HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Wireless Earbuds Review

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Wireless Earbuds Review

The Huawei FreeBuds 5i is the latest addition to the line of wireless earbuds from the Chinese tech giant. Building on the success of the 4i model, this new device aims to deliver significant improvements to the overall user experience. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the FreeBuds 5i, scrutinizing its key features and discussing the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons

Comfortable design, compact caseAI Life isn’t on the Google Play Store
Durable IP54 ratingOnly 3 EQ modes in the app
Adaptive ANCANC could be better
ANC (up to 42dB)
Effective noise cancellation


HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i
TypeTrue Wireless
CompatibilityAndroid, iOS
Bluetooth version5.2
Multipoint pairing2 devices
Range20 meters
Codec supportSBC, AAC, LDAC
Driver10 mm dynamic driver
Frequency range20 – 40000 Hz
Volume controlYes
Microphones2 for each earpiece,
noise reduction support
Noise cancellingANC, transparency, passive
Earbuds weight4.9 grams
Weight of case33.9 grams
Water resistantIP54
Battery life life with ANC6 hours for earphones
18.5 hours with case
Battery life without ANC7.5 hours for earphones
28 hours with case
Charging connectorUSB Type-C

Box Includes

The Huawei FreeBuds 5i comes in an attractive, flat round box, which is similar to its predecessor. The package includes the earbuds themselves, a USB Type-C charging cable, and two additional sizes of ear silicones, ensuring a comfortable fit for everyone.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Wireless Earbuds

The earbuds are available in three color options, and their sleek design fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Notably, the earbuds have a high-quality build and the box is robust enough to withstand everyday wear and tear without any extra twist.

In addition to this, the FreeBuds 5i earbuds are equipped with infrared sensors, two microphones on both sides, and specially designed silicones with a sponge inside for reduced contamination. The device pairs quickly with your smartphone, and the charging status is clearly visible on the box’s exterior.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i: Key Features

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC): The Huawei FreeBuds 5i comes with active noise cancellation, providing a seamless listening experience by reducing background noise in various environments.

Three Different Modes: The earbuds offer three different noise-cancelling modes: Comfort, Standard, and Ultra. These modes allow users to choose the level of noise cancellation that suits their preferences and surroundings.

IP54 Rated: The earbuds have an IP54 rating, making them water and dust resistant. This ensures that they are suitable for sports, running, and gym activities, offering protection against sweat and splashes.

Bluetooth 5.2: The latest Bluetooth version ensures a stable and efficient wireless connection with a wide range of compatible devices.

10 mm Dynamic Driver: Each earphone is equipped with a 10 mm dynamic driver, delivering clear and powerful sound with deep bass.

Long Battery Life: The earbuds can last approximately five and a half hours with active noise reduction and a little less than five hours without ANC. The charging case provides two additional charges, giving a total of around 15 hours of playtime.

Wireless Charging Support: The charging case supports wireless charging, offering convenient charging options.

Touch Controls: The earbuds feature touch controls, allowing users to play/pause music, answer calls, adjust volume, and switch between different noise-cancelling modes with simple gestures.

Customizable Noise Reduction: The Huawei AI Life app allows users to customize noise reduction settings, fine-tune the sound quality, and manage other features for a personalized experience.

Hybrid Noise Reduction: The earbuds use hybrid noise reduction technology, combining internal and external microphones to optimize noise cancellation performance.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Wireless Earbuds color options
Nebula Black,Isle Blue,Ceramic White

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i: Design

The earbuds themselves have a glossy exterior, and each earphone weighs a mere 4.9 grams, ensuring comfort during extended wear. These earbuds are IP54 splash-resistant, making them suitable for light outdoor activities.

Earbuds themselves have a glossy exterior, and each earphone weighs a mere 4.9 grams

Battery Performance

The FreeBuds 5i are touted for their impressive battery performance. According to Huawei, the earbuds can provide up to 7.5 hours of music playback with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) turned off, and about 6 hours with it on. Real-world testing has shown that the earbuds can play music at maximum volume for about 6 hours 11 minutes. If you listen at lower volumes, you can easily surpass the 7-hour mark, which is quite commendable. Additionally, the earbuds support fast charging, offering about 2 hours of playback with just a 15-minute charge.

Comfort and Fit

When it comes to comfort, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i do not disappoint. They fit securely in your ears and offer excellent insulation. Regardless of how much you shake your head, they stay put, providing an uninterrupted listening experience. Moreover, the earbuds work flawlessly with a range of smartphones, including the iPhone 13 Pro and Xiaomi’s Mi 9, without any disconnection issues.

Functionality and Controls

The FreeBuds 5i offer a variety of controls that can be customized through Huawei’s touch control application. You can check battery levels, adjust noise cancellation settings, update firmware, and even conduct an eartip compatibility test. Although there are a few limitations in terms of controls, such as the lack of a stop/start command, overall, they provide an intuitive and user-friendly experience. Notably, these earbuds also support dual-device connection, allowing you to switch between two devices seamlessly.

Huawei AI Life App

The Huawei AI Life app complements the FreeBuds 5i, providing users with additional control and customization options. Through the app, users can access features like battery life monitoring, Bluetooth multi-point pairing, and ANC mode switching. The app also allows for firmware updates, ensuring the earbuds are up to date with the latest improvements.

  • Touch and swipe operation 
  • Customisable features 
  • Interaction with Android 

Bluetooth multi-point pairing is a standout feature, allowing users to connect the earbuds to two devices simultaneously. The earbuds intelligently switch the audio source depending on which device is playing audio. This feature is especially convenient for users who frequently switch between devices like smartphones and computers.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

In terms of sound performance, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i, with their 10-millimeter dynamic drivers, deliver an above-average audio experience. The bass and treble are more dominant compared to the 4i model, providing a brighter sound coloration. The headphones also support high-resolution audio with the LDAC audio codec technology, ensuring high-quality sound transmission.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Wireless Earbuds insde case

There are three ANC modes available: Comfort, Standard, and Ultra. Comfort mode offers mild noise reduction, suitable for quieter environments. Standard mode provides moderate ANC, ideal for busier surroundings like public transport. Finally, Ultra mode offers aggressive noise cancellation for extremely noisy environments. Users can easily switch between these modes based on their needs.

Comfort Mode: The Comfort mode provides a mild level of noise cancellation. It is suitable for situations where users want to enjoy their music or calls without completely isolating themselves from the environment. This mode is ideal for daily use, such as when working in a quiet office or during light commutes.

Standard Mode: The Standard mode offers a more moderate level of noise cancellation. It effectively reduces background noise in environments with moderate to higher levels of ambient sound, such as bustling streets or crowded public transportation. This mode strikes a balance between noise reduction and awareness of the surrounding environment.

Ultra Mode: The Ultra mode delivers aggressive noise cancellation and is intended for use in loud and noisy environments. This mode is highly effective in blocking out loud noises like engine sounds, machinery, or airplane cabin noise. It creates a more immersive listening experience by minimizing external distractions.

Sound Quality

The FreeBuds 5i’s active noise cancellation performance is impressive, effectively blocking out ambient noise. The addition of the Awareness Mode or Transparent Mode enables users to converse comfortably without removing the earbuds.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Wireless Earbuds color

When it comes to sound quality, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i offer a clear and balanced audio experience. The earbuds deliver energetic bass without overpowering other frequencies, creating an enjoyable listening experience for various music genres. While the sound quality is not considered high-resolution compared to more expensive options, it stands out as a strong performer in its price range.

Microphone and Latency

Equipped with four microphones, the FreeBuds 5i ensures clear call quality even in noisy environments. As for latency, the earbuds offer a Game Mode, reducing lag to a minimum. Daily usage reveals no synchronization problem between sound and video.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Wireless Earbuds Earpieces

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i Alternatives

Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds are known for their excellent noise cancellation, high-quality sound with LDAC support, and a comfortable fit. They also feature a long battery life and touch controls.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

The Galaxy Buds Pro by Samsung provide active noise cancellation, excellent sound quality, and a comfortable fit. They are compatible with both Android and iOS devices and offer a wireless charging case.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds offer top-notch noise cancellation, premium sound quality, and a comfortable fit. They are an excellent choice for those seeking the best ANC performance.

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro

Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro earbuds come with customizable sound profiles, active noise cancellation, and a wireless charging case. They offer good value for their features.


In conclusion, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i wireless earbuds are a significant improvement over the previous model, offering enhanced sound quality, impressive battery life, superior comfort, and an array of useful features. While they do have a few minor drawbacks, these earbuds are a worthy consideration for anyone in the market for a reliable pair of wireless earbuds.