Huawei has released the third version of its rather impudent AirPods copy. For the first time, wireless earplugs with an open design feature noise cancellation.
Huawei presented the wireless earbuds at the IFA tech fair in Berlin. The FreeBuds 3 are very similar to the popular AirPods that Apple introduced at the end of 2016. Huawei also has its musical note-shaped earplugs made of high-gloss white plastic, with a chromed ring at the end and recognizable shaped earpieces.
The FreeBuds 3 add a function that the AirPods do not yet have: noise cancellation. Huawei claims that it is the first to add active noise reduction in open-ended earplugs. Just like the AirPods, the FreeBuds are not in-ear and do not completely block the ear canal from ambient noise. This makes noise-cancelling functionality more complicated.
The wireless connection in the Huawei FreeBuds 3 is controlled by Huawei’s own A1 chip. AirPods use Apple’s H1 chip. The Huawei earbuds are the first to support the new Bluetooth 5.1 standard, which promises a longer battery life.
The loading box of the FreeBuds 3 also closely resembles that of the AirPods, only around. Huawei’s earplugs are also available in black. The box can be charged both wirelessly and via USB-C.
Rumour has it that Apple is also working on AirPods with noise cancellation, but they will probably not be announced until next year. Apple has entered a new market with the popularity of the AirPods. Wireless earplugs are the fastest-growing group of portable audio products, and Apple has the largest market share within that group.
It isn’t the first occasion when that Huawei improperly takes a gander at Apple. This is how many parts of the interface of Huawei phones look like iOS. The camera app from Huawei has been taken over almost one-on-one, just like the settings menu, the weather app, the Activity app and all sorts of icons on the home screen.
The price and availability of the Huawei FreeBuds 3 are not yet known.