Review: HUAWEI FreeBuds 3

Elevate your world with immersive sound and quiet focus using HUAWEI FreeBuds 3, innovative earbuds featuring open-ear active noise cancellation.

By Sylvester Sy
10 Min Read
Huawei FreeBuds 3
9.1 World's first truly wireless open-fit earbuds with active noise cancellation
HUAWEI FreeBuds 3: Verdict
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The world of true wireless earbuds is constantly evolving, and the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 has entered the scene with a unique proposition: open-ear comfort and innovative noise cancellation. Ditching the traditional ear tips and stems, these buds embrace a “Dolphin Bionic design” that promises a comfortable and secure fit while maintaining some level of ambient awareness. But can this unconventional approach deliver a satisfying audio experience?

Intrigued by this bold innovation, we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a pair of HUAWEI FreeBuds 3. Over the past two weeks, we’ve put them through their paces in various scenarios, from daily commutes and work calls to leisure listening and even light workouts. Now, we’re ready to share our comprehensive review, helping you decide if these open-ear earbuds are the right fit for your needs.

Dolphin Bionic design of the new Huawei Freebuds 3 open-fit earbuds.
Dolphin Bionic design of the new HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 open-fit earbuds.


Straight out of the box, you’ll find the Freebuds 3 charging case with the earbuds inside, Type-C cable, some paper materials and a piece of paper with QR code when scanned will download the HUAWEI AI Life app, which is the mobile companion app for HUAWEI smart devices.

Huawei FreeBuds 3
What’s inside the box?

Design And Build Quality

They come in a sleek glossy polycarbonate finish charging case. It also has IPX4 water splash resistance which means that it is safe to use during workouts.

Huawei FreeBuds 3

From how it looks, the FreeBuds 3 looks similar to Apple’s AirPods 2 but better. The earpieces of the Carbon Black I got also have a silver chrome cap at the end of the stem and is a bit bigger than the AirPods 2. It also uses the Bionic Dolphin Design with curves to let the buds sit deeper in the ear and let you enjoy better audio quality.

The rounded case is smaller than the palm of your hand and can easily fit into your pockets. The case is compatible with wireless and USB-C charging. The new HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 is so sleek and stylish, but like most devices with glossy material this device is a fingerprint smudge magnet. Unfortunately, this also means they tend to pick up hairline scratches quite easily.

Noise cancellation and Sound Quality

Usually, active noise cancellation is limited to in-earbuds and headphones, but Huawei was able to release the world’s first truly wireless open-fit earbuds with active noise cancellation. Huawei said that it offers up to 15 decibels of ambient noise reduction — and it’s immediately felt once enabled (you’ll need to tap on the left earbud twice to activate or deactivate noise cancellation). Noise cancellation works by analyzing the noise in your environment through the microphones on each earbud, creating a waveform of the noise and then creating a counter, phase-inverted waveform to cancel out the noise. It works best for low-frequency noise such as people talking beside me or the sound of the electric fan.

Huawei FreeBuds 3 features a 14mm high-sensitivity dynamic driver with a dedicated bass tube on each earpiece.
Huawei FreeBuds 3 features a 14mm high-sensitivity dynamic driver with a dedicated bass tube on each earpiece.

With the use of the Huawei AI Life App2 from the Play Store (or Huawei’s App Market) you can control what happens with the double tap gestures (like you can disable this or set it to invoke the voice assistant) or adjust the noise-canceling depending on your ear shape. Providing the user with a more customized noise-canceling solution.

Huawei FreeBuds 3


The HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 boast a battery life that caters to moderate use. Each earbud itself packs a 30mAh battery, which translates to roughly 4 hours of playtime on a single charge. This may not be the longest among true wireless earbuds, but it’s sufficient for commutes, workouts, or casual listening sessions.

The true star of the show, however, is the charging case. Equipped with a 410mAh battery, it provides an additional 16 hours of playback time, effectively extending your listening enjoyment throughout the day. Even if you’re a heavy user, the combined playback time of 20 hours should comfortably cover your needs.

And when it comes to charging, the Freebuds 3 offer convenient options. The case itself can be replenished via USB-C at a speedy 6W, ensuring a quick turnaround time. But if you’re on the go and forget your cable, worry not! The case also supports wireless charging at 2W, allowing you to power up using your smartphone or a compatible wireless charging pad.

This wireless charging capability is particularly useful when paired with a phone like the Huawei P30 Pro that supports reverse wireless charging. Simply place the charging case on the back of your phone, and it will draw power wirelessly, eliminating the need for cables altogether.

Overall, the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 offer a decent battery life with the convenience of fast wired charging and versatile wireless charging options, making them a practical choice for everyday use.

How to Connect HUAWEI FreeBuds 3

Connecting your Freebuds 3 to any Bluetooth device is a breeze. Simply open the charging case (with the earbuds inside), press and hold the button on the side for two seconds until the LED indicator blinks, and they’ll enter pairing mode. Then, head to your device’s Bluetooth settings and search for “HUAWEI FreeBuds 3” to complete the connection.

Pairing your Huawei FreeBuds 3

However, if you’re a Huawei smartphone user, you’ll experience an even smoother process, similar to Apple AirPods and iPhones. Just open the Freebuds 3 case near your Huawei smartphone (like the P30 Pro in this case) and a convenient pop-up will appear on your screen, prompting you to “Connect” to the earbuds. Tap the button, and voilà – your Freebuds 3 are instantly paired via Bluetooth.

Your phone might even suggest a firmware update during the initial pairing, as I experienced with version This is a valuable feature not commonly found in other earbuds, as it ensures your Freebuds 3 can stay up-to-date with the latest improvements, similar to your smartphone.

In essence, pairing the Freebuds 3 is straightforward for everyone, but Huawei users enjoy an extra layer of convenience thanks to the intuitive pop-up feature and potential firmware updates.


After a week of testing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3, I’m pleasantly surprised by their overall performance. The sound quality is impressive, delivering a satisfying listening experience for music and audiobooks. The comfortable fit allows for extended use without fatigue, further enhanced by the long battery life.

Huawei FreeBuds 3

For Huawei smartphone users, the Freebuds 3 truly shine. They seamlessly integrate with Huawei devices, unlocking features like automatic pause/play when removing the earbuds. While not the cheapest option at Php 8,990, the Freebuds 3 offer compelling value compared to pricier alternatives like AirPods 2 and Pro.

Good news! HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 is now on SALE and you can purchase one for only Php 6,990 Promo is valid until February 18, 2020 at Abenson only.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 Specs Specs

  • CPU: 356MHz Kirin A1 audio processor
  • Driver: 14.2mm dynamic driver
  • Microphone: Bone voice sensor
  • Battery: 30mAh per earpiece w/o case, 410mAh w/ case and 2W Qi wireless charging
  • Sensors: IR sensor
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Others: USB-C, ANC, double-tap control, pop-up, and pair
  • Colors: carbon black, ceramic white, and valentine red edition
  • Dimensions: 41.5 x 20.4 x 17.8 mm (per earbud), 60.9 x 21.8 mm (case)
  • Weight: 4.5 g per earbud, 48 g w/ case
  • Price: PHP 8,990

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Huawei FreeBuds 3
HUAWEI FreeBuds 3: Verdict
World's first truly wireless open-fit earbuds with active noise cancellation 9.1
Design and Build Quality 9
Sound and Performance 9.5
Battery Life 9
Price Value 8.7

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