In today’s review, we will compare the popular model of TWS headphones Huawei Free Buds 3i and the new product from Xiaomi – Redmi Buds 3 Pro. If you do not go into the technical characteristics, then at first glance it may seem that these are completely different wireless headphones . But after examining the pairs in detail, there is a lot in common, which means choosing between them is quite serious.
Completion and appearance
As you can see, the equipment for both headphones is the same. Both pairs come well-packed in a box with a minimalist design. But the Redmi Buds 3 Pro has one advantage for the perfectionist – the replacement ear pads and cable are packaged separately.
- A pair of TWS earbuds
- Charging case
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Replaceable ear pads in different sizes (four pairs)
- User’s manual
The charging case for Redmi Buds 3 Pro is made of high-quality plastic. It is small in size, so you can safely carry it in your pocket, even if it is jeans. There is a LED on the front of the case. This is a kind of hint by which you can understand that the case or headphones are charging. And a button for simultaneous connection to a second device. There is a charging port on the bottom of the case. According to user reviews, the case opens and closes easily, the headphones do not fall out of it, even if you shake them well.
The Free Buds 3i also has an oval-shaped case, but more elongated in length, which makes it not comfortable to wear in a pocket, like Xiaomi. When open, the lid does not slam shut by itself, and when closed it does not open from accidental movement. But some Free Buds 3i owners note that it is not so easy to open the case with one hand. There is also a nuance with ear cushions. For those who are used to wearing the largest earbuds, the latest size from Huawei may not be suitable, the headphones will fall out. Therefore, this point is worth checking in advance, you may have to buy additional ear pads.
The Free Buds 3i also has charging indicators, but there are two of them, which is convenient. One is located on the outside of the case and tells if the case itself is charging. And the second one is inside the box and is responsible for charging the headphones. Both indicators light up when the case is opened. On the back there is a button for pairing with other devices. As with the Redmi Buds 3 Pro, you can connect your headphones to your laptop and phone at the same time.
Another difference is that Huawei Free Buds 3i no longer support wireless charging, you can only use a wire. And Xiaomi has wireless charging, while the headphones are compatible with all Qi-certified chargers.
Now about what the headphones themselves look like. The Redmi Buds 3 Pro has “droplets” with a glossy finish, which Xiaomi has tried to make even more spectacular than previous models. The headphones have sensors for detecting, if you take them out of your ear, then playback will stop automatically. This is a very handy feature that Apple was the first to implement.
Free Buds 3 Pro are different in shape, they just resemble those “apple” ones, they have a leg. These headphones also react and pause when removed from your ears. And resume playback when the headphones are put on again. But there is a nuance, the function fully works only with native Huawei smartphones. With other phones, in practice, only a pause works, but when the earphone is returned to the ear, playback does not resume, you need to continue manually.
Ergonomics and control
A pair of Redmi Buds 3 Pro connects with Xiaomi easily. It quickly recognizes the headphones and offers the connection itself. After that, on the smartphone screen, you can see how much charge remains for each earphone separately and for the case, if the headphones are in it.
For other phones, the connection goes through Bluetooth using the AAC codec. And there is another feature of Redmi, when Bluetooth is turned on, the headphones can be found in case of loss (MIVI system).
They also connect to native Huawei smartphones without problems, you just need to open the case cover. The screen displays the charge of two headphones separately and the box. And if the phone is different, then the connection will be made via Bluetooth using the AAC codec, but you need to install the Huawei Al Life application. In this case, on the iOS platform, you can connect, but you will not be able to do other operations. It is worth noting here that the Redmi Buds 3 Pro has no applications for fine tuning for the international market at all, but the manufacturer promises to fix the situation.
Now about ergonomics. Xiaomi Redmi Buds 3 Pro, according to user reviews, sit well in the ears, especially when you consider that these are headphones without additional mounts. If suddenly “droplets” begin to jump out of the ears, then you need to choose the correct size ear pads. As for the controls, everything is quite comfortable. Touch control. At the same time, the manufacturer refused from a single touch, which is very convenient, since you cannot stop the music with a random movement or do something else that was not planned. Double tap – play or pause, as well as receive a call. The triple on the right earpiece is the next track, on the left is the previous track. And if you hold the touch on any of the headphones, then turn on / off the noise canceling function.
The Free Buds 3i have similar controls, but no triple tap. Double means pause or resume playback, pressing and holding is responsible for switching between modes. Gestures can be changed through the app, but again only on android.
Both pairs of earbuds are protected from water and dust, but I still don’t advise you to swim in them, they may not survive.
Noise reduction and sound
Both those and other headphones are equipped with noise canceling . Redmi Buds 3 Pro has dual noise-canceling technology with feedback and feed-forward microphones. The maximum ANC depth is up to 35 dB, if you go into the technical specifications. Which, according to the manufacturer, reduces noise by up to 98%. Plus, there are three operating modes that allow you to customize the ANC function for yourself, for example, when you are on the subway, ride a bike or work in the office, but at the same time you want to hear not only colleagues, but also listen to music . What’s in practice?
First, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro, without ANC activation, muffle ambient sounds simply because they are inserted into the ear and cover the channel with an ear cushion. If the latter are selected correctly, then the “droplets” sit tightly. Secondly, if you turn on noise cancellation, you can feel the difference. And this is already a great achievement for Xiaomi, their headphones did not have such an effect before. Some users do not notice at all the differences between the noise reduction of Redmi and some Sony models, and this also says something, despite the fact that the difference in price between them is significant.
In the Free Buds 3i, Huawei claims noise cancellation of up to 32 dB. And in practice, if you compare headphones by ANC, then there is virtually no difference in them. By default, a pair from Huawei is no longer bad at drowning out external noises, and if you turn on noise reduction as well, then you really get to disconnect and listen only to music. Plus, another mode was added – transparency.
Users rate the sound as good with both headphones. Redmi has a balanced sound, smooth and detailed sounding across the entire range. The bass is deep, which is rarely the case for “plugs” , the middle ones are even, and the high ones are a little smoothed, you can raise them, but then the evenness across the entire range will be lost. The only thing that can be noticed is that the maximum volume is not very high, although a lot depends on the phone itself.
As a headset, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro is quite bearable. It works well in silence, the subscriber is perfectly heard, as well as yourself. But if you go outside, the sound quality is lost.
Free Buds 3i sounded more musical to me. They have great instrument separation and wide stage effect. Thanks to this, the bass sounds great, the highs are excellent, the mids are soft and pleasant, and the high frequencies are slightly accentuated. With these headphones it turns out not only to listen to your favorite music, but to do it thoughtfully. There were no particular problems in using Free Buds as a headset either. Headphones start to “stutter” only if they leave more than 20 m.
Duration of work
The Redmi Buds 3 Pro earbuds work up to 6 hours on the headphone battery (if the volume is about 50% and ANC is off). When charging from a case up to 28 hours. Possible fast charging – 10 minutes gives another 3 hours of music.
Fully charged earbuds can be brought back to life in an hour. At the same time, there is wireless charging. The case is charged 100% in 2.5 hours.
Free Buds 3i has less than 3.5 hours of operation. And 14.5 with charging from the case. If you turn on ANC and make the volume almost 100%, from time to time it will practically not change. The battery lasts for four charges.
The earbuds charge in 20 minutes, and it takes about 1 hour to fully charge the case.
|Characteristic||Xiaomi Redmi Buds 3 Pro||Huawei Free Buds 3i|
|Noise suppression||Active up to 35 dB||Active up to 32 dB|
|Connection||Bluetooth 5.2||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Codecs||SBC, AAC||SBC, AAC|
|Driver||8 mm||10 mm|
|Working hours||6 hours (without ANC), 28 hours (with case)||3.5 hours (without ANC), 14.5 hours (with case)|
|Frequency range||20 – 20,000||20 – 20,000|
|Protection against moisture and dust||IPX4||IPX4|
|Simultaneous connection to multiple devices||Yes||No|
|Dimensions (edit)||65 x 48 x 26 mm||41.8 x 23.7 x 19.8mm|
The novelty from Xiaomi – Redmi Buds 3 Pro in many ways outperforms the Free Buds 3i: the ergonomics and fit are slightly more comfortable, you can simultaneously connect the droplets to different devices and there is wireless charging, music plays up to 6 hours and, most importantly, a very pleasant price … But Free Buds 3i has its own significant advantage – sound. If you are a music lover, detailed separation of instruments while listening and all musical nuances are important to you, then Huawei coped with this task better. You can pay extra for this. Plus, with Free Buds 3i, you can fine-tune the headphones through the application if you have an android.
In the end, you should ask yourself: what exactly is important to you in headphones and choose between Redmi Buds 3 Pro and Free Buds 3i based on this. If you are focused on sound quality and are an audiophile, then Huawei will have the edge. However, in terms of value for money, Xiaomi is the undisputed leader.