For those of you who don’t know, LDAC is an audio codec technology developed by Sony that can transfer audio data up to 990 Kbps via Bluetooth. Typically, current TWS only supports AAC at 250 Kbps and SBC at up to 320 Kbps. But make no mistake, AAC still has a better sound than SBC because of its better and more efficient compression algorithm. But for a fuller sound, LDAC is often the choice of many people.
Sound listening devices with Bluetooth connectivity that uses LDAC often have a full sound. Moreover, the music file being played has the same lossless compression as the original recording such as FLAC and ALAC. However, with the high data transferred, the connection is often unstable, and the sound is intermittent. Therefore, the Android system often lowers the bitrate to 330 Kbps from 990 or 660 Kbps in order to be stable.
Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 has the following specifications
|Specifications||Huawei Freebuds Pro 2|
|Weighs||6.1 grams per earbud, 52 grams case|
|Chipset||Besttechnic Shanghai BES2700|
|Driver Size||11 mm dynamic + planar diaphragm driver|
|Dimensions||29.1 x 23.7 x 21.8 mm (earbuds), 67.9 x 47.5 x 24.5 mm (case)|
|Battery||Capacity 55 mAh (per earbud), 580 mAh (case)|
Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 also has a myriad of premium features from a TWS. Call it Intelligence Active Noise Canceling, Awareness, HD Voice, Equalizer with 4 profiles, Clear voice, and wireless charging. With LDAC, this TWS also has certification from HWA and Hi-Res Audio Wireless. TWS was also born from the collaboration between Huawei and Devialet.
In this one device, Huawei uses the Betechnic BES2700 chipset from Betechnic Shanghai. This chipset itself still uses the 12 nm manufacturing process, making this TWS more power efficient. This chip itself has the ability to provide a small latency so it is quite suitable for use in playing games. And uniquely again, this TWS can be connected to 2 devices at once.
It looks like Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 also uses a semi-in-ear model. The earbuds made of silicone fill the ear cavity so that each ear tip is attached to the ear. If you shake your head, the two ear tips will not fall off. This also means that all sound that comes out of the driver will be delivered directly to the ear cavity and will not interfere with the sound of music.
Just like the TWS that Huawei has released to date, the Freebuds Pro 2 still uses a thick polycarbonate plastic material. When held, this TWS does feel solid so I’m not too worried if the device falls from my ear. The charging case also has a solid build so I’m pretty sure this device won’t be damaged when placed in a back pocket and crushed by body weight while sitting.
In this charging case, there is an LED light located near the USB-C connector at the bottom. An LED light will also be found when opening the top cover of this charging case. On the right, there is a button that is used for pairing. Besides being able to be recharged using a USB-C cable, Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 also supports charging via Qi wireless charging.
Each earbud has a speaker, microphone, and several sensors. At the top of the stem of each earpiece, there is a touch sensor that can be configured from the AI Life application which is quite sensitive. And at the bottom of this TWS rod, there is a connector for recharging the battery from the case. To prevent the wrong position on the ear, on the inside of the stem there are also R and L marks.
This TWS already uses a driver with dimensions of 11 mm which is larger than most similar devices. In addition, Huawei has also added a UHF planar diaphragm driver which will improve sound quality even better. Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 also has smart ANC, which will detect the type of noise so that it can adjust the level of silence in the user’s ear.
The batteries embedded in these two earpieces have a capacity of 55 mAh. With this capacity, Huawei promises to use up to 6.5 hours without ANC and 4 hours if ANC is turned on. For the charging case itself, a 580 mAh battery has been embedded which makes the total usage up to 30 hours without ANC or 18 hours with ANC for each use. Charging the battery from the charging case itself takes about 2 hours if the earbuds are inside.
Just like most Huawei TWS, the supporting software has the name Huawei AI Life. The application will display all the information available on Huawei Freebuds Pro 2. In addition, this application will also detect new firmware, can change gestures, and also turn on the LDAC function on some older smartphones.
A month full of music
I’m a believer in burn-in in a music driver. Including the TWS Huawei Freebuds Pro 2, the sound that was issued also changed from the first time I used it to a week after burning in. I also use this device almost every day when I am working at home while reviewing other devices. I have taken them several times for traveling and Alhamdulillah until now the two ear tips have not been lost because they fell.
The first time I connected this device to a smartphone, it turned out that no LDAC function was detected in the Bluetooth menu. It turns out that after seeing the AI Life application, this device can only use LDAC after the option is turned on. After a few days, it turns out that a new firmware notification has arrived which fixes the problem. Now, the LDAC function is available after I repaired it.
To try the plugged-in earbuds, I tried wearing them when there was a lot of noise. I try to listen to music while my kids are playing ball. But indeed, the sound can still be heard even though it is very small. At that time I tried to turn on the ANC and it turned out that the sound coming in from outside was very well muffled.
Testing takes place using the Apple Music application that already has an ALAC or lossless codec. Of course, with this codec, the sound produced is much more detailed and full without any compression that degrades the sound quality. I also set the 990 Kbps option for the LDAC bitrate in the developer options to get the highest data transfer possible. To maintain stability, I move away from the router so that the 2.4 GHz connection between WiFi and Bluetooth is not disturbed.
For information only, the use of the 990 Kbps bitrate is often interrupted if there is a 2.4 GHz connection from other devices. This makes the sound choppy and lag. By default, Android will pair in adaptive mode so it will increase and decrease the bitrate according to the circumstances. In conditions where a lot of 2.4 GHz band clashes, the bitrate will definitely drop to 330 Kbps which is actually still pretty good at transmitting sound.
To test the sound of this TWS, I again looked for The Ultimate Demonstration Disc which was specifically made for benchmarking sound. In If I Could Sing Your Blues by Sara K., I can clearly hear the distance between one instrument and another. Moreover, the clear sound of the trumpet sounded quite far and to the right behind.
In trying the transparency of the sound, I tried to play Played Twice from The Fred Hersch Trio. Unfortunately, with the default profile, the sound of the cymbals is not fully audible. After using the Treble Boost profile, the sound did become more real. This apparently does not reduce the existing bass sound like most TWS on the market.
Listening to Dive from Ed Sheeran is what I usually do to test the bass sound of a TWS. Many TWS will be over when the bass boom at the beginning of the song is played. But it turns out that Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 can provide the right sound and “kick”. If not, the Bass boost profile can be the right choice.
Next, I use this TWS to make calls via Google Duo. I chose this application because its codec called Lyra is able to provide clearer sound at a lower bitrate and is clearer than Opus. Apparently, the sound produced is very good and heard clearly. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to test it for calling on the side of a highway full of cars.
Then what if this device is used to play games? For this, I use a laptop and play the game Valorant which requires sound accuracy. For this, don’t forget to turn on low latency on Huawei AI Life on your smartphone. The result is indeed satisfactory where all sounds can be heard clearly and almost without any pause at all.
I played Valorant at 10 o’clock exactly and got a warning that the battery was running low at 1:15 o’clock. It is played with ANC turning on automatically. When trying to listen to music all day without ANC, this device can last up to 6 hours and 10 minutes when the battery warning is on. I am also quite comfortable using this TWS without worrying about running out of battery within a day.
Charging the battery from the charging case is indeed quite long. From completely empty, it took me more than 1 hour. For each ear tip itself, charging the battery from completely depleted in about 40 minutes by detecting via opening the charging case lid and viewing its status in AI Life. I just recommend charging the battery when the ear tips are used to listen to music at home or at work.
Looking for a TWS device that has LDAC connectivity in Indonesia is indeed quite limited. In fact, LDAC offers a full sound which is often better when compared to other AAC or SBC.
Because it comes with the LDAC codec, the sound provided by Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 is indeed very good. I am also very satisfied with testing it for about 1 month and almost never move to the collection of headphones that I have. I do this when listening to music and playing games. Unfortunately, ANC makes the battery life run out faster.
Huawei is selling the TWS Freebuds Pro 2 device for +- $250. Users also don’t need to buy the whole package if one of them is missing. If the earbuds are lost, users can buy them at a price of +- $100 per device. Meanwhile, if the charging case is damaged or lost after the warranty period, it can be purchased at a price of +- $50.
- Great sound with LDAC
- Small latency, very suitable for playing games
- Has a design that makes it impossible to fall off the ear
- Automatic ANC that detects the state
- Many features that make the sound even better
- Battery life when ANC is on is not long
- There are features that can only be used on EMUI only