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    HomeTechnologiesThe Huawei Freebuds Pro 3 are shiny earbuds

    The Huawei Freebuds Pro 3 are shiny earbuds

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    Sound, ANC and comfort are top
    The Huawei Freebuds Pro 3 are shiny earbuds

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    With the Freebuds Pro 3, Huawei sells top-class Bluetooth earphones that can compete at the top, especially in terms of sound and active noise cancellation. They do have a small weakness, but it is offset by a strong price-performance ratio.

    Last year, the Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 shone in almost every respect in the practical test by ntv.de. The successors are very similar, but are a little more convincing. Although they have inherited a small weakness, they are still among the best Bluetooth earphones that ntv.de has tried in 2023.

    The charging box is similarly compact to that of the Airpods Pro (2). The charging box is similarly compact to that of the Airpods Pro (2).

    The charging box is similarly compact to that of the Airpods Pro (2).

    (Photo: kwe)

    The design of the Freebuds Pro 3, which is protected against water and dust according to IP54, has been adopted practically unchanged. Only the earphones have become slightly lighter and the charging case has been slimmed down a little. The newcomers sit just as comfortably and securely in the ear as their predecessors and reliably seal the ear canal with one of four pairs of silicone attachments in different sizes.

    Excellent sound

    The sound produced by the plugs, each with an 11 millimeter driver plus an upstream tweeter, was already strong in the second generation, but Huawei gets a little more out of it through fine tuning. The stereo stage seems a little more airy and wider, the highs seem to be a touch more detailed. This is especially true if you use a player that supports the higher-resolution Bluetooth codecs LDAC or L2HC 2.0 (Huawei).

    The basses are extremely powerful and voluminous, but they never cross the line into intrusiveness. Due to the emphasized highs and lows, the mids are not as prominent as with other top earphones. But they are well-defined and the sound created in this way is very coherent.

    The associated app is clear. The associated app is clear.

    The associated app is clear.

    (Photo: kwe)

    If you don’t like that, you’ll find various presets and an equalizer in the pleasantly tidy app so you can make your own settings. What remains annoying is that you can’t find the Android application in the Google Play Store but have to get it directly from the manufacturer.

    Strong noise cancellation

    Huawei has also managed to surpass the already very good active noise cancellation (ANC) of its predecessors. The dynamic adaptation to the environment delivers first-class work, especially at lower frequencies. You can actually always rely on the automatic system, which intervenes audibly after a few seconds if disturbing noises occur.

    For hissing or other higher-frequency noise, the Ultra setting is more effective, although the typical inherent noise of the effect is also increased. It’s worth mentioning that the noise suppression works reliably even in windy conditions, something that many competitors fail at. The call quality during telephone calls also gives no reason to complain.

    Transparency mode available, easy to control

    The transparency mode (attention mode), on the other hand, works rather inconspicuously. You can easily hear what’s going on around you and have a conversation. But it doesn’t make a big difference to effects that are completely switched off. The activated voice mode with filtered out low frequencies improves the intelligibility of voices somewhat.

    The Freebuds Pro 3 require charging more frequently than other current Bluetooth earbuds. The Freebuds Pro 3 require charging more frequently than other current Bluetooth earbuds.

    The Freebuds Pro 3 require charging more frequently than other current Bluetooth earbuds.

    (Photo: kwe)

    The controls copied from Apple’s Airpods Pro can be learned quickly. You press the earbuds’ sticks once or twice to control playback or phone calls. If you press longer, you switch between ANC and transparency mode or activate voice assistants. To change the volume, swipe up or down on the inside of the appendages. There’s not much you can do about it, but there’s no reason to.

    No endurance runners

    The capacity of the earbud batteries has remained unchanged. So it’s not surprising that the Freebuds Pro 3 aren’t much more durable than their predecessors. With ANC activated, they last just 30 minutes longer, so they have to be put into the charging box after just over 4.5 hours of use. Their reserves are sufficient for another 17.5 hours.

    That’s not great, but it’s not critical either. In addition, empty earbuds or a completely discharged case can be quickly refueled in 40 or 60 minutes. The box can also be charged inductively, although this takes significantly longer at 2.5 hours.

    Conclusion

    At around 200 euros, the Freebuds Pro 3 are not necessarily inexpensive, but compared to this year’s ntv.de favorites, the Technics EAH-AZ80, the Apple Airpods Pro (2) or the Sony WF-1000XM5, they are significantly cheaper. Because they can keep up with the sound and ANC, the Huawei newcomers are an interesting and largely equivalent alternative to the top earphones. This also applies, among other things, to the Nothing Ear (2) or the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, which have significantly reduced in price.

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