Huawei Free Buds 3 pack a feature you won’t find on the AirPods

Instead of unveiling the much-rumoured Mate 30 at IFA 2019, Huawei has instead unleashed its Free Buds 3 wireless headphones – and they’re coming for the AirPods.

The biggest feature these new Huawei buds boast, that you won’t find on Apple’s super-popular AirPods, is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) – and that could end up making the Free Buds 3 a superior buy. Noise cancellation blocks out pesky noise from your surroundings and Huawei said these buds can reduce ambient noise by 15db.

Read our Huawei Free Buds 3 review: Hands on

Considering these aren’t the usual in-ear style of most other small ANC earphones, that claim is pretty impressive.

Sadly we haven’t been able to properly test out the Free Buds 3 yet, so we can’t directly say how good the cancellation tech is. We also didn’t get the chance to listen to anything through the Free Buds, however Huawei did say there’s a 14mm high sensitivity dynamic driver with a dedicated ‘bass tube’ inside.

What we can say is that Huawei certainly isn’t skimping on features this time around. The Free Buds 3 are packing the new Kirin A1 chip – this is Huawei’s first piece of silicone that’s built especially to power the brand’s wearable range. 

Expect to see it not just in these buds but in future watches, traditional over-ear headphones and even smart eyewear. The chip features Bluetooth 5 and Bluetooth Low Energy 5 along with a dual channel BT connection that leads to lower latency and improved power consumption when compared to the previous Free Buds.

As these are truly wireless earphones, part of the package is a handy circular case that’ll protect the buds and keep them charged when not in use. You can pick this up in either black or white and it’s small enough to easily slip into your pocket.

Huawei said you should expect to get four hours per charge from the buds themselves, with the case offering an extra 20 hours. Once you’re completely depleted, the whole thing can be charged either wirelessly or with a USB-C cable, with a full wired charge taking just 30 minutes. 

You can also utilise the clever reverse charging feature on the Mate 20 Pro, P30 Pro or even the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 to wirelessly recharge the Free Buds 3 with your smartphone.

We’re still a little unclear about how the pairing process will work with phones not directly made by Huawei, so we’ll update this article when we know more details. We’re also still waiting for pricing and release date information to be confirmed.

September is looking like a busy month for the Chinese company as the brand’s next flagship – rumoured to be the Mate 30 – could be being unveiled at an event in Munich on September 19.

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