Huawei FreeBuds 5 VS Apple AirPods 3 Bluetooth Headphones: Features, Differences and Prices

Although Huawei’s “smart” cellphones have run out of steam because they lack Google services, other Huawei products such as laptops and wireless Bluetooth headsets continue to draw attention. Of the latter, the Huawei FreeBuds 5 are one of the latest additions to their catalog and promise great sound quality seasoned with a very eye-catching design. Are they an AirPods 3 alternative to consider? We put them face to face to know their characteristics, differences and prices.

With AirPods 3 and Huawei FreeBuds 5

Huawei Freebuds 5


Apple Airpods (3rd generation)

Huawei FreeBuds 5

dimensions and weight

3.08 x 1.83 x 1.93 cm and a weight of 4.28 grams

‎3.24 x 1.76 x 2.28 cm and 5.4 grams


  • adaptive equalization
  • Apple Custom High Excursion Transducer
  • Custom High Dynamic Range Amplifier
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
  • 11mm dual magnet dynamic driver
  • Frequency response range from 16 Hz to 40 kHz
  • Dynamic equalizer
  • Active noise cancellation
  • AI noise cancellation on calls


Skin sensor, accelerometer with motion detection, accelerometer with voice recognition and pressure sensor

Acceleration sensor, infrared sensor, hall sensor and touch sensor


Two microphones with beamforming technology and inward-facing microphone

three microphones


Bluetooth 5.0 and H1 chip

Bluetooth 5.2, dual connection and supports proximity pairing notification and wear detection (HUAWEI devices with EMUI 10.1 or later)


  • Press once to play, pause, or answer a call
  • Press twice to skip to the next song
  • Press three times to go back to the previous song
  • Press and hold to activate Siri
  • Say “Hey Siri” to listen to a song, make a call, get directions and more
  • press and hold
  • swipe up/down
  • double tap


  • Up to six hours of audio playback on a single charge (up to five hours with spatial audio enabled)
  • Up to four hours of talk time on one charge
  • With the case up to 30 hours of audio playback and up to 20 hours of talk
  • Up to five hours of music playback with noise cancellation off
  • Up to 3.5 hours of music playback with noise canceling on
  • Up to 30 hours of music playback with the case on and noise cancellation off
  • Up to 20 hours of music playback with the case on and noise canceling on


Sweat and water resistant (IPX4)

Water and dust resistance (IPX4) (the case is not)


From 209 euros

159 euros

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5 Wireless Bluetooth 5.2 Headphones, iOS & Android, Hi-Res Certified, Open-Fit Design, Dual Connection, 30-Hour Battery Life, IP54, White

HUAWEI FreeBuds 5 Wireless Bluetooth 5.2 Headphones, iOS & Android, Hi-Res Certified, Open-Fit Design, Dual Connection, 30-Hour Battery Life, IP54, White

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) with Lightning Charging Case (2021)

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) with Lightning Charging Case (2021)

  • design: Many of the Bluetooth headphones sold take their cues from Apple’s AirPods, but Huawei designed the FreeBuds 5 to stand out from the crowd. This design is also designed to offer comfort thanks to being open fit and breathableoptimized by tens of thousands of ergonomic simulations.
  • sound engineering: Apple has reserved active noise-cancelling for its AirPods Pro, though it’s packing this third generation of spatial audio with dynamic head-tracking and adaptive equalization. The Huawei FreeBuds 5 have dynamic equalization, active noise cancellation and noise reduction on artificial intelligence calls.
  • connectivity: Huawei FreeBuds 5 are compatible with both iOS and Android, although you’ll need to download the Huawei AI Life app to get more out of them. The best experience is with HUAWEI devices running EMUI 10.1 or later as the proximity pairing and wear detection features are unlocked. They have bluetooth 5.2 and dual connection. For their part, the AirPods 3 since then have Bluetooth 5.0 and an H1 chip for a faster and more efficient connection with Apple devices are designed to be used with them, not Android or Windows.
  • battery: The 3rd generation AirPods do not have active noise cancellation, so their autonomy is more or less always the same: up to six hours per charge and 30 hours with the charging case. However, for spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, playback time drops to five hours per charge. The Huawei FreeBuds 5 promise, according to the brand up to five hours of music playback with noise cancellation off (up to 30 hours with the case), and when activated it’s up to 3.5 hours, which is little compared to other alternatives on the market.
  • Endurance: The two proposals can be used for sports as they are IPX4 certified and therefore resistant to water and dust.
  • Price: AirPods 3 start at 209 euros, Huawei FreeBuds 5 have an RRP of 159 euros.

Huawei FreeBuds 5 VS Apple AirPods 3, which bluetooth headphones to buy?

The Huawei FreeBuds 5 have several points for it compared to Apple AirPods:

  • Active noise cancellation
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • iOS and Android compatibility
  • Price

Active noise cancellation is one of the most requested features in wireless Bluetooth headphones.. It usually doesn’t do a good job on cheap models and is more of an attention-grabbing tool, but those that do, like the Huawei FreeBuds 5, do the job at a certain price point. And to access this feature you will have to opt for the AirPods Pro, whose price is significantly higher than that of Huawei (even the 3 already have a higher PVP to consider).

However, the Huawei FreeBuds 5 also have their pitfalls. The main one is that there are two features that are only available in conjunction with branded products, namely the Proximity matching and wear detection. And if we have an Android phone, we must first download Huawei services to access the AI ​​Life app if we want to make any customizations (this is not the case on the iPhone).

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