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FreeBuds Studio: Is this Huawei’s answer to Sony’s WH-1000XM4?

During the launch of the Mate 40 series, Huawei has also introduced its first over-ear headphones, the FreeBuds Studio. The new headphones have active noise cancellation (ANC) and feature 40mm sound driver, which is similar to the Sony WH-1000XM4.

Just like the recently introduced FreeBuds Pro, the new headphones support intelligent dynamic ANC which automatically changes its noise cancellation mode depending on the environment you’re in. During the global announcement, Huawei boasts that it has “up to 40dB Leading ANC performance”.

If you need to be alert of your surroundings, there’s a pass through “awareness mode” which pipes in ambient sound. There’s also a Voice Mode which enhances human voices while suppressing unwanted background noise.

The headphones are equipped with a total of 8 microphones with 4 on each side. When making voice calls, it uses 6 microphones for noise cancellation. The FreeBuds Studio uses a 4-layer 40mm polymer diaphragm that has a frequency response range of 4Hz to 48KHz.

For better Bluetooth connectivity, it has dual-antennas for improved wireless reception. There’s also a low latency mode to reduce delay while gaming. There are touch controls on the sides which allows you to perform swipe and tap gestures to control your music playback, answer phone calls or to activate your voice assistant.

Huawei FreeBuds Studio

The new Huawei headphones support fast pairing as well as dual device connection. This allows the FreeBuds Studio to be connected to your phone and tablet simultaneously without manual switching required. On a full charge, the built-in 410mAh battery is rated to last up to 24 hours of music playback with ANC turned off or 20 hours with ANC turned on.

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Huawei FreeBuds Studio

The headphones charge via USB-C and a full charge takes 60 minutes. With just a quick 10-minute charge, you can get up to 8 hours of playback with ANC off or up to 5 hours of playback with ANC enabled.

The overall battery life isn’t as great when compared to the Sony WH-1000XM4 which boasts 30 hours of playback with ANC turned on. Unlike the Sony ANC headphones, the FreeBuds Studio is purely wireless and you can’t use it with a headphone cable. This can be a bummer if you plan to use it for in-flight entertainment systems.

Huawei FreeBuds Studio

The Huawei FreeBuds Studio is officially priced at RM1,199 in Malaysia. If you’re interested, it will be going on sale from the 30th October 2020. Although, the Sony WH-1000XM4 official retails for RM1,599, you can easily find one for less than RM1,100 during online sales.

Between the two, which would you pick? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alexander Wong