There is a group of wireless in-ears with neckbands, which are more of a “necklace” in style. Into this group, Huawei delivers a quite convincing product, the FreeLace Pro, which includes some good ideas.
The neckband of these in-ears is rubberised and feels pleasant against the skin. To the left and right of the leads to the headphones are two metal-coated blocks, one of which houses the battery with a specified 24-hour runtime, while the control buttons for volume and skip, start/stop/calls and main button are located on the other side. Now the clever bit: if you pull the FreeLace Pro apart on this side, a USB-C plug appears, so you can plug in a notebook or a smartphone with a USB-C connection, and charge the headphones. For older connections, there is a USB-C to USB-A adapter. The coupling can also be done this way; Huawei calls it “HiPair”. However, this is only supported by those Huawei and Honor smartphones that can be updated to EMUI 9.1 or higher. You can of course also do traditional pairing via Bluetooth 5.0, which works securely and reliably.
Three pairs of earmoulds in S, M and L which also have an ear hook are included. When you find the right size, the FreeLace Pro fits securely and tightly and provides a very good mechanical seal. The FreeLace Pro are also dust and splash-proof protected according to IP55. If you are at home in the Android world, you can install the app AI-Life, where you can manage updates, switch ANC and HearThrough and deactivate two functions that can be called up on the left headphone and the main button. The features in this app are rather limited. iOS-users will – apart for the update functionality – do fine without it.
To the point
The FreeLace Pros come with a powerful and crisp bass as standard, which forms a solid foundation on which the warm and wide mids can unfold with detailed handling, but unfortunately the highs overtake in the beginning. This can easily be mastered and improved with a few EQ settings, making the sound that comes out of the 14 mm drivers powerful, transparent, pleasantly open and readily absorbed by your ears, where it sounds fine and warm and doesn’t tire the listener. A long press on the back of the left in-ear activates the noise suppression function, which first of all – with a little gentle rustling – shifts the image to become a little more full-bodied towards the mids, and it almost sounds even better than without ANC. What the ANC then eliminates of outside noise can confidently be described as “the usual for this class”. That means that from high pitched street noise only the highest noise reaches your ears and a rumbling tram no longer rumbles, but leaves only a buzz. That is fine, solid and state of the art so far.
A further tap on the left ear then activates Awareness mode, what some call HearThrough or Transparency mode. In this mode, the outside world is brought back to the ears via the built-in microphones, which sound artificial due to the technology used and also make noise. However, this function is very helpful for quickly hearing the announcement at the station. However, the noise is even stronger when it gets windy. All in all, the FreeLace are unusually susceptible to wind, even when the functions are switched off.
Necklace in-ears are interesting for those who make frequent calls, because they are so comfortable to wear and the microphone is aligned relatively well to the mouth. The FreeLace Pros do quite well in this regard, even if the voice at the other end of the line seems rather artificial and choppy. However, sounds from the surroundings are very well faded out.
Not quite multipoint, but almost, the FreeLace Pro are able to remember the last two connections; for example, laptop and smartphone. You can then switch between them by pressing the main button twice. This takes a few seconds, but it is quite reliable and functional. The headphones can also be clipped together when not in use using the built-in magnets on the backs. This will disconnect the headphones from the device to save battery power. If you then disconnect the headphones, the connection is quickly re-established and you can continue listening.
The Huawei FreeLace Pro are good wireless in-ears with a neckband that include some clever and useful approaches to pairing, charging and switching connections between devices. Unfortunately, some of these features only work in the Android world and only with Huawei devices, which is not ideal, but other providers have similar limitations.
All in all, the FreeLace Pro offer a solid package with long running time, decent ANC and quality workmanship with good sound.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Weight with cable35,5 g
- Cable length20 cm
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of earplugs (S, M, L)
- Charging cable (USB-A to USB-C)
- available in black, white and green
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, proprietary wireless audio codec for low-latency gaming
- BT version: 5.0
- BT profiles: A2DP 1.3, HFP 1.6, AVRCP 1.5