Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review cover

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review – Refining An Awesome Classic

Huawei issues a variety of wireless earbuds every year to suit all price points and needs though the FreeBuds Pro series remains their most technologically sophisticated design.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review open

We managed to get our hands on their latest FreeBuds Pro 3 for review. After taking it around for a whirl over the past several weeks, here’s our Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review where we share if their premier wireless earbuds for 2023 are worth your money!

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review – Build and Design

Intended as the successor to last year’s Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2, the new Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 features their most advanced hardware and shoehorns all of their technological prowess in an even more compact form factor.

Compared to its predecessor, our Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review unit has a slightly smaller and more compact charging case while being lighter in the bargain too though this is with the tradeoff of a slightly smaller 510mAh battery in the charging case whereas its chunkier predecessor had a more substantial 580mAh. 

@hitechcentury We got a firsthand look and unbox the new Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 wireless earbuds that will be arriving in Malaysia soon with enhanced sound quality, better ANC and an IP54 rating too. Here’s what’s in the box! #unboxing #tech #fyp #hitechcentury #firstlook #racuntiktok #techtok #malaysia #longervideos ♬ France Accordion Swing – MIZUSATO Masaki

For the FreeBuds Pro 3, Huawei is going its own way with the design being purely of their own making rather than teaming up with Devialet or another audio outfit. You get a pebble-shaped curved charging case somewhat akin to the earlier FreeBuds Pro 2 with a chromed Huawei logo on the rear, hidden hinges that are smooth enough for one-handed opening as well as a USB-C charging port in the base of the case. Closer inspection also reveals a pairing button recessed in the right of the case along with a charging coil for wireless charging duties.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review USB-C

The earbuds of our FreeBuds Pro 3 review sample also have a similar design to its predecessor albeit with subtle improvements. One of the pet peeves we had with the earlier design was that its control system, which relied on a series of pinches along its main control stem, were inaccurate and finicky. 

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review earbuds

While the control system is maintained, the stems of the FreeBuds Pro 3 now feature a slight groove as well as textured knurling to make accessing the controls easier by touch. Fortunately, the IP54 splash resistance rating on the earbuds has also been retained so they’re able to survive a quick sousing in the rain though the charging case still lacks such a rating and will require protection from the elements..

Under the hood, the earbuds feature a similar dual driver setup as its predecessor with an 11mm quad-magnet dynamic driver paired with a planar diaphragm that has a frequency range of between 14Hz to 48kHz with each earbud also featuring a similar mic setup with two outward facing and one inward facing mic along with the upgraded addition of a bone conducting mic for better audio pickup.

What has been enhanced is the addition of the Pure Voice 2.0 algorithm for clearer audio calls and better noise cancelling via their updated Intelligent ANC 3.0 noise cancellation algorithm. There are also updates to offer support for LDAC and L2HC 2.0 high resolution audio codecs. The latter is only available if paired with a Huawei phone like the P60 Pro though.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review box contents

In terms of extra kit, our FreeBuds Pro 3 review unit comes with the usual which consists of the earbuds themselves preinstalled with a medium sized pair of ear tips, the charging case, a USB-C charging cable, a large, ultra small and small extra pair of eartips as well as the usual quick start and warranty paperwork. For Malaysia, Huawei is issuing the FreeBuds Pro 3 in your choice of a signature metallic green, white and, in the case of our sample, a shade of dark grey that is fairly fingerprint resistant.

Here’s how our Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review sample stacks up on paper…

Price RM899
Speaker 11mm dynamic driver + planar diaphragm driver
Frequency response range 14Hz – 48kHz
Supported audio formats  SBC, AAC, LDAC, L2HC 2.0 (with EMUI 13 or higher)
Microphones 3 silicon microphones + 1 bone conduction mic [per earbud]
Battery 55mAh [earbuds] / 510mAh [case] 4.5 hours w/ ANC, 22 hours with case | 6.5 hours without ANC, 31 hours with case | Wired and wireless charging
Size/Weight 29.1 x 21.8 x 23.7mm / 5.8g [earbuds] | 46.9 x 65.9 x 24.5mm / 45.5g [case]
Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review – Specifications

Overall, you get a slightly smaller and lighter charging case and earbuds, additional LDAC and L2HC 2.0 audio codec support, an upgraded bone conducting mic as well as better noise cancellation and voice call enhancement algorithms in the new generation FreeBuds Pro 3 at the same price as its predecessor at launch at RM899.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review – Setup and Performance

The ease of setup and pairing with a smartphone of non-Huawei origin has been improved significantly this time around and our Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review sample managed to easily pair up with a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 without issue along with a work PC on account of its dual device connection support which comes in handy especially for multitasking mobile workers.

While the earbuds can pair up with any Android or Apple iPhone via Bluetooth, you’ll need to install the Huawei AI Life app to be able to install firmware updates, customise the controls somewhat and gain access to more settings. It’s not as straightforward as it sounds though as you’ll have to first head on over and download the Huawei App Gallery app on their website first before downloading AI Life on an Android phone though you can bypass all the rigmarole on iOS and simply download the AI Life on the Apple app store.

Out of the box, getting my  Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review unit fitted was a doddle and the medium sized pair of eartips fit like a glove. If you’re not quite sure, you can also use the AI Life app to check if the ear tips are properly fitted. In the app itself, you’re also able to select to turn Noise Cancelling or Awareness mode or or keep both off. You’re also able to pick from one of six predefined sound settings with your choice of a general purpose ‘Default’ mode, a Bass boost, a Treble boost, Voices, Symphony and Hi-Fi Live for concert tracks.

The AI Life app also allows users to dial the intensity of noise cancelling with four selectable modes. By default, it’s set to Dynamic mode which allows it to adjust to most scenarios though you can opt for Cozy for quiet places like libraries, General as you’d surmise for normal usage in urban areas like a train station or airport and an Ultra mode for really noisy areas with heavy background noise like a busy mall or plane engine noise on a flight. Naturally, noise cancellation performance is also contingent on ensuring that you get a good seal with your eartips.

Another feature that the AI Live app allows users to manipulate are the controls. Most are baked in and mirrored on both earbuds with a series of pinches controlling playback and to make or cancel calls while stroking the stem allows for volume control though you can modify them slightly. Unfortunately, even with the addition of knurling and a slight groove on the control stem, there’s still a bit of a learning curve required to use it rather than the conventional means of tapping a control surface like that used in other earbuds.

When put to the test, my Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review unit managed to exceed even the impressive capabilities of its predecessor with improvements in sound staging while offering slightly richer bass, better treble and much better detail in Default mode. Vaughan Williams’s ‘The Lark Ascending’ and its subtle details were rendered due justice while the live version of ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles proved to be pleasantly balanced with equal weight to the intricate guitar work and vocals. 

A high resolution FLAC file of Enya’s ‘Orinoco Flow’ was a treat with her ethereal vocals and layered synths and composition sounding wonderful to the ears. While it’s hard to put an empirical number down in terms of acoustic improvement over its predecessor, this is nevertheless an extremely accomplished design in its own right with excellent performance.

Voice calls were also well handled with clear detail even in the middle of a busy street in downtown Bukit Bintang. On that note, our Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review unit’s noise cancelling capabilities have slightly improved over its predecessor in Ultra mode with more robust handling of repetitive white background noise like engine noise from a bus and most of the noise in a train including conversations during rush hour though the open fit nature of its design means that some noise such as the especially loud tannoy announcements still leak through.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review eartips

Unfortunately, one of the biggest shortcomings of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 – it’s battery life – aren’t improved on in its successor. Our  Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review unit with noise cancelling on and constant music playback with a few minutes of voice calls managed to offer just over four hours and about 10 minutes of use before needing a charge. On paper, the FreeBuds Pro 3 is able to offer 22 hours of use inclusive of the charging case with ANC on which works out to about 4 additional charges with a bit extra. 

This works out to using up full charge a day which covers the work commute with enough juice to last for a regular work week without recharging. If usage includes time at work, this will likely require a midweek top-up though it charges fast enough with a full charge in an hour or so via the USB-C port.

Should you buy the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3?

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 is a more refined and improved version of its predecessor the FreeBuds Pro 2 and punches above its price point with enhanced sound performance and noise cancelling capabilities that can take on the best in the market though battery life remains middling at best. 

Hitech Century Gold Award

Existing owners of the FreeBuds Pro 2 may not find the upgrade to the new version a compelling proposition seeing the comparatively modest improvements but for those looking to experience the best that Huawei currently has to offer, the FreeBuds Pro 3 comes highly recommended.

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 Review front

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 review unit courtesy of Huawei Malaysia. For more details and to purchase please visit their official online store at

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Value
  • Comfort

Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3

The Huawei FreeBuds Pro 3 is a more refined and improved version of its predecessor the FreeBuds Pro 2 and punches above its price point with enhanced sound performance and noise cancelling capabilities that can take on the best in the market though battery life remains middling at best. 


Lighter and smaller design than FreeBuds Pro 2

IP54 dust and water resistance

Improved noise cancelling and richer sound


Battery life could be better

Finicky pinch controls have a high learning curve