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Gadget of the Week

Gadget of the Week:
FreeClip frees the ears

The new Huawei FreeClip earphones redefine the concept of earbuds, in a fusion of fashion and function, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

What is it?

It’s not every day – or even every year –  that a well-worn gadget category is completely redefined and redesigned. The Huawei FreeClip achieves this, throwing in a dash of aesthetic appeal and a large helping of comfort.

Weighing just a few grams each, the earbuds introduce a distinctive clip-on design that makes wearing them both effortless and comfortable, eliminating the single biggest drawback of in-ear buds: the feeling some people get of their ears being blocked up.

Ditching traditional silicone tips, it uses what Huawei describes as open-ear listening technology and a C-bridge design. The top and bottom of the C-shape are made up of an “acoustic ball” that faces towards the ear canal, and a “comfort bean” that rests against the back of the earlobe.

Equipped with high-definition sound drivers and a robust battery life, it delivers a satisfying audio experience to the ear.

It offers intuitive touch controls – once you find them, that is, embedded in a stylish, minimalist casing. The controls are therefore not just functional; they are a part of the device’s charm, offering a tactile experience that complements its style. Adaptive noise cancellation technology adjusts to ambient sounds to provide an optimal listening environment.

A gentle tap on the earpiece pauses the playlist to let ambient sounds in — a feature that proved invaluable in traffic and finding my way inside an office park and a mall. The comfort level is incredible, with no ear fatigue even after several hours of use.

Compared to its current competitors, the FreeClip offers what might be the best integration of form and function. The clip-on mechanism is unmatched for convenience, providing a grip that is both secure and surprisingly comfortable.

As a result, the FreeClip stands out in a crowded market of wireless audio devices.

What does it cost?

The Huawei FreeClip is available in Huawei online store for R3,999 or 12 payments of R374.91/month. Visit

Why does it matter?

The unique design of the FreeClip will address the pain point – literally and figuratively – of many people who find in-ear buds uncomfortable, especially during prolonged use.

The unconventional design prioritises comfort and style, making it ideal for extended wear and active lifestyles. The open-ear design offers a liberating listening experience while maintaining surprisingly good call quality.

In terms of pricing, the FreeClip falls within the mid-range for true wireless earbuds. While not the most budget-friendly option, it competes favourably with similarly featured models from established brands.

What are the biggest negatives?

  • While it may offer active noise cancellation, open-ear design sacrifices the ability to block out ambient noise, making it less ideal for noisy commutes.
  • It is not the most budget-friendly option, although it compares well with other true wireless earbuds with similar features.

What are the biggest positives?

  • Lightweight design and open-ear style eliminate fatigue and pressure during extended wear, resulting in unmatched comfort.
  • Open-ear technology allows one to stay aware of surroundings, ideal for safety during outdoor activities.
  • Surprisingly good call quality despite the open-ear design, effectively suppresses wind and background noise.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx, editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee.

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