Huawei FreeBuds 5i review

About a year ago, our resource published a review of Huawei headphones - model 4i. In general, such

devices with the "i" index are inexpensive, but quite advanced. That is, you have a choice between the flagship Pro, the top with a digital designation (for example, FreeBuds 4) and affordable "i".

"Proshki" are usually intrachannel and are equipped with the mostlatest hardware and software. Those with numbers are usually inserts. And all sorts of 3i, 4i or 5i are again in-ear, but a little easier in terms of sound than the same FreeBuds Pro.

The Huawei FreeBuds 5i model received an activenoise reduction comparable to the level of removal of unwanted sounds with FreeBuds Pro or Pro 2. In addition, the gadget now supports the Lossless Bluetooth audio codec LDAC. And in general, 5i resemble FreeBuds Pro 2, only they cost half as much.

What is the difference between 4i and 5i models? Here's what:

  1. The battery capacity of the 5i case is larger: 215 mAh vs 410 mAh.
  2. Noise cancellation is significantly better in the 5i.
  3. Matte pebble-like case in 5i.
  4. Less weight per earbud in 5i.
  5. LDAC is added to AAC and SBC codecs in 5i.

The cost of Huawei FreeBuds 5i today is about 6,500 rubles.


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Table of Contents

  • Specifications
  • Contents of delivery
  • About the case
  • About the headphones
  • Landing
  • About sound
  • About noise reduction
  • As a headset
  • Working hours
  • Impression


  • Number of drivers: 1
  • Dynamic driver size: 10 mm
  • Earpiece dimensions: 30x21x23 mm
  • Case dimensions: 61x48x26 mm
  • Case weight: 33 g
  • Headphone weight: 5 g
  • Case battery capacity: 410 mAh
  • Headphone battery capacity: 55 mAh
  • Qi charging: No
  • Bluetooth version: 5.2
  • Active noise cancellation: yes, three modes
  • Colors: "black granite", grey-blue, ceramic white
  • Price: 6 500 rubles

Contents of delivery

Headphones come in a simple cardboard boxin cellophane, but without seals. Inside you will find a case with headphones, instructions in Russian, a warranty card, a USB cable to charge the case, ear pads in sizes L and S.

About the case

The device is available in three colors:white glossy, black and blue matte. The last two resemble pebbles, the plastic structure is speckled: the black case has white and gray dots, while the blue case has white and gray dots of different sizes. Looks attractive. A little rough to the touch.

If you take black or blue headphones, then people who understand such gadgets will understand that you have FreeBuds 5i, and not last year's 4i.

Dimensions FreeBuds 5i case - 61x48x26 mm. The last generation was a little longer. Without the "ears" the case weighs 33.4 grams. Pretty light, fits in any clothes.

On the body of the case, fingerprints are completely invisible, and indeed traces of the use of the gadget. This is very good: the device will look like new for as long as possible.

There is an indicator on the front side.It shows the battery charge and the pairing mode of the headphones with any other device, because the gadget can be connected not only to a smartphone, but also to a TV, tablet, laptop, and so on.

The USB-C connector is on the bottom, the pairing button is on the right. The back panel is flat, although there is no wireless charging.

Total: nice, durable and relatively compact case made of pleasant to the touch material.

Case FreeBuds Pro 2 and FreeBuds 5i

FreeBuds 5i and Sony LinkBuds cases

About the headphones

The case with headphones opens with little effort. The lid is held on tightly with magnets. It opens to the end and is fixed in the extreme position so that it is easy to get the headphones without holding the lid.

It closes with a pleasant loud click, it is deaf, dense. Apparently, the sound engineers had a hand in this as well.

Headphones are also held by magnets. Do not fall out, even if you turn over and shake the case.

Getting accessories is not very convenient. However, when you are dealing with the vertical position of the "ears", this position is always difficult.

The headphones themselves resemble the FreeBuds Pro 2, with the only difference being that the latter are glossy, chrome-plated, while the FreeBuds 5i are painted in the color of the case body.

The “leg” of the headphones is short and flat.It has a touch layer for music control. The volume is adjusted by "stroking" the middle part of the "legs". Two touches - play or pause. Hold for two seconds to turn ANC on or off. If you need to switch tracks, then you need to reassign the touches in the Ai Life program.

Each earpiece can be master.We provided a pressure sensor in order to track the position of the gadget: if it is squeezed, it means that it is in the ear and you need to play music. The pressure stops - the music is paused.

Connecting the headphones to each other is almost instantaneous - this is if you suddenly began to take out the accessories one by one with a big difference in time.

The manufacturer does not say how muchmicrophones installed in this model. I guess two: for conversation and noise reduction. It seems to me that if there were three microphones, then such a cool feature would definitely be indicated on the manufacturer's website.

P.S. The manufacturer confirmed the presence of two microphones.


As usual, a lot depends on individualstructural features of the auricle. For example, none of the in-ear headphones fit my wife. I am excellent in this regard. I don’t even particularly “khimich” with ear pads.

Landing FreeBuds 5i is not bad, almost not felt,the ergonomics are reminiscent of the previous generation. When compared with FreeBuds Pro 2, they are slightly different. I can’t say which is worse - somehow they sit in the auricle differently.

Just the other day I was looking at the Sudio N2 Pro. They have a longer sound channel, so they reach almost to the brain. Again, neither bad nor good, just a different type of placement in the ear.

The FreeBuds 5i does not put pressure on your eardrum. With sudden movements, the heads do not fly out of the ears.


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About sound

Here we only know that the accessoryhas a dynamic driver with a diameter of 10 mm. This was the size of the last generation. But by the nature of the sound, most likely, a different driver is used, well, or it was well pumped with the help of software.

Compared to the FreeBuds 4i, the 5i has an emphasis on low frequencies, although not strong, but still felt. This is good. A virtual stage has been added - a little wider.

I note that I tested the headphones with Asus Zenfone 8, since other test devices could not provide the proper quality. Especially vivo X90 Pro.

If you compare the 5i with the Pro 2, then the sound picture will be very similar. The only difference is that the Pro 2 has even deeper low frequencies, an even wider stage. But FreeBuds 5i still pleasantly surprised me.

Speaking about the transfer of vocals, it can be noted that heslightly shifted back, as if to the background. There is no obvious accent. But high frequencies have not gone anywhere. They do not protrude, they are quite harmonious and, as it were, merge with the voice. "Porridge" from the sounds is not observed.

In general, the FreeBuds 5i headphones play as balanced as possible.

There is an equalizer setting in the Ai Life app:standard, with an emphasis on bass or treble. There is a difference. I liked the bass setting better. But if you don’t like deep “bottoms”, feel free to put “Treble Boost” or “Standard”.

Of course, do not forget about the Bluetooth audio codec. The model works with LDAC. If the smartphone supports, then be sure to switch to it.

AI Life settings

About noise reduction

As I wrote earlier, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i modelin terms of the level of suppression of unwanted sounds, it resembles FreeBuds Pro 2. In the previous generation of FreeBuds 4i, “noise reduction” was like “if only it was”. He played almost no role.

In FreeBuds 5i, it works just brutally in the best sense of the word. Buzz and rustles are suppressed, loud sounds go somewhere far away.

In the subway, of course, it is difficult to remove the noise. But the clatter of the wheels takes the 5i to the background or third plan. You don't have to turn up the volume too much.

On the street you will hear nothing but music. There are some sounds in the car sometimes.

Noise reduction score - 8 out of 10.

Does the frequency response change during ANC operation? Yes a little.I almost can't tell by ear. But some resources have graphs that show that the changes are strong. But this is a "figure", in real life everything is somewhat different.

As a headset

Quite often I get asked about headphones for talking. Requirements: excellent noise reduction, loudness and intelligibility. I have a leader - FreeBuds Pro 2.

As for the FreeBuds 5i, you can hear clearly and completelylegible, the volume is slightly above average. Of the minuses: it is clear that you are talking on the headset - the sound seems to be from afar. Noise suppression is good, but intelligibility deteriorates in a noisy environment, which is logical.

Working hours

Each earbud has a 55 mAh battery. In the case - 410 mAh.

In my case, at about 50% volume, the headphone battery lasted 6.5 hours using ANC. Without noise reduction, you can count on 7.5 hours.

The case can charge the earphones 3 times, so it's easy to count somewhere around 20 hours.

In addition, it is worth mentioning separatelyphenomenon, such as the discharge of the battery of the case when idle, in the standby mode of connecting headphones to a smartphone. In the case of FreeBuds 5i, the case shrank by only 3-5% in a couple of weeks. At the same time, the headphones showed 100%. The case charges in an hour and a half.


For 6,500 rubles you get just a great solution:

  • powerful noise reduction
  • good sound with low and high frequencies,
  • support for LossLess LDAC codec,
  • long autonomy,
  • good work in headset mode,
  • nice design, quality materials,
  • IP54 protection.

As such, the Huawei FreeBuds 5i headphones have no cons. Nothing to even complain about.

If you are a user of FreeBuds 4i and even more so 3i, then I definitely advise you to "exchange" them for 5i - this is a completely different product in terms of sound and "noise reduction".

If you need to pump the sound to 100%, then take a closer look at the FreeBuds Pro 2 version. But it already costs much more.

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