The choice of inexpensive headphones in Russian retail is quite large. But if you limit it only to large manufacturers, then in the price range of 3-4 thousand rubles there will be literally a couple of interesting options. Among them is Huawei Freebuds SE of a rather unusual shape. It is able to attract those who cannot choose between simple inserts and “gags”. We got to know the model better.

Table of contents


Emitter type Dynamic, 10 mm
Headphone weight 5.1 g
Case weight 35 g
Connection Bluetooth 5.2
Supported codecs SBC, AAC
Noise suppression Only on calls
Moisture protection IPX4 – splash proof
Battery 37 mAh (headphones);
410 mAh (charging case)
autonomy 6 hours of music (24 hours with case);
4 hours of voice calls (16 hours with case)

Appearance and equipment

Huawei Freebuds SE are available in white and mint colors. We had the second on the test, the accessory in it looks much more original and advantageous. Such a soft, spring shade, combined with the not very standard shape of the headphones themselves, immediately makes a pleasant impression.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

The small case is glossy on the outside and matte on the inside. Headphones are located in it lying down, magnetized to the charging contacts with their legs. The fixation is reliable – even if you turn the open case over and shake it, the headphones will not fall out.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

On the back of the case is a USB-C port for recharging, on the front there is a LED indicator. Inside, under the magnetic cover, there is a function button for pairing. The case is assembled perfectly, nothing creaks and does not shake.

Other similar headphones can be immediately grabbed by the leg when you take it out of the case. But this will not work with Freebuds SE: first you will need to move them from their place, pushing them towards you with your finger, and then take them by the leg.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

Headphones are a cross between classic “droplets” and in-ear “plugs”. They have silicone ear pads, but not quite the usual ones. Their shape does not allow you to push the earpiece deep into the ear canal, but at the same time, the usual passive noise isolation and reliable fixation in the shell are preserved.

We can say that this is a very successful hybrid that combines the best of both types. At the same time, Freebuds SE do not bulge in the ears, which is also important.

Now about the nozzles: in addition to those already worn, the kit comes with two more pairs of different sizes. Finding the right one should be easy. There is also a short USB-to-USB‑C charging cable as standard, and that’s it.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

As already noted, Freebuds SE are glossy, but prints and stains are almost invisible in a light mint version – this is an indisputable plus. Here it is worth mentioning the presence of only one functional element on the case – this is a proximity sensor. It allows you to stop the music when you remove the earpiece from your ear, and it works flawlessly.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

Connection and control

Freebuds SE are activated without any applications – through the Bluetooth settings, as the easiest accessory. But in this mode, it will turn out to use only one action for control – double-tapping the right or left earphone (yes, one action for both) to pause or start playback.

To set up touch, you will have to download the Huawei Ai Life program. This can be done through the QR code on the back of the paper box. The link will open the AppGallery website with the Ai Life page – click “Download”, refusing to install the application of the store itself. After downloading, open the program.

There were no problems with detecting Freebuds SE, but with the connection again, everything did not work out the first time: the connection setup freezes by 30% and does not budge. I had to restart the program a couple of times and reconnect the headphones.

In Ai Life, you can assign actions to double-tapping the left and right headphones (the gadget does not recognize single taps), but the choice, frankly, is small: switching tracks and activating the voice assistant. It lacks at least the ability to change the volume – for example, by clamping. But alas.


The headphones have 10 mm dynamic drivers with an “ultra sensitive polymer diaphragm”. Whatever that means, the Freebuds SE sound about right for their price: no frills or punchy bass, but no treble bias either. The sound, as they say, is smooth, predictable and quite clean.

In these headphones it is difficult to highlight any strengths or the most suitable music for them. Speaking with a stretch, with the Freebuds SE, electronic tracks and vocal parts are revealed quite well, but the difference is not so significant as to make a strong emphasis on this at all. Still, this is a budget model, and you should not expect miracles from it.

Headset mode

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

There is no ANC in the headphones, but the manufacturer claims a noise reduction function for calls. In headset mode, you will be heard really well, but, most likely, this is not so much the merit of the technology itself, but the shape of the headphones. Microphones are placed on the tips of the elongated legs, and this is always a big plus.


The manufacturer promises up to 6 hours of operation without recharging – an excellent indicator for an inexpensive model. And it proved to be true in practice. At medium volume and without calls, the headphones lasted about 5 hours and 45 minutes. With the case, you will have a full day, which is more than enough for daily use scenarios.


FreeBuds SE turned out to be solid and pleasant to use headphones. They can be advised to those who are looking for something simple and inexpensive, but with an original and “expensive” performance. The model in mint color looks more than attractive.

FreeBuds SE can also be an excellent option for those who do not like protruding “gags” – these headphones sit in their ears quite neatly, not like awkward “plugs”.

Photo: Victor Podvolotsky / Lifehacker

In Russia, FreeBuds SE cost 3,299 rubles – an acceptable price for retail. For about the same money on AliExpress, you can take, for example, Xiaomi Redmi Buds 3 Pro with active noise cancellation and wireless charging. Here the choice depends on the priorities and the method of purchase. In any case, Huawei turned out to be an interesting and successful model.


  • Original design and nice color.
  • Good ergonomics.
  • Good autonomy.
  • Affordable price.


  • Instability of the Huawei AI Life app.
  • A minimum of actions for management.

Buy on “Yandex Market”

Buy on AliExpress

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