone-sound headphones such as the OpenRun Pro from Shokz (our test), but Huawei’s technology is different. Instead of transmitting the sound via bone sound, the FreeClip uses conventional drivers.

So much for now. Inserting the earphones takes a little getting used to at first. The C-Bridge is pulled over the ear. The Comfort Bean rests behind the ear, while the Acoustic Ball sits in the ear but in front of the ear canal. Thanks to the bridge design, the entire assembly can be moved and positioned quite freely.

The best possible placement is likely to be quite individual. Personally, I found the fit and sound best when I moved the Comfort Bean almost all the way down towards the earlobe.

Huawei FreeClip
The wearing comfort is excellent after a short period of familiarization

Regardless of the correct position, I can attest to the outstanding wearing comfort of the Huawei FreeClip. The design is so well thought out that you won’t even feel the earphones after just a few minutes. They nestle so naturally against the ear without pinching.

Nevertheless, the earbuds sit surprisingly firmly and don’t wobble a bit even when you move quickly. Another positive surprise from the test. I would have thought that they would only be suitable for sporting activities to a limited extent due to the flexible headband, but they fit tighter than many in-ear headphones that I have already tried.

Features

  • Modern Bluetooth 5.3
  • Multipoint
  • Smart wearer detection

The Huawei FreeClip use the modern Bluetooth 5.3 standard and thus achieve a range of around 12 meters to the audio source. The earphones are also IP54-certified and therefore protected against splashing water.

Another special feature is the so-called Smart Wear Detection technology, because – to put it bluntly – it doesn’t matter which FreeClip you put in which ear. The earbuds automatically recognize the side and adapt their sound accordingly.

A mono mode is also offered, thanks to which nothing stands in the way of enjoying music even with only one FreeClip inserted. The codecs L2HC, LC3, AAC, SBC are also supported, which should also allow high-resolution sounds to reach your ears.

A multiple connection with two devices is also supported. However, the manufacturer does not offer active noise suppression. However, this is hardly surprising given the open-ear design.

Operation of the Huawei FreeClip

  • Precise touch operation
  • Only a few actions directly on the earphones

The Huawei FreeClip is operated via touch control on the C-Bridge. Operation is divided into two and three taps, which trigger various actions depending on the side. These can also be at least partially customized in the Huawei AI Life companion app.

Double tapping allows you to play or pause in the standard settings, while triple tapping allows you to skip to the next or previous track. Double tapping also lets you accept or reject a call.

Huawei FreeClip
The flexible C-Bridge is also used for touch control, which works precisely

If desired, the voice assistant can also be activated by tapping twice, but unfortunately it is not possible to adjust the volume. Otherwise, operation is flawless and very precise. Inputs are recognized well and implemented quickly.

Battery life of the Huawei FreeClip

  • Excellent battery life of 8 hours
  • Charging via USB-C

The Huawei FreeClip are equipped with a 55 mAh battery, while the charging case has a battery capacity of 510 mAh. This gives the earbuds an excellent runtime of up to 8 hours of music playback for the earbuds alone and a full 36 hours in combination with the charging case. With the volume turned down, you can also get another hour of extra runtime.

Excellent values, which of course benefit from the lack of active noise suppression. It takes around one and a half hours to fully charge the earphones in the case. Ten minutes is enough to get the FreeClip ready for three hours of music playback.

Audio quality and microphones

  • Convincing, detailed sound
  • Clear mids and highs
  • Not overly rich bass due to design

Open-ear headphones always have a problem. The fact that the ear canal remains free means that they never achieve the full sound of their in-ear counterparts, as some of the noise escapes to the outside and does not end up in the ear to be heard.

Fortunately, this is different with the Huawei FreeClip, which surprised me extremely positively in the sound test. But first the technology: under the hood are 10.8 mm dual drivers that cover a frequency band from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

In terms of sound, the FreeClip are surprisingly clean and detailed, with clear highs and detailed mids. Even the bass reproduction is remarkable, although due to the design, the bass is of course not as powerful as with in-ears.

Nevertheless, I find the acoustics very convincing and rich in detail. The open shape naturally results in a certain airiness towards the top, which gives songs a wide stage. The fact is: listening to music with the open-ear headphones is fun.

Microphone quality

  • Good intelligibility
  • Very good ambient noise suppression
  • Decent microphones

The manufacturer promises “crystal-clear calls” for the Huawei FreeClip, although I cannot fully confirm this. The noise suppression works surprisingly well, filtering out loud ambient noise and wind excellently.

The person we are talking to can also be heard clearly and distinctly. However, our own voice is influenced a little too much by the AI functions and reproduced somewhat noisily.

Although this still ensures good voice intelligibility, other competitors sometimes offer significantly better microphones – especially in this price range. Nevertheless, the quality offered is of course perfectly adequate for the odd call on the go.

Microphone test recording of the Huawei FreeClip:

Microphone test recording Marshall Motif II ANC:

Microphone test recording Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3:

App connection: Huawei AI Life

Huawei AI Life is used as a companion app, which scores points with a tidy interface and already has a firmware update ready for us after the first start. The main page informs us about the battery status, for example, and allows us to switch seamlessly between two connected devices.

We can also use the “Sound effects” option to switch between four sound presets and amplify the treble or vocals, for example. However, we like the standard setting the best in terms of sound. Unfortunately, there is no option to create your own equalizer presets.

In the “Gestures” section, we can customize the touch control, play a sound under “Find device” to locate the FreeClip if we have misplaced it. In the settings, we can also deactivate wearer detection, switch on low audio latency or increase the maximum volume, although this robs the sound of a little detail and makes the sound a little scratchier.

Huawei FreeClip test: Conclusion

With the Huawei FreeClip, the manufacturer has indeed launched innovative and extremely stylish earphones that not only score points with their fresh design, but also excel in terms of wearing comfort.

The appearance, including the comfortable C-Bridge, offers the advantage that the ear canal remains free – which provides additional comfort, especially for spectacle wearers. So comfortable, in fact, that you won’t even feel the FreeClip after a short time.

The sound quality of the earphones is also surprisingly strong, and while they can’t quite keep up with the best in-ear headphones, they clearly outperform other open-ear headphones in terms of detail and sound quality.

This makes the Huawei FreeClip headphones recommendable headphones for on the go and for sports, which do not have any significant weaknesses. If you can do without active noise cancellation and don’t need the best possible microphone and sound quality, the FreeClip are definitely worth a look.

Huawei FreeClip Test: Silver Award

Huawei FreeClip

Workmanship
Comfort
Sound quality
Recording quality
Features
Value for money

89/100

Innovative and elegant open-ear earphones with excellent wearing comfort and amazingly detailed, rich sound that are equally suitable for at home and on the move.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The Chinese manufacturer has often proven that Huawei can build excellent in-ear headphones. Most recently, for example, in the form of the FreeBuds Pro 3 (our test), which are at the forefront in terms of sound and functions. Now there is a genuine revolution from the Far East, as the new FreeClip follows in the … (Weiterlesen...)

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