HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i review: Excellent active noise cancellation for a fair price

HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i review: Excellent active noise cancellation for a fair price
Rating

The world is filled with a variety of earbuds, so many in fact that you can’t keep up with their numbers and promises. However, a few manufacturers stand out of the crowd and regularly release new products that manage to impress. One of them is HUAWEI, which has a solid track record of producing high quality earphones. Their latest release is the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i. Having had the pleasure of testing these true wireless earbuds for the past couple of weeks, I must say they certainly live up to the hype. The FreeBuds 6i promise solid audio quality and active noise cancellation, all while maintaining an attractive mid-range price. Without further ado, here’s my personal take on the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i:

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HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i: Who are they good for?

These TWS (True Wireless Stereo) earbuds are a great choice for:

  • Those who are seeking earbuds that offer good audio quality
  • Users who want efficient active noise cancellation
  • Anyone looking to get high-quality earbuds for a fair price

Pros and cons

In my opinion, these are the main pros of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i:

See price on:
  • Exceptionally good active noise cancellation (ANC)
  • Good audio quality with a punchy bass
  • Touch gestures that are easy to use
  • Small, lightweight, and comfortable to wear
  • Compact charging case
  • IP54-certified for dust and water resistance

The main drawback of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i is their fairly short battery life. However, this is understandable, given the processing power needed for the active noise-canceling algorithm.

Product rating 4.5/5
Verdict

Verdict

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i earbuds have a pleasant design and deliver good audio quality. Plus, they’re comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Sure, there are other earbuds on the market that might offer a few more features or longer battery life, but in my experience, none in this price range come close to matching the active noise-cancellation capabilities of the FreeBuds 6i. So, without reservations, I recommend the FreeBuds 6i to anyone searching for a high-quality pair of earbuds with ANC at a fair price. With this product, HUAWEI managed to strike the right balance between performance, comfort, and cost.

Unboxing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i are packaged in an elegant white cardboard box featuring a photo of the earbuds, the company logo, and the product name. The packaging also highlights the Hi-Res Audio Wireless certification, which tells you right from the start that you’re going to enjoy high-quality audio.

The packaging of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The packaging of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

Inside the box, you'll find the earphones in their charging case, a short 23 cm USB-C charging cable, two pairs of ear tips (sizes S and L, with M tips pre-mounted on the earbuds), a quick start guide, and a warranty card.

Unboxing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

Unboxing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The unboxing experience is pleasant, and everything inside the packaging seems of excellent quality. You receive all you need in order to get started and enjoy the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i immediately.

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Design and hardware specifications

The charging case of the FreeBuds 6i features an oval shape and a slightly reflective plastic surface, with the HUAWEI logo and a small LED on its front. Measuring 48.2 x 61.8 x 27.0 mm (1.90 x 2.43 x 1.06 inches) and weighing approximately 34 grams (1.20 oz) with the earbuds inside, the case houses a 510 mAh battery. This battery provides up to 35 hours of playback without noise cancellation and 20 hours with it. Charging is done via a USB Type-C port, taking about 40 minutes for the earbuds (while in the case) and around 1 hour for the charging case (wired).

The charging case of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The charging case of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The earbuds are available in White, Purple, and Black. They are lightweight and compact, weighing 5.4 grams (0.20 oz) each and measuring 31.4 x 21.3 x 23.7 mm (1.24 x 0.84 x 0.94 inches). Each earbud has a battery capacity of 55 mAh, ensuring up to 8 hours of music playback without ANC and 5 hours with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) before needing to be placed back in the charging case.

Colors available for the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

Colors available for the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The FreeBuds 6i support gestures for touch control and are compatible with Bluetooth 5.3, offering multi-device connections. The sound quality is ensured by 11 mm quad-magnet dynamic drivers with a frequency response range from 14 Hz up to 40 kHz.

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i earbuds

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i earbuds

Additionally, the earbuds feature significant technological advancements, including an improved noise-filtering chamber, better ear tips, and enhanced Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The latter uses three microphones on each earbud and HUAWEI’s Intelligent Dynamic ANC 3.0 technology, which builds noise cancellation parameters in real time. This promises a 100% improvement in noise-cancellation performance, with an average full-range noise cancellation of 27 dB and ANC capabilities up to the 5 kHz frequency range.

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i feature superior ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i feature superior ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)

It’s also worth noting that the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i are IP54-rated for dust and splash resistance, making them suitable for various activities, though not for intense sports. Oh, and if you want to check out all the official specs and features, visit this webpage: HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i.

Overall, the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i are impressive. Their compact design, advanced active noise-canceling features, and robust specifications are remarkable, especially in this price range where such features are quite uncommon.

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Using the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The first interaction you have with the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i, pairing them to your smartphone, is straightforward. After you unbox them, it suffices to open the charging case for the earbuds to enter pairing mode. Later on, if you need to pair them with another phone or device, you have to press the small button on the right side of the case for two seconds or more.

Pairing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i is easy

Pairing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i is easy

While you can start using the FreeBuds 6i immediately after connecting them to your smartphone or device, I recommend also installing the HUAWEI AI Life app. For iPhone users, the app is available on the Apple App Store. For Android users, it's not listed on the Google Play Store, but you can download it directly from HUAWEI’s official website.

The HUAWEI AI Life app for Android

The HUAWEI AI Life app for Android

Once the app detects the FreeBuds 6i, you'll gain access to a series of configuration options that are easy to understand and change. These allow you to control noise cancellation, enable predefined equalizers, create your own custom equalizer, and set the actions for touch gestures.

HUAWEI AI Life lets you configure the FreeBuds 6i

HUAWEI AI Life lets you configure the FreeBuds 6i

Additionally, the AI Life app also manages firmware updates, which you should install each time they’re available. They will ensure you always have the latest features and improvements for the best experience with your earbuds.

Two firmware updates for the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

Two firmware updates for the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

The earbud stems support various touch gestures for call and music control. You can double-tap, triple-tap, press and hold, or swipe. These gestures allow you to answer or end calls, play or pause music, skip tracks, switch from noise cancellation to awareness or passive modes, and adjust the volume.

Touch gestures for the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

Touch gestures for the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i

In terms of ergonomy, I found the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i to be very comfortable thanks to their lightweight and compact design. Even after about two hours of continuous use, they didn’t cause my ears to hurt. Moreover, despite their small size, the ergonomic shape of the tips helps them stay securely in place. In my regular activities - walking, cycling, and hiking - they didn’t fall out. They didn’t fall or make strange noises when running either. Obviously, they also stayed put when I was listening to music while working on my laptop.🙂

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I’m happy with the audio quality of HUAWEI’s FreeBuds 6i. The bass feels pretty powerful for such small devices, the mids are warm, and the high tones are clear. Furthermore, the active noise cancellation is nothing short of impressive, blocking many of the ambient sounds. During my tests, both on the street and at home, they significantly reduced traffic noise and background sounds like my daughter’s TV shows. This is more than you can expect from similarly priced earbuds from competing brands.

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i are comfortable to wear

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i are comfortable to wear

Regarding autonomy, I’d say that the battery life of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i is decent. With ANC enabled, they lasted for about four hours at 60% volume. Disabling ANC extended playback time to about seven hours. These are acceptable numbers given the high-quality listening experience and the price tag of the earbuds.

Overall, the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i offer an excellent combination of comfort, audio quality, and advanced features, which makes them a great choice for those seeking high-quality wireless earbuds for a decent price.

What’s your opinion about the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i?

Now you know what the HUAWEI FreeBuds 6i can do and how much they impressed me. I have to say they’re a pretty great choice for those looking for a well-made device with top-notch active noise cancellation at a fair price. So, what do you think? Are you considering getting the FreeBuds 6i, or are you an audiophile who’d rather spend more money on something high-end like the HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 3? Share your thoughts in the comments below - I’d love to hear from you!

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